Late Modern - Wiley Online Library

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during strength in its connections with the culture of ordinary people. The ... resumed amid the repressions of the Second World War and its aftermath. Though it is the ..... Nations represented include Australia, Britain, the Czech. Republic, Egypt ..... ful to see the conflict placed more securely in the long term of military history.


counties remained disturbed after 1798, but none experienced the same intense, residual insurgency as Wicklow. In Aftermath, O’Donnell begins with a résumé of the United Irish rebellion, then traces Wicklow’s continuing insurgency problems. The narrative focuses mainly on the insurgent leader Michael Dwyer (1771– 1826), who abandoned the large-scale offensives of 1798 and developed a defensive guerrilla strategy based on his home ground. O’Donnell describes how different insurgent factions emerged with their own territory and leaders, and details their campaigns against yeomen, loyalists and informers and their responses to official counter-insurgency initiatives, which ranged from military coercion and the construction of barracks to the offering of surrender terms. United Irish attempts to re-establish a provincial command structure are interwoven with this narrative, which ends with Dwyer’s surrender in 1803. Much recent scholarship on the United Irishmen seeks to rehabilitate them from earlier interpretations which depict 1798 as an uncontrolled popular outburst driven by sectarian or agrarian motives. By analysing regional leaderships, which included both Protestants and Catholics, against the background of political divisions amongst county elites, this new historiography posits a revolutionary political agenda that transcended sectarian or agrarian concerns. O’Donnell largely follows this approach, distinguishing between Dwyer’s ‘political’ motivation, the ‘sectarianism’ of loyalists and the ‘criminal’ activities of other insurgent bands. He does, however, avoid the danger of presenting all counter-revolutionaries as block-headed, bigoted reactionaries, by recognizing that loyalism too was not monolithic but contained different strands exhibiting varying degrees of militancy. O’Donnell utilizes an admirably wide range of sources which combines official and private records with local material, especially the papers of Luke Cullen, a priest who collected oral accounts in the mid-nineteenth century. This latter material gives authentic local colour to a sympathetic portrait of Dwyer which contrasts with the Castle’s depiction of him as a bandit. However, some critical evaluation of the provenance of the Cullen material would have been helpful, given its centrality. Local case studies face inherent difficulties in relating them to the wider context. O’Donnell strives to contextualize his findings, though in the early chapters the mass of local detail sometimes threatens to overwhelm the narrative and obscure the context. His later discussion of the planning and denouement of Robert Emmet’s 1803 rising is much more successful in this respect, providing both a lucid reconstruction of the Wicklow dimension and a compelling, well-written account of the entire Emmet affair. This book should have a wide appeal for academic and local historians. General readers should enjoy the Irish side of the amazing life story of Michael Dwyer who, after transportation to Australia, became high constable of Sydney in 1813, a Hibernian poacher turned antipodean gamekeeper. Queen’s University, Belfast ALLAN BLACKSTOCK

Late Modern Italy in the Nineteenth Century. Edited by John A. Davis. Oxford University Press. 2000. xi + 300pp. £13.99. John A. Davis has a reputation as being something of an iconoclast when it comes to ‘standard’ interpretations of nineteenth-century Italy. He has also © The Historical Association 2002



helped to bring the work of leading new Italian historians to a non-Italianspeaking Anglo-American audience through his editorship of the excellent Journal of Modern Italian Studies. It is somewhat surprising, therefore, to find that Davis’s edited contribution to OUP’s ‘Short History of Italy’ series (of which he is also the General Editor) adopts a largely traditional approach to Italy in the Nineteenth Century, heavy on ‘big name’ biographies – Mazzini, Cavour, Crispi – and light on the ‘revisionist’ approaches which make Lucy Riall’s The Italian Risorgimento: State, Society and National Unification (1994) such a notable and original survey text. Equally unexpected (but not entirely unconnected) is the total absence of contemporary Italian historians from the list of contributors; this is very much an Anglo-American affair. In so far as the book does possess a general revisionist line it is that nineteenth-century Italy’s modernization was merely a variation on a European theme rather than a deviation from a continental norm. Italy’s future – fascism – was not preordained by its past. The aim, then, is to understand nineteenth-century Italy on its own terms, ironically an approach that has caused much controversy when applied to the later fascist period. Such even-handedness and open-mindedness – as the approach when applied to fascism demonstrates – does sometimes have an apologist whiff to it, or leads to rather ambivalent historical judgements. Despite such caveats, Italy in the Nineteenth Century is (on its own terms!) an extremely strong collection of essays. Alexander Grab provides a detailed narrative of Napoleonic rule in Italy and assesses its nationalist and modernizing legacies. David Laven introduces the reader to some of the revisionist views of the Restoration in Italy (the attraction of the modern state apparatus to restoration rulers) and provides a standard (but still useful) guide to 1848. Roland Sarti’s contribution on the life and times of Mazzini is a model example of how to write a short biography. Anthony Cardoza paints a familiar picture of Cavour as master statesman (a view that this particular reviewer would take issue with). Lucy Riall’s (genuinely revisionist) chapter on ‘Garibaldi and the South’ is a search for the origins and development of the ‘Southern Question’ in postunification Italy. Christopher Duggan sketches some of the key themes of his new biography of Francesco Crispi. The book closes with three broader chapters on religion and society (David Kertzer), culture and society (Raymond Grew), and economy and society (Davis himself ). In keeping with the rest of the book, however, even here – with the exception of Davis – the focus is primarily political, ‘top down’, and male-orientated. Rural society, popular culture, women, the family – important elements of nineteenth-century Italy but largely ignored in ‘traditional’ Risorgimento historiography – remain marginalized. De Montfort University NICK CARTER An Economic and Social History of the Netherlands, 1800–1920. Demographic, Economic and Social Transition. By Michael Wintle. Cambridge University Press. 2000. xiii + 399pp. £45.00. Economic ‘retardation’ in the nineteenth century has until recently been the subject of lively debate among Dutch historians. Dutch historical writing has all too frequently been stuck with an inferiority complex expressed by the absence of ‘classic’ industrialization. As one of the very few attempts at synthesis in the field of Dutch economic and social history of this period, Wintle’s book © The Historical Association 2002


should help to redress this inaccuracy. Devoting half of the book to the economy, the author makes a convincing case for economic modernization as being the most unusual aspect of the Dutch historical experience. Wintle demonstrates that the country’s relatively modest manufacturing sector seems less of a problem, if one turns to the economy as a whole and to the international context. In a wellsustained argument it is made absolutely clear that the Netherlands were among the leaders of the economic pack. A particular strength of the work is its synthesis of the most recent research into capital investment, public finances, the burgeoning service sector, the structure and dynamics of foreign demand, the economic importance of the East Indies colony, and the significance of demographic structures and domestic mass demand. The author employs a thematic approach, discussing ‘Demography, and the Health of the Nation’ in part I, ‘Economic Transition’ in part II and ‘Social Transition: State, Society, Individual and Nation’ in part III. There is, nevertheless, a consistent attempt to marry economics with what is happening in Dutch society and politics. Among other things, the book considers the crucial role of social cohesion and political stability in Dutch economic success. The third part of the book is also useful in summarizing current discussion on a wide range of issues, including recent ‘hot’ topics such as national identity, immigration, ethnic minorities and gender relations. Looked at from a theorist’s perspective, the book offers a fund of illuminating material for the construction of a theory of social change that takes on board contingency, multilinearity, regression and the messy interrelations between different levels of historical reality in the processes associated with modernization. Even though Wintle’s main focus is on economics, this book meets the urgent demand for a single narrative of the socio-economic history of the Netherlands in the ‘long’ nineteenth century. University College London WIM MELLAERTS Literature and Nationalism in Partitioned Poland, 1795–1918. By Stanislaw Eile. Macmillan. 2000. ix + 234pp. £45.00. It is a commonplace among Poles that their greatest literature was produced when their country did not exist as an independent state. The principal poets have secured the status of national, almost quasi-divine, bards. Yet to non-Poles, much of their output can appear bizarrely incomprehensible. Much of what Adam Mickiewicz and Juliusz Slowacki wrote is characterized by a messianic vision of Poland’s present and future role, a contempt for others, especially the Russians, an exaltation of supposed national virtues (in practice, mainly, those of the nobility) and a rosy view of the past. Yet even the bards themselves were ambivalent: Mickiewicz’s messianic works of 1832, written in the immediate wake of the November Rising, are followed by the far more complex and ‘realistic’ Pan Tadeusz of 1834. Stanislaw Eile’s book functions as a guide through not only this writing, but, crucially, that of lesser figures, most of whom were all too prone to take the most extreme excesses of ‘bardic’ exaltation and render them into working platitudes. Not only the authors themselves are taken to task; so too, are many of Poland’s literary critics, some of whom even today can hardly bear to hear a word said against the nation’s divinities. Eile pays due regard to those who rebelled against the adulation heaped on the romantic poets and novelists, and points to the many writers who parted company with the well-worn © The Historical Association 2002



stereotypes of saintly martyrs and virtuous heroes. Yet it was always those whom some might class as ‘national chauvinists’, the swashbuckling Sienkiewiczes, rather than the questioning zeromskis, who dominated. As an introduction to this literature and to its reception, Stanislaw Eile’s book works well; its drawback is that it does not adequately explain why this kind of literature was produced. It was not just some kind of literary dementia: it was also the literature of nostalgia and frustration, brought on by the loss of independence and the utter uncertainty of what sort of Poland, if any, would emerge. This is a dimension to which the writer devotes too little attention and which allows him to indulge in some condescending posturing. Much of the book reads like a translation from the Polish (English is evidently not the author’s first language), which will cause its readers occasional irritation. We have in this work an introduction to nineteenth-century Polish literature, but the specialist knowledge to put it in its proper context must come from elsewhere. University of Birmingham JERZY LUKOWSKI A History of Polish Christianity. By Jerzy Kloczowski. Cambridge University Press. 2000. xxxviii + 385pp. £45.00. Only since 1945 has Poland become an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic (and predominantly ethnically Polish) society, yet Catholicism has played a dominating role in the country’s history. Jerzy Kloczowski identifies Catholicism’s enduring strength in its connections with the culture of ordinary people. The groundwork was laid between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, with the deeper rooting of ecclesiastical institutions across the country and an intensification of parish formation – overall, a process which, Kloczowski suggests, helps account for the comparatively limited appeal of the Reformation. The final cementing of the links between laity and the church took place in the nineteenth century, when the Catholic clergy were a prime target for the discriminatory policies of the partitioning powers (particularly Russia). The church offered a spiritual alternative to a non-existent independent homeland, a role which it resumed amid the repressions of the Second World War and its aftermath. Though it is the Catholic church which dominates, Kloczowski gives ample consideration to other denominations, even if his committed ecumenicism occasionally carries a whiff of political correctness. The truly abysmal condition of the Orthodox church on Polish territory is never fully brought out; and unwary readers may be confused by the reiterated assertions of the strength of Polish toleration, while the author expounds cases of prejudice and bigotry. This is an invaluable introduction to an important area of history too little known in western Europe. Among its most valuable features are the introductory thumbnail sketches setting Poland within the wider European context. However, the encyclopaedic approach dilutes the subject – a more selective and thematic treatment might have been more enriching to outsiders. Parts of this book will be difficult, if not on occasion baffling, to those with no background knowledge of Polish history, especially the ferociously complicated nineteenth century. This is not helped by the translation, the work of a well-meaning committee. Brutal editing would have made this book more user-friendly. Anyone with any familiarity with Polish accents will be baffled by their seemingly random appearance. For all its utility, this version scarcely does Kloczowski’s © The Historical Association 2002


