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Latest reviews – Holocaust memories, slave reproduction and Irish emigrés

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We start this week with Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory, an innovative book by Elizabeth Rosner. Ellis Spicer believes this book’s contribution to the field lies in its raw emotionality, personal stories and thematic strengths (no. 2215).

Then we turn to Katherine Paugh’s The Politics of Reproduction: Race, Medicine and Fertility in the Age of Abolition. Trevor Burnard believes this book to be a valuable addition to a venerable literature on slave reproduction in the Caribbean (no. 2214).

Finally we have Irish Nationalists in America: The Politics of Exile, 1798-1998 by David Brundage. David Sim appreciates a sharp and well-written book which forces us to appreciate the ways in which nationalism was perceived as a liberating force by many in the 19th century (no. 2213).

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Latest reviews – C19 consumption, medieval religion, modern magic and 10 commandments revisited

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Happy New Year to all Reviews in History readers! We start 2018 with the latest in our occasional podcast series, a fascinating interview with Joanna Cohen discussing among other things her new book, Luxurious Citizens: The Politics of Consumption in Nineteenth-Century America, and her future research plans (no. 2212).

Then we return to The Reformation of the Decalogue: Religious Identity and the Ten Commandments in England, c. 1485-1625  by Jonathan Willis, with a response by the author to last month’s review (response to no. 2208).

Next up is Medieval Religion and its Anxieties: History and Mystery in the Other Middle Ages by Thomas A. Fudgé. Kieran Creedon praises a fascinating study from a writer that engages, energises and uses sources to put the very idea of the historical Middle Ages on trial (no. 2211).

Finally Francis Young reviews a valuable contribution to the interdisciplinary study of magic, Edward Bever and Randall Styers’ edited collection Magic in the Modern World: Strategies of Repression and Legitimization (no. 2210).

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Latest reviews – secret files, Decalogue, Anschluss and more WW1 trauma

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We start this week with Secret Files from World War to Cold War: British Government and Secret Intelligence and Foreign Policy files. Dan Lomas believes the sheer size and usability of the digital records makes this a worthwhile aid for anyone interested in early 20th-century international, political, military and intelligence history (no. 2209).

Then we turn to The Reformation of the Decalogue: Religious Identity and the Ten Commandments in England, c. 1485-1625  by Jonathan Willis. John Reeks praises a book which puts The Ten Commandments firmly at the centre of post-Reformation scholarship (no. 2208).

Next up is Imagining a Greater Germany: Republican Nationalism and the Idea of Anschluss by Erin R. Hochman. Timothy Schmalz enjoys a book which provides new template for examining Austria and Germany during the inter-war period (no. 2207).

Finally we have a response by editors Jason Crouthamel and Peter Leese to Ryan Ross’s review last week of Psychological Trauma and the Legacies of the First World War and Traumatic Memories of the Second World War and After (response to no. 2205).

 

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Latest Reviews – War, psychological trauma and early modern social history

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We start this week with A. C. Grayling’s War: An Enquiry. In his review of this penetrating and provocative book, James Cronin focuses on its assertion that war is synonymous with the ascent of civilisation (no. 2206).

Next up is a review of two new collections on the history of trauma, Psychological Trauma and the Legacies of the First World War and Traumatic Memories of the Second World War and After, both edited by Jason Crouthamel and Peter Leese. Ryan Ross believes these reflect the extent and speed of the growth of the trauma industry (no. 2205).

Then we turn to Narratives and Representations: a Collection to Honour Paul Slack, edited by Michael Braddick and Joanna Innes. Naomi Pullin praises a fine scholarly collection that represents the rich and vibrant discussions taking place within early modern history (no. 2204).

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Latest Reviews – Ukrainian famine, Louis VIII and Archbishop Randall Davidson

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We start this week with Anne Applebaum’s Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. Christopher Gilley finds the treatment of the famine here to be largely convincing – the book’s weakness is its historical framework (no. 2203).

Next up is Louis: The French Prince Who Invaded England by Catherine Hanley. Tom Horler-Underwood enjoys a book highlighting the exploits in this country of this most fascinating of French princes (no. 2202).

Then we turn to Michael Hughes’s Archbishop Randall Davidson. Peter Webster believes this fresh and convincing rendering of an important figure deserves a wide readership (no. 2201).

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Latest Reviews – Bank of England, shell-shock, Tudor houses and C17 women writers

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We start this week with David Kynaston’s Till Time’s Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694-2013. Geoffrey Wood reviews a gallant attempt at a history of the Bank for the general reader, but one which misses its target (no. 2200).

