The title of this volume is something of a misnomer or, at least, there is a crucial word missing from it.
Those disinclined to judge their book by its cover will be pleased to discover that the image adorning the latest volume in the Oxford History of the British Empire (OHBE) series bears little relation to its contents. Showing the famous long bar at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, it presents the imperial British in exemplary (if not stereotypical) terms.
The opening words of the preface to McIntyre’s scholarly book are that it ‘looks at the role historians played in a forgotten act in one of the grand dramas of modern history’.
Here is a history of verve, valour and vignettes with broad and exciting perspectives that make it wonderfully unfashionable and provocatively readable with the constant eminence of its scholarship and style.
This book was launched with great fanfare, a high number of editorial reviews from prominent academics, interviews, invited talks, web commentaries, and reviews in the mainstream media, including the Guardian, New Statesman, New York Times, The Scotsman, Economist, and Foreign Affairs.
This edited companion in the multi-volume history survey series published by Wiley-Blackwell will become a set text for students of the Great War, at least when the less expensive paperback version appears in bookshops.
Chocolate, writes Emma Robertson in the introduction to her monograph, ‘has been invested with specific cultural meanings which are in part connected to … conditions of production’ (p. 3). At the heart of this study is a challenge to existing histories:
Environmental historians take pride in the interdisciplinary character of their field. Yet they practice this interdisciplinarity mostly by drawing from methodologies and approaches from several disciplines. Rarer, and definitively more challenging, are the attempts to establish an actual dialogue between disciplines.
The writing of history – any history – is shaped by the intellectual environment in which it is written, and by the preoccupations of its writers. As Christopher Tyerman acknowledges in his prefatory remarks, ‘writing history is not a neutral revelation but a malleable, personal, contingent, cultural activity’ (p. xi).
The May/June 2011 issue of Foreign Policy magazine was designated 'The Food Issue'. In the lead article, 'The new geopolitics of food', Lester R. Brown writes, 'From the Middle East to Madagascar, high prices are spawning land grabs and ousting dictators. Welcome to the 21st-century food wars'.