Julian Jackson’s monumental history of Vichy is a powerful contribution to the historiography. No one knows more about this subject than he: every book, article, memoir and dissertation on it seems to have been located, analysed and woven into this account.
The work under review here owes its genesis to the Open University course of the same title, for which it is the core text. As such, it consists of ten interlinked essays, specially commissioned, on the broad theme of the dynamics of difference within and between world religious traditions.
This book can be viewed in several ways. Each of its ten chapters by a different author deals with a discrete topic (women, gender, public opinion, photography and food supply) without any pretence of thematic unity.
'It is not necessary to be dull to write about history', Ged Martin remarks (p. 8). One suspects that many historians would add, 'but it helps'. This book is a wonderful antidote to that excessive seriousness. The style is crisp, paradox and aphorism abound – 'historians love paradoxes', Martin says (p.
The First World War is a seminal historical event; an historical caesura whose aftershocks still resonate.
For an outsider contemplating historiography on the early middle ages, it is a tribute to the subject’s vitality that a book of over nine-hundred pages of text should claim to be less than a definitive statement and aims ‘only to provide the raw material for a better synthesis to do so in the future’. The rather appealing modesty is misplaced.
Gwenda Morgan's The Debate on the American Revolution adds a valuable volume to Manchester University Press's series on Issues in History. Stretching the American Revolution forward to the construction and ratification of the American federal constitution, she surveys and sifts through a vast literature that has grown exponentially over the last several decades.
Most of us become medievalists by accident. We fall under the spell of a charismatic teacher at school or university, or, having been introduced to the subject—sometimes as pressed men and women, by the dictates of our chosen university’s curriculum—we find that the study of the middle ages speaks to our inner psyche.
Is biography still a legitimate activity for professional historians in the twenty-first century? In contrast to many of the newer approaches towards the past, biography smacks of a very traditional top-down, mostly man-centred, approach. Medieval biographers face the particular problem of relatively restricted source material which led K. B.
The use of the past in previous eras has become a growth area of historical enquiry in recent times, exemplified by the enormous Cambridge University project, ‘Past Versus Present: Abandoning the Past in an Age of Progress’, on the Victorians’ relationship to the past.