(sc. Kloczowski’s) limpid Polish prose justice. It may be that, as the jacket blurb proclaims, English-speaking historians will find the book a ‘revelation’, but it will prove a very demanding one. University of Birmingham JERZY LUKOWSKI The Demography of Victorian England and Wales. By Robert Woods. Cambridge University Press. 2000. xxv + 447pp. £45.00. Nineteenth-century England and Wales saw a demographic revolution, with massive population growth in the century’s early decades, and a later decline in mortality and fertility to unprecedentedly low levels. This ‘demographic transition’ is related to monumental social and economic changes, and has become a model against which other societies have been compared. However, the nature and causes of these phenomena are still hotly debated. Robert Woods has attempted in the present volume to summarize where the current debate stands, to rework the available data, and to indicate where further work needs to be done. The book covers in turn: the role of Malthus’s preventive checks on population; the nature and cause of family limitation; mortality by occupation and social group; the origins of the secular decline of childhood mortality; the role of place and disease environments in explaining mortality; and the demographic consequences of urbanization. Perhaps, the central message of the book is the need to eschew simplistic explanations of national demographic trends, and to examine the complexity of the disparate local, occupational and epidemiological factors that made up these global aggregates. Much of the work is based on an analysis of civil registration data from a common set of 614 registration districts, which reveals the importance of spatial analysis. Woods argues, for example, that many of the changes in mortality in the period can be explained in terms of movements from one disease environment to another. He uses such analysis to good effect in debunking some of the monocausal explanations given for the decline in fertility in the late Victorian period, or for the decline in mortality put forward by Thomas McKeown. It needs to be said, however, that this is not a book for the ‘numerically challenged’, and Woods makes few concessions to those unused to demographic notation. Those seeking a more user-friendly introduction to some of these themes would be better advised to consult his earlier Population of Britain in the Nineteenth Century (1995). One might also have liked a more critical approach to the use of registration data. Woods spends a considerable amount of time commenting on problems of under- and mis-registration of births, marriages and deaths, but then declines to use any of the insights gathered in his quantitative analysis. Nor does he question the General Register Office’s practice of assigning each death to only one ‘primary’ cause. University of Essex EDWARD HIGGS The Population of Victorian and Edwardian Norfolk. By Alan Armstrong. Centre of East Anglian Studies, University of East Anglia. 2000. 142pp. £7.95. In this short, admirably clear and readable volume, Alan Armstrong shows how to communicate the results of historical demography to a wide audience without jeopardizing rigour of analysis. By focusing upon the county and © The Historical Association 2002



employing the published census reports and the reports of the Registrar General, he also shows that there is a middle way between the construction of national aggregates that shed little light upon local and regional structures and trends, and detailed local studies that are often highly labour intensive and inevitably present only a narrow window upon demographic behaviour. Norfolk grew slowly between 1831 and 1911, falling back from being the seventh most populous county to the nineteenth. Its three major towns – Norwich, Yarmouth and King’s Lynn – fared better, particular the first of these two, features which are related to broad changes in their respective economies, but from 1851 rural Norfolk experienced persistent population decline. In successive chapters Armstrong explores the components of this process: migration, mortality, marriage and fertility. In many ways the first of these was the most significant, for although both urban and rural Norfolk achieved natural surpluses, in every decade except 1841–51 and 1901–11 it lost more by net migration than it gained by natural growth. This was not because Norfolk residents had relatively a greater propensity to migrate, but because out-migration far exceeded the number of in-migrants. This in turn affected the age structure of the population, resulting in a significant rural shortfall in the age range 15– 44, and outstandingly high proportions aged 65 and over in both town and country, besides producing a population that was in statistical terms remarkably native-born. Among other notable features of Norfolk’s demography were the very high levels of illegitimacy found in rural areas, partly offset by lower than average marital fertility and marriage rates – the latter a product of unbalanced sex ratios – the slightly delayed onset of fertility decline, and the fact that mortality in Norfolk generally stood below the national average, despite clear evidence of rural poverty. When improvement did come in the last quarter of the century, Armstrong argues, sanitary and housing reform were significant factors. Every effort is made here to place Norfolk within the context of national findings and debates and, within the self-imposed limits of the survey, to explain the statistical results. While one might have wished to see a fuller comparative framework, particularly with respect to migration where regional studies of at least parts of counties such as Hertfordshire and Leicestershire are extant, and while one might quibble with the way in which towns are defined and bemoan the absence of an index, this is in many ways a model of how to write population history at the regional level, providing a staging post between national demography and the local population studies that would be required – as Armstrong takes pains to indicate – to take the analysis further. University of Hertfordshire NIGEL GOOSE Patterns of Philanthropy. Charity and Society in Nineteenth-Century Bristol. By Martin Gorsky. Royal Historical Society/Boydell. 1999. xiv + 275pp. £40.00. This is an interesting book which addresses important questions about philanthropy in nineteenth-century Bristol. One of these is why the endowed charity which had functioned for ages became less popular in the nineteenth century and lost its prominence to subscriber voluntarism. On the basis of convincing empirical information the author demonstrates that managerial failures of the trusts are not enough to explain the decline of the old endowed charity. In the 1830s and 1840s radical reform agitation put charity corruption high on the © The Historical Association 2002


political agenda, and for this reason it became an important issue in Bristol’s party politics. The voluntary charity with its financial openness and public meetings thus became the symbol of social and political change. Philanthropists reacted by favouring these new forms of charity, although on the basis of rational calculations the trusts were not doing worse than before, even better perhaps. Endowed charity likewise declined in the field of the parish. The loss of control over the poor rate meant an increasing irrelevance of the parish as a unit of local government. This loss of local prestige also discouraged testators. These themes are analysed in the first part of this book. The second part discusses various aspects of the overwhelming variety of Bristol’s voluntary societies and institutions. Gorsky identifies no less than 346 in the period 1780– 1899 on the basis of extensive research in newspapers, trade directories and annual reports. A ‘philanthropic pattern’ emerges after 1820: the period 1820– 60 shows a fragmentation of the voluntarist sector along religious lines. After the 1860s state intervention gradually replaced the voluntary charities, initially in elementary schooling. In this second part attention is given to many interesting dimensions of philanthropy, i.e. the decline of middle-class participation in mutualist organizations in favour of the charities, the growing influence of mostly Unitarian, Quaker and Congregationalist women in charity organizations, the occupational structure of the philanthropists, the relationship between economic cycles and financial success or failure of associations, and the impact of charity on health and literacy levels. One important question in voluntary studies is to what extent the associations contributed to the formation of the middle class. Gorsky answers this question in the negative (p. 231). He considers the voluntary charities as a platform for competing political and religious identities, rather than an unifying force in urban society. I do not agree with the author in this respect: firstly because other types of associations in the vast voluntary field – literary societies, learned societies, gentlemen’s clubs, horticultural societies, etc. – were much less fragmented along religious or political lines. And secondly, although the philanthropist societies especially were subject to religious and political diversity, the compulsory social participation in this kind of voluntary activity as such contributed to middle-class identity. This study, however, stimulates the ongoing debate in this field, and gives us many challenging ideas, clear arguments, and a wealth of statistical information and other empirical results. Leiden University BOUDIEN DE VRIES Merseypride: Essays in Liverpool Exceptionalism. By John Belchem. Liverpool University Press. 2000. xvii + 228pp. £27.95 (hb) and £11.95 ( pb). A New History of the Isle of Man: Volume V: The Modern Period 1830–1999. Edited by John Belchem. Liverpool University Press. 2000. xii + 469pp. £49.95 (hb) and £17.95 ( pb). The balance between the local, the regional and the national is always difficult to strike when the history of any community is attempted. The particular value of these books is that John Belchem (and his contributors to the Manx history) have had to grapple with this existential tension between the perceptions of ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’. A southerner in a Liverpool chair, he sets out to come to terms with Liverpool’s social and cultural identity and to address © The Historical Association 2002



critically its proverbial exceptionalism. He has set out to deconstruct some of what he calls its representations, projections and portrayals during periods of rapid growth (and equally rapid decline). He places particular emphasis on cultural and associational aspects of ethnic identity and collective mutuality: matters cannot be reduced to concentration on socio-economic and spatial factors. The essays fall into four parts. In ‘Merseypride’ the focus is on ‘stupendous development’ and global positioning, and on the inclusions and exclusions of scouseness, ‘an accent exceedingly rare’. In ‘Irish Liverpool’ the focus is selfevident in essays that delineate and disentangle pub and parish, nationalism and ethnicity, segregation and inclusion. All this is set against Liverpool as a ‘Tory town’ in which protectionism, paternalism and Protestantism have all been aligned. Finally, there are two essays which provide a comparative dimension, specifically with Lyons and Munich, but which also raise wider issues in the study of ethnicity, migration and labour history. Belchem readily admits that the Liverpool Scots, Welsh and even Manx (not to mention the English) would benefit from the kind of attention he has given to the Irish before anything like a full picture of community articulation is possible. Nevertheless, even though he has contrived to avoid any discussion of football, Belchem is entitled to take pride in this piece of Mersey history. The new history of the Isle of Man is a different kind of work. It has sixteen contributors, some of whom are exiles, some native residents and some incomers. Well produced, with pertinent photographs, the essays range widely over politics, economics, religion and culture. Their approaches do not invariably dovetail, but Belchem focuses on constructing Manxness and the successive phases of its ‘rebranding’. A Scottish author in 1811 complained that the peculiarities of the island were scarcely known beyond it. Belchem adds, sadly, that this lack of interest has continued to prevail. It is to be hoped that the publication of this volume and its companions will at last persuade scholars that the Latin tag multum in parvo (a lot in a little) applies to the exceptional history of this threelegged island. University of Wales, Lampeter KEITH ROBBINS Les Britanniques face à la révolution française de 1848. By Fabrice Bensimon. L’Harmattan. 2000. 451pp. F250. Alfred Cobban made the contrasting views of contemporaries Paine and Burke on the 1789 revolution well known, but there has been little attention to British attitudes to nineteenth-century French revolutions. This volume focuses on 1848, using a wide variety of printed material, pamphlets, letters, newspapers and parliamentary debates. Most observers shared conservative or liberal antipathies to revolution, although King Louis-Philippe was universally condemned. Convinced that an invasion of Britain was imminent before the revolution, many were apprehensive that Lamartine might also encourage insurrection among the now-quiescent Chartists in Britain and the Irish. Reassurances from the new French foreign minister brought informal British acceptance of the republic. On the other hand, the creation of national workshops, talk of a right to work, and above all, the rebellion by Parisian artisans in the June Days, alienated the British elites, alarmed that socialist and revolutionary infections might spread. Chartists were encouraged, at first, by French democratic and socialist ideas to © The Historical Association 2002


renew their demands for a People’s Charter and large gatherings were held in successive months. However, most had no stomach for violence and subsequently drifted into socialism. An abortive Irish delegation to Paris was followed by limited protests against British control of Irish land and political life. The absence of any serious unrest in Britain was attributed by the elites to the superiority of British political and social systems and the existence of mechanisms for gradual change, shown by the Reform Act of 1832 and the abolition of the Corn Laws in the 1840s. The French were condemned as stereotypically politically unstable, riddled with dangerous creeds, socialism, an unnatural predilection for equality and obsession with centralized government. To what, asks this too tolerant French historian, who has patiently, but uncritically, recounted the prejudices of contemporary observers, did the British attribute these differences between near neighbours? John Bull’s reassuringly Anglican religious beliefs, moral rectitude, and passion for solid food and beer, are contrasted with irreligion (or pernicious Roman Catholic superstition) and sexual licence, which are rampantly apparent in the novels of Eugène Sue, George Sand and a panoply of thoroughly immoral plays (which the British none the less enjoyed). British writers had argued acrimoniously over 1789. In 1848 there seems to have been a complacent consensus and an insular self-absorption. This was reflected in cartoons, a selection of which are reproduced here. Gillray’s obscene and passionate condemnation is contrasted with the more detached – and ‘respectable’ – drawings of 1848. Is there nothing beyond stereotypes, however amusing, to explain these and other differences between British approaches to the two revolutions? Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London PAMELA PILBEAM Republicanism in Victorian Society. Edited by David Nash and Antony Taylor. Sutton. 2000. xiii + 176pp. £55.00. At least one point is reinforced by this book – that republicanism (in the sense of wanting a non-monarchical form of official government) has not been a very significant or effective force in Britain since the mid-seventeenth century. Only three short and isolated periods in modern history – parts of the 1790s, the 1870s and the 1990s – have produced signs of a possible republican upsurge. In the first two of these periods the signs petered out in failure, and probably – in view of the current subsidence of the issue – they will do so at the present time. Among the nine chapters in this book (two of which deal with Britain’s imperial territories), Miles Taylor’s contribution on Sir Charles Dilke is a salutary indicator of the diversity and indefiniteness of republicanism, and Mark Bevir’s chapter effectively shows that republicanism in the early 1870s did not greatly influence the socialism which developed from the 1880s. There is no disputing Antony Taylor’s argument that republicanism in the 1870s, like Chartism in the later 1830s and early 1840s, emerged from outside the main political parties. But the Chartist programme, unlike republicanism, had important later effects on mainstream politics and statutory enactments. The only chapter to engage directly with republicanism on a detailed organizational level is Malcolm Chase’s study of Teesside agitation in the early 1870s. This, though admirably informative, only shows how a vocal but poorly supported republican movement failed within a short time. © The Historical Association 2002



