Published as part of Manchester University Press's new Studies in Popular Culture series, John Walton's latest addition to his incomparable canon of seaside studies forms part of a concerted effort by new social historians to question what makes appropriate and important history.
In 1936, the world seemed precariously poised between peace and war, fascism and communism, democracy and dictatorship, hope and despair. Each international event – Spanish and French Popular Front election victories, the continued Italian campaign in Abysinnia, the factory occupations in France, civil war and foreign intervention in Spain - confirmed this instability.
A new series under the general editorship of Keith Robbins, with the laudable aim of locating British history firmly within its European context, has been launched at what it regards as the beginning - not with Britain moving out of primitive isolation to become part of Europe, but rather with Britain emerging gradually from prehistory.
The flight of Jews out of Nazi Germany has been the subject of much attention. Virtually every country that witnessed the entry of Jews in the 1930s has had its experiences discussed in at least one book.(1) Britain is no exception.
Matthew Hilton has produced an extremely well written account of smoking in popular culture. It is crafted skilfully in an attractive prose style that fully reflects the call of the editor of the Studies in Popular Culture series for readable and accessible academic writing. In his debut monograph Hilton has established himself as an historian of real ability and great promise.
In 1960 I published an article on the leather industry using the probate inventories of 55 leather workers. I am reminded of this piece of almost forgotten biography by a contributor to this volume. I remember only two things about the article.
In reviewing Mark Cornwall's monumental study of 'front propaganda by and against the Habsburg Monarchy in the First World War, I feel I ought to register a certain personal interest.
This title will doubtless be welcomed by those who offer undergraduate classes on the history of the family.
This publication in a convenient and user-friendly format of fifteen essays written by Professor Guy over the past quarter century is to be welcomed.
`What could be more universal than death?' asks an anthropologist quoted by Merridale.  Death is a major aspect of the history of any society, and one which brings out its members' deepest beliefs. But in twentieth century Russia it has been peculiarly dominant, because so many deaths have been premature or violent.