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As the title of the first volume under consideration asserts, France is currently in the grip of a divisive and destabilising phenomenon. Guerres de Mémoires, or wars of memories, are currently wracking the land, calling into question national identity and even challenging the hallowed Republican model.
‘Earth, earth, do not cover our blood and do not keep silent’.
This is a very interesting volume, which aims to bring together the variety of contexts and genres in which ancient history was employed and studied during the Enlightenment.
Agatha Christie’s 1970 novel Passenger to Frankfurt might seem like an unusual place to start a history of the Children’s Crusade in 1212. To capture the radical youth-culture of the 1960s lying at the heart of her plot, Christie invoked the Children’s Crusade as a familiar symbol of misguided and ultimately dangerous youthful folly.
Is biography still a legitimate activity for professional historians in the twenty-first century? In contrast to many of the newer approaches towards the past, biography smacks of a very traditional top-down, mostly man-centred, approach. Medieval biographers face the particular problem of relatively restricted source material which led K. B.
Most of us become medievalists by accident. We fall under the spell of a charismatic teacher at school or university, or, having been introduced to the subject—sometimes as pressed men and women, by the dictates of our chosen university’s curriculum—we find that the study of the middle ages speaks to our inner psyche.
For an outsider contemplating historiography on the early middle ages, it is a tribute to the subject’s vitality that a book of over nine-hundred pages of text should claim to be less than a definitive statement and aims ‘only to provide the raw material for a better synthesis to do so in the future’. The rather appealing modesty is misplaced.
This book can be viewed in several ways. Each of its ten chapters by a different author deals with a discrete topic (women, gender, public opinion, photography and food supply) without any pretence of thematic unity.
In 1987 Michael Marrus completed The Holocaust in History.(1) A succinct, cogent, yet apparently comprehensive study, it appeared to cover the gamut of the subject, with state-of-the-art research and exposition of the critical disputes closely entwined.
Trauma has become a burning topic in Western cultures of late. Traumatic events and debates over how they are remembered by individuals and memorialised by cultures are important for lots of different constituencies.