Thus the general trend of the book’s subject is negative. But negative conclusions can be as valuable to history as positive ones; and the authors have acted rightly in making their investigations. These are generally well set in their historical context by the editors, though there is a surprising lack of reference to the highly unpopular behaviour of some of the sons of George III, which helped to sustain anti-royal feelings. The book lacks a broad attempt to compare the inchoate republicanism of Britain with the much more powerful forms in America and parts of the European continent. British republicanism, despite the influence of Paine’s Rights of Man, never became systematically based on antiheredity principles. Nor did British republicanism show much obvious and publicized concern about the official royal veto over legislation, which still exists today – though admittedly the monarchy has, since the early eighteenth century, saved itself by never using the veto. Instead, British republicanism has generally been anecdotal and superficial, concerned almost exclusively with the ‘state of play’ in the performance of the royal family and never establishing a firm and autonomous intellectual basis. The book shows how republicanism revived in the early 1870s through dissatisfaction with the seclusion of Queen Victoria in the years since the Prince Consort’s death, and began to recede when the Prince of Wales suffered a dangerous bout of typhoid which won him much popular sympathy. Following this, the royal family did not incur serious unpopularity again until the 1990s, when reaction against some of its members and, to some degree, the influence of the widespread Diana cult, caused an increase in republican feeling. Republicanism of this highly personalized kind has always been temporary and untidy. Perhaps the recent problems of the royal family in public relations will be resolved by a typically untidy British compromise, causing the family’s members to get on their bikes and meet the people. University of Dundee IAN MACHIN The Golden Age: Essays in British Social and Economic History, 1850–1870. Edited by Ian Inkster with Colin Griffin, Jeff Hill, and Judith Rowbotham. Cambridge University Press. 2000. xviii + 284pp. £45. Views expressed by contributors on the justification for applying the label ‘Golden Age’ to describe the years between 1850 and 1870 range between conviction, scepticism and outright disbelief. Inkster’s tone-setting introduction is the most positive; Perkin’s social survey, which follows, concludes on only a slightly less positive note. Thereafter, defectors dominate. Griffin firmly rejects the utility of the term, a view based on earlier sceptical literature but also on his careful and detailed consideration of coal-mining and coal miners. Evidence from the studies of textile industry and towns by Timmins and by Hill add further support. Caunce’s study cautiously concedes a gilded epithet to describe agriculture, but only when measured by production and ‘human survival’ ( p. 58), describing it as ‘fool’s gold built on illusions’, and arguing that farm-workers ‘did not see even an illusion of gold’ ( p. 59). Among cotton workers in Lancashire, dependent upon the most successful industry of the industrial revolution, Hill remarks: ‘There was little to persuade Lancashire people in the 1850s and 1860s that a new Golden Age was being experienced’ ( p. 175). Inkster describes the serious social problems of mid-Victorian Britain ‘as residuals of the recent past rather than as harbingers of an imminent future’ © The Historical Association 2002


( p. 2). True, Perkin describes those who endured such conditions as ‘casualties of the new industrial system’; but that ‘system’ – of factories, specialization, the decline of rural industries, and the rapid growth of large, urban industrial cites – was a phenomenon that developments in the mid-Victorian period intensified on a completely new scale. Before 1850, textile manufacture was the only industry primarily organized in factories. Most subversive of all is Rowbotham, who defines the ‘Golden Age’ as ‘an expression of a hegemonic masculinity’, a ‘giltedged male triumphalism’ accompanied by a fear that his might be shortlived. Rowbotham also maintains that ‘equipoise’ was no more than a ‘precarious balance’ in which she detects ‘a fear of resurgence’ of a force similar to Chartism ( p. 220). Elsewhere, though not referred to here, G. R. Searle has revealed the frustration of industrialists in failing to secure political influence and social status commensurate with their entrepreneurial pre-eminence. Such an analysis undermines the notion of complacency which Inkster and Perkin especially associate with mid-Victorian business. Other essays are more tangential to the ‘Golden Age’ issue, though these detailed micro-studies contribute to a greater understanding of the period. They include ‘machinofacture’ and technical associations, the Exhibitions of 1851 and 1867, education and competition, Michael Faraday and lighthouses, financial crime, sexual assault, women workers, hiring fairs, domesticity and masculine identity. University of East Anglia ROY CHURCH Flat Racing and British Society 1790–1914: A Social and Economic History. By Mike Huggins. (Sport in the Global Society Series). Frank Cass. 2000. xv + 270pp. £39.50. Sport history has something of an academic credibility problem in Britain. In some cases this is deserved. In some others, such as this, it is not. In fact, the production of more books like Mike Huggins’s study of flat racing in Britain, should ultimately go a great way to solving the lingering problems of sport history within the British academic community. Chapters of the work offer assessments of the rise of the Jockey Club as a governing and controlling body in the sport, which the author dates rather later than previously suggested; and also present an overview of the development of racing as a sport. This book is far more concerned with racing as a social and economic entity than as a sport, however. Attitudes to, and involvement in, racing and its attendant activities are effectively used as means to explore issues of economics, class and morality. Huggins marshals his copious evidence to argue that many of our preconceptions, and previous historical assumptions, require substantial modification. Primarily, he argues that middle-class involvement in the allegedly disreputable aspects of racegoing was far more extensive than has been suggested. The vociferous opposition to racing, drinking and gambling was always representative only of a minority viewpoint and was in the longer term usually unsuccessful. The reformist drive for rational recreation and evangelical condemnation of existing practices were always well publicized, but ultimately of limited effect in themselves. This is not a completely new argument, but for the first time there is a sustained attempt to produce empirical evidence to support the thesis. Huggins also suggests that the rise of racing as a commercialized © The Historical Association 2002



leisure activity should be placed squarely in the eighteenth century, and stresses the economic importance of the sport and its associated activities not just on a local level, but also in a national context. Such findings should prompt more work on the importance of leisure consumption in the economic cycle. Thus this work both builds on established scholarship and points the way toward new areas of research. It is not, of course, without its faults, which include a tendency to repetition that more judicious editing would have removed. Such criticism must be seen in context, though. The last major academic study of horse racing in Britain was published in 1976, and while this book in many ways modifies and supplements that work by Vamplew, it should not be seen as replacing it. Rather, its exploration of the social aspects of racing should be seen as an addition to the hard economic analysis of Vamplew, and a qualification of some of his earlier deductions. More importantly, this is a valuable and useful work of British social history. University of Sunderland NEAL GARNHAM The Public Culture of the Victorian Middle Class: Ritual and Authority in the English Industrial City 1840–1914. By Simon Gunn. Manchester University Press. 2000. x + 207pp. £45.00. In this slim but elegant book Simon Gunn makes an important contribution to a fashionable area of academic study, one in which urban and cultural history intersect. Taking as his subject matter the three ‘provincial metropolises’ of Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, he sets out to explain bourgeois authority, not in economic terms, but by examining the ways in which the Victorian urban elite asserted its prestige by turning the city into a site of cultural display. In successive chapters Gunn explores the changing physical layout of the city, the development of clubland and other centres of bourgeois sociability, the role of church and chapel in disseminating ‘spiritual culture’, and the reasons underlying the late Victorian cult of concert-going. Adopting an anthropological approach, Gunn’s skilful dissection of what he calls ‘rites of civic culture’ enables him to discuss how culture came to override differences of sect and class. As he shows, the urban patriciate increasingly participated in a common social round, centred on gentlemen’s clubs, debating societies and concert halls, which drew together the well-to-do from opposed sects and parties. But though this social world was in some respects ‘open’, it remained hierarchical, largely excluding those of more modest means – for example, the price of a season ticket for the famous Hallé concerts had risen by the end of the century to £5. According to Gunn, the Victorian provincial metropolises reached an apogee in the last three decades of the nineteenth century, when each boasted a ‘high bourgeois culture’ that served the social needs of the wider region of which it formed the centre. Thereafter, the wealthiest citizens tended to shift their allegiance elsewhere, as they pursued business interests and social pleasures which took them far from their native home to all corners of the United Kingdom – an important development which signified the emergence of a ‘national’ middle class. The weakness in this interpretation lies in the exaggerated emphasis it places on the unifying power of ‘culture’. Political and sectarian conflict was hardly unknown in, say, late Victorian Birmingham, but none of this is allowed to intrude into Gunn’s account. However, in general, here is a book of genuinely © The Historical Association 2002


original insights. What a pity, then, that in a book so dominated by ‘performance’ and ‘display’, the only illustration is the one that appears on the dust jacket; we are not even given street plans to guide us through the fascinating urban worlds that Gunn so powerfully evokes. University of East Anglia G. R. SEARLE Gendered Nations: Nationalism and Gender Order in the Long Nineteenth Century. Edited by Ida Blom, Karen Hagemann and Catherine Hall. Berg. 2000. £42 (hb), £14.99 (pb). This is the kind of book to which it is impossible to do justice in a short review. Based on a symposium held in Berlin, its fifteen substantial and suggestive essays on a variety of national cultures reflect a recent awareness that the history of nations and nation-building has largely been attempted without using gender as a tool of analysis. Nations represented include Australia, Britain, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, pre-1815 Prussia, South Africa and the USA. Students may ransack it for their particular interests, but would do well to attend to the four introductory articles, which are all illuminating, although with a degree of overlap and abstraction which may initially be daunting. Geoff Eley and Ruth Roach Pierson provide contextual analysis for the case studies, while Ida Blom’s introduction provides a cross-cultural starting point. Pointing out that eighteenth-century discourses about nation were often explicitly gendered before the positivist, nation-building nineteenth century, she uses a ‘limited comparative’ approach to explore national symbols in Japan, India, Sweden and Norway, concluding that ‘Westocentric’ approaches can be misleading. Among the case studies, let three examples rather unfairly stand for the rest, one on representation, one with a global approach, and one with a critical one. Viktoria Schmidt-Linsenhoff provides a striking if controversial analysis of two paintings from the 1790s by A.-L. Girodet, both beautifully reproduced. She compares the sensitive, erotic, perhaps homoerotic Endymion with a portrait of the black representative from Saint-Domingue, J.-B. Belley, arguing that both somehow limit the sense of male autonomy, embodying contradictions within the willed representation of the French nation as male, heterosexual and white. Catherine Hall’s tour de force on the year 1832, a defining moment in the history of Britain, extends the analysis laterally to embrace the dynamic not only of class but of gender and empire. The Reform Act is usually taken as a negative landmark for feminism, yet ‘the naming of the vote as a masculine privilege could only have been necessary if at some level it was felt that this could no longer be assumed’. At the same time, she relates 1832 to Ireland and Catholic emancipation and to slavery in Jamaica, giving both a gendered dimension. Gender is raced, race gendered. Marilyn Lake traces three generations of Australian feminists who found themselves on different sides when the construction of nation clashed with Aboriginal rights. She concludes that feminist history needs to tease out these dilemmas in its own past. As a collection, the book does not escape the somewhat arbitrary feel of most conference proceedings, but virtually all the essays embody a fresh approach to the increasingly unavoidable subject of national identity. University of Stirling SIÂN REYNOLDS © The Historical Association 2002



