This book is one of a series entitled The Making of Europe, which aims 'to address crucial aspects of European history in every field - political, economic, social, religious, and cultural' (p. xii).
Never mind the cover (lovely though it is). Readers who are fast to judge and slow to think will be tempted to judge this book by its title alone. What, they will want to ask, could Patrice Higonnet possibly mean by calling Paris ‘capital of the world?’ Does the world have a capital? Since when has it been located in Paris?
This book is a fascinating collection of chapters which partly analyse and partly evoke different periods, spaces and above all images of Milan since the 1950s. It does not fit into a neat academic category or discipline, beyond its being loosely a historical overview of the city. History, in this case, is neither social nor economic or political - nor is it a combinations of these.
Leif Jerram’s Germany’s Other Modernity: Munich and the Making of Metropolis, 1895–1930 is a rich and welcome contribution to the urban history of modern Germany, a field which has, for some time now, been dominated by studies on Berlin and Hamburg. Berlin has, as Jerram puts it with little exaggeration, acquired ‘totemic status’ (p.
This text book aims to cover 150 years of European history from a perspective which desperately needs coverage: the perspective of the city.
In the words of its author, this engaging book ‘tells of the shadows of objects and of images in the brain and, as such, of the only realities that cannot entirely escape from appropriation’ (p. ix). The object in question is Florence, understood both as a material place and as a mythical construction.
The revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky famously proclaimed in his suicide note, ‘the love boat has crashed against byt.’ That the banal problems of everyday life (byt) had undermined the hopes of the Revolution has since been widely inferred in evaluations of the Soviet system.
Donald Filtzer has added another major book to his long and impressive contribution to the study of Soviet history. It is a formidably detailed analysis of urban living conditions during the late Stalinist period, from the closing stages of the Second World War to the death of Stalin in 1953. While it bears Professor Filtzer’s unmistakable mark, it is also something of a new departure.
Leif Jerram has written Streetlife to encourage historians to reconsider and reflect upon the manner in which they construct narratives of modern history and the agency they attribute to traditional sources of events.