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For a long time after 1945, as Basil Fawlty famously discovered, it was almost impossible to avoid mentioning the war.
The historical significance of the First World War is taken for granted in most European countries. In Ireland, however, as Charles Townshend has noted, 'the memory of the war was for a long time marginalised.
Splendid Isolation? Britain, the Balance of Power and the Origins of the First World War / John Charmley
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.
When the Cold War ended it brought to a close the latest in a series of major challenges to western maritime supremacy. This, no doubt temporary, respite has forced the navies of the western world to focus on their role in a new environment in which high intensity war at sea is improbable in the immediate future.
A distinguished historian of British strategic decision-making in the Great War, David French has now turned his attention to the British army in the Second World War, a shift in focus already signalled by a number of journal articles that have appeared over the last few years.
A Soldier and a Woman: Sexual Integration in the Military / Gerald De Groot, ed. Corinna Peniston-Bird
This book is impressively detailed, showing women's experience of demobilisation and the aftermath of armed conflict - an often neglected area of military study relating to women - as well as their feelings about morality, their male counterparts, uniforms, duties and a slew of other subjects.
Professor Alvin Jackson's fine book was probably just about ready to hit the bookshops in the summer of 1999 when I was reminded, in a particularly personal way, about the intertwining of Irish and British history.
The Crisis of Conservatism: The Politics, Economics and Ideology of the British Conservative Party, 1880–1914; Trade and the Empire / Ewen Henry Harvey Green
This is a very welcome paperback edition of Euan Green’s monograph originally published in 1995. The enviable task confronting the author is to write a further book of a similar quality; expectations are certain to be high for The Crisis of Conservatism is not simply an outstanding account but to use an overworked word, a seminal book.