Out of the Shadows: A History of Women in Twentieth-Century Wales. By Deirdre Beddoe. University of Wales Press. 2000. xiv + 183pp. £10.99. Out of the Shadows is an excellent introduction to the experiences of women in Wales in the twentieth century. Beddoe supplements recent research on the topic with her own investigations into women’s politics, education and work (amongst other topics); as she notes, there is still much research to be done. From her explorations emerges a story which echoes much of what is known already about women’s lives in twentieth-century Britain, with a few contrasts accounted for by the dominance of coal, agriculture and nonconformity in much of Wales during this period. Thus, she demonstrates that Welsh women were actively involved in the struggle for the vote, used educational opportunities to become teachers, joined the workforce in large numbers in wartime, were forced back into their homes after wars ended, and echoed their English compatriots in the changing structures of marriage and the family. At the same time, she shows that married women’s participation in the workforce lagged behind single women’s participation until late in the century, owing both to an ideology in many homes which put women firmly at the centre of family life and to an industrial base which continued to focus on coal and heavy industry. Jobs for women outside the home were scarce as light manufacturing did not emerge in Wales until the post-war period, and the large families typical of the coal fields kept women in the valleys and in agricultural areas busy for much of their lives. During peacetime domestic service remained the largest employer of women throughout Wales in the first half of the century, although teaching was a popular choice for women who could afford the years of training. This book is a long-needed addition to basic textbooks about women’s lives in twentieth-century Britain, which have for so long been based primarily on English sources with the occasional Welsh example thrown in. Beddoe embeds her discussion of what happened in Wales in the larger context of the British Isles, and for the most part the women she examines experienced many of the same changes. Her points are illustrated by a wide range of examples and photographs which locate Wales at the centre of historical change as women there underwent transformations in their lives which echoed women’s lives elsewhere. This book is an excellent introduction to the topic and will, no doubt, become a mainstay of women’s history reading lists in years to come. Middlesex University KELLY BOYD Art, War and Revolution in France 1870–1871. Myth, Reportage and Reality. By John Milner. Yale University Press. 2000. xii + 243pp., 395 b. + w. and col. ills. £35.00. Near the beginning of this study, Professor Milner describes his aim as being ‘to ask if the imagery of the period [i.e. the Franco-Prussian war and the Commune] is closer to documentary fact or to artists’ fiction’ ( p. viii). Taken in conjunction with the distinction between ‘Myth, Reportage and Reality’ announced in his subtitle, this encapsulates the working method adopted in approaching the vast and enormously varied corpus of visual material presented in the course of this new account of the ‘année terrible’. In the pages which follow, Milner does little to elaborate a more nuanced means of understanding the complex relationship between historical events and artistic representation. Indeed, despite the fact © The Historical Association 2002


that he describes his work as an art-historical study, he only rarely dwells on particular images at any length, and many of his observations are unilluminatingly terse: on Didier and Guiaud’s Attack on the Hôtel de Ville, for example, he merely remarks that ‘A painting of the incident is not news, but it has its own kind of accuracy’ ( p. 124). All too often, the reader is left with the impression that Milner implicitly believes that some images do faithfully record history, and that the story of France’s violent defeat can effectively be ‘told’ in visual terms. By presenting artists as putative ‘reporters of events’ whose work is ‘also evidence and more or less reliable according to its purpose’ ( p. ix), Milner elaborates what is essentially an illustrated narrative history in which the status of his primary material is never adequately interrogated. Symptomatic of this approach is the way in which Professor Milner approaches graphic material from contemporary news magazines. Strikingly in a work devoted to French artists, the bulk of these images come from the Illustrated London News, for reasons the author leaves unexplained. This printed material is dealt with in essentially the same way as the oil paintings, photographs and caricatures which punctuate Milner’s account. Hardly any effort is expended in analysing the means of production and diffusion of this relatively new and very specialized form of imagery, nor in discussing the visual conventions it deployed. Indeed, it is only in his final chapter, devoted to the aftermath of the war and revolution, that Milner indulges in anything approaching sustained analysis of visual material at all. For the rest, he presents us with a rich and often unfamiliar array of imagery the intrinsic interest of which seems to remain stubbornly elusive to the author himself. University of Warwick NEIL McWILLIAM Les Monuments aux morts mosellans de 1870 à nos jours. By William Kidd. Editions Serpenoise. 1999. 172pp. F160. Amid the current sprawl of ‘lieux de mémoire’ studies, it is a pleasure to encounter a tightly organized book that gives in every sense some lapidary substance to this much exploited area of enquiry. War memorials traditionally serve a double purpose. They are a tribute to the dead as individuals, but also an affirmation of the ideals for which they supposedly died; and therein lies their potential for deep and bitter controversy, as this sensitive study skilfully demonstrates. In Britain such controversies took time to develop, and were mainly confined to issues of whether the dead were ‘glorious’ or little more than the helpless victims of the futility of war, sacrificed in the questionable cause of ‘King and country’. Moreover, Britain’s colonial wars were largely over by the time that the validity of overseas empire came in for serious questioning by the general public. Matters were far more complicated in France. Decades of internal wrangling over constitutional and religious issues posed fundamental questions as to which national ideals were allegedly defended by those who lost their lives, other than the indeterminate notion of ‘la patrie’. And this created serious problems as to what form the iconography and inscriptions on monuments should take. The much deeper issues of collaboration and Resistance during the German occupation added further complications to the commemoration of the Second World War, while the nature of the ‘sales guerres’ of Indo-China and Algeria created yet more divisions of opinion among municipalities as to how their dead should best be remembered. © The Historical Association 2002



All these issues are present in William Kidd’s chosen terrain of the department of the Moselle; but they are as nothing compared with the problems arising from the overarching fact that this unhappy region had been shuttled backwards and forwards between France and Germany as a result of three major wars in seventy-five years. Taking Alsace–Lorraine as a whole, it has been estimated that perhaps 95 per cent of men who fought in the First World War did so in German uniform, as against 5 per cent who took the risk of crossing the frontier to join the French forces. Much of this absorbing book is devoted to the various ways in which post-war municipalities endeavoured to solve the dilemma of commemorating the dead of both sides, without betraying the various, and often conflicting, ideals that France claimed to represent – a dilemma that was to be repeated in the aftermath of the Second World War. The book acquires an added paradoxical poignancy in that some of the municipal debates, cited in its pages, read like tragic counterparts to the grotesque debates in Gabriel Chevallier’s comic classic, Clochemerle, with the community split over where the edifice in question should be placed. University of Edinburgh MAURICE LARKIN Nicholas II. The Interrupted Transition. By Hélène Carrère d’Encausse. Holmes & Meier. 2000. xiii + 321pp. £30.00. The theme of this book is that Nicholas II began the process of transforming Russia into a modern state. Interrupted by war and by the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917, the process of modernization was only resumed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The ‘optimistic’ view of the last decades of imperial Russia has been well articulated by historians ever since 1917, but Carrère d’Encausse gives a novel twist to these interpretations by emphasizing the positive role of Nicholas II himself in modernizing Russia. She adheres to the conventional view that Nicholas was convinced of the virtues of autocracy, but goes further by suggesting that, despite this, the tsar understood the need to ‘democratize Russia by lessening autocracy’ (p. xi). The first part of the book, with its description of Nicholas II’s early life, adds little to our existing knowledge of the tsar’s upbringing and character. The turning point for Nicholas – and for Russia – was 1905, when Nicholas had to concede the establishment of a legislative assembly: the Duma. Carrère d’Encausse’s analysis of the coming of constitutionalism to Russia sits uneasily with her overall view of Nicholas II. As she notes, Nicholas himself was always wary of the new order that he had created and, during 1906 and 1907, he took steps to limit the authority of the new parliament. There is no suggestion that he ever accepted the existence of the new institution or that he regarded it with anything other than mistrust. The characterization that Carrère d’Encausse gives of Russia’s position on the eve of war in 1914 is perceptive as far as it goes. While she identifies constitutionalism as a possible destination for the Russian empire, there is little mention of the powerful forces on the right that called consistently for the reassertion of autocracy. Nicholas II himself yearned for a return to traditional Muscovite values and adopted the symbols and ceremonies of seventeenthcentury Russia. Carrère d’Encausse’s identification of the tsar himself with the process of modernization runs so far counter to accepted interpretations of Nicholas II that it demands close argument and new evidence. Lacking these © The Historical Association 2002


elements, this book fails to offer a convincing challenge to the existing view of Russia’s last tsar. University of Sunderland PETER WALDRON The Undermining of Austria-Hungary. The Battle for Hearts and Minds. By Mark Cornwall. Macmillan. 2000. xvi + 485pp. £50.00. Mark Cornwall’s valuable study exhibits talents of the first order: prodigious energy, enviable linguistic ability (in eight languages), and careful analysis and synthesis of much material; and it is no disparagement of this to say that in my opinion this exhaustive volume of almost 500 pages could have been condensed. Based on research in Vienna, Budapest and Zagreb, it examines the propaganda campaigns waged against Austria-Hungary in 1917–18. These mainly took the form of communicating leaflets across the lines encouraging troops of the subject nationalities to defect (and later by showering civilians with leaflets dropped from the air – as in d’Annunzio’s dramatic flight over Vienna in August 1918). Dr Cornwall argues that while Britain traditionally took the credit for assisting the break-up of Austria-Hungary through propaganda, the most effective propaganda campaigns were in fact devised and conducted by Italy, in a remarkable recovery of the psychological initiative after Caporetto. Italian propaganda was imaginative and sophisticated: Austro-Hungarian troops on the Italian front would be approached across the lines by patrols consisting of their fellowcountrymen and former comrades. A prize example was the creation of the Czech Legion in Italy. However, while claiming irredenta in the Trento and Trieste, Italy also sought the territorial acquisitions in Dalmatia and Istria promised under the Treaty of London; and her encouragement of disaffection among the southern Slavs was far from wholehearted, a ruse de guerre rather than a war aim. Austria-Hungary was at a disadvantage in that she could appeal only to loyalty to the Habsburgs, had no fresh ideological weapon to fire back at the Allies, and treated as traitors subjects who deserted. She found propaganda a double-edged weapon, having used it herself with success against Russia, and considered it underhand when the nationalist (and Bolshevik) card was turned against her. The propaganda war which Dr Cornwall illuminatingly explores is an important and less well-known aspect of total war. He is himself both its historian and its demythologizer. Propaganda was an element in the collapse of ‘morale’. But, as he concludes, it was effective only when conditions of ‘home-sickness and war-weariness’ (p. 63) were ripe, when food and clothes were wanting, when there was news of distress on the home front and when the military outlook seemed hopeless. Then propaganda might give the final impulse to defeatism and desertion. The Open University A. LENTIN The Great War 1914–1918. By Ian F. W. Beckett. Longman. 2001. 524pp. £16.99. There is a particular bitterness to reading this book. Beckett is Professor at the University of Luton, whose history department has just (at the time of writing) been closed. Furthermore, this is under the ‘Education, Education, Education’ premiership of Tony Blair and at a time when the universities are under growing pressure and without political or public support. In the case of Beckett’s © The Historical Association 2002



fine book there is a particular twist to the knife, because, with great success, he sets out to show how the popular view of the First World War is erroneous. An effective chapter, ‘Wastelands?’, attacks ‘a highly selective reading of a profoundly misleading literary legacy’, and there are particularly blunt criticisms of error, bias and cliché in Gallipoli, Oh! What a Lovely War, Regeneration, The Monocled Mutineer, Blackadder Goes Forth and a host of ‘travesties’. Beckett’s concern with the role of the memory of struggle is an important aspect of his engagement with the wider dimensions and resonances of the war. This is not an operational account nor one with a chronological structure, and those who want such a book would be better advised to turn to Spencer Tucker’s The Great War, 1914–18 (1998). Instead, Beckett devotes considerable attention to ‘nations in arms’, ‘war and the state’, ‘war and society’, and ‘war, politics and revolution’. All are handled well, and Beckett avoids the excessive concentration on the western front, and related combatants, that is seen in so much of the work, for example in John Keegan’s The First World War (1998). If mild criticism can be offered, it would be first that there should be more on operational issues, not least for the war at sea, and secondly, that, in analytical terms, it would be helpful to see the conflict placed more securely in the long term of military history. To conclude that this ‘was a transitional conflict in military terms’ does not take the argument far enough. Beckett’s text is supported by copious and appropriate footnoting which will introduce students to a wide range of literature. It is particularly valuable to see discussion of how war goals evolved during the war, and this is linked to strategic options. In conclusion, a first-rate study, packed with information, well-written and attractively priced. University of Exeter JEREMY BLACK The Neville Chamberlain Diary Letters, Volume 1: The Making of a Politician, 1915–1920 and Volume 2: The Reform Years, 1921–1927. Edited by Robert Self. Ashgate. 2000. ix + 423pp. and x + 461pp. £75 each vol. More than sixty years after his death, it is safe to say that Neville Chamberlain will always be remembered for appeasement and the onset of the Second World War. While this is understandable in itself, it also reflects the frustratingly incomplete nature of the biographical record. The best single-volume treatment remains that written at the behest of the family by Keith Feiling during the Second World War and published in 1946. Iain Macleod’s book (1961) was a disappointment. David Dilks’s extensive treatment of Chamberlain’s life to 1929 was published as long ago as 1984 and there are no signs of its successor’s appearance. Historians will therefore welcome this major new project to publish extensive selections from the weekly letters that Chamberlain sent to his sisters, Hilda and Ida, who lived in Hampshire. Self has already edited the analogous letters from Austen Chamberlain, and so is a sure guide to the intricacies of the Chamberlain family. The letters themselves are highly informative and provide a compelling narrative of Chamberlain’s career, as well as some more reflective comments. These first two volumes make an excellent start. Chamberlain is seen in a variety of roles – these years covered his mayoralty in Birmingham, his disappointments as Director of National Service under Lloyd George, his election to parliament in 1918, and his catapulting into cabinet as Minister of Health, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and then, once again, Minister of Health between © The Historical Association 2002


