Democracy’s Muse: How Thomas Jefferson Became an FDR Liberal, a Reagan Republican, and a Tea Party Fanatic, all the while being Dead / Andrew Burstein
In one of his last letters to his neighbor and confidant, Thomas Jefferson asked James Madison ‘to take care of me when dead’.(1) Jefferson, like most of the ‘founding fathers’ thought deeply about his legacy and place in history. He spent hours arranging his papers for posterity and composed a memoir of sorts, the ‘Anas’, in an effort to set the record straight.
Andrew Thorpe’s fourth edition of A History of the British Labour Party provides a much needed update to what has become one of the leading volumes on the Labour Party since its first edition in 1997. The book, spanning 412 pages, provides an engaging read into the history of the Labour Party.
Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present / Gary Gerstle
Gary Gerstle’s Liberty and Coercion is a tour de force account of American governance that manages to survey the chronological and geographical breadth of US history with a judicious depth of precise detail and example.
In 1984, Ernest May published Knowing One’s Enemies which examined intelligence assessments of enemies made by various nations before both the First and Second World Wars.
Social Opulence and Private Restraint: the Consumer in British Socialist Thought Since 1800 / Noel Thompson
Contemporary punditocracy suggests that the Left has never grasped the joy of shopping, its late 20th–century political katabasis being no clearer indication.
Remaking the American Patient: How Madison Avenue and Modern Medicine turned Patients into Consumers / Nancy Tomes
From a comparative perspective the health system of the United States has a history that is both representative and idiosyncratic.
And so began the Irish Nation: Nationality, Nationalism and National Consciousness in Pre-Modern Ireland /
The commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland have thrown the issue of nationalism and independence into sharp relief once again.
Owen Hatherley’s latest book is a compelling exploration of one way in which the British political establishment and the British public (mis)interpret, (mis)remember, and (fail to) engage with history. The history with which Hatherley is concerned is the Attlee government of 1945–51, set within the wider era described mostly, vaguely, as ‘post-war’.
When the United States goes to the polls this November to elect a new President many will think back nervously to the corresponding event 16 years ago. Memories of hanging chads, disenfranchised African Americans, weeks of political stalemate and a controversial decision by the Supreme Court will be re-awakened.
Ron Paul’s The Revolution is adamant on one point: to solve the problems in modern America, Americans need to return to Constitutional values. ‘In times like these, we need a return to fundamentals’ (p. 168). The specific fundamentals to which Paul refers are as often the values of Austrian School economists as they are the Founding Fathers.