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s the deft pun in the title reminds us, one of the ways in which nations were both imagined and institutionalised in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was through the conscripting of young men into the army. The ways in which they were called up, selected, trained and led, and the arrangements made for their families left behind deeply affected the nature of nationhood.
The genesis of this fine monograph occurred in a moment of confounding cultural confrontation when Christopher Ely first viewed Russian landscape painting of the nineteenth century. Perplexed, he jotted down a question for himself. Why, he asked, were these works so 'consciously unbeautiful'? Gazing at one dreary canvas after another, he wondered, 'What was this fascination with mud?' (p.
Not so long ago, Peter the Great was commonly portrayed by historians on both sides of the Iron Curtain as a proto-Homo Sovieticus: an icon of muscular masculinity, giant in both frame and achievement. According to this tradition, it was Peter's distinctive genius to drag a backward and xenophobic Muscovy, kicking and screaming, into the rational modern world.
I suppose a slight confession is in order before I begin. This is a book that I had hoped to write, but for a variety of reasons it never transpired. To me, it seemed to be a glaring omission in the literature on Stalin. Bookshops were awash with biographies of Stalin. Appraisals of the Stalinist system were as numerous as medals on Brezhnev's chest.
As the first densely researched and vividly argued social history of Soviet women workers in the 1930s, Goldman’s monograph fills a long-standing gap in the existing historiography. Until the early 1990s, due to the lack of access to archives in the former Soviet Union, researchers were completely dependent on published sources, such as journals, newspapers, memoirs, and monographs.
In 221 BCE the state of Qin eliminated the last of its rivals, putting an end to centuries' long endemic warfare of the Warring States (Zhanguo, 453-221 BCE) age. The First Emperor (Qin Shi Huangdi, r.
Dan Healey's study of same-sex love in revolutionary Russia is an impressively argued, well documented examination of one of the most 'obscure' 'blank spots' in Russian history. A radical revision of the 'myth of a universal, natural, and timeless Russian or Soviet heterosexuality' (p.
Few settings in China’s modern history have been explored in greater depth than Shanghai. Moreover, sexuality has been a 'sexy' topic in Chinese history for the better part of the past decade. And significantly, the French original was published hot on the heels of another major publication by Gail Hershatter (2) on exactly the same topic.
The historiography of disease and medicine in colonial India has tended to concentrate on epidemic diseases and particularly those that have produced the greatest political upheavals. On the assumption that epidemic crises expose latent social tensions, historians have tended to treat epidemics as ‘windows’ through which to observe broader social and political trends.
This collection is a new addition to Blackwell’s 'Essential Readings in History' series, which reprints important academic articles on historical topics.