1924 and 1929. Both volumes come with excellent editorial introductions which place the letters firmly in their personal and political contexts. These volumes show us a great deal about Chamberlain that is familiar, but also some things that are not. We certainly see the man of push and go, impatient with less driven colleagues and seething to sort out problems. But we also see a more humorous and, at times, diffident side to the man. His relationship with his elder brother, Austen, changes perceptibly over the period, too, moving from deep respect to exasperation to a degree of condescension. In addition, the sheer range of Chamberlain’s interests is demonstrated very clearly. So, too, are some of his recreational pursuits – shooting and fishing (when gout allowed) loom large, for example. Of course, we need to be a little sceptical of the nature of the source. The idea of ‘diary letters’ is a little tendentious in itself. Chamberlain was not, after all, writing a diary, but a report to two admiring but demanding sisters, always conscious (the more so once Austen had proved to be something of a failure) to live up to the reputation and expectations of ‘father’. Some of the smugness which Chamberlain displays must also be seen in this light – it is as though he wishes his triumphs to be theirs too, and so, at times, he plays up his own role somewhat. There are excellent insights into Birmingham politics, the Conservative Party leadership and Chamberlain’s own personality. The second volume is particularly enlightening on the making of policy during Chamberlain’s high-achievement period at the Ministry of Health between 1924 and 1929. Against Self’s considerable achievement in publishing these volumes, any criticism must be in the minor key. At times, however, the level of editorial intervention did seem a bit sparse – points made by the sisters in their own replies to Chamberlain are then picked up on by him, but since the sisters’ letters are not here, it is not always clear what is being discussed. Explanatory footnotes could, at times, be fuller – for example, on p. 419 of volume 2 there is a reference to Lady Ilchester. She was a leading figure in the Dorset Conservative Party, yet she is not identified by the editor, and so – unless well-versed in the intricacies of Dorset Conservatism – the reader will not see the point. Overall, however, these volumes are a major achievement and a great contribution for which historians of the period will be most grateful. It is a pity that, at this price, there will be few beyond specialists who will get a chance to read them. University of Exeter ANDREW THORPE Churchill: A Study in Greatness. By Geoffrey Best. Hambledon. 2001. xii + 370pp. £19.95. St John, in the last words of his gospel, concluded that if everything had been written down about the things Jesus did, there would not be room in the whole world for all the books that would have to be written. In the case of Churchill there are particular libraries where shelves are buckling under the weight of Churchilliana. Although this reviewer confesses to writing a book of modest length himself a decade ago, we can reasonably wonder whether the seam is exhausted. Best admits that some of the best biographers and commentators of our time have attended to Churchill. No significant phase and episode of his life has been left unscrutinized. So, to be blunt, what’s the point? The answer, in this case, lies in its personal engagement with man and myth. Of course, as one would expect, there is intelligent consideration of all the controversial issues of © The Historical Association 2002



Churchill’s long career – and there are enough of them to keep any historian happy. So, we move from the Dardanelles, to Ireland, to India, to appeasement, to many facets of his leadership in the Second World War, to defeat in 1945, to the cold war, to mention only some of the matters on which Best has weighed up matters and come to his own sober and well-balanced conclusions. Yet, while the reader will benefit from these judicious assessments, something else gives the book its distinctive character and justifies its existence. Here is a distinguished retired scholar, latterly expert in modern international history and the history of warfare, ruminating, through the person of this extraordinary man, on the fate of his country. It is a kind of dialogue at a distance which begins in 1940 when this figure dominates Best’s boyhood conception of the war in which his country was engaged. When he won a school prize in 1942, he naturally asked for the first volume of Churchill’s War Speeches. Twenty-three years later, watching the state funeral, he was glued to the television screen, deeply moved as by no televised event before or since. But that is now quite a long time ago. So, with iconoclastic studies in the interval, Best has had a nagging doubt about all of this. Was ‘Victory’ little more than a catastrophic coda? Was it not time, in the sour twenty-first century, to shake off a sentimentality which had lasted into middle age? He brings this implicit engagement out into the open in his moving epilogue. He is too wise to genuflect before contemporary idols of correctness. Churchill, he concludes, was indeed a great man and the saviour of his nation, but even at the time of his death, and even more so now, he could not have flourished in the nation he had ‘saved’. That is the paradox which this reflective account leaves us to ponder over, with some anxiety. University of Wales, Lampeter KEITH ROBBINS The Treasury and British Public Policy 1906–1959. By George Peden. Oxford University Press. 2000. xiv + 581pp. £65.00. The Treasury was the key ministry in the formation of British public policy throughout the twentieth century, with only minor intermissions, usually in wartime. It therefore needs a history and a historian able to give the scale of attention to its activities that this role requires. George Peden has been working on the Treasury since the 1970s, and in this book he brings together a vast amount of research to provide, if not a definitive history, at least one that will long dominate the field. The Treasury has, of course, always been charged with the control of public spending, but this role has been coupled to a much broader one concerned with the co-ordination of policy, in turn buttressed by its further role as controller of government establishments. The Treasury’s role, as the title of the book rightly suggests, has not been limited to narrowly defined economic policy, but has embraced almost all policy areas, most notably perhaps defence and social welfare. Thus this history of the Treasury rightly embraces almost all the major public policy questions in the fifty years with which it deals. The book is divided into chapters covering periods of five to eight years, and in each of these Peden sets out in some detail the main political and economic events affecting the Treasury, then looks at the personnel who were central to its policy input, the kind of advice they gave, how influential it was, and how it related to other ministries. Peden emphasizes the continuity of the Treasury’s role as defender of sound finance against the particular claims of individual ministries. © The Historical Association 2002


This, he argues, forced both politicians and bureaucrats to confront the need to establish priorities. While not a defence of every aspect of the Treasury, the overall tone of the book is that the Treasury has often been unfairly criticized by those who have been concerned to advance the interests of one area of spending, and thus lost sight of the ‘big picture’. Peden is rightly sceptical of the popular story of twentieth-century Britain in which the Treasury was part of the unholy alliance of the City and state that pursued the interests of ‘finance’ at the expense of ‘industry’, and led to British ‘decline’. As he points out, such an account fits poorly with, for example, the Treasury’s pursuit of a competitive exchange rate after 1932, or its emphasis on cutting back external commitments to allow for higher investment in the 1950s. However, he is arguably much too kind in his treatment of the Treasury’s ‘private spending good, public spending bad’ attitudes. While a concern for the ‘politically possible’ in taxation was always an inescapable aspect of the Treasury’s concerns, the belief that public spending of all kinds is essentially a burden on the private sector is one that has deformed policy in areas such as education and health. In this respect, at least, the usually sceptical, not to say cynical, Treasury has seemingly accepted with little question one of the primary political dogmas of the age. Brunel University JIM TOMLINSON Votes for Women. Edited by June Purvis and Sandra Stanley Holton. Routledge. 2000. xiii + 297pp. £16.99. The twelve essays in this latest volume on women’s suffrage focus either on aspects of the campaign or on prominent individual suffragists. In the former group June Hannam contributes a valuable chapter demonstrating how traditional perceptions of the movement are being corrected by local and regional studies. Among other things they reveal its class composition, the limitations of the national strategies among ordinary members, and in particular how little the division between militant and constitutional methods applied at the grass roots. The essay by Hilary Frances on the Women’s Freedom League deals with an important part of the campaign, which, though the subject of an excellent thesis by Claire Eustance, has not attracted many publications. The WFL is interesting partly for its attempt to evolve a form of non-violent militancy, and also for its determination to maintain a wider feminist agenda at a time when the issue of the vote seemed to be dominating everything else. In her discussion of the teaching profession Alison Oram shows how, somewhat against the trend, suffragists in the National Union of Teachers avoided gender-specific arguments for the vote in favour of an appeal to equality and justice, a tactic which stemmed from their professional situation. The stubborn refusal of the NUT to adopt the suffrage cause underlines, once again, the wisdom of the suffragists in refusing to put the issue to a referendum. Among the studies of individuals, Judith Smart looks at Jennie Baines who left Britain for Australia in 1913 to escape further imprisonment – another reminder that, contrary to received wisdom, the ‘Cat and Mouse’ Act was succeeding in gradually wearing down militancy. In her chapter on Millicent Fawcett, Janet Howarth considers the impact of prolonged widowhood on her feminism. Howarth suggests there is a case for seeing no real change after Henry Fawcett’s death, and some grounds for thinking that Millicent became more involved with issues of sexual morality, though she leaves the reader © The Historical Association 2002



to decide between them. The most startling contribution is Marie MulveyRoberts’s essay on Constance Lytton which delves perceptively into her motivation to reveal a painful mixture of forces: alienation from her privileged family, guilt feelings towards the working-class women and failure in love. Though a sympathetic account, it debunks Lady Constance by revealing her as a flawed and disturbed personality who inflicted physical harm on herself in her desperation to share the suffering of others. Other chapters in the book are less original. Although June Purvis complains about earlier historians’ treatment of Emmeline Pankhurst – by making selective, brief and thus misleading quotations – her own contribution is the traditional narrative based largely on secondary sources and well-known Pankhurst family memoirs. It also incorporates minor errors: the names of Sir Edward Grey and W. H. Dickinson are wrongly spelled, and the election of January 1910 is placed in 1911. The subject and the sources deserve better than this. Liverpool John Moores University MARTIN PUGH The Great Depression in Europe, 1929–1939. By Patricia Clavin. Macmillan. 2000. viii. + 244pp. £13.99. The Great Depression in Europe, 1929–1939 is a further addition to the ‘European History in Perspective’ series. The book has been written particularly with non-economists in mind, which can only be described as a perfect approach for the diverse range of undergraduates studying history, politics and international relations in British universities today. The global economic crisis of the great depression is explored thematically and chronologically, and examines the relationship between economics, domestic politics and international relations. The book also considers the impact that this crisis had on individual European states, European affairs and the international system throughout this period. The book begins with the First World War, when the ‘war of attrition’ became the ‘war of exhaustion’ that was to set in motion the seeds of economic and political instability for the following decades, which would eventually culminate in the Second World War. The subsequent chapters focus on the fragility of the inter-war economy and the impact of foreign loans on Germany in the wake of the Dawes Plans of 1924, which ushered in a period of hyperinflation and economic instability. Clavin points out clearly the consequences of the failure of the international community to introduce mechanisms necessary for international economic co-operation and argues that further weakening in international co-operation was the price paid for ‘stability’ during the period 1924 –8. The role of America in European economic affairs is clear: America very quickly became the largest foreign lender in Europe as the debtor nations attempted to control their fragile economies. The apparently ‘stable’ years of 1927–31, underpinned by a dangerously weak structure, are years which led Europe into the ‘Depths of the Depression’, with which the democratic governments failed to deal and which opened the door to challenges from authoritarian regimes. Despite these challenges, attempts to introduce internationalism into the economic diplomacy of the 1930s failed, largely because the European powers were not prepared to compromise their national economic recovery strategies for increased international co-operation. Internationalism lost out, and it was not until the lessons of the Second World War had been taken on board that the international © The Historical Association 2002


