History of International Relations Textbook

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The thirteenth-century really isn’t that far away after all

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All day today I’ve been reading about, and looking at, these remarkable Russian color photos from before the First World War.  I didn’t even know there were such things. I thought color only came into widespread use after the Second World War.  After all, my father only took black-and-white photos back in the 1960s.  Well I was wrong.  More to the point: the photos completely blow me away, not least the ones taken in the Emirate of Bukhara in 1911.

These are Jewish boys of Samarkand studying with their teachers:

And here is the minister of the interior:

And here is the emir himself (read the full story here):

The world which this man represents, in his outfit and his beard, connects us directly to the thirteenth-century, yet the quality of the photo connects us directly to today. It’s like having Genghis Khan himself on Facebook. The thirteenth-century really isn’t that far away after all.


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