European History

Populism in France

Christophe Guilluy— Amid a fanfare of republican self-congratulation, France has embraced globalization in all its glory. Wherever one looks, from the chronic alternation between traditional parties of the center left and center right to the denial of democracy itself, with the farcical referendum of 2005 on a European constitution, it

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France and the Self

James Livesey— The history of the self is vitally important, and the contrast between the French and British histories is highly instructive. The self, or at least the version of the self as self-determining individual, is the postulate of every variety of liberalism and its institutions, and it is clear

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Indigenous Agency and the Contingency of Empire

Kate Fullagar— December 10, 1776: one day—three vastly distant corners of the world. In the southern-most peaks of the American Appalachians, a Cherokee warrior called Ostenaco sits before the fire in his winter house, churning over the biggest decision of his eventful life—to concede defeat to the revolutionaries or to

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Magic: The Ambivalence of Sir Walter Scott

Michael Hunter— Sir Walter Scott was second to none in his use of supernatural stories and allusions in a fictional setting. In Rob Roy, for instance, he speaks of fairies as “a race of airy beings, who formed an intermediate class between men and dæmons, and who, if not positively malignant

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Parameters of Marie-Antoinette’s New Reign

John Hardman— The diary entry of the new king is succinct:  10 [May 1774]: Death of the King at two in the afternoon and departure for Choisy.  This château was 9 kilometres to the south of Paris. Infection hung about Versailles and the royal family lost no time getting out.

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Refugees in World War II and Today

Marion Kaplan— As I sit here, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2019, reading the news on various websites, I am drawn to the plight of refugee children at our southern border and those already in the U.S. In Mexico about 200 young children sleep in tents near the

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Mining and the Rise of Capitalism

Jeannette Graulau— From David Landes’s Prometheus Unbound to Giovanni Arrighi’s Origins of Our Times, scholars continue to quarrel over one of the most difficult questions of all time: the why, how, and where of the origins of capitalism. Some return to the inexhaustible argument of England’s Industrial Revolution. Others, demystifying

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Will They Swing the Thick Stick?

Martin Pugh— I spent 1969 to 1971 on Voluntary Service Overseas as a Lecturer in European History at the Aligarh Muslim University in India. It was an exciting time politically as Indira Gandhi, the prime minister, had entered her radical phase provoking much controversy within the Congress Party. She nationalized

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Bugging the Nazis in World War II

Helen Fry— In 1939 British intelligence took over Trent Park in North London, the former country house of the aristocrat Sir Philip Sassoon. The house was “wired for sound,” and a hidden workforce of men and women moved in. This was one of three secret sites where German prisoners, and

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When the Austrian School of Economics Supported a Progressive State

Janek Wasserman— Friedrich Hayek’s Road to Serfdom is inarguably the most famous book associated with the Austrian School of Economics. The basic premises of Hayek’s argument are well known: “socialist” trends in German thought now threatened Western democracies; fascism and Nazism were the necessary outcome of those trends; government planning undermined

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