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The consular official has often been a derided figure in the historiography of foreign services, often seen as uneducated, involved in commerce, and corrupt, perhaps personified in the figure of ‘Charles Fortnum’ in Graham Greene’s spy novel The Honorary Consul.(1) Such criticisms were often levelled at consuls.
These days, expenditure on health amounts on average to some 9 per cent of gross domestic product in the prosperous nations of the West. Whether through direct taxation, social security, social health insurance or private means, it’s a substantial amount.
This book was commissioned by the Bank of England, when Mervyn (now Lord) King was Governor. The aim was to produce a popular history of the Bank, an institution important in Britain since its inception. If it was intended to be a popular volume, the kind that flies off the shelves in bookshops, I hope that I’m right when I say it will not.
John Gaffney’s study of Ed Miliband’s narrative and performance in Leadership and the Labour Party is a welcome addition to the limited academic research undertaken on Labour post-Blair. Gaffney skilfully manages to engage with both the theory and practice of leadership, whilst maintaining academic rigour and, impressively, readability.
The parliamentary papers of the UK are one of the most important sources for the history of the UK and its former colonies in the 18th and 19th centuries, in their original form a series of thousands of printed reports.
Owen Hatherley’s latest book is a compelling exploration of one way in which the British political establishment and the British public (mis)interpret, (mis)remember, and (fail to) engage with history. The history with which Hatherley is concerned is the Attlee government of 1945–51, set within the wider era described mostly, vaguely, as ‘post-war’.
Historians of pretty well every field and period have long acknowledged that historical enquiry cannot (indeed, must not) be limited to describing the actions and experiences of elites.
In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Daniel Snowman talks to Peter Hennessy about his background, career, influences and forthcoming book.
The commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland have thrown the issue of nationalism and independence into sharp relief once again.
Contemporary punditocracy suggests that the Left has never grasped the joy of shopping, its late 20th–century political katabasis being no clearer indication.