History – classic to modern

classic-to-modern – see also

ft.com 7-5-2022 Simon Schama: when history is weaponised for war

History -National Narrative - Ukraine Russia -Simon Shama - Who Controls the Past -  5-2022 FT

ft.com 17-3-2022 Book review: Legacy of Violence — the bloody ends of empire – by Caroline Elkins

theguardian.com 3-2022 Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire by Caroline Elkins review – the brutal truth about Britain’s pastIn shocking, meticulous detail, an acclaimed American historian uses ‘lost’ records from 37 former colonies to reveal the barbarity of the British empire and the hubris that fuelled it

Caroline Elkins made front-page headlines a decade ago when her research into Britain’s brutal suppression of the Mau Mau movement in Kenya in the 1950s resulted in a high court case and, uniquely, reparations to 5,228 surviving Kenyans who, the British government accepted, had been subject to years of systematic torture and abuse. That case relied on evidence uncovered in Elkins’s 2005 book, Britain’s Gulag, which had argued that up to 320,000 Kenyan Kikuyu people had been held in British detention camps as part of a campaign of terror that “left tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, dead” and untold numbers of lives ruined by forced labour, starvation, torture and rape.

When Elkins’s book came out, her findings – partly based on the testimony of Kikuyu survivors – were widely dismissed as, at best, exaggerations by a generation of historians wedded to stubborn ideas of Britain’s “enlightened” and “benign empire”. Her history was dramatically vindicated, however, when an unknown cache of 240,000 top secret colonial files, removed from Nairobi at the time of Kenyan independence in 1963, were disclosed on the eve of the 2011 trial. The files had been stored in a high security foreign office depository at Hanslope Park, near Northampton. At the time of that high court victory, Elkins noted that she had for years put on hold a wider inquiry into the methods of British colonial governance in the years after the second world war, in order to substantiate the survivors’ case, research that would now be illuminated by the fact that the secret document store also held “lost” records from 37 other former colonies. She was both vindicated and outraged by the discovery: “After all these years of being roasted over the coals, they’ve been sitting on the evidence? Are you frickin’ kidding me? This almost destroyed my career.” …”…


ft.com 18/12/2021 How Africa made the modern world


ft.com  11/2021 The Ottoman Empire: a forgotten giant of western history -The Ottomans by M D Baer – reviewed by William Dalrymple


goodreads.com 2020 The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World and Globalization Began – by Valerie Hansen

In history, myth often abides. It was long assumed that the centuries immediately prior to AD 1000 were lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn’t yet discovered North America, that the farthest anyone had traveled over sea was the Vikings’ invasion of Britain. But how, then, to explain the presence of blonde-haired people in Mayan temple murals in Chichen Itza, Mexico? Could it be possible that the Vikings had found their way to the Americas during the height of the Mayan empire?

Valerie Hansen, a much-honored historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world’s first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research on medieval China and global history, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies. As people on at least five continents ventured outward, they spread technology, new crops, and religion. These encounters, she shows, made it possible for Christopher Columbus to reach the Americas in 1492, and set the stage for the process of globalization that so dominates the modern era.

For readers of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, The Year 1000 is an intellectually daring, provocative account that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how the modern world came to be. It will also hold up a mirror to the hopes and fears we experience today.

spectator.co.uk 4- 2020 Globalisation is scarcely new: it dates back to the year 1000 – With their journeys to America centuries before Columbus, the Norsemen had already ‘closed the global loop’, according to Valerie Hansen – review by Katrina Gulliver


academia.edu/gg/pdf 2015 Rethinking Hegemony – by Owen Worth