Agincourt, by Juliet Barker (Little, Brown) Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

By

WORLD HISTORY

Agincourt, by Juliet Barker (Little, Brown)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"English soldiers—outnumbered nearly six to one—won at Agincourt in 1415, slaying in the process 'almost the whole nobility among the soldiery of France.' A balanced look at St. Crispin's Day."

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The Conquest of Nature, by David Blackbourn (Norton)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"A natural history of Germany from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, revealing the extent to which landscape is destiny (but not necessarily in the way the Nazis insisted it was)."

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Mussolini's Italy, by R. J. B. Bosworth (Penguin Press)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"A leading Mussolini biographer describes how Italians' traditional bonds of tribe and family made Fascism slightly less de facto totalitarian than Nazism. Cold comfort, but still."

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Moral Capital, by Christopher Leslie Brown (North Carolina)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"Slavery was an accepted feature of the British Empire until—in the late 1780s—it suddenly wasn't."

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Earthly Powers, by Michael Burleigh (HarperCollins)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"The first of two planned volumes that will trace the intertwining of religion and political violence, this one focusing on the period between the French Revolution and World War I."

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Bad Faith, by Carmen Callil (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz ("The Path of Least Resistance", October 2006)

"Callil, one of Britain's most lauded editors and publishers, came to her subject in a terrible fashion: as a young, unhappy woman, she was treated by a leading Jungian psychiatrist who, in 1970, killed herself while Callil was under her care. That woman, Callil learned a few years later, was [the daughter of] Louis Darquier, who served from 1942 to 1944 as the commissioner for Jewish affairs in France's collaborating Vichy government."

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Iron Kingdom , by Christopher Clark (Harvard)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", December 2006)

"From the military and agricultural innovations of Frederick the Great to nineteenth-century high academic politics to Bismarck's social-security system, this magisterial and remarkably well-written history of Prussia traces back to the eighteenth century."

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For Prophet and Tsar, by Robert D. Crews (Harvard)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"A historical look at Russia's engagement with Islam from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth."

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Ireland, by Gustave de Beaumont (Harvard)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"Nineteenth-century Ireland gets the Tocqueville treatment."

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Empires of the Atlantic World, by J. H. Elliott (Yale)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"A comparative study of Britain's and Spain's colonial holdings, covering the period between the late fifteenth and nineteenth centuries."

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Pathfinders, by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (Norton)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", December 2006)

"In this elegant survey of human exploration from prehistory to the present, a prominent British historian describes humanity's long, slow discovery of its scattered constituent parts."

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Osama's Dream, by Caroline Finkel (Basic)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"Seven centuries of the Ottoman Empire."

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The Fire, by Jorg Friedrich (Columbia)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", December 2006)

"Recently, many Germans have taken to seeing themselves as victims of atrocities inflicted by the Allied air campaign during the Second World War... This haunting book, which recounts the effects of the bombing campaign, is largely responsible for Germans' new perspective. Written by a formerly left-wing Berlin-based historian, it has aroused a sensation in Germany, where both peace activists and neo-Nazis have lauded it. Forceful, incendiary, and selective in its arguments, it's now translated into English."

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The Classical World , by Robin Lane Fox (Basic)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"An Oxford classicist provides this sweeping and stylish history ranging from Homer's Greece to Rome in the second century A.D. Fox's command of his material seems effortlessly complete, and the events of his narrative feel surprisingly immediate."

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Democracy in Iran, by Ali Gheissari and Vali Nasr (Oxford)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"A book tracing the tradition of democracy in Iran, from the country's first constitution, in 1906, to the electoral system that survives in spite of the mullahs today."

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Among the Dead Cities, by A. C. Grayling (Walker & Company)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz (Fire From the Sky" , June 2006)

"This book will vex and outrage many readers, for many wrong reasons and for a few right ones... It addresses a troubling episode [the Allies' World War II area-bombing campaign] that has yet to be assimilated by the public mind, but it does so in a manner that proves that war is too important a business to be left to the philosophers."

