History book reviews

Reviews of the latest history books, all written by expert historians.



The Power of Knowledge: How Information and Technology Made the Modern World
by Jeremy Black
Aileen Fyfe on a sweeping effort to unpick the complex links between data and the development of western societies
Book review – Peace and War: Britain in 1914
by Nigel Jones
Rachel Duffett praises an engaging account of the social fissures that shaped Britain's path into the First World War
Book review – The Gardens of the British Working Class
by Margaret Willes
Clare Hickman on a look at the often contentious role of gardens and gardening in the lives of Britain's working classes
Buildings of Empire
by Ashley Jackson
Denis Judd assesses an exploration of the spread of the British empire through the physical structures it left behind
Book review – The Gods of Olympus
by Barbara Graziosi
Hugh Bowden considers a study tracing the pervasive influence of Greek deities across centuries of human culture
Goodbye to All That?: The Story of Europe Since 1945
by Dan Stone
Odd Arne Westad commends a balanced, insightful take on the challenges faced by Europe following the Second World War
Harry's War: The Great War Diary of Harry Drinkwater
by Edited by Jon Cooksey and David Griffiths
Nigel Jones is enthralled by a book that features the first-hand experiences of a British soldier in the First World War
Michelangelo: His Epic Life
by Martin Gayford
Joad Raymond on an engaging account of the life and work of an artist often seen as the archetypal ‘Renaissance man’
Book review – Red Fortress: The Secret History of Russia's History
by Catherine Merridale
Simon Dixon praises a history of the Kremlin that examines those who sought to control Russia from behind its walls
Book review – Warsaw 1944: The Fateful Uprising
by Alexandra Richie
Evan Mawdsley commends a powerful account exploring the causes and tragic consequences of the Warsaw Uprising
Book review – Wellington: The Path to Victory 1769–1814
by Rory Muir
Gary Sheffield praises the first volume of a masterful and detailed exploration of one of the “big beasts” of British history
Empress Dowager Cixi
by Jung Chang
Hans van de Ven explores a biography of the unofficial, but powerful, ruler of China's Qing dynasty for almost 50 years
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