New Books Network

Michael Braddick, “The Common Freedom of the People: John Lilburne and the English Revolution” (Oxford UP, 2018)
As historical topics, political revolutions come in and out of fashion. At the moment the American Revolution as an ideological struggle engages the public, but historians are less sure. Books that used to have the Revolution at their centre now approach it from the edges and peripheries, integrating the experiences... Read More
Coryne Hall, “Queen Victoria and the Romanovs: 60 Years of Mutual Distrust” (Amberley, 2020)
The balance of power in nineteenth-century Europe was anchored on one end by the redoubtable Queen Victoria (1819 -1901), the doyenne of sovereigns, and at the opposite end by the autocratic Romanov dynasty — four successive emperors who ruled Russia during Victoria’s own 63-year reign. Between these great powers lay... Read More
Kevin Duong, “The Virtues of Violence: Democracy Against Disintegration in Modern France” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Kevin Duong, a political theorist in the Politics Department at the University of Virginia, has written a fascinating analysis of the way that violence has been used, in a sense, to create or promote solidarity during the course of the “long nineteenth century” in France.  Duong explores four separate periods... Read More
Éva Guillorel, “Rhythms of Revolt: European Traditions and Memories of Social Conflict in Oral Culture” (Routledge, 2018)
The culture of insurgents in early modern Europe was primarily an oral one; memories of social conflicts in the communities affected were passed on through oral forms such as songs and legends. This popular history continued to influence political choices and actions through and after the early modern period. The... Read More
Victor Uribe-Urán, “Fatal Love: Spousal Killers, Law, and Punishment in the Late Colonial Spanish Atlantic” (Stanford UP, 2016)
In his book Fatal Love: Spousal Killers, Law, and Punishment in the Late Colonial Spanish Atlantic (Stanford University Press 2016), Victor Uribe-Urán compares the cases of Spain, and the late-colonial societies of Mexico and Colombia, in a historical moment characterized by corporate patriarchy and enlightened punishment. Focusing on crimes of spousal murders,... Read More
Matthew Miller, “The German Epic in the Cold War: Peter Weiss, Uwe Johnson, and Alexander Kluge” (Northwestern UP, 2018)
In his new book, The German Epic in the Cold War: Peter Weiss, Uwe Johnson, and Alexander Kluge (Northwestern University Press, 2018), Matthew Miller explores the literary evolution of the modern epic in postwar German literature. Examining works by Peter Weiss, Uwe Johnson, and Alexander Kluge, it illustrates imaginative artistic responses... Read More
Lucia Rubinelli, “Constituent Power: A History” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
“The intellectual historian has to start with the words.” – Richard Whatmore, What is Intellectual History? When political theorists write about the principle of popular power, that is, who are the people and what kind of power do they have – the language of ‘constituent power’ is a key concept in... Read More
Jeremy Black, “A Brief History of Portugal” (Robinson, 2020)
Jeremy Black, professor of history at Exeter University, has written a vivacious and insightful survey of Portuguese history, designed for travellers to the country. A Brief History of Portugal (Robinson, 2020) does exactly what it says on the tin. Beginning with the arrival of the first humans, the book describes... Read More
Great Books: Melissa Schwartzberg on Rousseau’s “The Social Contract”
“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” The opening sentence of 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Roussau’s The Social Contract poses a central question for all of us. Why do we live under conditions of inequality, violence, dependency and general unhappiness (just look on twitter!) if society is... Read More