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ISSN 1749-8155

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Review Date: 
21 Mar 2013

‘No one knows what George Kennan really meant [to say]!’ So did the late McGeorge Bundy, my then professor, initiate me and a half a dozen other graduate students into mystery of George Frost Kennan. I say ‘mystery’ deliberately, as both at the time and later, there was indeed something distinctly odd about two aspects of the life and career of the one-time scholar-diplomat.

Review Date: 
1 Oct 2011

Addressing the Joint Session of Congress in 2003, Tony Blair issued a stirring defence of the democratic idea. Words like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’, he declared, were not ‘American values or Western values’:

Review Date: 
1 Sep 2011

The first thing that stands out from this study is how passionate and volcanic was E. P. Thompson’s intellectual life as a historian, Marxist thinker, and informed campaigner. He was devoted to reason. Indeed, one of the left-wing journals with which he was involved was entitled The New Reasoner.

Review Date: 
1 Sep 2011

Poker was Maurice Cowling’s game. Late-night gambling amidst the smoke and whisky fumes probably appealed to him as one of the many means by which he rebelled against the respectability of the South London petit bourgeoisie in which he had been raised; Peter Ghosh once referred to the ‘Chandleresque’ style that he affected.

Review Date: 
1 Jan 2011

This book sheds much light on the ascendancy of liberal values in the 19th century and their role in the transformation of the fiscal military state of the previous century. While using a wealth of secondary literature, including many essays and review articles in literary weeklies and monthlies, William Lubenow charts new and important territory.

Review Date: 
30 Jun 2008

Gwenda Morgan's The Debate on the American Revolution adds a valuable volume to Manchester University Press's series on Issues in History. Stretching the American Revolution forward to the construction and ratification of the American federal constitution, she surveys and sifts through a vast literature that has grown exponentially over the last several decades.

Review Date: 
1 Jul 2005

Histories of the Cold War have often, for obvious reasons, concentrated on the grand struggle between 'East and West', 'Communism and Capitalism', the 'USSR and the United States'.

Review Date: 
1 Dec 2004

Forty years after his death, much of Nehru’s world has been lost, its certainties eroded, its structures demolished. The European empires which Nehru challenged have long since disappeared.

Review Date: 
1 May 2003

I suppose a slight confession is in order before I begin. This is a book that I had hoped to write, but for a variety of reasons it never transpired. To me, it seemed to be a glaring omission in the literature on Stalin. Bookshops were awash with biographies of Stalin. Appraisals of the Stalinist system were as numerous as medals on Brezhnev's chest.

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