Reviewed by Lauren Stokes
Reading the headlines in the summer of 2015, one might think that migration was a wholly new challenge for Europeans and specifically for Germans. Many of the contributors to this volume are explicit about their desire to intervene in this political culture of historical amnesia and in doing so contribute to what editor Cornelia Wilhelm identifies as “a new, more inclusive understanding of Germanness and of Germany’s role as a destination for immigrants.
Reviewed by Graeme Turner
The primary task undertaken in Familiar Stranger is one of intensely thoughtful theoretical introspection, an introspection that is directed at understanding the processes of cultural and intellectual self-fashioning that had gone into the formation of one of the most influential intellectuals of his generation.
Reviewed by Jane Nadel-Klein
Willson’s volume is well-written, mostly clear, and follows an intriguing puzzle: it seems that Icelandic women have a long history of going to sea, but the Icelandic public is largely unaware of this.
The Young Victims of the Nazi Regime: Migration, the Holocaust and Postwar Displacement edited by Simone Gigliotti and Monica Tempian
Reviewed by Paula Fass
As the history of children has taken its place among the important fields of inquiry over the past two decades, and as children’s lives provide valuable insights into human experience, it is inevitable that the children brutalized by Nazi Germany should become historical subjects.
EurAfrican Borders and Migration Management: Political Cultures, Contested Spaces, and Ordinary Lives edited by Paolo Gaibazzi, Alice Bellagamba, and Stephan Dünnwald
Reviewed by Stephanie Maher
Borders are political and economic, material and subjective, hard and soft. By their very nature, borders are gendered, classed, and raced in important ways. Yet, they are also emergent and relational, rather than being fixed and hegemonic.
Reviewed by Bethany Hicks
While travel over Cold War borders became difficult, youth travel encouraged a new generational identity in the postwar era.
Reviewed by Catherine Epstein
Karl Haushofer, the man who popularized the term Lebensraum (living space), has been accused of many misdeeds.
Reviewed by Joseph Palis
Paul Grant’s fine contribution to film studies sheds light on the subversive filmmaking practices of French collectives during and in the aftermath of May 1968 events. It exemplifies a “deep mapping” of the specific historical moment that greatly influenced and provided filmic vocabularies to filmmakers in succeeding generations.
Reviewed by Tomas Antero Matza
Social and economic precarity, anomie, abandonment, dispossession and displacement—these, unfortunately, are hallmarks of our times. How, then, do ordinary people seek to make a difference in the lives of others?
Centre Pompidou: Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, and the Making of a Modern Monument by Francesco Dal Co
Reviewed by Leslie Sklair
This handsome book is a notable first contribution to the new Yale University series “Great Architects/Great Buildings.” In his illuminating preface, Dal Co begins with Virginia Woolf’s essay, “How One Should Read a Book,” published in the Yale Review in October 1926, where Woolf observes that a book is always “an attempt to make something as formed and controlled as a building.”
Reviewed by Nicholas Clark
From the deprivation that occurred in the aftermath of the Second World War, which ranged from ill-health, rationing, food and housing shortage, to the crushing impact on artistic life, there emerged in Britain an intention to rebuild and improve all aspects of social and cultural existence. It was from this context, of commemorating resilience and celebrating ingenuity, that the 1951 Festival of Britain was planned.
Reviewed by Stephen Royle
More satisfying in many ways are substantial chapters that demonstrate a methodology, which not only deepens their explanation, but would also encourage other scholars to take up the ideas for further study.
Reviewed by Roger Ebbatson
The permeable generic boundaries between Hardy’s prose and poetry sometimes gesture towards a version of the Derridean thesis that a literary genre is dissolved at the moment of its establishment.
Confessions of the Shtetl. Converts from Judaism in Imperial Russia, 1817-1906 by Ellie R. Schainker
Reviewed by Theodore R. Weeks
The field of Jewish studies has developed considerably over the past few decades. In particular, the field, which has never closed off from other disciplines and area studies, has progressively opened up to insights and topics that are of interest to broader scholarly and social groups, from anthropologists, to historians, to social scientists of all stripes.
Britain, France, West Germany and the People’s Republic of China, 1969-1982: The European Dimension of China’s Great Transition by Martin Albers
Reviewed by Michael Smith
The book is undoubtedly a historical study, but in pursuing a wide-ranging account of the years 1969-1982, it suggests a number of important themes for the non-historian, especially the student of International Relations.
