History book reviews

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



by David Starkey and Katie Greening
Tim Blanning enjoys an exploration of the role of music in Britain's history
A Story of Six Rivers
by Peter Coates
Richard Oram enjoys an exploration of the complex – and ever-changing – relationships between humans and rivers
Servants: A Downstairs View of Twentieth Century Britain
by Lucy Lethbridge
Christina Hardyment on a revealing look at the lives of domestic servants
The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West
by Brian Levack
Rab Houston considers a study of 'demonic possession' across early modern Europe
Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957–59
by David Kynaston
Francis Beckett considers the latest in a series of books on postwar Britain, focusing on the final years of the 1950s
The Making of a Nazi Hero: The Murder and Myth of Horst Wessel
by Daniel Siemens
Roger Moorhouse praises a rigorous consideration of the life of a Nazi 'Brownshirt', elevated by propaganda to the status of martyr
The Devonshires: The Story of a Family and a Nation
by Roy Hattersley
Hallie Rubenhold lauds a biography of a dynasty that produced some of aristocratic England's most colourful characters
Roman Disasters
by Jerry Toner
Michael Scott enjoys an account of coping with calamity in Roman society
The Battle for Syria
by John D Grainger
Denis Judd praises a lucid study of the emergence of modern Syria, and what it tells us about the region's later instability
Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century
by Geoffrey Parker
Penny Roberts applauds an account of how climate change shaped 17th-century life - and what we can learn today. 
Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Europe
by Calder Walton
Michael Goodman looks at a tale of spies during the final days of the British Empire.
The Wealth of Anglo-Saxon England
by Peter Sawyer
Ryan Lavelle explores an examination of the role of international trade in England's Anglo-Saxon economy
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here