The Making of the Middle Class: Toward a Transnational History grew out of two panels on the middle class at the American Historical Association meetings in 2004 and a related conference at the University of Maryland in 2006. Taken together, the 16 papers and three commentaries included in this book have the feel of a big academic meeting.
In modern Ottoman and Balkan history as in other fields, biographical studies have enjoyed a rather mixed fortune.
It is a brave man who would take on the job of writing a history of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire between 1493 and 1806. Many historians would maintain that neither Germany nor even German national consciousness (certainly not German nationalism) existed during this period; as for the Holy Roman Empire, there is a long-running dispute over what it actually amounted to.
If we survey the historical profession at the moment, there are plenty of academic squabbles going on, but the great debates that once divided historians seem to be in short supply. Time was when contests over the standard of living during the industrial revolution or about post-modernism and its application to the study of history would drive scholars into a frenzy of position taking.
In this imaginative, ambitious and well-researched book, Charles Ludington presents a provocative thesis analyzing how changes in alcohol consumption constituted power, influence and legitimacy in politics over two centuries.
At the centre of this rich, provocative book is a body of water and a steampunk contraption. In the 19th century, the Mississippi River loomed large in the American imagination; a waterway of immense power and possibility which sliced through the North American continent.
The collection of essays in ‘She said she was in the family way’: Pregnancy and infancy in modern Ireland is a welcome addition to our knowledge of Irish women’s lives. Its use of a variety of sources in original and revealing ways, its rigorous scholarly presentations and its overall knowledge of the field is truly of benefit to all those interested in Irish history.
The past year has seen an embarrassment of riches for those interested in the history of slavery and abolition.
Benedict Anderson’s conceptualisation of nations as ‘invented communities’ identified the emergence of modern nationalism through a combination of demotic print culture and the growth of capitalism.
Jonathan Jeffrey Wright’s The ‘Natural Leaders’ and their World is an important contribution to the history of Belfast as well as to the broader subjects of Ulster liberalism and Presbyterianism.