In 1992, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., sponsored a special exhibition to mark 1492, the five hundredth anniversary of the Discovery of America. Reflecting the times in the 1990s, the exhibition tried to show the essential equality of all cultures around the globe at the end of the fifteenth century.
Arthur C. Clarke once remarked that the time would come when nothing of the twentieth century would be remembered except the moon landing in 1969. Clearly that time has not come. Indeed we seem to be in danger of forgetting Neil Armstrong's small step altogether. More than half of the planet's inhabitants today have been born since a man walked on the moon.
In October 1957, at the close of bilateral talks in Washington, US President Dwight D.
With hostilities in the Second South African War spanning the period from 1899 to 1902, with the result that Boer War centenaries have been falling thick and fast for the last couple of years, it is not altogether surprising that in recent times books on this conflict have been appearing at a furious rate.
It is given to few to be accorded ‘classic’ status in their own lifetime, but Marc Ferro has qualified twice over – not only for the work under discussion here, but also for his account of The Great War, 1914–1918 (1973).
International historians have been waiting a long time for this book. Their anticipation of the volume is testimony to the esteem with which Zara Steiner’s contribution to the field is held.
Orne Westad, Professor of International History and Director of the Cold War Studies Centre at the London School of Economics, has hitherto been best known for his works on China and the Cold War, including Cold War and Revolution: Soviet-American Rivalry and the Origins of the Chinese Civil War, 1944–6 (New York, 1993) and Decisive Encounters:
In The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts, Jussi M. Hanhimäki and Odd Arne Westad present an impressive array of primary materials designed to examine the Cold War as a 'global conflict' (p. ix).
In From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s, David Reynolds seeks to bring a sense of contingency to existing considerations of the 1940s, ‘the most dramatic and decisive decade of the twentieth century’ (p. 1). As Reynolds reminds us, neither World War II nor the Cold War was inevitable.
Tony Hopkins, whose magnum opus, co-authored with Peter Cain, occupies the commanding heights for the interpretation of British Imperialism 1688-2000, has become evangelical for the reform of curricula in higher education to encourage historians and their students to engage seriously with globalisation - the leitmotif of our times.