History book reviews

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



A New Race of Men: Scotland 1815–1914
by Michael Fry
Rab Houston considers a bold take on a century of Scotland's history, and the factors that made the nation so distinctive
The Ugly Renaissance
by Alexander Lee
Joad Raymond on an exploration of the ‘ugly’ morality that lurked beneath the surface of Renaissance Florence
Veni, Vidi, Vici: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Romans but Were A
by Peter Jones
Miles Russell enjoys a knowledgeable and witty book that provides a masterful overview of life in Roman society
The First Bohemians
by Vic Gatrell
Hallie Rubenhold is enthralled by a tour of 18th-century Covent Garden and the creative set who made it their home
The Long Shadow: The Great War and the Twentieth Century
by David Reynolds
Nigel Jones rates an ambitious study of the far-reaching impact of the First World War on the century that followed
Command and Control
by Eric Schlosser
Michael Goodman explores an idiosyncratic take on the US's attitude to nuclear weapons during the 20th century
The Men Who United the States
by Simon Winchester
Adam IP Smith commends an imaginative survey of the men and institutions responsible for building the United States
Katharine of Aragon: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII's First Unfortunate Wife
by Patrick Williams
Sarah Gristwood on an account that aims to shed fresh light on the life of Henry VIII's first wife
Georgian London: Into the Streets
by Lucy Inglis
Tracy Borman applauds an ambitious exploration of everyday life in London during the 18th and 19th centuries
The Republic: The Fight for Irish Independence
by Charles Townshend
Cormac Ó Grada assesses a study of the key individuals and events that shaped Ireland’s path to independence
The Beau Monde: Fashionable Society in Georgian London
by Hannah Greig
Hallie Rubenhold enjoys a vibrant account of the beau monde, Georgian England’s most influential social clique
The Rainborowes
by Adrian Tinniswood
Claire Jowitt on a biography of one 17th-century family, and its role in religion and war in England and the US
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