Book review: Peter Clarke’s ‘Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000’

Written by Daniel Sharp     Peter Clarke’s history of twentieth-century Britain was first published in 1996 before being updated and republished under a new subtitle in 2004. It is this latter version which is under review here and which – as I read it recently in my spare time – astonished me with its depth and breadth of narrative and analysis. Hope and Glory … Continue reading Book review: Peter Clarke’s ‘Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000’

A Review of ‘Napoleon the great? A debate with Andrew Roberts, Adam Zamoyski and Jeremy Paxman’ from Intelligence Squared

Written by Daniel Sharp   In 2014, the historian Andrew Roberts published Napoleon the Great, a biography of the Emperor of the French which argued forcefully that he deserves the appellation Roberts gives him in the book’s title. This is, of course, a controversial position – Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most divisive figures in history. Some see him as a bloodthirsty tyrant and … Continue reading A Review of ‘Napoleon the great? A debate with Andrew Roberts, Adam Zamoyski and Jeremy Paxman’ from Intelligence Squared

Film review: The Death of Stalin

Written by Scarlett Butler     The film The Death of Stalin, adapted from a French comic of the same name, considers the power struggle which follows Stalin’s (Adrian McLoughlin) death and which rages whilst the Soviet high-ups are arranging the dictator’s funeral. The main rivals are the Minister for Internal Affairs, Lavrenti Beria, convincingly played as a sadist and a conniving toad by Simon … Continue reading Film review: The Death of Stalin

Russia Strikes Back: A Postscript to ‘Is Stalin Really Dead?’

EDITORIAL NOTE: In our printed ‘Individuals and Communities’ edition of last year (no. 21) Deana Davis wrote a review of the film The Death of Stalin. Deana wrote a postscript to her review not long after for publication on our website concerning then-recent developments to the film’s status in Russia, which slipped through the cracks earlier this year but which we are now happy to publish. Reproduced … Continue reading Russia Strikes Back: A Postscript to ‘Is Stalin Really Dead?’

Seminar review: ‘Franciscan Women as Architects of the ‘Heavenly Courts’ in Bohemia and the Polish Duchies, c.1234–1320’ by Dr. Kirsty Day

Written by Candice Maharaj   On 31 October 2017, Dr. Kirsty Day, a teaching Fellow in Medieval History at the University of Edinburgh, conducted a seminar on her current work – Franciscan Women as Architects of the ‘Heavenly Courts’ in Bohemia and the Polish Duchies, c.1234–1320. Dr. Day’s research on this topic explores the close relationships between Franciscan nuns and the nobility of Bohemia and … Continue reading Seminar review: ‘Franciscan Women as Architects of the ‘Heavenly Courts’ in Bohemia and the Polish Duchies, c.1234–1320’ by Dr. Kirsty Day

A review of ‘The Whiskey Rebellion: Trump: One Year On’, a live podcast recording

Written by Daniel Sharp         If you have never listened to The Whiskey Rebellion I can highly recommend it. Hosted by Dr David Silkenat and Professor Frank Cogliano of the University of Edinburgh – specialists in nineteenth and eighteenth-century American history respectively – it is a podcast which tries to put current developments in the Trump administration into historical context.     So, on 7 November … Continue reading A review of ‘The Whiskey Rebellion: Trump: One Year On’, a live podcast recording

Research Seminar review: Dr. Taylor Sherman’s ‘Does a democracy need elections? Jayaprakash Narayan and democratic doubt in 1950s-60s India’

Written by Carissa Chew   ‘It is not only in the totalitarian countries that the ‘rape of the masses’ happens. The basic difference is that in a democracy there is a competition between the violators while there is no competition in totalitarianism.’ (Jayaprakash Narayan, ‘A Plea for the Reconstruction of the Indian Polity’, 1959). It is this critique of Indian democracy, expressed by political activist … Continue reading Research Seminar review: Dr. Taylor Sherman’s ‘Does a democracy need elections? Jayaprakash Narayan and democratic doubt in 1950s-60s India’

Lecture review: ‘THE WEIGHT OF THE PAST AND THE COLLAPSE OF THE FRANCO-BRITISH ENTENTE, 1919-1924’ by Professor Peter Jackson

Written by Lewis Twiby   On 30 January 2018, Professor Peter Jackson of the University of Glasgow gave a lecture detailing his research on the collapse of the Franco-British Entente following the First World War, including how history became involved with this, and how this influences today’s politics. Professor Jackson began with an overview introducing the topic at hand. The last conflict between Britain and … Continue reading Lecture review: ‘THE WEIGHT OF THE PAST AND THE COLLAPSE OF THE FRANCO-BRITISH ENTENTE, 1919-1924’ by Professor Peter Jackson

The Role of Colonial Legacies in the 2017 Zimbabwe Crisis

By Carissa Chew This article, which is informed by two public lectures about the Zimbabwean political crisis that were held at the University of Edinburgh in the week beginning 20 November, discusses the role of colonial legacies in recent Zimbabwean political affairs. Firstly, this article provides a summary of the Zimbabwean crisis for the reader who is not familiar with the timeline of events. Secondly, … Continue reading The Role of Colonial Legacies in the 2017 Zimbabwe Crisis

Virinder Kalra’s ‘Pondering on the Revolutionary Subject: From Ghadar to Kirti’

By Carissa Chew Professor Virinder S. Kalra’s latest research paper, entitled ‘Poetic Politics from Ghadar to the Indian Workers Association’, discusses the enduring legacies of the Ghadar Party, a short-lived Indian nationalist movement which was centred in California during the First World War. Following economic hardship, which was heightened in 1906 by the Land Alienation Act, many Sikh farmers from East Punjab migrated to California. … Continue reading Virinder Kalra’s ‘Pondering on the Revolutionary Subject: From Ghadar to Kirti’

Gombrich’s A Little History of the World

By Daniel Sharp Ernst Gombrich (1909-2001) was best known as an influential art historian, but in 1936 his first book published was an overview of world history for children and adolescents from prehistoric times to the First World War. Gombrich was Viennese by origin but lived in Britain for most of his life having fled the Nazis, and his book was first published in German … Continue reading Gombrich’s A Little History of the World

Dictatorship and Democracy in the Brazilian Countryside: Rural Perspectives and New Periodisations

By Lewis Twiby On 14 November, as part of a series of lectures for the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History (CSMCH) the University of Edinburgh’s own Dr. Jacob Blanc gave a lecture on his recent research. Dr. Blanc’s research focused on the construction of the Itaipu Hydroelectric dam along the Brazilian-Paraguayan border by the Brazilian military junta during a period named … Continue reading Dictatorship and Democracy in the Brazilian Countryside: Rural Perspectives and New Periodisations