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Sometimes (not often enough) an academic book comes along that ticks all the boxes: it is based on thorough research, spanning archives on different continents, engaging with rich and varied source materials; it is held together by a tight set of themes; it is written in beautiful prose.
It is hard to review this book without lapsing into the language of academic letters of recommendation: it is brilliant, illuminating. The genre is the Anglo-American 'book of the thesis’. This genre contrasts with that of first books from young German and French scholars in that the author has taken years to revise his 2015 Harvard thesis thoroughly.
The Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru have been published in 100 volumes. The first 15 volumes together make up the First Series, and the following 85 are the Second Series. These roughly cover the pre- and post-1946 periods and are thus divided by the formation of the interim government in India during the transfer of power from British rule.
Catherine Carstairs’s new history, The Smile Gap: A History of Oral Health and Social Inequality, explores the changes in oral healthcare in Canada from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including patient voices, Carstairs considers oral health history from a number of angles.
Cities of the Plain
This magnum opus of 842 pages, plus notes, takes the reader from 1895, and the politics of Unionism, to the onset of the First World War. It deals with every subject a reader interested to understand modern Britain might want to know, from domestic questions like the rise of the Labour Party to imperial issues like Britain’s complex relationship with Japan.
Between 1834 and 1917, some 1.37 million Indian migrants travelled the length and breadth of the British Empire under contracts of indentureship.
The image that Jean Smith opens her book with is an apt one. A 1969 Evening Standard cartoon depicting a South Asian family and a white British family passing each other on a beach, a boat pulled ashore in the background with the caption, ‘Agreed then, you have 14 Upper Pinner Road, we take the boat, and the best of British luck to you!’ (p. 2).
Writing in Macmillan’s Magazine a few years after the denouement of the Crimean War, Thomas Hughes, author of Tom Brown’s School Days, declared that this conflict’s ‘drama ...
Books that manage to encapsulate something essential but often elusive quickly turn indispensable for scholars. Authority and Power in the Medieval Church is one such volume. Expertly edited by Thomas W.