Antoine-Louis-Henri Polier was a Swiss Protestant of French descent who served in the army of the British East India Company. The major part of his service was in northern India, beyond the area under formal British control.
Modern historians, and particularly biographers, soon become aware of the importance to their research of the private papers of leading politicians. They hope that such archives will add a human dimension to their studies, the opportunity to get to the private individual behind the public figure.
History on this scale is a daunting task, not just for the breadth of scholarship it requires but also because it lays before the author the powerful temptations of platitude and over-generalization. Geoffrey Hosking, as he has amply shown elsewhere, is a historian who can draw a big picture without losing his curiosity, his feel for detail, or his capacity for concise but penetrating summary.
I know from my own research into the pre-First World War activities of the British military attachés in Berlin just how difficult it is to find archival material that illuminates the role of these elusive soldier-diplomats.(1) Not only did few of these individuals keep extensive collections of private papers, but the War Office, taking the view that intelligence materi
The relationship between slavery, colonialism, capital accumulation and economic development has long been an issue that has exercised political economists and economic historians, though it is perhaps fair to say that it tends to be neglected in standard university courses for undergraduates.
This volume is a collection of seven essays on Latin America by James Dunkerley, all written and published separately between 1992 and 1999. The most immediate question posed, given the wide and varied range in topic covered and in approach (no two essays being alike), is both how the essays work individually and, more pertinently, how coherently they hang together.