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In Georgian England, 'manly independence' was the most important qualification for political virtue and thus for electoral citizenship. Connoting a particularly English libertarianism, this 'independence' infused a man's political, social and gendered being, and manifested itself in sincere and straightforward forms of bodily presentation and behaviour.
Sometimes you get lucky when you publish a book. Matthew Mulcahy's intriguing and well-written analysis of the cultural impact of hurricanes in the plantation regions of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British America came out at an extremely apposite time for an academic publication, a month or so after one of the biggest natural disasters in American history.
Mark Hampton sets out to analyse 'the way in which British elites conceptualized the press between 1850 and 1950', examining the debates that helped to lead the British press to the point where 'informing readers and toppling governments, and never in boring fashion, could appear as the appropriate function of journalism'.
In his seminal Ford Lecture in 1953, K. B. McFarlane argued that the 'real politics' of the later medieval period were inherent in the 'daily personal relations' between king and magnates.
That the history of sexuality has come of age is clear. The most recent Journal of the History of Sexuality is a self-reflexive special issue on 'Theory, Methods, Praxis'.
This book was first published in 2003. Two years later, it was reissued in paperback without any changes as far as the reviewer is aware. This decision of the publisher can be taken as a reflection of the book's well deserved success.
Evelyn Welch's Shopping in the Renaissance. Consumer Cultures in Italy 1400–1600 is a fascinating study which turns a common social practice into a compelling subject of research. The author's ability to employ different historical approaches at the same time confirms that cultural, social, economic and art history can enhance each other.
The re-periodisation of European history achieved in the last few decades is now complete in all but name. The idea of the eleventh to thirteenth centuries as a uniquely formative period for the creation of a European identity no longer surprises academic readers.
Does the study of normality require justification when the latter coexists with atrocity? Semmens's study of tourism in the Third Reich begins on a defensive note, assuring the reader of the author's sensitivity to 'the enduring dissonance between holidays and horror, vacations and violence, tourism and terror' (p. 2).
Consider two of the most intriguing facts contained in this book: while around one in six East Germans disliked their country so much that they left it permanently, one in five adults were prepared to become a member of its ruling party, the SED (Socialist Unity Party). The first fact will come as a surprise to nobody.