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No Return

It is hard to review this book without lapsing into the language of academic letters of recommendation: it is brilliant, illuminating. The genre is the Anglo-American ‘book of the thesis’. This genre contrasts with that of first books from young German and French scholars in that the author has taken years to revise his 2015Continue reading “No Return”

Migrant City: A New History of London

Jean P. Smith reviews this exploration of the myriad ways that migrants have contributed to the making of London, finding it a substantial achievement of broad historical relevance.

In the shadow of Enoch Powell: Race, locality and resistance

Over half a century ago, Enoch Powell made national headlines with his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, warning of an immigrant invasion in Wolverhampton. Shirin Hirsch’s book bring a rich local history focus to a key moment in British history; Saffron East reviews.

The Crisis of the Meritocracy

Before the Second World War, only about 20% of the population went to secondary school and barely 2% to university; today everyone goes to secondary school and half of all young people go to university. How did we get here from there? David Civil reviews a work that positions ‘education at the interface between the citizen and the post-war state’, exploring and questioning tension between meritocracy and democracy.