European History

Stepping Back from the Front

Louis Barthas; Translated by Edward M. Strauss— In March 1918, after more than forty months on the front lines, under daily threat of violent death, disease, or dismemberment, French infantry corporal Louis Barthas succumbs to exhaustion and earns an evacuation order from a cynical, reluctant medical officer. He’s shunted out

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Divided Lands

Hasia R. Diner— Nearly every place the immigrant Jewish peddlers went, with the exception of the British Isles and Scandinavia, they stumbled into societies in which color mattered. In some places—Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand—the color divide followed a native-versus-European colonist divide. Where one stood across the native-European

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Workers of the World

Niall Kishtainy—  A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communism.’ This is the first line of The Communist Manifesto, which was written in the middle of the nineteenth century and is perhaps the most famous political pamphlet ever. The spectre – something scary and menacing – was the threat to

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The Homosexuality of Hitler(ism)

Gregory Woods— Most anti-Nazi voices, instead of praising National Socialism for having sluiced out the stables of Weimar and reimposed a moral discipline on the German people, allowed the lax reputation of Weimar to linger over Germany as a whole for the sake of British and American readers, and then developed

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The London Cage

Helen Fry— Writing the history of spies, espionage and the intelligence services, especially MI6 or the CIA, poses its own particular challenges. Secret intelligence organisations are shrouded in myth and mystery, often self-created, and that attracts a certain public curiosity. How far historians can reconstruct the full truth is an

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Leon Trotsky, a Hundred Years After the Russian Revolution

Joshua Rubenstein— The romantic figure of Leon Trotsky, a man who helped lead the Bolsheviks to power a hundred years ago and then came to embody defiance of Joseph Stalin, continues to haunt our imagination. He joined the Bolsheviks as an outspoken teenager, then endured arrest and Siberian exile before

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Æthelred, the Unready?

Levi Roach— Æthelred initially identified himself and his counsellors as the guilty parties and set about remedying his ways, restoring church lands, promoting new figures, fostering reform and making amends. This also coincided with his reconciliation with his mother, who was to remain his guiding hand till her death (999

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Caged lies and Truth drugs

Helen Fry— The allegations of brutality at the London Cage are shocking enough, but evidence emerges to reveal for the first time in this book that Colonel Scotland apparently sanctioned the use of ‘truth drugs’ on his prisoners. Clearly, this needs to be placed in the broader context of the

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The New Biography of a Dictator

Oleg V. Khlevniuk; Translated by Nora Seligman Favorov— Over his seventy-four-year life, the Soviet dictator fought through a stormy historical landscape to become an important factor in events not only in Russia, but also the world. Among scholars, there is more agreement than controversy on the historical and ideational antecedents

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Expansionist Propaganda in World War I Germany

Tim Grady— Davis Trietsch and Julius Friedrich Lehmann made for an unlikely pair. Trietsch, a well-known German-Jewish statistician, journalist and sometime editor, spent many years living in New York, before returning to Berlin at the turn of the century. He was also an active Zionist, a regular visitor to Palestine

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