Reviews

Taylor Downing is keen to dispel two misconceptions about the First World War. The first is that it was about ragged troops locked in a muddy stalemate on the Western Front. The second is that science contributed little more to the conflict than...

The author's initial impetus for this book was to understand the role George W. Bush's religious beliefs played in his foreign policy decisions. However, soon realising that too many documents relevant to that exploration were still classified, ...

Around 1300 a Northamptonshire man called Richard Mandeville killed his brother in the course of a stone-throwing competition. Whether this was accidental or premeditated we shall never know, for Richard claimed immunity from prosecution by...

Babylon lies approximately 85 kilometres south of Baghdad, on the fertile soils of the Euphrates. Throughout history its physical location, though important, has mattered less than its symbolism. Artists, writers and politicians have nurtured...

To present the whole thousand years of medieval European history in a single offering needs an exceptionally large-minded historian, with a strong take. In the German original of Das Mittelalter in 2008, Johannes Fried gave German-...

The French are visible all over London and not just in the South Kensington area, or ‘Frog Valley’ as it is affectionately known. One can buy French books in French bookshops, catch a whiff of freshly-baked baguettes drifting from French...

A good, accessible biographic contextualisation of Clausewitz’s writings has been long overdue. Peter Paret’s Clausewitz and the State (2007) remains brilliant, but is mainly for a scholarly audience. Donald Stoker’s book will please...

In the 1967 Six Day War Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the two districts so often mentioned in one breath as the ‘Palestinian occupied territories’. However, the differences between the two districts are striking. While the...

To the modern imagination, French Jewish life under the Vichy Regime (1940-44) has long been associated with antisemitism, persecution, betrayal and the notorious Vel d’Hiv round-up of July 1942...

This book constitutes a handsome compendium of 18th-century obstetrics, retailing both the stories of practitioners and their patients and offering advice about how best to read the biographical and autobiographical fragments contained in medical...

In May 1991, just a few months after German reunification, I took a train from Berlin to Magdeburg in the heart of the old GDR or East Germany. I shared the carriage with two old codgers dressed in military caps, who discussed the pros and cons...

Between the 630s and 740s armies originating in the Arabian Peninsula achieved a remarkable series of conquests over territory from the Atlantic Ocean to Central Asia. Their leaders established a new empire replacing the two superpowers of...

Physicians recommended aphrodisiacs to assist fertility during the 17th century, with foods such as oysters, sweetbreads and caviar considered good for inducing lust. These ideas were found not only in medical texts but in home recipes, erotica...

‘There are graves that are alive’, the President of the Belgian League of Remembrance pronounced at Gabrielle Petit’s state funeral in 1919, three years after her execution. Petit, a young shop-girl, served her country not just in life and death...

The grand narrative may have fractured, the longue durée appear bloodless, but interest in the sweep of history seems undiminished: Robert Tombs’ recent and acclaimed The English and Their History brought a fresh intelligence to...

As any enchanted visitor knows, the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford is a Victorian cavern stuffed with intriguing objects, hand-written labels and unending surprises. Surprising, too – though less well-known – is its history, as the current director...

X

Subscribe

August issue of History Today

In Print

Online

The App