When A. J. P. Taylor undertook the final volume of the old Oxford History of England, it was ‘England’, not ‘History’, which he found the problematic part of his brief.(1) The volume under review is the latest contribution to the New Oxford History of England, and how things have changed since Taylor’s day.
ProQuest Historical Newspapers has been in existence for a decade. The version under review includes runs of 30 newspapers, predominantly from the United States, spanning the years 1764–2005 and totalling some 27 million pages.
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.
Given the amount of excellent accounts of post-war Britain that have appeared in the past decade or so, one is tempted to state that readers of contemporary British history have never had it so good.
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.
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.
A sure sign of the ageing process is when events that are part of your own memory start appearing in works of history. And so it is now the case with the 1980s; for one’s students, ‘Thatcher’ is a person of whom they have no firsthand knowledge, just a figure whom many of their lecturers and supervisors are prone to paint as the devil incarnate.
This volume, a collection of essays written by academics based in North America, Britain and Europe, is a good example of how far leisure history has travelled since this historical sub-discipline first gathered momentum in the 1970s.
Modernity Britain marks the third part of Kynaston’s Tales of a New Jerusalem series. The first volume – Austerity Britain 1945–51 – covered the immediate post-war years of the Attlee government, while its successor, Family Britain 1951–57, took the story up to the end of the Eden administration.
It is a rare thing for a reviewer to read a book which on its own terms, in its content and argument, leaves nothing open to serious criticism. Professor Diarmaid Ferriter’s Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s is one such book.