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Exposing Slavery: Photography, Human Bondage, and the Birth of Modern Visual Politics in America is a deeply researched book, focused on how the new medium of photography was shaped and, in turn, altered by the country’s struggle over human bondage.
It is possible to talk today of a ‘public obsession with the Second World War’.(1) The preoccupation is one that generates lively academic debate. Yet bizarre though it may now seem, in 1950—just five years after the surrender of Germany and Japan—it was possible to write off the Second World War as ‘already but a memory’. (2)
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
The Romantic image of the starving artist painting in a threadbare garret and refusing to bend his talent to please a Philistine public could not be further from the artists and their studios considered in Louise Campbell’s Studio Lives.
In early 1780 the rebuilding of Newgate Prison was very nearly complete. Thirty years of debating, campaigning, and planning had finally resulted in the construction of a new and improved jail, which would stand as a permanent monument to England’s commitment to prison reform.
The Birth of Modern Belief is seriously good. It is erudite, insightful, and cogent; but, above all, it enables us to think hard about the relationship between our past and our present.
Studies on loyalty and memory in early modern England have garnered much attention over the last two decades, particularly those on the late seventeenth century, when the post-effects of Civil War and Republicanism saw the monarchy, MPs, and the general public reassess the power of mass petitioning and political engagement.
A renowned historian of the American Civil War era, Elizabeth R. Varon draws on her expertise in her new book Armies of Deliverance: A New History of the Civil War. It is both a comprehensive narrative of the Civil War and a new interpretation of northern war policy.
A simple man from humble beginnings, Joseph Warren earned himself the titles of doctor, husband, father, author, leader, soldier, and martyr through his expressions of compassion and qualities of leadership. With a sense of moral righteousness, as well as deeply rooted personal motivations, Warren fought for American independence with both the pen and the sword.
In 1979 Pete Wrong of the art collective and Punk band Crass was being interviewed by New Society about his graffiti operation on the London Underground: ‘We don’t just rip the posters down or spray them. We use stencils, neatly, to qualify them.