The comparative history of empires has become a very popular subject in recent years, provoking interesting debates on the origins of the globalization process and on the future of post-Cold War international relations.(1) The focus on empires has also provided a constructive way to reassess the role of Europe in world history, going beyond the traditional great narrat
‘Shackled to a corpse’ is a quote widely attributed to General Erich von Ludendorff, which allegedly describes the alliance between Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
At the end of Miklos Banffy’s entertaining panoramic novel of pre-WWI Hungary, the protagonist Count Balint takes a final tour of Transylvania before joining his regiment. It is a personal and private farewell to his childhood home and to a whole generation of Hungarian nobles, of which Balint/Banffy was highly critical.
The literature surrounding British attitudes toward the American Civil War has a long history extending almost back to the conflict itself, in part because it speaks to a question that has long intrigued academic and popular readers alike; namely, how might the outcome of the conflict been different if the British government had extended diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy or even interve
Historians have been treated to a wealth of bureaucratic intelligence histories over the past five or so years. Each of Britain’s three intelligence agencies have been the recent subject of a lengthy institutional history, one authorised (on MI5 by Christopher Andrew), one official (MI6 by Keith Jeffery), and one unofficial (GCHQ by Richard Aldrich).
Ask Americans when their country became the world’s dominant power and chances are most will point to the hard-fought victory in the Second World War. But as Adam Tooze shows in his latest work, that shift occurred a generation earlier and before American forces had even fired a shot in what was once called the Great War.
As April turned to May, the world stood on edge. From 1914-18, a worldwide conflagration claimed the lives of 16 million people and produced an additional 20 million wounded. Despite the end of hostilities on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, a final peace remained elusive – and the suffering continued.
Reviewing a historical dictionary is often a rather thankless task. Typically compiled from brief essays contributed by a variety of scholars they often lack a coherent perspective, leaving the reviewer to offer vague generalisations regarding the overall quality of the entries or selection of topics.
Just over a quarter of a century ago, it seemed, you couldn’t buy interest in the international history of the American Civil War. American scholars appeared especially uninterested in a subject that, as Don Doyle’s splendid new book reveals, is ripe with possibility.