Reviews

FOR WHITEHALL’S hottest reading matter, it must be hard to beat ‘Old Stripey’. This is the nickname for the blue and red striped box in which the Cabinet secretary collects the day’s most secret intelligence material for the prime minister to...

Front cover by India Conquered

Another history of the Raj invites comparison with its two most distinguished predecessors, Penderel Moon’s The British Conquest & Dominion of India (1989) and Lawrence James’ Raj: The Making & Unmaking of British India...

Front cover of Inglorious Empire

In 1700, India, then ruled by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, an autocratic religious zealot, boasted 24.4 per cent of global GDP: a share almost equal to that of Europe’s 25 per cent. By 1950, as India became a secular democracy, its share had...

Blood and Land

I admire the chutzpah of this book. At a time when discussion of Native American history is hotly contested as never before, J.C.H. King has produced an explicitly western, door-stopping, piecemeal, post-contact panoramic outline of Native...

Royal Renegades

Linda Porter’s lively and engaging study begins with the first meeting between Charles I and his Bourbon bride Henrietta Maria, youngest daughter of the formidable Marie de Medici. 

After a year of marriage, the queen still spoke no...

Front cover of Scurvy

This is a clever and important book, but it is not an easy read. Scurvy provides an intellectual and cultural history of a condition that is estimated to have first ravaged and then killed about two million mariners during the so-called...

Front cover of The Irish Enlightenment

An illuminating and scholarly study seeks to re-evaluate the intellectual and cultural history of an enlightened Ireland.

Were the inhabitants of 18th-century Ireland trapped by history in a peculiarly sectarian polity, economically and...

A meticulously researched oral history of migrant women workers in Britain over the last 70 years.

If you have recently eaten out,  gone to hospital or shopped at a supermarket, the chances are that your life intersected with that of a...

In his autobiography Interesting Times (2002) Hobsbawm wrote that, although he never tried to become or saw himself as a Latin Americanist, he was drawn to the region in the early 1960s because it appeared to offer ‘a laboratory of...

Though written more for the academic than the lay reader, this ambitious series traces the lives and experiences of women through history. 

It is one of feminism’s greatest achievements that, along with changing the present, it has also...

This SLIM book is an extended assault on the often catastrophic consequences of collective memory. Against the current mantra that nations, like individuals, need to face up to traumatic pasts, Rieff terms much remembrance toxic. As rankling...

Front cover of The Smoke of London

Within two generations coal merchants, who used to be everywhere in London, have disappeared from our streets and, along with them, both the smoke that used to constitute the capital’s nickname and the London Particular fogs that were notorious...

Cover of Pax Romana and Imperial Triumph

Rome may be known as the City of Seven Hills, but the average ancient Roman would have been hard pressed to name them. In fact, the city has more than a dozen. That four of its largest – the Capitoline, Aventine, Quirinal and Viminal – were...

Front cover of Reagan American Icon

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has stimulated further interest in the presidency of Ronald Reagan. In a book completed long before the outcome of the 2016 US election was known, Iwan Morgan offers a concise...

Front cover of 'The Reinvention of Seeing'

The Netherlands of the 17th century was in every aspect a most remarkable country: having successfully shaken off Spanish rule in the name of freedom of religion, it became the first modern republic. Called the ‘port of Europe’, it acquired...

Covers of Pax Romana and Imperial Triumph

How was a small community on the banks of the Tiber able to rise to dominate the Mediterranean world? Further, how did it secure the continuity of that empire once it had acquired it? These questions, particularly the second, are at the heart of...