community agreed to make a serious attempt to co-operate in economic policy at an international level for the benefit for all. This work is an excellent text for all undergraduates of history, politics and international relations, particularly for the clarity of discussion and explanation of economic theory and issues. Staffordshire University PAULINE ELKES Hitler 1889–1936: Hubris. By Ian Kershaw. Allen Lane. 1988. xxx + 845pp. £20.00 (hb), £12.99 (pb). Hitler, 1936–1945: Nemesis. By Ian Kershaw. Allen Lane. 2000. xlvi + 1115pp. £25.00 (hb). Biography always runs the risk of explaining too much too easily. This temptation looms largest whenever the genre is applied to figures of alleged worldhistorical significance. In the particular case of Adolf Hitler, we are directly confronted by the dictator’s own self-dramatizing tendency to depict each and every success as being essentially a personal ‘triumph of the will’. Nothing so simple, however, will pass muster for Professor Kershaw. He opens his monumental two-volume project by telling us that here we have an account ‘written by a “structuralist” historian – coming to biography with a critical eye, looking instinctively, perhaps, in the first instance to downplay rather than to exaggerate the part played by the individual, however powerful, in complex historical processes’ (vol. i, p. xii). The upshot is an impressive feat of scholarly balance. Kershaw not only does justice to the gripping tale of Hitler’s own career, but also focuses sharply on the conduct of others who (often underestimating his talents and fervour) reacted to the challenge of his aims and actions in ways that were to prove historically significant. For example, with reference to the Nazi leadership cadre itself, what emerges here is something close to a collective biography as the Führer’s interactions with figures such as Goering, Himmler, Goebbels and Speer are finely traced over many years. The author also accomplishes a judicious blending between all of these personal considerations and the requirements for a wider social and political contextualization of the Hitler phenomenon. In essence, a biographical study that can so well ‘locate’ the man deserves to be acknowledged as an admirable guide to the wider history of the Nazi dictatorship as well. That achievement stems most directly from Kershaw’s unrelenting focus on the nature of the Führer’s power. This is treated less as a simple expression of the leader’s own personality (in some respects a remarkably limited one) and more as ‘a creation of social expectations and motivations vested in Hitler by his followers’. Under circumstances of modern statehood the upshot was a Third Reich governed or misgoverned in a highly distinctive manner: Centring all spheres of power in the hands of one man – whose leadership style was utterly unbureaucratic and whose approach to rule was completely unsystematic, resting as it did on a combination of force and propaganda – could only produce administrative chaos and a morass of competing authorities. But this same organizational chaos was the very safeguard of Hitler’s power, since every strand of authority was dependent on him. Changing the ‘system’ without changing its focal point was impossible. (vol. ii, p. 573)

The concepts of hubris and nemesis might have seemed over-sophisticated if applied solely to the particular individual in the middle of this web. But Kershaw’s © The Historical Association 2002



account succeeds in showing how they really come into their own when taken as guides to the emplotment of a tragedy that involved a shared complicity with much of the wider German nation too. The whole of the resulting epic is narrated with a clarity and flair that ought to encourage general readers not to feel too daunted by the sheer length of a biography whose main text can be enjoyed well enough without undue engagement with the accompanying scholarly apparatus. However, the latter (which includes nearly 400 pages of endnotes spread across the two volumes) does offer a great deal of added value to researchers and other students reading Kershaw for more detailed scholarly purposes. Over the next generation or so, this is the study of Hitler and his tyranny that will surely dominate the field in the way that Alan Bullock’s great pioneering analysis from the mid-1950s managed to do for so long. That is one particularly exacting criterion by which to assess, and indeed confirm, what Hubris and Nemesis have together accomplished. University of Reading MICHAEL BIDDISS Nazism. Edited by Neil Gregor. Oxford University Press. 2000. xi + 462pp. £15.00. This is one of the ‘Oxford Readers’. The stated aim of the series is to bring ‘together extracts of texts from a wide variety of sources, primary and secondary, on a wide range of interdisciplinary topics’. Gregor’s volume does contain a selection of extracts from essays written by mature commentators as they experienced National Socialism first-hand (for example Hermann Rauschning, Thomas Mann, Theodor Heuss, Karl Kautsky, Franz Neumann and Ernst Fraenkel), but by far the majority of extracts are taken from the works of established historians who have analysed Hitler’s political movement since 1945. The usual suspects are all represented: Hans Mommsen, Martin Broszat, Detlev Peukert, Karl-Dietrich Bracher, Peter Diehl-Thiele, Tim Mason, Robert Gellately, Michael Burleigh, Christopher Browning, Omer Bartov, Christian Streit, Ulrich Herbert, Raul Hilberg, Ian Kershaw – the list goes on and on. The contributions are structured thematically. They deal roughly with the origins of National Socialism, the nature of the regime, its propaganda, its impact on society and the main trends in historical interpretation. The book clearly is directed at students rather than researchers and Gregor admits that it makes most sense when used in conjunction with one of the many collections of primary sources which are available. In these terms, Nazism serves a useful purpose. It provides multiple ideas about an important historical phenomenon in a cogent and accessible way; there is plenty here for discussion – especially when it comes to the social historical contributions. Heilbronn probes effectively why bourgeois groups turned to Nazism. Zofka is persuasive when he says that more important than what Nazis wrote or said was the the person representing the party. The quality of the local political advocate mattered most. Pyta underlines the traditional nature of rural communities in the 1920s and 1930s. Here National Socialism only made headway when local dignitaries took up the cause. Good students who can read German should be motivated by these ‘tasters’ (each extract is only about four pages long) to dig out the full original text. Gregor has given undergraduates a useful place to start tussling with complicated historiographical issues. University of Bradford MARTYN HOUSDEN © The Historical Association 2002


France and the Nazi Menace. Intelligence and Policy Making 1933–1939. By Peter Jackson. Oxford University Press. 2000. xii + 446pp. £48.00. France and the Nazi Menace, which began life as a doctoral dissertation, is a study of French perceptions of the German ‘threat’ and the relationship between intelligence and policy from 1933 to the outbreak of war in 1939. This is one of the most difficult areas in intelligence studies since by definition the secrecy of intelligence organizations and operations makes it incredibly difficult to evaluate or come to any conclusions about the impact it may have on decisionmakers. Jackson focuses on the debate that French political and military leadership either ‘surrendered to drift and indecision’ or that, given the problems facing the civilians and military policy-makers, the French leadership was pursuing ‘reasonable goals’. Jackson weaves into this debate the role of intelligence and describes the mountain of information about the political, economic and military situation inside Germany which was available to those making decisions. He argues that the analysis of German intentions was good, but that appreciation of German capabilities was less impressive, with a tendency between the years 1933–8 to dwell on the strengths of Germany and play down the weaknesses. Jackson argues that France had few options in the early 1930s to implement a strong foreign policy towards Germany, and suggests that whilst intelligence was accurate it was ‘ignored’ and marginalized when priority was give to domestic issues over external threats. The chapter on intelligence and Gleichschaltung is particularly interesting and considers the way in which Nazi propaganda and the extreme violence of the Nazi regime was used in the evaluation of Nazi aims. But the exaggeration of German strength combined with what Jackson describes as the ‘French inferiority complex’ led to ‘paralysis’ until mid-1939 when French policy moved to one of ‘firmness’ as a result of Britain’s military commitment and a resurgence of French national confidence. The emerging ‘net assessment’ was one that was less negative in terms of French capabilities and more positive regarding the German situation. Jackson concludes that it is too simplistic to say that intelligence ‘failed’ during this crucial period in the run-up to the Second World War. He suggests that an assessment of policy-making in France in the context of the material and psychological preparedness for war is necessary in order to evaluate the contribution of intelligence to policy-making during this period. This is an excellent book for undergraduates and postgraduates of intelligence studies, and also for those studying French and German history during this period. Staffordshire University PAULINE ELKES 1939. The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War II. By Michael Jabara Carley. House of Stratus. 2000. xxv + 320pp. £16.99. Michael Jabara Carley has set out to write a ‘counter-revisionist’ account of the coming of war in 1939, refuting recent historiography which he believes to have gone too far in finding justification for Neville Chamberlain and other appeasers. Carley’s 1939 is inhabited by clearly delineated heroes and villains. The villains are Chamberlain and Georges Bonnet. The heroes are the advocates of collective security: Robert Vansittart, Georges Mandel, Ivan Maisky, and above all Maxim Litvinov. In Carley’s account, the Soviets worked consistently towards this, even including Vyacheslav Molotov. They were thwarted by © The Historical Association 2002



the anti-communism at the heart of the British and French governments that rendered them ‘blind to the Nazi threat’. It led them to distrust the Soviets, to underrate their military forces and to prefer deals with Nazi Germany. Carley’s readiness to see how things looked from Moscow is certainly welcome, though he tends to take Soviet motivations to be what they said they were, using documents many of which were published during the Soviet era to support the very thesis that Carley is arguing. The British were anyway not blind to the Nazi threat, but they were unwilling to put pressure on the Poles, who were adamant in refusing to allow Soviet troops to enter Poland. Even with speedier negotiations, a higher-level envoy or less suspicion (on either side), the Poles were never going to agree. Given Soviet ambitions towards eastern Poland, this was an understandable, if ultimately unwise, point of view. The British were aware of these ambitions, but while they were undeniably anti-communist, probably more important in shaping their indifference to the Soviet Union was the belief that it was weak and unreliable: a view not based purely on prejudice but on the evidence of the purges and recent information from attachés about Soviet military capabilities. Carley introduces one new element in his discussion, which has relevance to all diplomatic historians. He draws attention to the differences in records of conversations made by the participants. These records are the meat-and-drink of the historian and all too often are treated as objective accounts. Carley’s comparisons throw this into doubt. With eastern bloc archives more accessible, such comparisons can be more easily done, and it may well be that many previously authoritative documents are called into question. In this sense, one of Carley’s main aims – giving equal weight to the way matters looked from the Kremlin – might well be advanced, for the objectivity of all such reports in the diplomatic archives now comes equally under question. Carley’s point that the western statesman or diplomat was also writing for a particular readership and slanting his report accordingly, demands that we look more fully at the prejudices, perceptions and assumptions that comprised the institutional and political culture within which such figures were operating. Brunel University MARTIN H. FOLLY Official Secrets. What the Nazis Planned. What the British and Americans Knew. By Richard Breitman. Allen Lane. 1999. viii + 325pp. £20.00. In theory, the idea behind this text should be highly marketable. In their own right, studies of intelligence and books about the Holocaust are both desirable commodities. Combine the two and you should be certain of a sure fire hit, shouldn’t you? In Official Secrets, Breitman sets out to combine these two strands and supplements them with a third: an attempt to provide a critical evaluation of the participation of ordinary Germans in genocide. Much about the study deserves praise. It makes good use of evidence drawn from British signals intelligence materials lodged in the PRO. The narrative makes clear the considerable extent of co-ordination and forward thinking deployed by the Nazis to enable the terrifically speedy escalation of the killing process in the east during the summer of 1941. As he pieces his story together, Breitman shows himself well aware that signals intelligence can be an unreliable friend: it often hints but does not supply unconditional proof. He is careful, therefore, to © The Historical Association 2002


cross-reference these sources with others to build up a more satisfactory picture. None the less, his sources are undeniably interesting. We read that by August 1941, British analysts were becoming convinced that a general order had been issued demanding that German forces depopulate the east (p. 92). We find out that by the summer of 1943 the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, Victor Cavendish-Bentinck, had received definite evidence about ‘portions of the Holocaust’ based on decodes of police and SS messages (p. 9). But we also learn about another limitation of signals intelligence: it is deceptively easy to ignore pieces of paper. Signals intercepts, which may be of uncertain provenance, can be much less persuasive than flesh-and-blood witnesses of events. The western governments, Breitman argues, only began taking evidence of the Holocaust really seriously in the second half of 1942 when they began to encounter human intelligence, for example the testimony of a German industrialist about the implementation of a massive gassing and crematorium-building policy (p. 138). Breitman’s study is full of interesting insights which crop up as if in passing. He has read Himmler’s copy of Mein Kampf. The Reichsführer-SS highlighted a passage suggesting that 15,000 ‘Hebrew corrupters’ should have been gassed at the start of the First World War (p. 17). Only three officials in Whitehall expected Operation Barbarossa to fail (p. 97). The SIS ceased reporting executions of Jews in the east to Churchill in mid-September 1941 and thereafter he made few requests about their plight (p. 153). And after 1945 the British government did not use its decodes to pursue police officers below the rank of lieutenant and to eject them from their posts (pp. 219–20). The only question is whether the three different strands of the study should really have been woven together in the first place. At times this reviewer wished Breitman had limited his study to the mechanics, substances, analyses and consequences of signals intelligence as it related to the Holocaust. At other times, however, it becomes plain that the materials at the PRO really do cry out to be located in the context of wider historiographical debates. Perhaps the problem reflects a difficulty inherent in dealing with intelligence materials per se. Intelligence systems call for study in their own right; but these same systems are often gathering information about other topics of interest to us in their own right. So perhaps Breitman had to address both sides of the coin in a single study. In any event, he has produced a volume which is well worth reading. University of Bradford MARTYN HOUSDEN A Time of Silence: Civil War and the Culture of Repression in Franco’s Spain, 1936–1945. By Michael Richards. Cambridge University Press. 1998. xi + 314pp. £40.00. Only in the last decade or so have historians begun to chart the exact nature and extent of the repression under the Franco dictatorship. Michael Richards’s passionate account, which covers the period of the Civil War (1936–9) and the Second World War, evaluates the repression not only in sheer physical terms, but also in its social, economic, cultural and ideological dimensions. In the process, A Time of Silence effectively debunks the contention that the regime’s autarkic economic policy, for which the majority of Spaniards paid such an atrocious price, was made inevitable by the fratricidal destruction of 1936 –9 and the imperatives of the world war. © The Historical Association 2002