Reviewed by Briana Smith
This book offers an important contribution to the trend in punk studies to de-center punk from its Anglo-American origin story and examine the multi-directional influence of punk cultures across the globe.
Reviewed by Sophie Gonick
In the decade following the financial collapse of Ecuador, hundreds of thousands of migrants left the country to make a home elsewhere. For a sizable portion of this population, Madrid was the ultimate destination.
African Pentecostals in Catholic Europe: The Politics of Presence in the Twenty-First Century by Annalisa Butticci
Reviewed by Donald Carter
The author’s extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Italy, Ghana, and Nigeria informs her exploration of the complementarity of African Pentecostalism and Catholicism at the level of shared sacramental and incarnational principles evident in both traditions.
Reviewed by David Stegall
Kaplan chooses a linear approach to her task, giving the reader a chronological narrative, from Camus as clerk, writing The Stranger, to the current life of Camus’ first novel as it inspires Kamel Daoud’s lauded 2013 The Meursault Investigation.
Reviewed by Klaus-Jürgen Hermanik
The monograph, with its particular case studies, bring abstract categories of power relations between Hungary and the EU to the forefront. The chapters on the paprika ban, the foie gras scandal, and the red mud environmental catastrophe should help to make these power relations visible and understandable.
Queenship, Gender, and Reputation in the Medieval and Early Modern West, 1060-1600 by Zita Eva Rohr and Lisa Benz
Reviewed by Miriam Shadis
Accusations of being bad mothers, sexual deviants, schemers, or profligates challenged Christian ideals and political stability.
Gender and the Economic Crisis in Europe: Politics, Institutions and Intersectionality edited by Johanna Kantola and Emanuela Lombardo
Reviewed by Muireann O’Dwyer
This is a book that shows the gendered nature of the crisis, in particular looking at the gendered nature of the institutional reforms, and the gendered impacts of the austerity response.
Reviewed by Denis M. Provencher
Perreau’s book encourages us to seek and create new narratives where being queer means simultaneously “coming and going” instead of simply “coming out.”
Reviewed by Dominic Thomas
Achille Mbembe’s writings are groundbreaking, truly interdisciplinary in nature, bridging institutional divides between the humanities and social sciences, and affording him recognition as one of the most challenging and stimulating thinkers at work today.
Reviewed by Dr. Kim Simpson
Peakman carefully negotiates the slippery definitions of erotica and pornography, and illuminates the myriad ways that medical and scientific discourses are rehearsed, considered, and refuted by erotic materials.
Reviewed by Pamela Dale
In the twenty-first century, the mental health of children is under constant scrutiny and is a topic that is regularly discussed by the print and broadcast media, drawing on reports from researchers, practitioners, policy-makers, service-providers, charities, and user-led organizations.
Reviewed by Alexandros Kyriakidis
This book describes the origins and differences between the economic traditions of France and Germany.
Reviewed by Lucia Quaglia
The sovereign debt crisis in the euro area, which has not been fully addressed and has the potential to re-ignite at any time, has threatened the very survival of the euro and potentially of the European Union.
Reviewed by Louise Michelle Fitzgerald
This book tells a story of institutional norms, critical junctures, policy equilibrium, and path dependency.
The Sky of Our Manufacture: The London Fog in British Fiction from Dickens to Woolf by Jesse Oak Taylor
Reviewed by John Parham
Taylor’s literary criticism is supported by a historical frame, geographical foundation, and thematic focus, the latter encompassing the sophisticated engagement with environmental science, which characterizes the best ecocriticism.
Agriculture in Capitalist Europe, 1945-1960: From Food Shortages to Food Surpluses Edited by Carin Martiin, Juan Pan-Montojo, and Paul Brassley
Reviewed by Brídín Carroll
This book aims to address a gap in scholarship on European rural history. Specifically, it tackles a dearth of academic work on the emergence of modern agriculture in Western Europe, which occurred rapidly following World War II.
Reviewed by Lada V. Kochtcheeva
The rise of global information age impacts power relations in the world, boosts the spread of global norms and principles, and affects political structures and cultures of states. In addition to the spread of global information networks, globalization fosters economic interdependence, technological innovation, multilateral institutions, and the proliferation of non-state actors, which are deemed to weigh profoundly in global affairs.
