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Gill Hoffs reviews “Victorian Supersleuth Investigates” by Angela Buckley

“Victorian Supersleuth Investigates … Amelia Dyer and the Baby Farm Murders” Angela Buckley Manor Vale Associates Kindle £1.99 Paperback £4.99 In the late 19th century a series of bundles weighed down with bricks were recovered from the waterways of Berkshire.  Their contents appalled the local community and led to the discovery of one of the most prolific serial killers in …

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Mercantilism is Dead; Long Live Mercantilism!

The Political Economy of Mercantilism Lars Magnusson Routledge (2015) 230 pages Mercantilism has become one of those historical concepts where its historiography is worthy of academic study in its own right. Despite some attempts, there has been no stemming the flow of contributions to the burgeoning debate over what mercantilism is, what mercantilists thought, and the suitability of its continued …

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Kathryn Johnson Reviews ‘Five Came Back’ by Mark Harris

That The Second World War changed the world forever is an unquestionable fact. This book explores one of the less obvious impacts – on Hollywood.  Mark Harris’ Five Came Back is a fascinating snap shot – or should that be reel? – of how five of Hollywood’s  most talented, successful and notorious directors – John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, …

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David Tiedemann reviews ‘Clinton’s Grand Strategy’ by James D. Boys

What separates grand foreign policy strategy from simple opportunism?  This is the question that Clinton’s Grand Strategy, US Foreign Policy in a Post-Cold War World, by James D. Boys, struggles with.  The book attempts to defend the Clinton Administration from charges by critics that the president’s foreign policy was ad-hoc, and without an ideological grounding.  While the author is willing to explain Bill Clinton’s policy …

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Rebecca Rideal reviews “A Million Years in a Day” by Greg Jenner

A Million Years in a Day By Greg Jenner Weidenfeld & Nicolson RRP £12.99 Like many of the best ideas, the premise behind Greg Jenner’s debut book is extraordinarily simple – to trace the history of everyday life through the prism of a modern Saturday. Opening with ‘9.30 a.m. Rise and Shine’, each chapter deals with a different part of …

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Kathryn Johnson Reviews “A World Elsewhere” by Sigrid MacRae

“A World Elsewhere” by Sigrid MacRae is a book with many different stories. On the surface, it’s a look at wartime Germany from the inside, but as you read on, you realize that it’s far, far more than that. This is the story of an outsiders view from the inside, of the authors American mother living in wartime Germany; the …

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Rebecca Rideal reviews “Deus Vult” by Jem Duducu

Deus Vult: A Concise History Of The Crusades By Jem Duducu Amberley Publishing (2014) In 312AD, the Roman Empire was in the grips of civil war. Torn between rival emperors Constantine and Maxentius, events reached a crescendo with the Battle of Milvian Bridge. On the eve of the battle Constantine had visions of Jesus and decided to adorn his troops …

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David Tiedemann reviews ‘Bunker Hill’ by Nathaniel Philbrick

One of the problems with popular history of the American Revolution, and its era, is that it has been largely unable to free itself from the “Great Men of History” style. One needs to look no further than the two books by David McCullough, on John Adams, and the military leadership of the Continental Army in 1776, published in the …

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David Tiedemann Reviews ‘The Dead Duke’ by Piu Marie Eatwell

The purpose of the kind of popular historical writing exemplified in The Dead Duke, by Piu Marie Eatwell, is to present a period or subject to a non specialized audience in an accessible way.  Hopefully by the end of the work the reader’s genuine curiosity is piped and they can go on to explore the era further. Taking this function …

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John W Hawkins Reviews ‘Landscapes of London’ by Elizabeth McKellar

John W Hawkins Reviews ‘Landscapes of London’ by Elizabeth McKellar Elizabeth McKellar Landscapes of London: the city, the country and the suburbs, 1660-1840 Yale University Press, 2013 xvi + 260 pages; 24 colour + 120 b/w illus. £45.00 RRP According to the author, a respected architectural historian, ‘This book is about cities, where they begin and where they end.’ Except …

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