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In the early hours of the morn­ing on 11 Novem­ber 1918, an agree­ment was signed that would bring to an end four and a half years of blood­shed across the globe. The First World War was over, but the bat­tle for its legacy was only just be­gin­ning. We have now reached the cen­te­nary of the ar­mistice, and in this month’s is­sue we are mark­ing the oc­ca­sion with a sup­ple­ment ex­plor­ing many facets of the con­flict.

Our cover fea­ture is a de­bate be­tween Pro­fes­sors Gary Sh­effield and Richard J Evans over whether the out­come of the war jus­ti­fied the tremen­dous cost in lives. Else­where, a panel of ex­perts as­sess the longer-term im­pact of the con­flict, from the psy­cho­log­i­cal scars to the en­vi­ron­men­tal dev­as­ta­tion. But the end of the war brought joy as well as trauma, and, as Guy Cuth­bert­son re­veals in his ar­ti­cle, news of the ar­mistice prompted cel­e­bra­tions across Bri­tain. Finally, Mag­gie An­drews con­sid­ers whether, over the past four years, the goals of the First World War com­mem­o­ra­tive ac­tiv­i­ties have been met.

It’s not all about the First World War this month, though. In the reg­u­lar mag­a­zine you’ll get to read Lucy Wors­ley on Abra­ham Lin­coln, Michael Wood on the An­glo-Sax­ons, An­drew Roberts on Churchill, Diar­maid MacCul­loch on Thomas Cromwell, and a whole lot more be­sides.

All four of these his­to­ri­ans will also be ap­pear­ing at our History Week­ends this month, and there is still time to book tick­ets at his­to­ry­week­end.com. I look for­ward to see­ing many of you there. Rob At­tar Edi­tor

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