Reviewing a historical dictionary is often a rather thankless task. Typically compiled from brief essays contributed by a variety of scholars they often lack a coherent perspective, leaving the reviewer to offer vague generalisations regarding the overall quality of the entries or selection of topics.
Guido Ruggiero’s new social and cultural history of Italy between 1250 and 1575 begins at the end of the world and ends at the beginning of the ‘Great Social Divide’.
Gavin Schaffer’s ambitious and important new book explores how British television dealt with and shaped multiracialism between 1960 and 1980. He sees television’s relationship to multiracialism, not primarily as a mirror to society, but rather as a ‘generator of social meaning’ and a ‘clear “site of struggle”’ (p. 2).
In Richard Baxter’s Reformed Liturgy, Glen J. Segger offers us the first monograph-length study of a fascinating ‘what if’: the failed set of proposed liturgical changes composed by Richard Baxter in the early 1660s.
Desan’s fascinating book approaches the only seemingly obvious act of ‘making money’ by examining what it actually means to ‘make money’. While Desan does acknowledge the physical act involved in this process, such as the striking of coins and the printing of bills, her primary focus is to study what gave money value and validated it as a reliable medium of egalitarian exchange.
A Very Short Introduction probably shouldn’t be criticised simply for its omissions. I think it’s fair to assume that readers of this series don’t want the last word on a given topic. If anything, attempting to cram too much into one of these pocket-sized volumes might alienate a non-specialist audience.
A stigma around the ill-defined genre of popular history lingers in the academy.
The history of the Huguenot diaspora following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes has been widely chronicled. First, exiled Huguenots wrote narratives of their escape in order to preserve the memory of their hardship – no doubt at the prompting of numerous individuals eager to hear their compelling stories.
Heather Andrea Williams’ American Slavery: A Very Short Introduction is the latest work in a series designed to make subjects accessible for all readers, examining the nature of slavery in North America, looking at its development, consolidation, and eventual decline.
This edited collection fills some important gaps in the historiography of rulership and the interactions between royal couples, particularly in cases when the man is not the legitimate heir.