The “what ifs?” of present-day speculation should become the “what ifs?” of history. Too often, however, we fail to understand this uncertainty because we shape history to try to make it clear and obvious, and far clearer and more obvious than it was to contemporaries, domestic or foreign.
Once Within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and Belonging since 1500. By Charles S. Maier. Review published by The Journal of Modern History. Read review
Jeremy’s new book will be published by Hurst Publishers
The history of Britain has, at least in part, to be understood in a European context. Jeremy Black’s new book seeks to explain this phenomenon.
Amid Britain’s ongoing Brexit crises the mastodons on both sides roar about our past relationship with Europe. Much specious history is being presented to justify how close or distant our political, cultural and economic links with the Continent have been, both by isolationist advocates of a ‘Little Britain’ and those who breathlessly embrace a polyglot landmass, one in which Britain has traditionally ‘balanced’ its interests offshore by siding with one European power or another.
But how similar to or dissimilar from other European countries was Britain, and in what respects? Moreover, how far can similarity and difference be understood in terms of convergence, divergence, or roughly parallel tracks? Did the inhabitants of the British Isles feel themselves to be Europeans, did they take an informed and sympathetic interest in what was happening on the Continent, or did their ignorance of Europe lead to insularity and xenophobia? Finally, to what extent was Britain involved in the affairs of the Continent over the last several hundred years? These are among the questions examined in this fresh and trenchant analysis of ‘Britain in Europe’.
Jürgen Osterhammel, Defining the Foreigner, Unfabling the East: The Enlightenment’s Encounter with Asia. Robert Savage, trans. Princeton University Press, 2018. Read review
Read Jeremy’s blog post on the FPRI website.
Jeremy’s A Brief History of Italy was reviewed by Christina Hardyment as audiobook of the week in the Times on 28 July 2018. The book can be found at audible.co.uk
Published January 2019 by Indiana University Press. Find out more.
Read Jeremy’s blog on President Trump’s visit to the UK on the FPRI website.
Along with Colonel Nick Lipscombe, Jeremy will be leading a cultural tour on “Wellington Invades France: the final stages of the Peninsular War” in Bayonne between 25 and 29 June. Find out more