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In the last twenty years or so there have been great transformations in the historiography of modern South Asia. It would not be too crude an exaggeration to say that no western historian of much intellectual ambition engaged with the subject from James Mill in the early nineteenth century until after the second world war, while Indian historians were little known outside the subcontinent.
There are two qualities in Dr. Gildea’s book that are immediately apparent. The first is the sensible planning of the contents. Beginning with "The Crisis of Empire", the last chapter is "France in search of a world role". The second chapter is "Crisis in the state", balanced by the penultimate chapter, "The Republic of the Centre".
This is a very welcome paperback edition of Euan Green’s monograph originally published in 1995. The enviable task confronting the author is to write a further book of a similar quality; expectations are certain to be high for The Crisis of Conservatism is not simply an outstanding account but to use an overworked word, a seminal book.
Bronislaw Geremek needs no introduction to the international community of historians. In 1995, at the last congress of the International Association of Historians, in Montreal the first plenary session was opened by an hour long video recorded with him, how he sees history being both its expert analyst and also a prominent actor in the past decades.
A coherent narrative political history of early-modern Europe could be constructed around disputes over the right of succession to sovereign thrones. The very nomenclature of the history of armed conflict during this period underscores the importance of succession in a society in which the family stood at the centre of power-holding.
When it first appeared in hardback in 1994, John Rohl's remarkable collection of essays won the Wolfson History Prize. And clearly it deserved to. This is how history should be written--with lucidity and originality, displaying on every page the workings of an inquiring mind, one that has examined and re-examined all available sources to reach its own, independent conclusions.
Eric Hobsbawm has recently raised the question ‘Can wewrite the history of the Russian revolution?’. Coming from someone who has written a history of the twentieth century, of which the Russian revolution comprises a rather distant component, the question is somewhat unexpected.
Kathleen Wilson's fine study complements earlier work by Peter Borsay and Nicholas Rogers which seek to rehabilitate the role of urban provincial centres as sites of popular political politics with an oppositional focus.
Not long ago Cormac Ó Gráda lamented the dearth of scholarly writing about the Great Famine. Since then the drought has been broken by a deluge. Some outpourings are far from scholarly; some fall into the category of what D.H. Atkenson has recently described as "Famine porn" as their authors scour the lexicon of shocking vocabulary to arouse our indignation.