It is one of the unfortunate realities of the twentieth century that the list of defining world political leaders is shared between those whose actions resulted directly in the greatest number of deaths and those who led the defence when their actions impinged on the rest of the world.
The history of public health has been a flourishing field in the last three decades. Yet despite a spate of excellent monographs about various epidemic diseases and many good collections about health and disease in Africa, Asia, The Middle East, Latin America, as well as Europe and North America, the most recent textbook on the history of public health is four decades old.
Professor Spence is described on the dust-cover of this book as 'perhaps now the leading historian of China in the English-speaking world'. Without doubt he is the most imaginative and the most versatile scholar working in that field. The Gate of Heavenly Peace, first published in 1981, was a history of modern China as seen through the lives of Chinese writers and intellectuals.
For almost half a century, the classic description and analysis of Communist treatment of the nationalities question over the early years of the Bolshevik regime has been Richard Pipes magisterial The Formation of the Soviet Union: Communism and Nationalism, 1917- 1923, published by Harvard University Press in 1954.
Insanity, Institutions and Society, 1800-1914: A Social History of Madness in Comparative Perspective / eds. Joseph Melling, Bill Forsythe
The social history of madness is a vibrant area of intellectual enquiry which in the past 20 years has generated an impressive series of monographs and essay collections. This volume is a scholarly addition to the literature.
History of the Present: Essays, Sketches and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s / Timothy Garton Ash
There are various ways of reading Timothy Garton Ash's History of the Present and I shall try to look at it through four different sets of criteria. These are iconographical, historical-historiographical, political and sociological, and, finally, literary.
This volume of essays offers a powerful review of various central issues in the history of 20th Century American liberalism. Its underlying concern is how a political ideal, or set of ideals, once so firmly adhered to, should now be so discredited in contemporary American political debate. The journey of intellectual exploration which Brinkley pursues is never less than fascinating.
By any stretch of the imagination Hitler’s rise and fall was extraordinary. He was not an intellectual. He produced no great works of philosophy or art.
The appearance of a paperback version of an important book first published in 1995 is most welcome as it will make it more readily available. Equally, it is not easy to review such a work. The scholarly reviews that appeared noting its contents do not require emendation, because the book has not been rewritten.
This is an admirable feat of constructive compression. It achieves synthesis without sacrificing clarity, a feature that has become one of the author's hallmarks. What makes this book the more impressive is that within small confines it argues so effectively against reductionism in the study of national identity.