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Reviews in History


New reviews: Chinese aristocracy, royal marriages, US and WW1 and Irish Times

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Departure_Herald-Ming_DynastyWe start this week with The Destruction of the Medieval Chinese Aristocracy by Nicolas Tackett, as Michael Hoeckelmann and the author discuss a work that will revolutionise our understanding of medieval China (no. 1807, with response here).

Next up is David D’Avray’s Dissolving Royal Marriages: A Documentary History, 860-1600. Danna Messer recommends an invaluable and truly impressive collection of documentary source material (no. 1806).

Then we turn to The Deluge: The Great War, America, and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 by Adam Tooze. Kevin Matthews finds this a compelling story, but one shot through with misstatements, contradictions, inconsistencies and other errors (no. 1805).

Finally we have Terence Brown’s The Irish Times: 150 Years of Influence, and Carole O’Reilly believes this book represents a valuable contribution to our understanding of the role of a newspaper in national public life (no. 1804).

Reviews in History fashion special IV

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fashion2We end our monthly fashion special with Bethan Bide’s assessment of the Fashion on the Ration exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, and she reports on a thoughtful exhibition which could be bolder in using material culture evidence to signpost the counter narratives contained within the objects on display (no. 1803).

Next up is Textiles, Fashion and Design Reform in Austria-Hungary Before the First World War by Rebecca Houze. Shona Kallestrup believes this book provokes a welcome reconsideration of how we understand the complex cultural tapestry of Vienna (no. 1802).

Finally for fashion, we  turn to Fashionable Queens: Body – Power – Gender, edited by Eva Flicker and Monika Seidl, with Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell warning against a muddled mixed bag of an essay collection (no. 1801).

We also have a great review of the newly enhanced Welsh Newspapers Online website, as Paul O’Leary reviews a formidable resource with enormous potential for the study of the 19th and early 20th centuries (no. 1800).

Reviews in History fashion special III

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paulicelli2Our fashion special continues this week, beginning with Writing Fashion in Early Modern Italy: From Sprezzatura to Satire by Eugenia Paulicelli. Cordelia Warr tackles a book which is part of an ongoing endeavour to bring together different disciplines to investigate dress and fashion (no. 1799).

Next up is Denise Rall’s edited collection Fashion and War in Popular Culture, which Rebecca Arnold finds to be an ambitious book, but one whose scope could have been defined with more clarity (no. 1798).

Then we have Dress Casual: How College Students Redefined American Style by Deidre Clemente. John Potvin recommends a serious and genuine contribution to the history of American fashion and cultural life (no. 1797).

Finally we turn to Kate Haulman’s The Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth-Century America, which  Gaye Wilson believes offers a fresh and thought-provoking encounter with early American history (no. 1796).

Reviews in History fashion special II

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norberg2We continue this week with our fashion special, and first up this week is Fashion Prints in the Age of Louis XIV: Interpreting the Art of Elegance, edited by Kathryn Norberg. David Pullins hopes the essays here will prompt more sustained engagement with this important genre of print (no. 1795).

Then we turn to Joy Spanabel Emery’s A History of the Paper Pattern Industry: The Home Dressmaking Fashion Revolution, as Valerie Cumming recommends a carefully organised book on American and English language patterns from the 1840s up to the present day (no. 1794).

Next up is Kristi Upson-Saia, Carly Daniel-Hughes and Alicia J. Batten’s Dressing Judeans and Christians in Antiquity. Mary Harlow reviews a volume which shows that dress can be a medium for talking about so much more than dress (no. 1793).

We also  have Spanish Fashion at the Courts of Early Modern Europe, edited by José Luis Colomer and Amalia Descalzo. Tara Zanardi believes this anthology should propel future study in the history of Spanish dress of the early modern period and invigorate the field of fashion history (no. 1792).

Finally, there’s a non-fashion review that reviewer Stan Nadel has been waiting patiently for me to publish – his take on Jews and the Left: The Rise and Fall of a Political Alliance by Philip Mendes is no. 1791.

 

Reviews in History fashion special

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Houndsditch1862x30Today is the first day of Fashion, the 84th Anglo-American Conference of Historians, and as usual, this means we’ll be publishing a series of fashion-related reviews over the next few weeks. We start this week with a book by one of the session chairs from the conference, Vivienne Richmond, Clothing the Poor in Nineteenth-Century England. Sally Tuckett recommends a volume which ensures that the dress of the historical majority is seen as being just as worthy of attention and analysis as that of the fashionable elite (no. 1790).

Next up is From Main Street to Mall: The Rise and Fall of the American Department Store by Vicki Howard, as Jan Whitaker looks at a new history of an American retail institution (no. 1789).

Then we turn to Tansy Hoskins’ Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. Esther Leslie reviews a book which suggests that the fashion industry is deadly, and that its seductions are lethal (no. 1788).

