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To study Russia before the late 19th century is to labour under a twofold handicap.
The issues and themes concerning the state and its rulers have until quite recently dominated the historiography of Mughal India. While some scholars argue for the centralized character of the Mughal state, others have pointed out its contested and negotiated nature. More recent scholars have come up with studies that underline the fluidity of the state.
On a recent holiday to a country that has nothing to do with either Britain or Japan (Iran, as it happens), I took both an English and a Japanese guidebook. I often do this. As expected, the Japanese one was extraordinarily accurate in boat and bus timetables, entry fees and opening hours, all of which were correct. But next to no interpretative assistance was supplied.
This book is an overview of Russian conservative ideology from roughly 1500 to the First World War. Richard Pipes, the now Emeritus Baird Professor of History at Harvard, has written or edited more than twenty books on Russian history, and his latest work is in many ways a summary of his conclusions about why Russia developed differently from the countries of Western Europe.
While reading Michael Fisher's new book, Counterflows to Colonialism: Indian Travellers and Settlers in Britain, 1600–1857, which details the diverse experiences of South Asians in Britain, I often found myself reminded of Tayeb Salih's 1969 novel Season of Migration to the North.(1) Th
Some books enlighten and disappoint at the same time. This is how I felt having read Oleg Tarasov’s book. Originally Tarasov’s doktorskaia dissertatsiia (the second PhD), the book was first published in Russian and has now been painstakingly translated by Robin Milner-Gulland and lavishly published by Reaktion Books.
There are several novel things about this book that make it worth reading. The first one relates to the author. Unlike most other historians of Japan, who come from the areas of Japanese or East Asian studies, the author of this book arrives from an unexpected field. L. M.
History on this scale is a daunting task, not just for the breadth of scholarship it requires but also because it lays before the author the powerful temptations of platitude and over-generalization. Geoffrey Hosking, as he has amply shown elsewhere, is a historian who can draw a big picture without losing his curiosity, his feel for detail, or his capacity for concise but penetrating summary.
This book aims to explore manifestations of messianic ideas in Russian intellectual thought and to consider their impact on state policies and their popular resonance. Peter Duncan defines messianism as 'the proposition or belief that a given group is in some way chosen for a purpose.
This impressively erudite, well researched, and eloquently written book by Joan Pau Rubiés analyses the development of Iberian and Italian travellers' accounts of south India over three hundred years.