Next up is Shell-Shock and Medical Culture in First World War Britain by Tracey Loughran. Stefanie Linden largely enjoys a fascinating account of medical discourse in Britain throughout the First World War (no. 2199).

Then we turn to Simon Thurley’s Houses of Power: The Places the Shaped the Tudor World. Audrey Thorstad recommends a refreshing new view into the Tudor dynasty (no. 2198).

Finally we have Women Writing the English Republic 1625-1681 by Katharine Gillespie. Gaby Mahlberg believes this bold and innovative book is an important milestone in challenging the male-dominated republican canon (no. 2197).

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Latest Reviews – Labour Party, medieval peacemaking, Irish poverty & crusaders

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We kick off this week with John Gaffney’s Leadership and the Labour Party: Narrative and Performance. Christopher Massey believes this book provides vital reading for all interested in Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour Party and the development of political narrative and performance (no. 2196, with response here).

Next up is The Benefits of Peace: Private Peacemaking in Late Medieval Italy by Glenn Kumhera. Alexandra Lee and the author discuss a book which provides a deeper insight into the complicated practices of private peacemaking in medieval Italy (no. 2195, with response here).

Then we turn to Lindsey Earner-Byrne’s Letters of the Catholic Poor: Poverty in Independent Ireland, 1920-1940. David Kilgannon praises a book which challenges other historians of 20th-century Ireland to ‘people their pasts’ (no. 2194).

Finally we have The Uses of the Bible in Crusader Sources, edited by Elizabeth Lapina and Nicholas Morton. Stephen Spencer recommends a book which adds substantially to our understanding of the sources and the intellectual milieu of their authors (no. 2193).

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Latest reviews: William the Conqueror, Stefan Collini, blackface and Indian news

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We begin this week with David Bates’ William the Conqueror. Matthew Bennett and the author debate the extent to which this biography shows sufficient empathy for its subject (no. 2192, with response here).

Next up is Common Writing: Essays on Literary Culture and Public Debate by Stefan Collini. Tim Rogan and the author discuss a collection of pieces which read together for the first time yield a clearer sense of the general preoccupations which unite them (no. 2191, with response here).

Then we turn to Brian Roberts’ Blackface Nation: Race, Reform, and Identity in American Popular Music, 1812-1925. Eran Zelnik highlights the strengths and weaknesses one of the most informative and persuasive recent cultural histories of the 19th century (no. 2190).

Finally we have a response by Amelia Bonea to our previously published review of her book The News of Empire: Telegraphy, Journalism and the Politics of Reporting in Colonial India (response to 2149).

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Latest Reviews – US revolutionaries, French sexual revolution, Victorian historicism and London smoke

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We begin this week with Tom Cutterham’s Gentlemen Revolutionaries: Power and Justice in the New American Republic. Lindsay Chervinsky praises a book which offers a complex and active view of the 1780s (no. 2189, with response here).

Next up is From Vichy to the Sexual Revolution: Gender and Family Life in Postwar France by Sarah Fishman. Charlotte Faucher and the author discuss a clear, convincing account of post-war France (no. 2188, with response here).

Then we turn to Historicism and the Human Sciences in Victorian Britain, edited by Mark Bevir. Alex Middleton thinks this collection represents a missed opportunity given the presence of so many distinguished historians (no. 2187).

Finally we have William Cavert’s The Smoke of London. Elly Robson enjoys a book that opens up new horizons for rich, multifaceted histories of environmental change (no. 2186).

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Latest Reviews – Witches, Cats & Dogs, Soldiers and Print Culture

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We begin this week with Ronald Hutton’s The Witch: A History of Fear From Ancient Times to the Present. Willem de Blécourt and the author debate – I think it’s fair enough to say that they don’t agree (no. 2185, with response)!

Next up is The Great Cat and Dog Massacre: the Real Story of World War II’s Unknown Tragedy by Hilda Kean. Maggie Andrews and the author discuss a welcome contribution to the ongoing process of chipping away at the pernicious national narrative of the Second World War as a ‘People’s War’ (no. 2184, with response).

Then we turn to Ilya Berkovich’s Motivation in War: The Experience of Common Soldiers in Old-Regime Europe. Joe Cozens enjoys an impressive first monograph from an extremely adept and promising military historian (no. 2183).

Finally we have Commemoration and Oblivion in Royalist Print Culture, 1658-1667 by Erin Peters. Imogen Peck believes it is a testament to the the originality of this book and the liveliness of the field that it succeeds in raising as many questions as it answers (no. 2182).

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