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In reviewing Mark Cornwall's monumental study of 'front propaganda by and against the Habsburg Monarchy in the First World War, I feel I ought to register a certain personal interest.
This is an ambitious book, history on the grand scale: 1,040 pages of text and 200 pages of references, telling the story of the Rothschild family's business over two centuries and on six continents. Most of the book is devoted to the first century of the family's involvement in international finance.
Political caricature flourished as never before in France during the early years of Louis-Philippe's reign. It was Charles X's assault on freedom of the press that led to the Revolution of 1830, and the maintenance and guarantee of this freedom was one of the July Days' few tangible benefits.
Research into the origins of the First World War, like the work undertaken on most controversial historical topics, is subject, at least to some extent, to the dictates of scholarly fashion. Thus, it was that, not so long ago, much of the writing on this issue focused on the cultural factors that, it is said, predisposed the people of Europe to rush headfirst towards the precipice.
John Charmley is, of course, no stranger to controversy.... How tempting it would be to begin a review of his latest book in this vein.
To contemporary observers looking back, official French attitudes towards immigrants and resident foreigners at times appear more than a little ambiguous. While officially espousing a rhetoric of 'inclusiveness', selection and stereotype have nonetheless been common.
The aim of Roderick McLean's book is to assert the continuing importance of monarchs in European politics in the decades immediately before 1914.
How should we read the Crusades? The question begs a host of others, not least how do we read them, in the light of how we have read them in the past. Beginning as a historian of how the Crusades were regarded in their own high mediaeval time, Elizabeth Siberry has more recently constituted herself the historian of how they have since been regarded in our own.
Sweden, Prussia, and Russia. Three great powers were forged in the fire of the Northern Wars. The military monarchies fed on weaker neighbours where such existed. In the sixteenth century, Poland-Lithuania, Brandenburg and Sweden carved up the small Baltic empire left by the crusading knights of the Teutonic Order.
It is to be expected that many edited collections of essays will be somewhat disparate in content and approach whatever the overall framework. This volume, however, is even more disparate than most.