Re-reading some of the earlier essays in this fine collection was to re-visit the site of previous excitements. Age, in this case, has not withered them. They retain a freshness and originality, and are wonderfully complemented by some of the more recent essays published here for the first time.
Local history is beginning to emerge from the shadows in which it has lain for too long. Tainted for decades by its association with antiquarianism, its struggle for academic respectability has been a long one.
Admiral Eduard Baltin, wrestling in mid-1997 with the consequences of the division of the ex-Soviet navy between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, took a moment to reflect on the creator of the imperial Russian Black Sea fleet: "a loose woman and non-Russian, Empress Catherine the Great was a greater Russian patriot than today's rulers of Russia.
In the cities and towns of eighteenth-century Europe many families from all social classes used the resources and powers of the state to forcibly incarcerate their mad, violent, or simply disorderly members. In this volume Lis and Soly analyse the thousands of petitions and supporting depositions created by this process in the towns of the Austrian Netherlands.
Given the efflorescence in the history of psychiatry over the course of the last quarter century, it is surprising that so few of the new generation of psychiatric historians have ventured into biography.
Eric Hobsbawm has written a book which has been rightly acclaimed as setting the standard for accounts of the Twentieth Century. We can expect such books to proliferate as we approach the end of the millennium. Few will be able to match the powerful analysis and broad sweep of this book.
Harold Perkin has been hailed as 'the Marx of the Salariat'.(1) The author of this sobriquet is thanked for his 'infallible intellectual and moral support', so it must be true.(2) Now it seems he is to be its Lenin too, for his latest book ends with a reprise of that foundation text, ' What is to be done?
George L. Mosse's book exemplifies the best in a new wave of histories focusing on masculinity in Europe since the second half of the eighteenth century.
''Five million barrels of porter'' (p. 140)
This is, by my count, the third collection of articles by Giles Constable published by Variorum; and it is a very welcome addition to the first two. Reprinted here are twelve essays, produced between 1982 and 1994. Several are easily available from other sources, but some would be harder to track down.