It was hardly to be expected that the sesquicentennial might come and go without the Civil War’s most preeminent historian offering his thoughts on the subject, and James McPherson has not let us down. Not that The War that Forged a Nation is in any direct sense a comment on or reaction to the sesquicentennial; it is neither.
In one of his last letters to his neighbor and confidant, Thomas Jefferson asked James Madison ‘to take care of me when dead’.(1) Jefferson, like most of the ‘founding fathers’ thought deeply about his legacy and place in history. He spent hours arranging his papers for posterity and composed a memoir of sorts, the ‘Anas’, in an effort to set the record straight.
Andrew Thorpe’s fourth edition of A History of the British Labour Party provides a much needed update to what has become one of the leading volumes on the Labour Party since its first edition in 1997. The book, spanning 412 pages, provides an engaging read into the history of the Labour Party.
Gary Gerstle’s Liberty and Coercion is a tour de force account of American governance that manages to survey the chronological and geographical breadth of US history with a judicious depth of precise detail and example.
In 1984, Ernest May published Knowing One’s Enemies which examined intelligence assessments of enemies made by various nations before both the First and Second World Wars.
Contemporary punditocracy suggests that the Left has never grasped the joy of shopping, its late 20th–century political katabasis being no clearer indication.
From a comparative perspective the health system of the United States has a history that is both representative and idiosyncratic.
The commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in the Republic of Ireland have thrown the issue of nationalism and independence into sharp relief once again.
Owen Hatherley’s latest book is a compelling exploration of one way in which the British political establishment and the British public (mis)interpret, (mis)remember, and (fail to) engage with history. The history with which Hatherley is concerned is the Attlee government of 1945–51, set within the wider era described mostly, vaguely, as ‘post-war’.
When the United States goes to the polls this November to elect a new President many will think back nervously to the corresponding event 16 years ago. Memories of hanging chads, disenfranchised African Americans, weeks of political stalemate and a controversial decision by the Supreme Court will be re-awakened.