For Franco’s supporters, the Civil War provided the opportunity to purge Spain of its godless, atheistic hordes. Even after the cessation of hostilities, up to 200,000 republican loyalists were executed, while many had their homes looted, their property confiscated and their careers destroyed. Still, as Richards argues convincingly, the repression must be understood in much broader terms. It also entailed the obliteration of all alternative visions of state and society as culture was made subject to the diktat of the state, history was rewritten and society terrorized. The ‘National’, in short, was recast. The vanquished were vilified as ‘Anti-Spain’, a foreign, cancerous growth which had eaten away at Spain’s soul and which, accordingly, had to be exorcised. Central to A Time of Silence is the thesis that the regime’s pursuit of material self-sufficiency was not simply a question of economics. Such exigencies, as Richards demonstrates by drawing on an impressive array of evidence, were subordinated to social and political needs, not least the consolidation of Franco’s own power. In fact, autarky proved, in purely economic terms, to be a downright disaster, with as many as 200,000 people dying of starvation during the ‘hungry’ 1940s. Altogether, A Time of Silence presents a withering indictment of the Franco regime’s totalitarian reconstruction of Spain. It could be argued that Richards adopts a somewhat mechanistic view of Francoist politics. Policy-making and other initiatives were often messier processes than he allows. He also tends to underplay the very real fractures within the dictatorship as well as to underestimate the extent to which it enjoyed genuine popular support. Moreover, A Time of Silence implicitly identifies the early, harshest, years of the Franco regime with the dictatorship as a whole. In this regard, Richards is manifestly unfair to Juan Linz, who quite rightly stressed that the dictatorship did not stand still, but evolved. Surprisingly, A Time of Silence has little to say about how the alliance with the Axis powers shaped the Franco regime. Further, such a densely written book, with 100 pages of notes for just 172 pages of text, could have benefited from greater contextual explanation. That said, this remains an enormously valuable and challenging contribution to our understanding of the bleakest chapter in the history of the Franco dictatorship. European University, CEES, Madrid NIGEL TOWNSON When the War was Over: Women, War and Peace in Europe 1940–1956. Edited by Claire Duchen and Irene Bandhauer-Schöffmann. Leicester University Press. 2000. xii + 260pp. £17.99. The precise impact of the Second World War on the post-war position of women in European society has been one of the major components within the wider debate on war and society in the twentieth century. While the debate itself is more than thirty years old, it is only recently that extensive empirical research has been carried out on many of the issues which, until now, have been subject to broad generalization and theoretical assumption. In this context, this edited collection is particularly welcome not only because it contains work by many of the leading scholars in the field of mid-twentieth-century women’s history, but also because it is carefully focused on a particular chronological period: what the editors call ‘the awkward space between war and peace’. Most of the chapters deal with the immediate aftermath of war and liberation/ occupation in the years 1944 –6, although one or two take the analysis into the © The Historical Association 2002


early 1950s. The book is divided into three sections: discourses of war and gender; women, politics, feminism; and reconstructing communities: exile and return, belonging and betrayal. Each section has a number of contributions, each based on detailed research, including much oral testimony, and well grounded in the authors’ specific expertise. While the essays are valuable in their own right as evidence of how women responded to war and peace in the various European countries at the end of the Second World War, many contributors have also chosen to compare their findings with those of other authors – both within this volume and elsewhere. This gives the book a far more integrated feel than many edited collections and to some extent excuses the absence of an overall conclusion. Given the number of chapters in this book, it would be impossible to do justice to all the contributions in such a short review. Suffice it to say that anyone with interests in women’s history and in the history of Europe during and after the Second World War will find points of contact in this text, and resonances with other works on the nature and essence of the post-war reconstruction process. As a single, but pertinent example, a number of the contributors point out how the role of women during the war was often downplayed, ‘rewritten’ or even ignored altogether in the processes of creating the historical myths which were to sustain state and nation re-formation in the post-war world. This volume is a must for libraries and will become a key text for teaching the post-1945 reconstruction of Europe. University of Sheffield BOB MOORE Italy since 1945. Edited by Patrick McCarthy. Oxford University Press. 2000. xiv + 245pp. £13.99. Italy since 1945 represents the final volume in the excellent ‘Short Oxford History of Italy’ series. Less detailed, and at times less assured and more hurried (but at the same time more imaginative) than its stablemate Italy in the Nineteenth Century, this slim work will be a very welcome addition to the (already high-quality) historical surveys (Ginsborg, Sassoon) available on post-war Italy. In his editorial introduction, Patrick McCarthy manages the considerable feat of distilling over half a century of Italian post-war history into a mere nine pages. McCarthy touches on current debates regarding the resistance and the continuities between fascism and the ‘anti-fascist’ republic, as well as pointing out the central paradox of the post-war period: the existence of an increasingly sclerotic and internalized political system alongside an ever more vigorous entrepreneurial and outward-looking economy and culture. The book then examines in three lengthy chapters the ‘big themes’: society, economy and politics. Percy Allum traces the transformation of Italian society, deftly examining an ambitious range of subjects – migration, feminism, the family, state–society relations, terrorism, employment patterns and social class. Vera Zamagni details the key developments in the Italian economy. She focuses on the driving force behind post-war economic success – the small and medium-size enterprises of north-east and central Italy (more than 70 per cent of Italian businesses employ less than 250 people) – and contrasts this with the state-run corporate disasters of the South. Gianfranco Pasquino tackles the politics of the Italian republic with a heavy bias to the tumultuous events of the 1990s. Unerringly, Pasquino ( presumably writing © The Historical Association 2002



in 1998 or 1999) predicts the victory of Berlusconi’s centre-right coalition in the recent (May 2001) elections. The second half of Italy since 1945 is less orderly, and certainly more uneven, in its coverage of particular subjects only touched upon in the opening survey chapters. The series’s commitment to ‘different and new perspectives’ is demonstrated here by individual chapters devoted to frequently marginalized issues: the environment, sport and popular culture. Alongside these are essays on more familiar and traditional themes: foreign policy, the church, the Mafia and ‘high’ culture. Of the ‘new’ histories, Simonetta Tunesi’s brief and schematic work on environmental policy is arguably the most engaging, certainly the most idiosyncratic. Brief and schematic, Tunesi’s saggio is a damning indictment of Italy’s post-war environmental record, which has wreaked widespread and permanent damage on Italy’s natural and artistic heritage, and on the public’s health. Stefano Pivato, meanwhile, provides a useful introduction to the growth of sport in the post-war period, from the giro d’Italia of the late 1940s to the serie A of the 1990s. Pivato is at his most interesting when he explores the connections between sport and politics, from post-war giro winner Gino Bartali’s embodiment of Christian Democracy on wheels, to Forza Italia’s wholesale adoption of football terminology (and organizational structures) in the 1990s in an attempt to win the popular vote. Less successful is Stephen Gundles’s attempt to explore changes in popular culture through analysis of three popular cultural events: the San Remo music festival, the marriage of Hollywood stars Tyrone Power and Linda Christian in Rome, and the funeral of Communist leader Enrico Berlinguer. Robert Gordon fares better in his treatment of ‘high’ culture, duly acknowledging the key figures of Italian film and literature while managing to put some flesh on the bones of Italy’s numerous post-war literary and cinematic movements. This does mean, however, that the real bastion of ‘high’ culture in Italy – opera – is relegated to a few lines in McCarthy’s general conclusions. Despite the optimism of many of the contributors (most evident in Lupo’s assessment of the Mafia, and Harper’s work on Italian foreign policy), McCarthy warns that Italy is not performing to its potential. Given his acerbic comments regarding Berlusconi, it is unlikely that McCarthy feels that Italy post-May 2001 will perform any better, at least in the immediate future. De Montfort University NICK CARTER Integral Europe: Fast-Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Neofascism. By Douglas R. Holmes. Princeton University Press. 2000. xiii + 253pp. £35.00. Though the author sometimes takes a historical perspective to develop his thesis, this is not principally a work of history but rather an exercise in political anthropology. One may imagine Professor Holmes trudging with his faithful tape recorder across Europe from Friuli in northern Italy, via southern France to the West End of London interviewing characters mainly on the fringes but sometimes nearer the centre of European politics. His purpose is not, as a cursory glance at the main title of his book might at first suggest, to provide another account of European integration but rather to warn of the potential dangers to the European political scene of a significant sense of alienation experienced by many of the individuals Holmes talked to and the people they are able to influence; alienation founded upon a form of late twentieth-century capitalism © The Historical Association 2002


that promotes rapid societal change and overrides other cultural and moral claims. This alienation is also accelerated by the momentum of the European Union. To many of his interviewees the EU appears, as Holmes puts it, as ‘a vast, uninspired technocratic undertaking’ which, as it constructs a multiracial and multicultural Europe, seems to rob them of their national, ethnic or religious autonomy. The outcome has been an upsurge across Europe of political groupings which, as in France, share many of the nationalist and racist traits of fascism or, as in Britain, are demonstrably fascist. Their aim is to move national and European politics in a rather different direction from that which it is presently taking and confound the emergence of an integrated cosmopolitan Europe. This book, therefore, has much to alert us to in the narrow context of the current British debate on race and the wider question of institutional reform of the EU in 2004. It is not an easy read. It is densely written and spends most of its first chapter defining, and not always clearly, central terms such as ‘fastcapitalism’ as well as ‘integralism’ itself. The reader’s effort, however, is well rewarded. And Holmes’s vision is not entirely bleak. There are those, he points out, who view the EU as the protector of ethnographical diversity and the home in which historic religious and racial conflicts can be set aside. Sadly, there is little evidence to support such optimism. Canterbury Christ Church University College SEAN GREENWOOD Encyclopedia of the Korean War: A Political, Social and Military History. Edited by Spencer C. Tucker. ABC-Clio. 2000. 3 vols. 1123pp. £150. This work constitutes a thorough guide to the origins, character and immediate aftermath of the Korean War. Individual entries are arranged alphabetically and are printed in volumes i and ii. The third volume includes a balanced selection of documents extending to approximately 250 pages. Five assistant editors have worked with the principal editor; entries are provided by approximately 100 individual authors. John S. D. Eisenhower has contributed a succinct foreword. While noting widespread American regret that the Korean War ended disappointingly for the United States, he writes: ‘To me, the outcome of the Korean conflict was quite satisfactory’ ( p. xviii). Eisenhower emphasizes the American perspective: the war is worth studying because of its effects on American foreign policy, military controversies and its colourful personalities. A number of Korean authors have contributed, but the fundamental perspective given is an American one. It is strong on military and political history, rather less so on social history. In a short preface Spencer C. Tucker notes that the Korean conflict became known as the ‘Forgotten War’: only in 1995 did Korean War veterans secure a memorial in Washington, D.C. The editor adds: ‘It is hoped that this encyclopedia will in some small measure help Americans to remember all those individuals who fought in Korea’ ( p. xix). Entries include references to particular kinds of warfare; specific battles or clashes; biographical assessments of politicians and military men; and the definition of particular terms. Thus the reader will find entries in volume I dealing with aerial combat; aeromedical evacuation; African-Americans; armor (tanks); Blair House meetings; General Omar Bradley; casualties; the Changjin (Chosin) Reservoir campaign; the Chejudo rebellion; the People’s Republic of China; combat aircraft; John Foster Dulles; © The Historical Association 2002



