This is a deeply flawed book, although it is not completely without merit. Mayer, who died (in January 2014) as this book went to press, may have been an accomplished scholar of ecclesiastical history (1), but was a relative novice in Galilean scholarship.
This volume, of 24 articles previously published elsewhere by Peter Edbury, covers subjects upon which years of dedicated research have made him an authority. It is a delight to see collected here for the first time some of the most essential and insightful works that have been a leading part of Edbury’s detailed investigations for the past decade and more.
In Unemployment, Welfare, and Masculine Citizenship, Marjorie Levine-Clark assesses the regime through which British working-class men, and their families, were granted access to welfare in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Though Denmark was once an imperial power, it was only ever a minor one.
Gavin Schaffer’s ambitious and important new book explores how British television dealt with and shaped multiracialism between 1960 and 1980. He sees television’s relationship to multiracialism, not primarily as a mirror to society, but rather as a ‘generator of social meaning’ and a ‘clear “site of struggle”’ (p. 2).
In Richard Baxter’s Reformed Liturgy, Glen J. Segger offers us the first monograph-length study of a fascinating ‘what if’: the failed set of proposed liturgical changes composed by Richard Baxter in the early 1660s.
Reviewing a historical dictionary is often a rather thankless task. Typically compiled from brief essays contributed by a variety of scholars they often lack a coherent perspective, leaving the reviewer to offer vague generalisations regarding the overall quality of the entries or selection of topics.
Guido Ruggiero’s new social and cultural history of Italy between 1250 and 1575 begins at the end of the world and ends at the beginning of the ‘Great Social Divide’.
Desan’s fascinating book approaches the only seemingly obvious act of ‘making money’ by examining what it actually means to ‘make money’. While Desan does acknowledge the physical act involved in this process, such as the striking of coins and the printing of bills, her primary focus is to study what gave money value and validated it as a reliable medium of egalitarian exchange.
A Very Short Introduction probably shouldn’t be criticised simply for its omissions. I think it’s fair to assume that readers of this series don’t want the last word on a given topic. If anything, attempting to cram too much into one of these pocket-sized volumes might alienate a non-specialist audience.