Angela McCarthy has written a useful book about Irish emigration to New Zealand, based upon 253 letters that passed between the two countries over a period just short of a century. This review discusses the author's methodology and findings through the perspective of two analytical tools, Alice's Letters and Shanacoole Exceptionalism.
Posted up on my fridge door is one of those certificates with which any parent of primary school aged children over the past decade or so would be familiar – accessorised with stars and stickers and smiley faces, the award acknowledges one of the kids for their ‘Awesome Effort for Remaining Open to Continuous Learning’.
Empire's Children: Child Emigration, Welfare, and the Decline of the British World, 1869–1967 / Ellen Boucher
Empire’s Children is far from the now well-worn tale of imperial decline. It locates the shifting fortunes of the child emigration movement at the heart of the reconfiguration of identities, political economies, and nationalisms in Britain, Canada, Australia, and Rhodesia.
All historical actors ultimately defy our neat labels. Practically speaking however, some are more defiant than others. One such figure is the dynamo ‘social entrepreneur’, Michael Young. (1) It has become a cliché to rattle off the dizzying array of institutions, projects and ideas with which Young was involved in his long and energetic career.
The historian Lucy Delap, author of The Feminist Avant-Garde: Transatlantic Encounters of the Early Twentieth Century (CUP, 2007), winner of the 2008 Women’s History Network Prize, has now published another boo
The indefinite article in the subtitle of Pekka Hämäläinen’s new book tells, to those familiar with the author’s first monograph and its professional impact, its own story. Ethnohistorians writing Native North American history in the later 20th century cast Indigenous Americans as heroic underdogs in a long, bitter struggle against Euro-American colonialism.
Paul O’Leary’s Claiming the Streets: Processions and Urban Culture in South Wales, c.1830–1880 provides a detailed and lively account of mid 19th-century processional culture. It takes us on a journey through Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath and Swansea and investigates the diversity and complexity of street procession in these towns.
Martin Johnes is an industrious historian of 20th–century Wales, and has published extensively on topics such as sport, national identity, the 1966 Aberfan disaster and the civic history of Cardiff.(1) Wales since 1939 is a fusion of several of these endeavours (and more), and one which has produced an integrated and fresh perspective on modern Wales.
Labour’s Crisis: Plaid Cymru, The Conservatives, and the Decline of the Labour Party in North-West Wales, 1960-1974 / Andrew Edwards
It wasn’t so long ago that British labour historiography was dominated by more or less celebratory accounts of the career of the Labour Party. As its title suggests, though, Andrew Edwards’ book is a sure sign that the times have changed.
In January 1988, hundreds of people gathered in Cardiff for a rally organised by ‘Wales Against Clause 28’. Held aloft ‘were signs identifying the places the mainly lesbian and gay marchers had lived and where they were from to disprove the popular notion that “there were no gays in Wales”.’ (p.