James M. Smith’s book, Ireland’s Magdalen Laundries and the Nation’s Architecture of Containment (2007) fills a significant gap in research about the Magdalen laundries and their impact on Irish society. Frances Finnegan’s Do Penance or Perish (2001) has also tackled the subject, but her study is confined to the Good Shepherd asylums that operated in Ireland.
It would be easy, but facile, to dismiss emigration from Ireland to Argentina as a minor aberration in the history of both countries.
Like many another Roundhead, George Downing had a problem when Charles II returned in 1660, not least because he had been inconveniently prominent in urging Oliver Cromwell to become king. Luckily there was a way out. In 1638 the Downing family had decamped to Massachusetts, where young George had become the second person to graduate from Harvard.
It is said that ‘efficiency is doing better what is already being done’, although the word in English derives from the Latin efficere; simply, to accomplish. In its crudest sense then, regardless of culture or nationality, the vast majority of humanity engages in efficiency at a personal level on a daily basis.
Fergus Campbell’s book explores the relationship between agrarian conflict and nationalist politics in the period from 1891 to 1921. Although the study focuses primarily on the five counties of Connaught, with a particular emphasis on east Galway and especially the Craughwell area, provincial and local events are located in a national context.
In Hunting and Fishing in the New South: Black Labor and White Leisure after the Civil War, Scott Giltner delivers an intriguing and thoughtful survey of sporting cultures and racial identity in the postbellum South. The study, which, as the author notes, evolved from ‘masters proposal to dissertation to book’ (p.
In Our Friend ‘The Enemy’ Thomas Weber attacks both the Sonderweg-interpretation of the German Kaiserreich and theories of British exceptionalism before 1914.
This is an ambitious and weighty study of prisons, prison labour and penology from the early Republican period through the Depression years which McLennan argues has been characterised by ‘a long continuum of episodic instability, conflict, and political crisis’ (p. 2).
A History of Nigeria is an impressive book, the more so because its ambitions initially appear straightforward. Toyin Falola and Matthew Heaton describe their project as ‘a general background survey of the broad themes of Nigeria’s history from the beginnings of human habitation … to the early twenty-first century’ (p.
Sascha Auerbach’s Race, Law and ‘The Chinese Puzzle’ in Imperial Britain is a truly unsettling account of how in the 19th and early 20th centuries media, politicians, trade unionists, writers, thespians, film makers, and not least police and court officials across the British realm stolidly and uncompromisingly articulated and executed racist, Sinophobic judgements, deliberately whippe