Finally we have Kimono: A Modern History by Terry Satsuki Milhaupt. Elizabeth Kramer believes this book persuasively challenges the myth of the kimono as a traditional, static garment (no. 1787).

New reviews: Eleanor of Aquitaine, American Jews, Cold War intelligence and the French Revolution

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1024px-Church_of_Fontevraud_Abbey_Eleanor_of_Aquitaine_effigyWe start with Michael R. Evans’ Inventing Eleanor: the Medieval and Post-Medieval Image of Eleanor of Aquitaine, which Elena Woodacre thinks has much to offer both the historian and the interested public (no. 1786).

Then we turn to Transnational Traditions: New Perspectives on American Jewish History, edited by Ava F. Kahn, Adam D. Mendelsohn. Toni Pitock believes this book will reorient our thinking about American Jewish history in particular, and Jewish history in general (no. 1785).

Next up is Huw Dylan’s Defence Intelligence and the Cold War: Britain’s Joint Intelligence Bureau 1945-1964. Rory Cormac recommends an impeccably researched and well-written work (no. 1784).

Finally we have a review article by Dave Andress covering Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution by Rebecca Spang and The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution by Timothy Tackett, which includes responses from both authors (no. 1783, with response here).

New reviews – public sector unions, Frederick Douglass, Islamic Empire, war resisters

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disalvo2We start with Government Against Itself: Public Sector Union Power and Its Consequences by Daniel DiSalvo. Joseph E. Hower and the author discuss a useful book on an important subject (no. 1782, with response here).

Next up is Laurence Fenton’s Frederick Douglass in Ireland: The Black O’Connell, and Hannah-Rose Murray recommends a well-written and researched volume (no. 1781).

Then we turn to Robert Hoyland’s In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire. Youssef Choueiri reviews a lively and fresh account of the Arab conquests (no. 1780).

Finally, Cyril Pearce provides a monumental overview of the literature on war resisters over the last 100 years, in Writing about Britain’s 1914-18 War Resisters (no. 1779).

New reviews: Fatherhood, Jacobean travellers, Southern historians and the environment

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king2We begin this week with Laura King’s Family Men: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Britain, 1914-1960. Helen McCarthy and the author discuss a beautifully researched, nuanced and ambitious book (no. 1778, with response here).

Next up is The Jacobean Grand Tour: Early Stuart Travellers in Europe, edited by Edward Chaney and Timothy Wilks. Simon Ditchfield has some reservations, but finds much to enjoy in erudite, generously illustrated and very reasonably priced volume (no. 1777).

Then we turn to Megan L. Bever and Scott A. Suarez’s Historian Behind the History: Conversations with Southern Historians, as Bruce Baker reviews an insightful set of interviews with historians about doing history (no. 1776).

Finally, we have The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History, edited by Andrew C. Isenberg, which Peter Coates praises as an enormously valuable teaching and research resource for the practitioner of environmental history (no. 1775).

New reviews: Bible, WW1, 1641 and C20 working class

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948297657We begin this week with The Courtly and Commercial Art of the Wycliffite Bible by Kathleen E. Kennedy. Eyal Poleg and the author discuss a book which is an important part of the ‘rehabilitation movement’ of the Wycliffite Bible (no. 1774, with author’s response here).

Then we turn to T. G. Otte’s July Crisis: The World’s Descent for War, Summer 1914, as Jeff Roquen recommends a thought-provoking study of supreme erudition (no. 1773).

Next up Gerald Power reviews The Shadow of a Year: 1641 in Irish History and Memory by John Gibney alongside TCD’s digital resource, the 1641 Depositions Online (no. 1772, with response here).

Finally we have Selina Todd’s The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010. Sean Ledwith takes on a powerfully written social and political history of contemporary Britain (no. 1771).

New reviews: Medieval Christianity, Flodden, African soldier slaves and Huguenots

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medieval-frescoFirst up this week is The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity, as Thomas O’Loughlin and editor John Arnold discuss a new introduction to a vast field of research (no. 1769, with response here).

Then we turn to George Goodwin’s Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513: Henry VIII, James IV and the battle for Renaissance Britain. Alexander Hodgkins reviews a valuable addition to the body of literature discussing 16th-century Renaissance kingship and conflict in a British context (no. 1768).

Next up is Manuel Barcia’s West African Warfare in Bahia and Cuba: Soldier Slaves in the Atlantic World 1807-1844. Ulrike Schmieder praises an important contribution to the history of the African Atlantic and the South Atlantic (no. 1767).

Finally Vivienne Larminie recommends The Huguenots by Geoffrey Treasure, a worthy and largely well-informed attempt to explore a worthwhile and topical subject (no. 1766).

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