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Reviews in History


Latest from Reviews in History – race, Lincoln, early Lancashire welfare and Mormons

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Anyway, we begin this week with Richard McMahon’s The Races of Europe: Construction of National Identities in the Social Sciences, 1839-1939. Ian Stewart and the author debate a valuable contribution to the histories of ideas and science, linking them to the cultural history of national identities (no. 2173, with response here).

Next up is Lincoln, Congress, and Emancipation, edited by Donald R. Kennon and Paul Finkelman. Susan-Mary Grant and the editors discuss a collection largely dedicated to the heroes of America’s national story (no. 2172, with response here).

Then we turn to Jonathan Healey’s The First Century of Welfare: Poverty and Poor Relief in Lancashire, 1620-1730. David Hitchcock recommends an history of poor relief in Lancashire across the 17th and early 18th centuries (no. 2171).

Finally we have Unpopular Sovereignty: Mormons and the Federal Management of Early Utah Territory by Brent M. Rogers. James Williamson believes any historian seeking to understand debates over sovereignty within antebellum America should consult this work (no. 2170).

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Latest from Reviews in History – nuclear protest, Thomas Jefferson, slave owners database and medieval ritual

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We start this week with Better Active than Radioactive! Anti-Nuclear Protest in 1970s France and West Germany by Andrew S. Tompkins. Sinead McEneaney and the author discuss a work which places the focus squarely on the transnational connections between activists and activist groups (no. 2169, with response here).

Next up is Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter S. Onuf’s ‘Most Blessed of the Patriarchs’: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. David Houpt enjoys a fascinating look into the psyche of one of America’s most enigmatic figures (no. 2168).

Then we turn to the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership database. Daniel Livesay praises a tremendous resource and tool for the history of slavery, the West Indies, Britain, and the Atlantic World (no. 2167).

Finally we have a response by author Dušan Zupka to Nora Berend’s review of Ritual and Symbolic Communication in Medieval Hungary under the Árpád Dynasty.

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Latest from Reviews in History – nuns, bishops, racist ideas and public health

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We start this week with Tom Crook’s Governing Systems: Modernity and the Making of Public Health in England, 1830–1910. Christopher Hamlin and the author discuss a book big in scope, range, and thought (no. 2166, with response here).

Next up is Stamped from the Beginning, The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi. Richard King and the author debate a National Book Award winning attempt to re-cast of the framework of assumptions and vocabulary of concepts used in writing about slavery and race (no. 2165, with response here).

Then we turn to S. T. Ambler’s Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213-1272. Robert Swanson thinks that although this book is not totally successful, it offers a stimulating approach which merits serious attention (no. 2164).

Finally we have English Benedictine Nuns in Exile in the Seventeenth Century by Laurence Lux-Sterritt. Kristof Smeyers believe the themes of this book – diaspora, displacement, abandon, isolation, community – are universal (no. 2163).

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Latest from Reviews in History – Irish & German nationalism, British war planning, New Orleans slavery

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We start this week with Shane Nagle’s Histories of Nationalism in Ireland and Germany: A Comparative Study from 1800 to 1932. Jean-Michel Johnston and the author debate a book which reveals interesting similarities and differences between important texts in the national historiographical traditions of Ireland and Germany (no. 2162, with response here).

Next up is The Fear of Invasion: Strategy, Politics, and British War Planning, 1880-1914 by David G. Morgan-Owen. Christian Melby and the author discuss a book which offers new insights into a leadership who tried to balance an offensive military policy with defending the heart of the empire itself (no. 2161, with response here).

Then we turn to Rashauna Johnson’s Slavery’s Metropolis: Unfree Labor in New Orleans During the Age of Revolutions. Matthew Stallard believes this book offers scholars of the African diaspora and many other areas a fruitful conceptualisation with which to frame future projects (no. 2160).

Finally we have an expanded response to last week’s review of An African Volk by author Jamie Miller.

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Latest from Reviews in History – Apartheid, Aelred of Rievaulx, Vietnam and Samuel Marsden

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We start this week with Jamie Miller’s An African Volk: The Apartheid Regime and Its Search for Survival. Robert McNamara and the author discuss what is perhaps the most important book written about South African foreign policy in the mid-Cold War era (no. 2159, with response here).

Next up is A Companion to Aelred of Rievaulx (1110–1167), edited by Marsha L. Dutton. Charlie Rozier believes this companion makes essential reading for students and scholars seeking to explore Aelred for the first time (no. 2158).

Then we turn to Jessica Frazier’s Women’s Antiwar Diplomacy During the Vietnam War. Jon Coburn finds this book persuasively asserts that the example shown by Vietnamese women during the war fundamentally influenced the development of women’s liberation in America (no. 2157).

Finally we have The World, the Flesh and the Devil: the Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765-1838 by Andrew Sharp. Ged Martin and the author disagree as to whether the controversial Marsden should be allowed tell his own story without a larger measure of independent commentary (no. 2156, with response here).

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New reviews: Slavery, Morocco, Carolingian Empire and Roosevelts

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We start this week with Emily West’s Enslaved Women in America: From Colonial Times to Emancipation. Kristen Brill recommends a book which masterfully presents the narrative of women’s lived experiences in slavery through the prism of gender (no. 2155, with response here).

Next up is The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam by Edmund Burke. July Blalack believes this story of the French colonial archive reveals many disturbing aspects of knowledge production (no. 2154).

