Category: Academic Book Reviews

Academic Book Reviews

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Book Review: Michael Brenner’s Israel

Is Israel a state like any other? This is the controversial question that the famous German historian of Jewish history, Michael Brenner, has set out to answer in his latest book Israel. As you would expect, the history of Israel is highly contentious – prone to excessive politicisation, polemical debate...

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A review of Martin Mevius’ ‘Agents of Moscow’

As we have discussed before, the link between nationalism and communism has often been misconstrued by historians and social scientists alike over the past quarter century. While the two are theoretically incompatible, in practice they are often mutually dependent, and no communist state has ever been able to dispense with...

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A Review of Julie Summers’ ‘Fashion on the Ration’

Julie Summers is fast establishing herself as the voice of World War Two’s ‘Home Front’. Fashion on the Ration builds on the success of Summers’ Jambusters, which tells the story of the Women’s Institute during World War Two. She explores the wear and tear of the war years in Britain...

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Lost Worlds: Reviving Nostalgia for German Central Europe?

Whether it is remembered as the ‘lost German East’ or as an idealised, multicultural region like Galicia, Germans and Austrians have a complicated relationship with Central Europe. As the locus of German culture and crimes, Austrian and German nostalgia for German Central Europe is often regarded with suspicion — if...

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Scholarly Review: E. H. Carr’s ‘The Romantic Exiles’

It’s a strange thing to review a historical study that is itself long in the tooth. Though E.H. Carr is a colossus in the history of, well, history itself, a sceptic might argue that his approach is outdated, his research methods unreliable, and his insights already surpassed. Indeed, Carr was...

The Women's Land Army, Vita Sackville-West The Transformation of the Land Girl 0

How was the Women’s Land Army viewed in 1944?

‘The Women’s Land Army’ by Vita Sackville-West (written under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) was the first self-conscious attempt to highlight the efforts of the organisation in saving the country from starvation, published in 1944. The book includes information on the experiences of Land Girls and...

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‘Playing with the Past’ and the interplay of history and video games (book review)

For a lifelong fan of video games, who has more recently transmogrified into an aspiring historian, the chance to review this book was too good to pass up. As its title suggests, ‘Playing with the Past’ brings together a collection of essays on the ways in which games present, discuss and promote...