The near-simultaneous appearance of the three works under review reveals much about the present state of publications devoted to Antisemitism and the Nazi persecution and mass-murder of European Jewry. Virtually any serious bookstore now boasts a whole section devoted to the Holocaust, filled with books targeting almost any type of reader. For better or for worse, genocide sells.
Paul Ginsborg is probably the leading English language historian of contemporary Italy.(1) His first history of post-Fascist Italy (it starts neither in 1945, nor 1948, but, quite rightly, in 1943), was path-breaking.(2) Published in Italian and English, its historiographic approach was innovative for its placing of the family at the centre of
This substantial volume is about more and less than the title indicates. Jill Harsin, known to specialists of nineteenth-century France for her earlier book, Policing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century France (Princeton University Press; Princeton, 1985) has here produced a detailed narrative of the role of Paris artisans in revolution and popular unrest between 1830 and 1848.
Not so long ago, Peter the Great was commonly portrayed by historians on both sides of the Iron Curtain as a proto-Homo Sovieticus: an icon of muscular masculinity, giant in both frame and achievement. According to this tradition, it was Peter's distinctive genius to drag a backward and xenophobic Muscovy, kicking and screaming, into the rational modern world.
While Perry Willson’s previous book, The Clockwork Factory: Women and Work in Fascist Italy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993) focused on urban, working-class women in the ventennio, her current publication turns to the countryside to study the history of housewives and farmwomen who were associated with the Fascist organisation, Massaie Rurali. Both of
Drafting the Russian Nation Military Conscription, Total War and Mass Politics, 1905-1925 / Joshua Sanborn
s the deft pun in the title reminds us, one of the ways in which nations were both imagined and institutionalised in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was through the conscripting of young men into the army. The ways in which they were called up, selected, trained and led, and the arrangements made for their families left behind deeply affected the nature of nationhood.
It is refreshing to be told by William Hagen that 'refractoriness and insubordination proved to be Prussian virtues'.(p. 645) This statement would not be surprising about nineteenth-century Prussian working-class culture, but it is about early modern nobles and peasants.
Europe at Home. Family and Material Culture, 1500-1800[Originally published under the title Vita di casa. Abitare, mangiare, vestire nell’Europa moderna (Laterza; Rome/Bari, 1999); translated by Allan Cameron] / Raffaella Sarti
I do not know whether the Italian title of this book (Vita di casa) is an allusion to Mario Praz and his autobiography La casa della vita (Milan, 1958), but it would be fitting. In that book Mario Praz guides the reader through his Roman house and tells his life during the tour.
Sex, Sin and Suffering. Venereal Disease and European Society since 1870 / eds. Roger Davidson, Lesley Hall
Research on the history of venereal diseases (VD), syphilis, gonorrhoea, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs in more recent parlance), has flourished in recent years. Both the editors of the current volume have recently published books on the topic, Davidson on VD policy and practice in Scotland, Hall a more general synthetic work.
Thanks to the survival of four high quality narratives from the tenth and eleventh centuries, Widukind of Corvey's Rerum gestarum Saxonicarum, Thietmar of Merseberg's Chronicon, Lampert of Hersfeld's Annales, and Adam of Bremen's Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, we know today much more about the Saxon gens, the newcomer to the Frankish realm, than o