Reviewed by Alexander Angelov
As the cultural pendulum moves from one direction to the other, we experience a radicalization of values because the amplification of convictions on one end triggers reactions on the other. Construed as polar opposites in popular imaginaries since the Enlightenment, religion and secularism have generated different anthropologies and modes of being.
Geopolitical Constructs: The Mulberry Harbours, World War Two, and the Making of a Militarized Transatlantic by Colin Flint
Reviewed by Garret J Martin
Geopolitical Constructs challenges our conception of war by emphasizing a number of key and interrelated themes. This includes underlining the ways by which war transforms individuals and places, reshapes interactions between government and businesses, or leads to the creation of new bureaucracies.
Reviewed by Amy Hubbell
As Europe continues to face the largest wave of refugees pouring into its borders since World War II, past influxes of migrants across the continent offer important lessons about national identity and integration. With Germany receiving the vast majority of refugees, and France ranked in the top three destinations, Vertriebene and Pieds-Noirs in Postwar Germany and France is particularly timely.
Reviewed by Marten Boon
This book is as inspiring as it is bewildering, mainly because of the sheer scope of the book and its transnational ambitions. The authors, Portuguese historian of technology Maria Paula Diogo, and German historian Dirk van Laak, aim for a transnational history of technology of Europe’s global relations since 1850.
Reviewed by Brittany Lehman
Working with French, German, and English language sources, she demonstrates the complex and often lethal relationship between the West German, French, and Algerian states. Part of a recent branch of scholarship exploring West Germany beyond the East-West divide, von Bülow deftly demonstrates that the Cold War was a global conflict, which influenced independence movement and decolonial projects.
Reviewed by Jonathan Durrant
Davies shows how Renaissance maps illustrated human variation across the globe as diplomats, soldiers, merchants, and travelers understood it.
Reviewed by Nathan Delaney
Fugger’s impact on contemporary politics and business practices during the Renaissance was arguably as great as any shaped by members of the Medici, de Rothschild, or Rockefeller families.
Reviewed by Samantha Fox
The Berlin Wall may have fallen twenty-five years ago, but Germans still talk about “Die Mauer im Kopf”—the wall in the head—the cultural and psychological divisions between East and West that continue to endure. Ben Gook’s Divided Subjects, Invisible Borderlands: Re-Unified Germany After 1989, examines the unfinished business of reunification.
Reviewed by Peter Clark
This book combines recent research on the history of gardening and arboriculture, as well as urban and environmental approaches.
Reviewed by Fabian Frenzel
At times Berlin feels overburdened with history. Every stone in the city has a story to tell, and often these stories are grim.
Reviewed by Kelly McKowen
Though Sweden has lost little of its luster, it is no longer the favored synonym for egalitarian prosperity it once was.
The Nature of German Imperialism: Conservation and the Politics of Wildlife in Colonial East Africa by Bernhard Gissib
Reviewed by Thaddeus Sunseri
Bernhard Gissibl’s work is the first comprehensive treatment of the origins of big game hunting, national parks, wildlife reserves, megafauna protection, and even “safari tourism” under German colonial rule in the former German East Africa.
Taxing the Rich: A History of Fiscal Fairness in the United States and Europe by Kenneth Scheve and David Stasavage
Reviewed by Lukas Haffert
In the post-Piketty world, economic inequality has returned to the top of the agenda of political economists with a vengeance. A flurry of research projects has started to investigate the sources and the consequences of growing disparities between the rich and the poor.
Recycling and Extended Producer Responsibility: The European Experience by Rui Cunha Marques & Nuno Ferreira da Cruz
Reviewed by Lucy J. Wishart
Waste has traditionally been managed in two ways: buried or burnt. These forms of waste management have caused a myriad of environmental problems including polluting water, air, and soil; endangering wildlife and waterways; and contributing to climate change.
Reviewed by Rüstem Ertuğ Altınay
The author combines innovative archival research with multi-sited ethnography to analyze the growing Islamic fashion market and how Muslim individuals, particularly young women, engage with fashion as they negotiate the politics of identity and belonging.
Reviewed by Lorenzo Genito
Due to the Euro crisis, the Eurozone has become divided between a relatively wealthier, more successful core and the economically disadvantaged periphery.
Reviewed by Kraig Larkin
Fumo tells a fascinating tale about smoking, health, and risk during Italy’s cigarette century.