Then we turn to Matthew Brian Gillis’s Heresy and Dissent in the Carolingian Empire: the Case of Gottschalk of Orbais. Scott Ashley gives thanks for an important study for scholars of the Carolingian world and of early-medieval religious culture (no. 2153).

Finally we have Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America’s Greatest Political Family by William J. Mann. Dario Fazzi praises an impressive 600-page volume scoping out the secrets, antagonisms, and feuds of the Roosevelts (no. 2152).

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Reviews in History as a research aid for A-Level students and undergraduates

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This post has kindly been written for us by IHR Digital intern Tom Keidan.

I’m an undergraduate currently interning with the IHR Digital department, and as part of this I have been working on the online journal Reviews in History. This is a resource that I’ve used in the past, and the editor suggested that it might be interesting for other A-level and university students to hear how I’ve found it useful in my studies.

This was certainly the case during my A-Level studies, when Reviews in History proved to be an invaluable research tool, effectively and concisely summarising secondary material for a wider non-specialist audience.

When studying historiographical debates surrounding the Holocaust during both my A-Level and university studies, in-depth reviews of monographs such as Tom Lawson’s Debates on the Holocaust (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1160) and Dan Stone’s Histories of the Holocaust (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1068) proved invaluable in summarising wider concepts and debates which I was initially unable to fully grasp. Furthermore, the comprehensive bibliography provided at the end of each review enabled me to further research alternative studies which helped to develop my specialist knowledge of such a vast topic.

During my university studies, the reviews on Reviews in History have continuously proved to be highly useful in providing me with wider background material; in addition, being able to filter searches according to geographical area and period has allowed me to effectively and quickly gather reviews for material relevant to modules which cover a specific period and place.

Furthermore, Reviews in History includes reviews of various primary archival material which have been extremely useful when embarking on my dissertation research; by filtering by categories such as films, exhibitions and digital resources, the reader is able to easily and effectively look through relevant primary material reviews in order to supplement previous secondary reading. In particular, a review of the British Library’s Propaganda: Power and Persuasion (http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1489) exhibition provided insight into the nature of state propaganda which proved highly useful in supplementing my existing university knowledge.

Ultimately, Reviews in History seems to me to be a highly useful tool for both general audiences as well as more specialist historians. I highly recommend this website whether you are looking for help with A-Level history studies or more complex university level material!

 

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Latest reviews – shell shock, world’s fairs, Indian journalism and Europe’s India

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We start this week with Stefanie Linden’s They Called it Shell Shock. Combat Stress in the First World War. Michael Robinson and the author discuss a book of great interest to shell shock historians, specialists in trauma studies, and those interested in the social and cultural effects of the First World War (no. 2151, with response here).

Next up is Adam Matthew’s World’s Fairs: A Global History of Exhibitions. Anthony Swift profiles a valuable digital resource for those interested in the history of design, technology, architecture, imperialism, nationalism, gender, anthropology, consumer culture and more (no. 2150).

Then we turn to Amelia Bonea’s The News of Empire: Telegraphy, Journalism and the Politics of Reporting in Colonial India. Anindita Ghosh praises a rich and informative book that opens out the way for further and interesting research into telegraphy and journalism (no. 2149).

Finally we have Europe’s India – Words, People, Empires, 1500-1800 by Sanjay Subrahmanyam. Tiraana Bains believes this book weaves together engaging narratives of early modern itinerancy and encounter with incisive criticism of existing historiographical grand narratives (no. 2148).

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Latest from Reviews in History – slavery, C19 America, Ancient Greece and factory fire

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We start this week with Alice Rio’s Slavery After Rome, 500-1100. Shami Ghosh and the author discuss one of the central questions in the historiography of early medieval Western Europe: how did the transition from slavery to serfdom take place? (no. 2147, with response here)

Next up is Divided Sovereignties: Race, Nationhood, and Citizenship in Nineteenth-Century America by Rochelle Zuck. Nathan Cardon enjoys a book which puts politics and nation-making back into the conversation on 19th-century race and identity (no. 2146).

Then we turn to Johana Hannink’s The Classical Debt: Greek Antiquity in an Era of Austerity. Helen Roche praises a triumph of popularisation which should provide a fruitful starting-point for more detailed surveys (no. 2145).

Finally we have See You In The Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire by Ruth Sergel. Chloe Ward reviews a book which recounts the author’s attempts to commemorate the fire through a series of interlinked art projects-cum-social interventions (no. 2144).

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Latest from Reviews in History – Huguenots, civil wars, communes and medieval Venice

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We start this week with Facing the Revocation: Huguenot Families, Faith and the King’s Will by Carolyn Chapelle Lougee. Raymond Mentzer enjoys a highly original set of insights into the uncertainties and burdens that French Protestants encountered as they confronted the royal proscription of their ancestral religion (no. 2143).

Next up is David Armitage’s Civil Wars: A History in Ideas. John Collins speculates that this new book might cause a revolution within the discipline, possibly preceded by civil war…(no. 2142).

Then we turn to Living the Revolution: Urban Communes and Soviet Socialism 1917-1932 by Andy Willimott. James Ryan believes this to be an excellent book that deserves to be read widely by all those interested in early Soviet history (no. 2141).

Finally Georg Christ reviews two resources which make precious sets of data accessible in a durable, easy and useful way – CIVES: citizenship privileges in Venice, 1180-1500 and ESTIMO: the Venetian fiscal roster of 1379 (no. 2140)

See our full list of reviews here

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