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I was recently in a conversation with a friend who told us that his parents, who were communists in New Zealand, used to make him sit through slide shows on China in the 1970s. Young Philip was subjected to these presentations because China was, his parents told him, the closest place to utopia on this earth.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, famous military leader turned reluctant, moderate president, is not the first name that springs to mind when thinking of politicians who harnessed the power of advertising and celebrity culture in their successful electoral campaigns.
Matthew Karp’s This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy seeks to explain the worldview of elite Southern slave-owners in the antebellum era.
As suggested by its subtitle, Nicole Reinhardt's fine new book undertakes a double mission. On the one hand, this is a study of a specific practice and the men who participated in it.
For many of us, the ongoing carnage in Syria is a self-evident humanitarian crisis. We do not need to be convinced that the children drowning at sea, the women and men, young and old, begging for entry into any country that will accept them are worthy of our help.
In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Jordan Landes talks to Laura Beers about her recent biography of the Labour legend.
Laura Beers is Birmingham Fellow in Modern British History at the University of Birmingham.
Jordan Landes is history subject librarian at Senate House Library, University of London.
When it comes to Scotland, English historians are often still guilty of presuming that, before the Wars of Independence at least, the government of their northerly neighbour was unsophisticated and in desperate need of the help of English institutions in becoming an effective state. This sort of speculative thought is of course one of the more myopic pillars of English exceptionalism.
Martial law does not have a good reputation. William Blackstone set the tone of modern attitudes in the 18th century. Martial law is ‘built upon no settled principles ... entirely arbitrary in its decisions ... no law, but something indulged, rather than allowed as a law’ (quoted at p. 251).
Complementing the growing academic interest in pre-modern diplomatic ceremonial, Jan Hennings’ Russia and Courtly Europe explores the relationship between Russia and Europe beyond the traditional portrayal of political incompatibility and clash of cultures from the Peace of Westphalia (1648) until the end of Peter I’s reign in 1725.
A closer look at the rhetoric surrounding the current Ukrainian-Russian conflict reveals it is as much about past as about the present or future. Not only have both sides regularly resorted to historical arguments, turning the past into yet another battleground in a ‘hybrid war’, but outside observers also look to the past in search for answers and explanations.