History book reviews

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



Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia
by Michael Korda
Denis Judd enjoys a biography of the desert warrior
The Arch-Conjuror of England: John Dee
by Glyn Parry
Anna Whitelock meets an enigmatic Tudor man of many talents
Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves
by Sheldon Garon
Frank Trentmann on the changing history of thrift across the globe
Presenting History
by Peter J Beck
Rob Skinner considers how academics connect with the public
Calories & Corsets: A History of Dieting Over 2000 Years
by Louise Foxcroft
Peter Atkins is left wanting more from a retrospective of dieting trends
Pepys’s London: Everyday Life in London 1650–1703
by Stephen Porter
Pauline Croft reads a survey of London life as experienced by the 17th-century’s best-known diarist
The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution
by Faramerz Dabhoiwala
Hallie Rubenhold reviews a thoughtful analysis of the period when sex became a private matter
100 Ideas that Changed the World
by Jheni Osman
Rob Attar enjoys a lively compendium of some of mankind's greatest discoveries
Ten Popes Who Shook the World
by Eamon Duffy
Jonathan Wright savours a breezy rundown of some of the most influential bishops of Rome
The Swerve: How the Renaissance Began
by Stephen Greenblatt
Robert Black is disappointed by the arguments advanced in a new analysis of the origins of the Renaissance
Democratic Enlightenment
by Jonathan Israel
Justin Champion follows the ideological battles of the Enlightenment
Nikolaus Pevsner: The Life
by Susie Harries
Peter Draper considers a biography of the popular historian and writer who devoted himself to English architecture
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