In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Daniel Snowman talks to Margaret MacMillan about her background, career, key publications and future plans.
Margaret MacMillan is Professor of International History at the University of Oxford.
Daniel Snowman is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster on social and cultural history.
One might be forgiven for thinking that British defence policy between the Napoleonic era and the outbreak of the First World War was always geared towards a large, continental commitment.
Writing at the dawn of the new millennium, historian Peniel Joseph lamented the scholarly neglect of Black Power. While studies of the Black liberation movement’s ‘heroic period’ from 1955-1965 abounded, research on Black Power ‘languished’ due to lack of interest, limited archival sources, and a prevailing declension narrative that cast Black Power as civil rights’ ‘evil twin’.
Of all former government officials who have turned to the pen, Sir Rodric Braithwaite should arguably be considered one of the more welcome additions. Following three previous books focusing on the Soviet Union and Russia, he has recently turned his attention to the issue of nuclear weapons and the precarious deterrence which has kept them from being used in warfare since 1945.
Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro’s The Internationalists And Their Plan to Outlaw War is an ambitious book which has attracted wide attention.
Lee Grieveson’s bold historical analysis of the relationship between media and capital is nothing if not timely. As I write, a new wave of consolidation among traditional telecommunication and media companies in America is concentrating unprecedented wealth and power in the hands of an ever-narrowing elite.
‘This is a biography of an intellectual, but it is more than just an intellectual biography because, in the evolution of Kissinger’s thought, the interplay of study and experience was singularly close. For that reason, I have come to see this volume as what is known in Germany as a bildungsroman – the story of an education that was both philosophical and sentimental.
Never has the extraordinarily rich literature on mass atrocity seemed more relevant as ongoing reports from around the world remind us that we live in an age of genocide. This vast repertoire of scholarly work can appear at maximum capacity with countless overarching theoretical frameworks of mass violence.
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.
The 18th century is still the least popular among Ottoman historians. Recently, with the influential counter-narrative of Ottoman decline and the coining of a new term—the 'Second Ottoman Empire'—by Baki Tezcan, our understanding of periodization in Ottoman history has changed. It is now recognized that there was no golden age followed by centuries of decline.