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‘Risen from the ruins and facing the future’ affirmed Johannes Becher’s emphatic opening strophe to the national anthem of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), composed in that state’s birthyear of 1949. It was a stirring message, and one that amply reflected the political imperative that had come to suffuse the material task of reconstruction after six years of devastating war.
For those interested in learning more about, and reflecting upon, the iconic Russian revolutions of 1917 during this centenary year, there has been no shortage of recent publications.
Eli Rubin has written a wonderful book that does not just tell a fascinating story about an important but much neglected subject, but also manages to link this story to much broader historiographical, and indeed ontological, questions about the intersections between space, on one hand, and power, time and lived experience on the other.
The name Medici is almost inextricably interlinked with the city of Florence and the idea of the Renaissance in both popular and scholarly imagination. The family dominated the Florentine republic politically for the better part of the 15th century and became, first, dukes of Florence and, then, grand dukes of Tuscany in the 16th.
Comparative histories, especially between the Low Countries and Italy, have become common in recent years.
Hitherto, the historiography of ‘city-states’ has in general not been comparative, preferring to focus on one city, or one region, rather than taking a European perspective.
At least three factors go towards explaining why the destruction of Spanish cities during the Civil War (1936–9) and the subsequent reconstruction efforts have long been overlooked and under-studied.
In May 1995 Alain Corbin organised a conference on the history of the barricade, quite a novel departure at that time. Being asked to focus exclusively on one part of the insurrectionary process intrigued those of us invited to contribute.
This splendid volume of essays addresses the late Philip Jones’s seminal contribution to the historiography of late medieval and early Renaissance Italy, and takes its title directly from his most well-known and influential article on the subject. Both the topic and the timing of this publication are propitious.
Medieval Italian cities have frequently been the focus of international historical research. The particular qualities of the elites that emerged here were notably stressed by Marino Berengo in his classic book on the history of European towns.(1)