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During the interwar period, the figure of the ‘New Man’ constituted a powerful symbol of the promise and potential of a thorough-going political and anthropological revitalisation of society, which could effectively counteract widely-perceived notions of crisis and decline in the aftermath of the Great War.
Married Life in the Middle Ages offers a refreshing approach to medieval marriage. Elisabeth van Houts focuses on the social and emotional sides of marriage rather than viewing marriage through a legal or institutional lens. Two aspects of van Houts’ book set it apart from others.
On page one of India and the Cold War, the collection’s editor, Professor Manu Bhagavan, claims that thoughts about the Cold War changed after the publication of Odd Arne Westad’s The Global Cold War (2005). Fifteen years after its initial printing, Westad’s opus still looms large for Cold War scholars.
Early modern rogue literature presents historians with a puzzle. From the 1590s onwards, a steady flow of cheap pamphlets rolled off London printing presses to inform their audience about the innumerable scams, frauds, deceptions and confidence tricks practised by devious criminal tricksters: rogues.
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.