Reviews

Front cover of The Crucible of Islam.

Glen Bowersock is a historian of estimable range. From Emperor Augustus to Julian the Apostate and from Christian martyrdom narratives to the evolution of mosaics, his interests have taken him far and wide. Arabia has always been a particular...

Front cover of Palmyra: An Irreplaceable Treasure.

The fierce battles and acts of deliberate destruction in many ancient Syrian cities have robbed the country of much of its irreplaceable historical and archaeological heritage. However, one somewhat more positive consequence has been the number...

Front cover of The Shortest History of Germany.

In the summer before starting university, I sat through a German grammar course led by a Frau Junker. She split up the days into rigorous sections with an almost Prussian air and a Protestant work ethic. Her seriousness was offset only by her...

Front cover of Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450-1650.

Carlos Eire’s massive, ambitious new survey navigates the rollercoaster of the Reformation period with all the drama and verve of the age itself, using these developments as a lens through which to understand early modern Europe as a whole....

front cover of the book Exiles and Expatriates in the History of Knowledge.

Peter Burke’s latest, and timely, book, Exiles and Expatriates, examines the ways people, moving across national and political boundaries, often as refugees, have brought in their wake the transfer – and thereby the widening – of...

Front cover of the book Fighting Fit: The Wartime Battle  for Britain’s Health

Fighting Fit charts the development of the British government’s public health measures during the Second World War. Its well-researched and highly informative chapters are cleverly divided according to the different parts of the body,...

Front cover of the book Be Like The Fox

For a man who never achieved the recognition he yearned for while alive, Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) has enjoyed a dazzlingly rich afterlife, though not the one he would have chosen.

Much of history’s judgment of Machiavelli concerns...

Front cover of the book Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman.

The Israeli novelist, Amos Oz, described Yitzhak Rabin as ‘not a charismatic man, but rather a logical, skilful captain’. Rabin was both a political dove and a military hawk, who never pretended to be a far-sighted intellectual, had no small talk...

Front cover of the book Making Jet Engines in World War II

The history of science and technology is often told as the story of firsts. The received wisdom about the history of the jet engine in the Second World War is no different. Nazi Germany was the first country in the world to test-fly aircraft with...

Front cover of the book Britain and the Arab Middle East: World War I and its Aftermath.

Winston Churchill mused on the usefulness of studying history, observing that ‘the farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see’. While there is no doubt that a better understanding of the past gives clarity to the...

Front cover of the book The Mesmerists: The Society Doctor who held Victorian London Spellbound.

Wendy Moore draws us into the illustrious world of Professor John Elliotson, while exposing the challenges between new and traditional medicine and the ensuing bitter competition between Victorian physicians.

Elliotson helped to found...

Front cover of the book A Portable Cosmos

Everyone has heard of the Rosetta Stone. Not so familiar, but equally compelling, is a purely Greek artefact of the same period found in a first-century bc shipwreck chanced upon by sponge divers off the coast of Antikythera, an island between...

Front cover of the book Victorians Undone: Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum

Kathryn Hughes feels that most modern biographies lack an essential ingredient, which is life itself, particularly in its most basic form – the body.

Lytton Strachey introduced an element of iconoclasm into a staid genre after the First...

Front cover of the book Law, Crime & Deviance Since 1700

In recent decades, much of the scholarship on the history of crime has focused on the causes célèbres that gripped Europe and the US in the late 19th
and early 20th centuries. However, by taking a broader chronological approach and...

Front cover of Portmahomack on Tarbat Ness.

Archaeology can provide new historical narratives for familiar places. The excavations at Portmahomack on Tarbat Ness, beyond the Great Glen on the north-east coast of Scotland, have enriched a story anchored around the 12th-century foundation of...

Front cover of Justinian

Why should we be interested in a sixth-century legal code? The Emperor Justinian (527-565) gets a bad press as a misguided autocrat, but there is no disagreement about his extraordinary achievement in the legal sphere. With amazing speed and...