The cover of C. A. Bayly's new book is stunning. A handsome black man stands poised, next to the bust of a European philosopher. Blazoned across the corner of the cover is 'A Masterpiece', the judgement of Niall Ferguson, current favourite historian of the US media, on Bayly's book.
In February 1998 the Centre for European Research at University College London and the German Historical Institute in London organised a conference on the changing meanings of 1848. This conference was held to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1848 revolutions.
The central theme of this book can be summed up as ‘neither electoral sociology nor linguistic turn’. Instead, its author emphasises the micro context of politics – how local social and cultural milieux shaped the reception of political ideas, and hence the fortunes of political parties.
In spite of its intellectual, literary and comic brilliance, this book contains a dark and disturbing, but revealing, message. In some ways, my melancholy reading of Bodies Politic has inevitably been shaped by Roy's recent untimely death. Roy Porter was without doubt the finest social historian of medicine this country, or indeed the world, has produced.
Whatever happened to the history of nineteenth-century British popular culture? In the 1970s and 1980s, this was an exciting field that produced a series of invigorating and pioneering works. (1) Fulfilling the promise of E. P.
Gender in History is a timely publication. The field of gender history is reaching maturity in two senses. Firstly, numerous studies have been published about the impact of gender at various times and places. Professor Merry Wiesner-Hanks draws on this wealth of scholarship and her own research to provide a welcome overview of gender in global history from prehistory to date.
Until 1975 those who wanted to study the history of English prisons turned to the standard work on the subject which was first published in 1922, English Prisons Under Local Government, by the two pioneers of the history of English Social Policy Sidney and Beatrice Webb.(1) This carefully researched account emphasised the evolution of the
In the essentially voluntary world of religious practice that was brought into being by the Toleration Act of 1689, the Church of England was compelled to compete for the allegiance of its members.
John Hassan sets himself an ambitious task in a book that ‘endeavours to trace humanity’s changing relationships with nature over the last 200 years’ (p. 7). Concentrating on the coast focuses the challenge, especially given that much attention is on more ‘parochial problems’ and ‘local difficulties’ (p. 7).
Disability Studies is a growing multi-disciplinary field. Although it is a relative newcomer to the academic arena, it has firmly established itself as a serious area of scholarly interest.