“Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies?” – Augustine, City of God, IV.4.
Companions and handbooks to various periods or problems of history are currently all the rage. This one is the 37th in its own publisher’s series, which ranges from the whole sweep of a continent’s or a nation’s history (such as Latin America, or Japan) to much more restricted periods or problems of current scholarly interest.
Now that the dust has settled on the presidential race, it’s easier to assess Simon Schama’s ambitious project of last autumn: The American Future: A History. The book (and the accompanying television series) departs from his previous work in several ways.
Beatrice Webb wrote in her first volume of autobiography, My Apprenticeship, that the age in which she grew up was dominated by two ‘idols of the mind’, namely a belief in scientific method and ‘the consciousness of a new motive; the transference of the emotion of self-sacrificing service from God to man’ (quoted p. 249). Auguste Comte was the prophet of both of these idols.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of the seizure of power by the current Ethiopian government – the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) – a government which has shown itself ever more determined to monopolise power indefinitely, it is increasingly apposite to examine the roots of political modernity in Ethiopia.
This is a fresh and perceptive work which seeks to examine the assumptions and methodology of Victorian and Edwardian poverty experts. Professor Martin reviews research undertaken by such familiar figures as T. R.