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Owen Hatherley’s latest book is a compelling exploration of one way in which the British political establishment and the British public (mis)interpret, (mis)remember, and (fail to) engage with history. The history with which Hatherley is concerned is the Attlee government of 1945–51, set within the wider era described mostly, vaguely, as ‘post-war’.
Many clerics had a low opinion of Henry the Young King of England in his own lifetime, but infinitely more damaging to his long-term reputation was how his memory was damned in 1875 by the Regius Professor, and eventual Anglican bishop, William Stubbs.
The sub-title says it all. This is a book about the elites of Belle Epoque Paris, primarily about the cultural elites, but also about their patrons, high society, industrialists and fashion designers, and all those who made the headline contributions to that Paris which sticks in the popular imagination.
Does any political formation dominate its century of American history the way the New Deal dominates the 20th? Almost as soon as Franklin Roosevelt’s Brain Trust convened, the earlier Progressive movement was revised into the status of forerunner; for decades after the New Deal order began to disintegrate in the late 1960s, Americans lived in its historical debris.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the emergence of an independent Russia, much scholarship, both in Russia and the West, has been concerned with the pre-revolutionary monarchist and nationalist parties which had attracted relatively little attention earlier.
Historians of pretty well every field and period have long acknowledged that historical enquiry cannot (indeed, must not) be limited to describing the actions and experiences of elites.
In the 21st century John Owen (1616–83) already looks likely claim the prize as the most studied of the 17th-century puritans. Compared to the ubiquitous Richard Baxter, contender for the same prize in 20th-century scholarship, Owen was more cerebral and less alive to the power of fashioning a cult of personality around himself.
Éamon de Valera (1882–1975) is considered by many to be the most significant political figure in 20th-century Ireland.(1) He remains controversial and his achievements and legacy have often been challenged. In this new biography Ronan Fanning makes a very persuasive case that de Valera was indeed significant and that his achievements were considerable.
Heinrich Himmler apart, former poultry farmers don't figure much in the bibliography of military history. Martin Middlebrook, however, proves to be the outstanding exception. With this one book, his first, Middlebrook prised open a new window onto Great War studies in general, and in particular onto the 1916 Battle of the Somme.
Frances Yates’ seminal book Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964), which established a longstanding scholarly orthodoxy that Renaissance magic derived from interpretations of the Hermetic Corpus, has been challenged in its details by Bruno scholars and others.