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The New Model Army’s Declaration of 14 June 1647 famously stated that ‘We were not a mere mercenary army, hired to serve any arbitrary power of state’. This phrase, a favourite of historians of the period, captures the fateful politicisation of Parliament’s army; an event that ultimately catapulted England into its dalliance with regicide and republican government.
How far should the practising historian accept the conclusion of the idealist analysis of history carried out by Michael Oakeshott in Experience and Its Modes (1), probably the most brilliant book on the philosophy of history written in the first half of the 20th century (even possibly incl
In a seminal article on Portuguese merchants published 35 years ago (1), David Grant Smith suggested (on p. 247) that emigrants from Madeira ‘constituted a sort of gentile Diaspora’, highlighting how family ties and friendships originating on this small Portuguese Atlantic island ‘endured and formed the basis for a network of commercial relationships’.
The subject of race and science, particularly in the American context, has produced a number of superlative studies in recent years foremost among which are the works of William H.
Gerald Horne is a powerhouse. He has authored close to 20 books, many of them setting the terms for debates on various issues (from the Hollywood blacklist to the Watts Uprising, from labour movements in the Caribbean to liberation struggles in Africa, from the African slave trade to the life of Shirley Graham Du Bois). Little seems to escape his pen.
General Edward Braddock’s failure to capture the French Fort Duquesne and his defeat at the Battle of Monongahela on 9 July 1755 is often cited as a turning point in the European contest for North America leading to what the English called the Seven Years’ War (1756–63).
The Blackwell Companions to American History series tackles major themes, periods and regions of US history. Karen Halttunen, Professor of History and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, is the editor of the latest book in the sequence, this time concerning American cultural history.
Cross Currents and Community Networks is an important contribution to a growing literature on the Indian Ocean world. Edited by historians Himanshu Prabha Ray and Edward A. Alpers, it brings together leading figures to discuss the cultural landscape of the Indian Ocean world and the communities that crossed it.
On rare occasions, collections of conference proceedings have questioned paradigms and set new agendas, but for the most part this form of publication has limited impact and esteem, at least in the discipline of history. For those published straight after the event, collected conference papers tend to lack coherence and co-ordination.
To study Russia before the late 19th century is to labour under a twofold handicap.