Trauma has become a burning topic in Western cultures of late. Traumatic events and debates over how they are remembered by individuals and memorialised by cultures are important for lots of different constituencies.
For a generation Peter Gay’s book on the Enlightenment (a text which perhaps tells us more about the 1960s than the 1760s) informed scholars that Enlightenment and Christianity were polarities and that the defeat of dogma and metaphysics were the harbingers of secular modernity.
Forty years after his death, much of Nehru’s world has been lost, its certainties eroded, its structures demolished. The European empires which Nehru challenged have long since disappeared.
'Noonan did not read polyptychs, and Duby did not read these penitentials.' (p. 185).
Histories of the Cold War have often, for obvious reasons, concentrated on the grand struggle between 'East and West', 'Communism and Capitalism', the 'USSR and the United States'.
Of the importance of history to the Carolingians there can be no doubt, though they were perhaps less concerned with the events of their own time than with the lessons to be drawn from past events.
Since the thirtieth anniversary in 1998, the May 1968 events have – with the striking exception of Kristin Ross's 2002 May '68 and its Afterlives – tended to be on the back burner, so that Michael Seidman's exhaustively documented account may well revive what has been virtually from the beginning a rich source for publication and analysis.
Professor Jacob's book is the latest of her several notable contributions to masonic history, which have included The Radical Enlightenment (1981) and Living the Enlightenment (1991). The book's title presumably owes something to my book of the same name (1988), while the subtitle derives from Henry Sadler's remarkable Masonic Facts and Fictions (1887).
There is an old joke that doing intellectual history is like nailing jelly to the door. The field deals with abstractions that resist clear definition. Rudimentary notions of historical causality prove difficult to establish. Selecting representative figures depends upon contested assumptions about cultural hierarchy.
A new book by Greg Walker, Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Leicester, is a major event.