For some time we have been waiting for an accessibly written, archivally rich, and theoretically informed social history of East Germany. Corey Ross's first book scores very highly on all counts, presenting an invigorating bottom-up history of the GDR in its two formative decades.
Over the past three decades the North of Ireland has been plagued by injustice.
Once in a long while a work of such scope and magnitude is published that our assumptions about history - its events, its causes, its effects - are fundamentally challenged.
This is not such a work.
Despite over ten years of research on the German Democratic Republic since the fall of the Wall, there has been remarkably little work on 'ordinary East Germans', and so Mark Allinson of Bristol University is to be congratulated on his pioneering contribution.
It is one of the unfortunate realities of the twentieth century that the list of defining world political leaders is shared between those whose actions resulted directly in the greatest number of deaths and those who led the defence when their actions impinged on the rest of the world.
The history of public health has been a flourishing field in the last three decades. Yet despite a spate of excellent monographs about various epidemic diseases and many good collections about health and disease in Africa, Asia, The Middle East, Latin America, as well as Europe and North America, the most recent textbook on the history of public health is four decades old.
The social history of madness is a vibrant area of intellectual enquiry which in the past 20 years has generated an impressive series of monographs and essay collections. This volume is a scholarly addition to the literature.
This is an admirable feat of constructive compression. It achieves synthesis without sacrificing clarity, a feature that has become one of the author's hallmarks. What makes this book the more impressive is that within small confines it argues so effectively against reductionism in the study of national identity.
This is a relatively short book by Britain's leading historian of sexuality, but it has a big agenda. Drawing on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, Lesley Hall discusses the shifts, the continuities and the changes in sexual custom and practice that prevailed between 1880 and the present day.
Labour's First Century is a good barometer of the state of intellectual Thinking within and about Labour as it looks forward to its second century. Its tone differs from that of the fiftieth anniversary histories.