Reviews

The subject of this book is a difficult one, which is all too often ignored in discussions of sexual violence in wartime. Misra sets out to map the experiences of such violence from the perspective of victim and perpetrator, and the silences...

Ukraine has been the focus of world attention in recent years. In the wake of the Orange revolution (2004-05) and the Euromaidan protests (2013-14) – during which Kievans took to the streets to demand closer integration with western Europe – it...

There are certain fictional characters who take on an existence independent of their creators. Their lives and adventures are chronicled by a host of other authors and translated into other media: radio, television and film, in particular....

E.P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class was one of the most successful history books of the 20th century. At the time of its writing, Thompson had one book to his name – a largely unnoticed biography of William Morris –...

Gretchen E. Henderson approaches her topic through an impressive number of examples, spanning disciplines, mediums, usages, geographies and chronologies and including works of fine and popular art, architecture, mythology, cultural moments,...

In Terence Rattigan’s play, The Browning Version, a school teacher makes this case for studying the classics: ‘How can we mould civilised beings if we no longer believe in civilisation?’ Reading Tom Holland’s Dynasty, I wonder...

In 1953, while incarcerated in Spandau prison, Albert Speer replied to a letter from his daughter demanding to know how he could have served the odious Nazi regime; he wrote that ‘the immensity of the crime precludes any attempt at self-...

Mary Beard traces the history of Rome’s first millennium from its notional foundation by Romulus in 753 BC to Caracalla’s decision in AD 212 to extend citizenship to all free inhabitants of the Roman Empire. This is, by any standard, a grand...

Fashion Victims by Alison Matthews David is a beautifully illustrated, accessible and highly thoughtful study of how fashion has been responsible for death and injury through the ages. It takes a fascinating look at the poisons and...

Unfortunately for the hippies, posterity favours those who provide articulate accounts of themselves. Theirs, writes Rorabaugh, was a movement that appeared ‘suddenly’ in the mid-1960s without manifesto, produced no great literature and whose...

Few lives provide a more appropriate subject for biographical decoding than the brilliant mathematician, cryptanalyst and father of artificial intelligence, Alan Turing, yet few men were so wrongly judged by their countries. Dermot Turing is well...

Whenever a new study of John F. Kennedy appears, one is tempted to ask whether we really need yet another assessment of a 1,000-day presidency that was short on substantive achievement. The answer here is an affirmative one. That said, anyone...

I am naturally suspicious of any book that sells itself by claiming to tell the story of a secret unit ‘that changed the course of the First World War’. One wonders, however, why the stories told here – in racy, journalistic tone by Wyllie and...

The publishing boom in Holocaust Studies continues. After the publication of several titles last year, there is also the late David Cesarani’s Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews, 1933-1949, just published. So it is not surprising that...

I begin this review with a confession. I am an inveterate weeper. I cry in the cinema, at television programmes and at the news. Music can leave me sobbing, as can school assemblies. I have also, shockingly, been known to bite back a tear in the...

Written in swashbuckling style by honorary Sevillian Robert Goodwin, Spain: the Centre of the World 1519-1682 is the story of the rise and fall of Spain’s Habsburg rulers from the early glories of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, to its...