grave registration; Han River operations; Home-by-Christmas offensive; Inch’on landing; Kaesong truce talks; Kim Il Sung; Kim Jong Il; Kim Tu-bong; Korea aid bills; battle of Kunu-ri; Selwyn Lloyd; Douglas MacArthur; the MacArthur Hearings; Mao Zedong; military awards and decorations; the Military Sea Transport Service; and many others. These headings, selected at random, give a good impression of the scope and coverage. Anyone wishing to locate a concise assessment of a particular phase or event will find a clear, informative entry, followed by cross-references and a brief bibliography. Each volume includes maps of a general or specialized nature. The only regret is that maps have not appeared in colour: General Farrar-Hockley has demonstrated the value of coloured maps in his admirable two volumes examining the British military role in the war. Occasionally, contradictory information is to be found. Thus, in an entry on Winston Churchill, by Eric W. Osborne, we are informed that: ‘Some officials, including Anthony Eden, opposed British involvement in Korea and believed that London should focus on strengthening Europe against the Soviets rather than pursuing a summit’ (vol. i, p. 150). In an entry on Anthony Eden, by Clayton D. Laurie, we are told that: ‘Although Eden would have liked to increase Britain’s military commitment to the fighting in Korea to improve its bargaining position, Britain’s weakened postwar economic and military posture would not allow this move’ (vol. i, p. 200). The latter entry states erroneously that Eden was created Earl of Avon in 1954. Neither entry refers to Eden’s serious ill-health in 1953 and the greater influence exercised by Churchill in the direction of foreign policy before he suffered a stroke. The first volume includes a revised version of a review essay discussing the historiography of the war, by Allan R. Millett, which appeared originally in the Journal of Military History (1997). Each volume is well illustrated with numerous photographs, many of which are unfamiliar, in addition to the reappearance of old favourites. Among the more striking illustrations are a moving photograph of an injured North Korean prisoner staring sadly through the bars of a window in Taegu (vol. ii, p. 532); a reproduction of a Chinese propaganda Christmas card dropped on UNC lines in December 1951, reading: ‘Whatever the colour, race or creed, All plain folks are brothers indeed. Both you and we want life and peace, If you go home, the war will cease. Demand Peace! Stop the War!’ (vol. ii, p. 536); and a young brother and sister hunting for food and trying to keep warm in the railroad yards of Seoul in November 1950 (vol. ii, p. 560). The third volume concentrates mainly on documentation. This comprises a valuable selection, beginning with extracts from the Moscow agreement of 27 December 1945 and ending with the text of the mutual defence treaty concluded between the United States and the Republic of Korea on 17 November 1953. The documents include translated items from the Russian and Chinese archives, among them exchanges between Stalin and Kim II Sung and between Stalin and Mao, the latter dealing with the delicate subject of Soviet policy towards Chinese intervention in Korea (vol. iii, pp. 905–14). These have been published elsewhere, but it is helpful to see them as part of a broader selection embracing the United States, the UN and states critical of UN intervention such as India. The documents include indications of Stalin’s ire at the grave reverses inflicted on North Korean forces following the Inch’on landing; Mao’s decision to combat the threat on the Yalu and to punish American ‘arrogance’; the text of NSC© The Historical Association 2002


68, of great significance in the evolution of the cold war, submitted to President Truman in April 1950; the full text of Dean Acheson’s earlier National Press Club speech of January 1950 – it is interesting to be reminded of the precise language used including the exaggeration of the Russian role in Manchuria. The inclusion of extensive documentation does much to enhance the importance of this work for teaching purposes. The third volume also includes appendices giving the Order of Battle and Medal of Honor winners; a ‘timeline’ for Korean history ranging from 7000  to 26 April 1954; a select bibliography; and a detailed index. This encyclopaedia is a valuable work of reference, particularly for the military and political dimensions of the Korean War. It is strongest on American aspects but includes clear coverage of other UN states contributing to the UNC plus lucid entries on Korean, Russian and Chinese themes. Every university library should possess a copy. It is to be hoped that a one-volume, condensed edition will appear at a price affordable to the hard-pressed academic or even student. University of Manchester PETER LOWE The Vietnam Wars. Edited by Kevin Ruane. Manchester University Press. 2000. xvii + 189pp. £12.99. The book under review is a further addition to the ‘Documents in Contemporary History’ series. As such it will be a very useful teaching aid providing a range of documents, a chronology, and introductions to the periods and each document. A particular strength of the collection is the decision to treat the period 1930–75 in the Vietnam Wars as a plurality of wars, in which the Vietnamese had to engage with the French, the Japanese, the British briefly, and the United States. As such, the wars are placed in a wider context than the usual limited treatment of the 1960s to the mid-1970s. However, given that the book looks at the Vietnam Wars, it is surprising that the wars with Cambodia and China in the late 1970s are not included. Ruane’s chapter introductions are extremely useful, well-written, succinct and above all very clear. The student will welcome this collection, which provides an initial outline of the devastating events. Millions of people died in the wars, and though the collection is good on representing the Vietnamese, US and some British documents, the French are missing, who were obviously crucial in the earlier period. Similarly, given a cold-war context for the United States, some Soviet or Chinese documents would be useful. However, despite the difficulty of representing the wars in such a short volume, Ruane has done a very good job in deciding on the key documents that provide a diplomatic, political and military analysis towards ultimately understanding the US–Vietnamese conflict. For a wider set of interpretations of the war, the collection could have included material from the Pentagon Papers relating to US economic interests, and to the importance of Vietnam for the French and the Japanese economies. Nevertheless, within the diplomatic and political framework the book is highly recommended for use in undergraduate seminars. The final section provides various assessments and reflections that will stimulate further debate. De Montfort University DAVID RYAN © The Historical Association 2002



The Fall of the GDR: Germany’s Road to Unity. By David Childs. Longman. 2001. xvii + 188pp. £15.99. Frequent visits and personal contacts have given David Childs a good knowledge of the defunct German Democratic Republic. In this his latest book he is at pains to highlight his top-level sources, such as a gracing of Nottingham University by Margaret Thatcher in September 1989. Thatcher knew very little about the GDR or about Germany at large, but Childs provides a succinct account of the GDR’s dying phase for students and general readers. They will find a generally clear narrative, with chronological and biographical summaries, and suggestions for further reading in English and German. The first four chapters deal with fundamental characteristics of the GDR from its early years, such as the political system, the economy and the security service, and the challenge posed by changes in the Soviet Union under Gorbachev. The seven remaining chapters cover the dramatic events of 1989–90, culminating in German unity in October 1990. Competent and informed though it is, the book holds disappointments. No apparent advantage has been taken of the wealth of archival material available for the last ten years; the narrative is matched by very little analysis; and the structure of the account can be confusing. As one example of many, the section ‘Ceausescu goes in Romania’ (December 1989) precedes not only ‘China resists democracy’ (June 1989) but also the pivotal developments in the GDR of October–November 1989. This will confuse readers not already versed in the subject, to whom presumably the book is directed. There is also a strange imbalance between the coverage of themes. Chapter 6 on ‘The Birth of the Opposition Parties’ – surely not unimportant for an understanding of 1989 – is only 41/2 pages long, and the final perspective on the situation ten years on from German unification occupies less than one page. Throughout there is an emphasis on personalities and individual careers, without much new light being shed on either. The events of 1989–90 and their profound effects on European and world developments have spawned a huge amount of publication, around the world but particularly in Germany itself. Childs’s contribution adds a few illuminating anecdotes and a sensible narrative, but unfortunately does not take the debate any further forward. Cardiff University JONATHAN OSMOND The British Seaside. Holidays and Resorts in the Twentieth Century. By John K. Walton. Manchester University Press. 2000. 216pp. £14.99. At the close of the twentieth century, the continuing hold of the seaside over the British imagination, not to say its significance to the country’s economy, society and culture, needs explanation. John Walton, aptly described by series editor, Jeffrey Richards, as ‘the doyen of seaside historians’, makes a major contribution to that task in this book. Part of the excellent Manchester University Press ‘Studies in Popular Culture’ series, the book is hugely readable yet immensely scholarly and readily communicates Walton’s enthusiasm for and command of his subject. Opening with an introduction which traces the seaside as a referent in British twentieth-century popular culture from Enid Blyton to Eastenders, the book is composed of chapters on: the seaside resort system; the holidaymakers; travelling to the coast; seaside pleasures; seaside environments; © The Historical Association 2002


seaside economies; seaside politics; conclusion – the seaside in perspective. Each of these chapters deals with a key aspect of resort history, drawing on rich local and national sources and an extensive and eclectic reading of the literatures. The book tackles head-on the discourse of decline that pervades the treatment of the twentieth-century British seaside. While Walton acknowledges and traces the decline of the 1970s and 1980s, continuity and survival are the enduring themes of the book. The distinctive nature and problems of resort societies which may seem characteristic of the end of the twentieth century – debates over ‘resort image’, the seaside’s embracing of ‘alternative’ lifestyles, the impact of retirees and commuters, the problems caused by coastal pollution – are all identified here as having a long history in the century. Continuity and adaptation are key concepts and Walton’s comparison between the British seaside resort and the country’s cotton industry is well made. Both emerged at about the same time; but the seaside proved far more enduring than the latter which peaked earlier, disappeared sooner and had practically vanished by the time some of the more resilient resorts were turning the tide of slump in the 1980s. Yet, as Walton points out, the British seaside’s significance and capacity to survive and adapt have yet to produce a historiography to challenge that of cotton. This historical preoccupation with production and politics is slowly being challenged as Britain itself shifts from a production to a service economy and the cultural histories of fashion, cuisine, leisure and tourism become respectable fields of enquiry, reflected in this book and others in the same series. This is the best treatment of the twentieth-century British seaside yet, but despite its richness and range of coverage, it will no doubt not be the last word. There remains, for instance, a genuine need for detailed resort case studies of the UK’s Celtic countries – so little has been written on Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland that books on Britain remain by default dominated by studies of the English experience. In addition, there are many opportunities for multi-disciplinary resort studies and there must be more meaningful dialogues between historians of tourism and the overwhelmingly present-minded but fast maturing field of tourism studies – dialogues which this book will surely further stimulate. University of Wales Institute, Cardiff NIGEL MORGAN Sport in Britain, 1945–2000. By Richard Holt and Tony Mason. Blackwell. 2000. xii + 212pp. £50.00. For many historians, the place of sport in British history remains problematic. Frequently the only opportunity for undergraduates to take a sports history course is as part of a sports studies/science degree, not a history degree. Unsurprisingly, sport is still a missing dimension in most history textbooks. Social histories often prove the exception, but Edward Royle’s Modern Britain: A Social History 1750–1997 (2nd edn., 1997) typifies their tendency to treat sport unevenly over time. In turn, the resulting focus on socio-economic aspects, particularly leisure, means that, say, sport’s political significance is either ignored or glossed over. Conversely, there has been growing public recognition of sport as – to quote John Major (1995) – ‘a central part of Britain’s National Heritage’; indeed, the prime minister went on to depict Britain as experiencing a nineteenth-century leisure and sporting revolution ‘every bit as significant as the agricultural and © The Historical Association 2002



industrial revolutions we launched in the century before’. In turn, sport’s central role in contemporary Britain was acknowledged by the Blair government’s A Sporting Future For All (2000) strategy document, which identified sport as Britain’s ‘most popular leisure activity’ and ‘a booming industry’ employing some 420,000 people. Sport and the British (1989) and Association Football and English Society (1980), among other publications, mean that neither Richard Holt nor Tony Mason, now united at De Montfort University, need much introduction. Holt and Mason, pointing to the lack of an established secondary literature, present their book as ‘an original historical synthesis, not a conventional textbook’ ( p. ix), even if, in reality, it rivals and complements existing post-1945 texts like Martin Polley’s Moving the Goalposts (1997). Inevitably, their focus is selective. The more popular sports provide the context for an informed and up-to-date appraisal of a range of themes, including the decline of amateurism and the rise of professionalism, commercialism, media interest and political significance. Whether or not one subscribes to Harold Perkin’s claim that ‘the history of societies is more widely reflected in the way they spend their leisure than in their work or politics’, sport is shown as not only possessing an intrinsic historical importance but also providing an invaluable window through which to study political, social, economic and cultural continuities and changes in post-1945 Britain. In particular, sport serves as a powerful reminder and reinforcer of integrative and contested class, gender, local, national and other identities in British society. Whatever might be written about not viewing the past in the light of present-day concerns, contemporary realities do raise serious questions about the marginalization of sport by historians seeking otherwise to provide a comprehensive picture of the past. Kingston University PETER J. BECK

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