Early in his study of radio in the USSR, Stephen Lovell quotes Rick Altman: ‘new technologies are always born nameless’ (p. 2). New technologies, that is to say, do not arrive with a self-evident purpose, and are understood initially relative to what already exists.
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.
Though Denmark was once an imperial power, it was only ever a minor one.
Serge Gruzinski compares Cortés’s actions in Mexico with suggestions for the invasion of China, adumbrated by Portuguese captives in Canton in 1522–3.
In a review in this very forum in 2009 Clare Anderson praised a shift in Indian Ocean studies.
Histories of the fate of the Ottoman Armenians have long, and understandably, been dominated by two themes. Firstly, the quest for ‘proof’ of the genocidal intent behind the treatment of the Armenians in 1915.
Ryan Gingeras' book Heroin, Organized Crime and the Making of Modern Turkey provides an original contribution to the history of modern Turkey, particularly regarding the question of continuity and rupture from the late Ottoman period to the Republic, by taking the country's opium production, security service and criminal underworld as its focus.
Serhy Yekelchyk's Stalin's Citizens is a fine work of scholarship, based on painstaking archival research.
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.
In Kimono: A Modern History, textile historian Terry Satsuki Milhaupt encourages her readers to ‘reflect deeply and broadly on what the kimono has meant at various points in its long history’ (p. 287). In this ambitious project, she identifies ‘modern’ with the period from the 1850s onwards.