Berfrois

Gone Gentrified

Gone Gentrified

In her introduction to London: Aspects of Change (1964), Ruth Glass wrote that the city was “too vast, too complex, too contrary and too moody” to be known entirely.

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Meaningful Freedom: How Africa Responded to Independence

Meaningful Freedom: How Africa Responded to Independence

In African Freedom, Phyllis Taoua offers a study of “meaningful freedom” in Africa since independence from the perspective of literary studies...

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Scurvy was the chief threat at sea…

Scurvy was the chief threat at sea…

A Still Life Of A Wanli Kraak Porcelain Bowl Of Citrus Fruit And Pomegranates On A Wooden Table, Jacob van Hulsdonck, 1608-1647 by Jonathan Lamb Serious medical interest in scurvy coincided with what Burke named the unrolling of the map of mankind, the so-called discovery of the land and...

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On Valdis Āboliņš

On Valdis Āboliņš

This book tells the unlikely story of a Latvian-born ex-patriot, Valdis Āboliņš (1939-84), exiled to Germany during World War II and remaining there after the war

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“Life found a way!”

“Life found a way!”

In Mark Twain’s Letters from the Earth, God gathers the archangels and announces that He has made animals. Satan—who else?—asks, “What are they for?”

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A History of Leprosy and Japan

A History of Leprosy and Japan

Though surely unintentional on the part of the author, the timing of the book’s publication, the first English-language monograph on Japan’s history of leprosy, could not have been better.

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Keith Doubt: Peter Handke in Serbia

Keith Doubt: Peter Handke in Serbia

If Handke bears witness on behalf of the people of Serbia, how does he do so? What is the self-consciousness Handke ascribes to the Serbian people?

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Silencing the Bomb

Silencing the Bomb

In Silencing the Bomb: One Scientist’s Quest to Halt Nuclear Testing, Lynn Sykes offers a fascinating look at the time and effort it took for states, during and after the Cold War, to agree...

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A Collar Bomb Wrapped Up In an Enigma

A Collar Bomb Wrapped Up In an Enigma

At 2:28 pm on August 28, 2003, a middle-aged pizza deliveryman named Brian Wells walked into a PNC Bank in Erie, Pennsylvania.

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Russia’s Nuclear Priesthood

Russia’s Nuclear Priesthood

This book discusses the Russian Orthodox Church’s (ROC) expansion and deep integration into every facet of Russian nuclear military forces and politics in the years since the Soviet Union’s collapse...

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Voters had tired of her imperial style…

Voters had tired of her imperial style…

In 1991, less than a year after Tory MPs deposed her as party leader and prime minister, Margaret Thatcher appeared on the platform at the Conservatives’ annual conference with her successor...

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Popular Music and Everyday Resistance in WWII

Popular Music and Everyday Resistance in WWII

In the 1940s, the French faced a series of threats to their national integrity and pride—first from the Germans and then from the Americans, who both wielded military dominance and a powerful cultural model.

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Genia Blum: Slaves of Dance

Genia Blum: Slaves of Dance

My mother fled Lviv at the end of the Second World War. She met my father in a displaced persons’ camp in Austria; they married and immigrated to Canada.

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The Truth of the Future

The Truth of the Future

Since Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate was first published, posthumously, in 1980, it has earned praise as one of the most significant books of our time. Leon Aron called it “the greatest Russian novel of the twentieth century.”

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Colonial Responses to the Nazi Regime

Colonial Responses to the Nazi Regime

it was an often deplored “fact” among German enthusiasts of colonialism that too few of their compatriots were thoroughly interested in the colonies.

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Karla Huebner: Prague, Crossroads of Europe

Karla Huebner: Prague, Crossroads of Europe

As this book is a travel guide, we may reasonably ask whether it is useful beyond that specific purpose. What does it offer scholars of urban history, or for that matter scholars in general who may or may not be planning trips to Prague?

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The Myth of Blubber Town, an Arctic Metropolis

The Myth of Blubber Town, an Arctic Metropolis

Perched on a desolate island in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard — 1,500 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle — sits the settlement of Smeerenburg.

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Ernesto Bassi on the Occupation of Havana

Ernesto Bassi on the Occupation of Havana

The Siege of Havana, 1762, Dominic Serres the Elder, 1767 by Ernesto Bassi The Occupation of Havana: War, Trade, and Slavery in the Atlantic World, by Elena Andrea Schneider,  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 360 pp. On a Sunday morning in early June 1762, Cuba’s captain general,...

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Stonewall 50

Stonewall 50

On a hot and humid summer’s evening in New York City in 1969, the tranquility of a small park in Queens was disturbed by jarring sounds of sawing and chopping and the thump of trees toppling to the ground.

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Abu Bakr II’s 200 Ships

Abu Bakr II’s 200 Ships

Africa has never lacked civilizations, nor has it ever been as cut off from world events as it has been routinely portrayed. Some remarkable new books make this case in scholarly but accessible terms

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Modernity as a Heuristic to Study the Great Divergence

Modernity as a Heuristic to Study the Great Divergence

Kaveh Yazdani, in India, Modernity and the Great Divergence, provides the readers with a case study of Mysore and Gujarat to explain why precolonial India could not experience an economic take-off similar to the one that happened in western Europe.

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