In one memorable incident related in Keith Thomas’s In Pursuit of Civility: Manners and Civilization in Early Modern England, an unfortunate diner fell victim to poor table manners.
It is hard to tell a non-deterministic story about the shift from early modern to modern economic practices: the terms we use (‘modernity’, ‘capitalism’, ‘economic’), the questions we ask, and the conclusions we draw are all inevitably weighed down by what we think or know about economic life today.
20 years ago, Ira Berlin pushed the fields of African American history and the history of slavery in the United States in radically new directions. From the 1970s through the 1990s, historians had produced scores of works, scattered across specialized journals and obscure monographs.
The title of A History of Borno, Trans-Saharan African Empire to Failing Nigerian State has two ambiguities. Situated in the Sahel, Borno did not span the Sahara. It was Trans-Saharan by being linked culturally and economically to the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, rather than to the Atlantic. Whether the failing state is Nigeria or Borno is also unclear.
It has become commonplace for historians to refer to 18th-century England’s ‘consumer revolution’. Empire, international trade and later industrialisation brought goods to English homes in ever greater numbers and variety. Debate continues, however, on the extent of participation in this revolution.
In Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and San Francisco Bay Area, historian Peter Cole compares the union histories of two port cities, the militant struggles of dockworkers against racial discrimination, their response to technology (in the form of containerisation),
In this concise monograph, Rachel Feinstein explores the centrality of sexual violence against enslaved women in the formation of white gendered identities. Using a variety of theoretical lenses, including intersectionality and systemic racism theory, Feinstein places racist sexual violence into its broader context, tracing the legacies of such violence in today’s behaviour and discourse.
Christer Petley’s book takes the life of Simon Taylor, the richest of Jamaica’s ‘planter class’ in an age of revolutions, to reveal broader truths about the British Empire. At its core, this is a biographical study based on Taylor’s extensive surviving correspondence with friends, family, and commercial allies.
‘This book’, writes Jeffrey A. Auerbach in his Introduction to Imperial Boredom, ‘is very much about how people felt’ [his italics]. As such, it takes its place in a growing body of scholarship that explores through individual lives the mind-set that under-pinned the empire project, both individually and on a collective level.
Asian American studies in which the ‘American’ refers to Latin America have seen a considerable growth in recent years.