Revolution is a phenomenon that has haunted the pages of history, whether as reality or as a Spectre conjured up by Karl Marx. Of late it has traveled far and wide, and Fred Halliday has followed it to far-off places - Cuba, southern Arabia, Iran - in the quest of history in the making. Among the many revealing points he takes note of are the names that men have given to it (pp.
Peter Russell's Henry 'the Navigator' is one of those rare books which has had classic, or rather legendary, status even before it was published.
NB. This review has been translated from the Spanish by Natalie Sobrevilla.
A Nation Upon the Ocean Sea: Portugal's Atlantic Diaspora and the Crisis of the Spanish Empire, 1492-1640 / Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert
In a seminal article on Portuguese merchants published 35 years ago (1), David Grant Smith suggested (on p. 247) that emigrants from Madeira ‘constituted a sort of gentile Diaspora’, highlighting how family ties and friendships originating on this small Portuguese Atlantic island ‘endured and formed the basis for a network of commercial relationships’.
Swimming the Christian Atlantic: Judeoconversos, Afroiberians and Amerindians in the Seventeenth Century / Jonathan Schorsch
The growth of academic interest in the ‘Iberian Atlantic World’ during the last decade has also witnessed the expansion of scholarship on the presence of, and role played in it by, Judeoconversos (or ‘New Christians’): the descendants of Jews who were converted (often by force) to Christianity in the 14th and 15th centuries.
This is an important volume that hopefully will disseminate new ideas and stimulate new research outside and beyond the communities of Enlightenment and Atlantic historians that have contributed to it. The Southern Atlantic has been the site of some of the most interesting recent work in Atlantic history.
The proliferation of computer databases and the digitization of sources online are transforming the profession. Scholars can now do substantial original research without needing to travel to distant archives. Massive collections of documents are at our fingertips. Online databases are encouraging the democratization of historical research.
The Eagle and the Dragon: Globalization and European Dreams of Conquest in China and America in the Sixteenth Century / Serge Gruzinski
Serge Gruzinski compares Cortés’s actions in Mexico with suggestions for the invasion of China, adumbrated by Portuguese captives in Canton in 1522–3.
The cotton industry is fundamental to the development of global capitalism and broadly shaped the world we live in today. It is therefore important to realise the extent to which this depended on the militarisation of trade, massive land expropriation, genocide and slavery.
Seeking Imperialism’s Embrace: National Identity, Decolonization and Assimilation in the French Caribbean / Kristen Stromberg Childers
One of the rare occasions on which a French Overseas Department has ever made both national and international headlines occurred in March and April 2017 when, over the course of one turbulent month, demonstrators filled the streets in towns in Guyane, French South America.