In Ocean Under Steam Frances Steel explores the impact of the 19th-century sea transport revolution in one of the extremities of the British Empire, the South Pacific Ocean. Published as part of the Manchester University Press ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series, under the general editorship of John MacKenzie, this is a self-consciously ‘de-centred’ imperial history.
The Second World War has long been the subject of a rich vein of academic writing, and popular interest in the conflict, ever-growing as significant anniversaries are reached, ensures that the war remains a constant in the British public’s consciousness. The effects of the war on the home front have been of especial interest, particularly in popular imaginings of the conflict.
Britain’s role in the refugee crisis created by the rise of fascism has been examined from many angles, and not always critically. Early works did little more than extol British humanitarianism and celebrate refugee successes.
Hugh Chignell’s well-researched volume tells the story of the development of current affairs programming on British radio, which, we learn, is inextricably tied to the ‘painfully slow development of news’ programming on the BBC. To explain the significance of the separation and elaboration of these two forms of broadcasting, Chignell begins with the Victorian ‘rigid class hierarchies’(p.
This is a book about discourses – the conflicting ideological positions from which the idea of a region and culture in transition was formed and fragmented – not about how the Highlands were made ‘on the ground’. It is not a materialist account in the sense of being an empirical economic and social history.
At its most basic level, a market is a locus of exchange, which enables people who need or desire certain things that they themselves do not produce to acquire these goods from others.
The liberal enlightenment idea of progress has promised many benefits over the past 300 years. Liberal progress, we have been told, would provide cures for diseases, remedies for ignorance, alternatives to superstition, and antidotes to poverty. Nothing however has raised higher expectations than liberalism’s claim that it could put an end to war.
For one momentous week, London was convulsed with the most tumultuous series of riots, disorder and arson that its inhabitants had ever experienced. This volume of essays on the Gordon Riots of June 1780 is undoubtedly timely, published in the same month as the report commissioned by the government into the riots that afflicted London and other cities in August 2011.
The history of Britain during the two inter-war decades could be characterised by reference to a process by which, while the nation still clung to many of its pre-1914 imperial certainties (which in many ways still defined British identity), society was exposed to, and ‘Britishness’ to a degree undermined by, the forces of Americanisation.