The general outline for this project, when the call for papers first appeared in June 2013, requested contributions for essays on the entertainments and popular culture of the First World War, offering a lot of promise for the study of humour in an historical context, which has, it would seem, only recently become of interest to cultural historians.(1) As a self-procla
Thomas Dixon’s Weeping Britannia is a tour through six centuries of British tears, from ‘extreme weeper’ Margery Kempe to the televised ‘sob-fests’ of Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor, via tear-stained judges, the emotionally extravagant novel of sensibility, supposedly stiff-upper-lipped politicians, and the bemused disdain of dry-eyed journalists observing the
It is dangerous for historians to know the future. The seductive power of seeing ‘how it all came out’ too often warps the way the process of change in the past is understood and can result in the classic version of a Whiggish view of history. Among the examples of this that can be cited is the way the Polish-Lithuanian union has been evaluated.
In the last decade the history of American capitalism has monopolized the attention of US scholars and students alike. From the halls of Harvard to the front pages of the New York Times, the history of this financial system has become a hot topic.
The Rise of Political Intellectuals in Modern China offers the first English language account of how one of the most important movements in modern Chinese history affected the city of Wuhan. Shakhar Rahav highlights the critical role that regional intellectual networks played in shaping the particular form of national mass-politics that emerged during the 1920s.
In February 1862, the Pennsylvanian Republican John W. Forney read aloud George Washington’s ‘Farewell Address’ on the Senate Floor. The occasion? It was the 130th anniversary of the first President’s birth. Each year the United States Senate continues to observe Washington’s Birthday in the same manner, alternating between speakers from each party.
With the SNP decimation of all other parties in Scotland, in the 2015 General Election, Irene Morra’s engaging study of popular music and Britishness is perhaps more poignant than she might have originally anticipated!
Today, a half-century after his death, Winston Churchill stands like a colossus over the political, diplomatic and military history of the 20th century, and of its most terrible armed conflict, the Second World War. The already voluminous number of historical studies devoted to him and his career continues to grow, and amounts to a full-blown industry – never mind the ‘cottage’ part.
Both as a historical focus and as a narrative vehicle of ‘otherness’, the depiction of technological marvels has often seemed tantalizingly vague. In Orientalist scholarship à la Said, it also ended up being ultimately irretrievable across the mutually reinforcing mirrors of East and West.
Angela Woollacott’s new book is a good example of the ways in which Australian historians are being influenced by recent approaches to British imperial history. Just as importantly it shows how the interests of scholars working in these hitherto largely separate fields have converged.