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In the spring of 1968, Enoch Powell gave his infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech (p 1). In the shadow of Enoch Powell: Race, locality and resistance explores its aftermath, successfully synthesising histories of Powell as a political figure, the local community of Wolverhampton, and, to a lesser extent, the nation.
Britain has never been a meritocracy. Despite the concept’s widely-evoked vision of a ‘fair’ or ‘just’ social order, one where individuals rise or fall according to their ‘talents’ or ‘efforts’, the rise of the meritocracy has continually been scuppered by the perseverance of inherited privilege or democratic pressure.
Four Nations Approaches, as the editors acknowledge from the start, follows in the footsteps of a very solid tradition of edited collections, brought about by the rise of ‘New British History’ in the 1990s and early 2000s.
All historical actors ultimately defy our neat labels. Practically speaking however, some are more defiant than others. One such figure is the dynamo ‘social entrepreneur’, Michael Young. (1) It has become a cliché to rattle off the dizzying array of institutions, projects and ideas with which Young was involved in his long and energetic career.
The most remarkable feature of the mould-breaking expansion of higher education that took place across the world in the 1960s was the foundation of some 200 entirely new universities.
Luke Blaxill’s book deserves to be seminal. Its unassuming title conceals a bracing methodological challenge: an argument for the application of specific digital techniques to the study of electoral politics.
Danger, disaster and the loss of life are emblematic features of Britain’s cultural memory of coal mining. Netflix’s hit series, The Crown, prominently reinforced these motifs through its recent portrayal of the 1966 Aberfan disaster in South Wales.
At the time of writing this review (early April 2020), Harry and Meghan had decamped to Los Angeles, Prince Charles was recovering from the coronavirus, and Queen Elizabeth had just delivered a rare television address to the British people urging resolve in the face of COVID-19.
Research on immigration to Britain at the turn of the 20th century largely conforms to historiographical conventions which privilege the nation state as a framework for investigation and which adhere to narrative chronologies relevant to nations. These conventions, Ewence contends, eclipse much from view which does not easily fit into such established categories.
Given that the shelves of those historians who specialise in the origins of the Second World War are figuratively groaning under the weight of works covering the topic of appeasement, it may come as a surprise to some when reading the preface to Appeasing Hitler that “while books on the Second World War have multiplied over the past 20 years, the build-up and causes of that catastrophe