European History

Lest We Forget: How to Declare Our Beliefs

Sarah Underwood— Recent events have reminded us how difficult it was in the past, and often still is today, for people to speak openly about their ideas. From the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Arab Spring, public declaration of belief and protest continue to appear regularly in headlines. It

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Lost Without Translation: Ellen Elias-Bursać on “A Marriage Made in Translation”

Ellen Elias-Bursać, editor of Vlada Stojiljkovic‘s translation of Ranko Marinkovic‘s 1965 novel Cyclops, writes on the special and playful relationship formed between author and translator by their respective attentions to wit, banter, and humor, along with excerpts from the text. Like many previously published titles in the Margellos World Republic of

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To London, with Love: Nights Out in SoHo

Ivan Lett— Judith Walkowitz is my kind of historian. She’s interested in the same kinds of topics as I am: cultural history, social history, women’s history, and applies them to my favorite time and place: early twentieth-century London. Walkowitz’s new book, Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London, published this week,

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Writing Military History

John France— Not long after the Second World War during which I was born, in about 1947 or 48, I startled my assembled family by saying that I wished the war was still on. The cries of shock which this evoked overwhelmed me, and I persisted no further with this

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Architectural Space in Hitler’s Berlin

Seventy years after the end of WWII, we tend to associate Hitler and the German Reich with destruction. Yet, as Hitler rose to power in the 1920s and 1930s, construction was a key part of his political agenda, a fact that Thomas Friedrich makes clear in Hitler’s Berlin: Abused City,

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A Painting a Day Keeps the Shrink Away

The United States Supreme Court is, in the words of today’s New York Times headline, up against a “momentous test.”  As most Americans are aware, the justices are hearing arguments about the constitutionality of requiring citizens to obtain health care: the “mandate” that is one of the central components of

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Painting the Face of Martin Luther

At first glance, being a sixteenth-century lord doesn’t sound half bad—live in a castle, commission vast paintings and sculptures, and occasionally cast a vote to elect a Holy Roman Emperor. Easy, right? Wrong. In The Serpent and the Lamb: Cranach, Luther, and the Making of the Reformation, historian Steven Ozment

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Eminent Biography: Peter McPhee on Robespierre

Was Maximilien Robespierre (1758-94) a heroic martyr of the French Revolution, or a ruthless tyrant? In his new biography Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life, Peter McPhee combines new research and a deep understanding of the French Revolution to provide a fresh and nuanced portrait of one of history’s most controversial figures. Here the author discusses Robespierre, and explains the

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To London, with Love: All the Downton Rage

Ivan Lett— Finally, I win. I win every time the newest craze comes in from across the pond, but the Guinness World Book of Record-holding Downton Abbey has taken things to a new level. Following the American premiere of the second season this past Sunday, the New York Times released

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John Edwards on His Life with Mary I

Following his “Eminent Biography” post on his new book, Mary I: England’s Catholic Queen, presenting a striking re-characterization of this often misunderstood monarch, John Edwards now writes on his own research experiences and how he came to carefully retell her life.   John Edwards— Anyone who tackles a biography of

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