Viscount Castlereagh’s reputation had a very bad 19th century. Irish nationalists called him a turncoat and a tyrant for the role he played in suppressing the 1798 Rising as Chief Secretary at Dublin Castle. An indifferent public speaker in the heroic age of parliamentary oratory, the Whig opposition twitted him for his malapropisms.
Texas is in the midst of an identity crisis. Some historians, such as Walter Buenger in Path to a Modern South, argue that Texas has a strong connection to the South. Others, like Glen Ely in his new book Where the West Begins, contend that Texas – especially West Texas – is closely linked to the American West.
Histories of British socialism are nothing new, with classic studies in the field going back to G. D. H. Cole.(1) Mark Bevir’s new book, however, comes from a slightly different perspective, in that it focuses on the ‘making’ of British socialism in, broadly, the final quarter of the 19th century.
At a time when the book as a physical object is apparently under threat, one point about Jules Stewart’s Albert is that it forms part of the counter-attack. It is beautifully produced. Its front cover shows a photograph of Albert of stunning reality, revealing in particular the much-noted clarity of the Prince’s eyes.
This book is more than just a history of the German-Jewish communities before and during the Holocaust. It is also part memoir, part impassioned response to the National Socialists’ ‘destruction of a civilization’. This breadth, though, should come as no surprise. For the book’s author, the late John Grenville, was himself a Holocaust survivor.
A brief survey of the recent academic literature on global history reveals an academy that is still trying to define a historiographical movement.
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.
Charles Carlton’s lively and readable book is an attempt to discern ‘how war … affected the history of early modern Britain’ (p. xx) between the battles of Bosworth (1485) and Culloden (1746).
Two decades ago Francis Fukuyama gained widespread attention, and some notoriety, with the argument that the modern world had reached the end of history. Of course, he did not mean that history as a flow of events would cease. What he did mean was that history as successive stages of society had reached its final level. There is no future regime beyond modern democracy and capitalism.
Despite the flurry of works over the past 20 years or so which have explored the course and consequences of colonial rule in India, and increasingly the impact that such rule had upon British society, the period before the Battle of Plassey has remained for the most part insulated from questions about the ideologies and operations of territorial governance.