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A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People?, by Boyd Hilton (Oxford)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz ("The Path of Least Resistance", October 2006)

"Ultimately, [Hilton's] book is a triumph of intellectual history...he writes with cheeky grace...a rare psychological acuity, and a sharp eye for telling detail...But what makes this book a model of the historian's art is Hilton's ability to reveal both the complex and subtle relationships among religious, economic, scientific, and political thought."

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A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962, by Alistair Horne
Reviewed by Bruce Hoffman ("Wars on Terrorism", May 2006)

"A classic account of the challenges and dilemmas faced by a liberal democratic state—France—as it contended with the terrorist tactics of Algeria's independence movement."

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The Short and Life and Long Times of Mrs. Beeton, by Kathryn Hughes (Knopf)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"Isabella Beeton died at age twenty-eight, but not before writing the book that would define Victorian housewifery."

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The Roman Predicament, by Harold James (Princeton)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"Updating Edward Gibbon and Adam Smith for our times, a historian examines the collapse of the rule-based world order instituted under the Roman Empire, and what it can tell us about the current global situation."

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Islamic Imperialism, by Efraim Karsh (Yale)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"A historian posits a will to domination as an essential ingredient of Islam, from Muhammad to the Ottomans to Osama bin Laden."

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The Great Wall, by Julia Lovell (Grove/Atlantic)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

A history of the literal and figurative walls that China has raised between itself and the outside world over the past three millennia.

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June 1941: Hitler and Stalin, by John Lukacs (Yale)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"Arguing that history is the product of specific choices rather than impersonal forces, the historian watches as two specific people make very specific decisions that will shape the rest of the twentieth century."

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Mao's Last Revolution, by Roderick MacFarquhar and Michael Schoenhals (Harvard)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"An exhaustive history of China's Cultural Revolution."

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Among Empires, by Charles S. Maier (Harvard)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"A historian weighs the current U.S. hegemony against that enjoyed by Rome, Britain, the Ottomans, and the Moghuls at the respective heights of their power."

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Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World , by Justin Marozzi (Da Capo)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover-to-Cover", April 2006)

"A British journalist retraces the conquering footsteps of Genghis Khan's successor. After seizing Baghdad, Tamerlane's men built a pyramid using the heads of 90,000 of his enemies—the fifteenth-century version of shock and awe."

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Victorian London, by Liza Picard (St. Martin's)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

A social history covering the years between 1840 and 1870, the first chapter of which focuses exclusively on the ambient stench that daily confronted Victorian Londoners.

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Fatal Purity, by Ruth Scurr (Metropolitan)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", May 2006)

"Maximilien Robespierre began his career as a provincial lawyer opposed to the death penalty; he ended up as something quite different. He also looked like a cat and was partial to elaborate waistcoats."

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In Tasmania, by Nicholas Shakespeare (Overlook)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"A novelist's history of the former penal colony made good."

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Scars of War, Wounds of Peace , by Shlomo Ben-Ami (Oxford)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz ("Lee and Sherman", April 2006)

"A bracing and honest history of the Arab-Zionist confrontation, this book will displease partisans of both sides."

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The Wake of Wellington, by Peter W. Sinnema (Ohio)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", June 2006)

"The Duke of Wellington's funeral lured a million and a half visitors to London and sparked a cultural outpouring that captured the very essence of Englishness, circa 1852."

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Easter 1916, by Charles Townshend (Ivan R. Dee)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", September 2006)

"This gripping new volume presents a dispassionate and definitive reconstruction of the Easter Rising, painstakingly sifting legend from fact, with the help of, among hundreds of other sources, eyewitness accounts recently released by the Irish government."

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God's War, by Christopher Tyerman (Harvard)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healey and Benjamin Schwarz ("Cover to Cover", November 2006)

"Combines vigorous argument and nuanced analysis in this deeply learned chronicle of the Crusades...the best single-volume treatment of this still-controversial and fraught subject."

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The Unfree French, by Richard Vinen (Yale)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz ("The Path of Least Resistance", October 2006)

"Vinen's piercing chronicle not only captures the squalid physical and moral atmosphere of France's dark years; it also unnervingly reveals the moral ambiguity that's the stuff of humanity—and its history."

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Australia, by Frank Welsh (Overlook)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

A single-volume history in which the author, an Englishman, concludes, 'Australia is probably the most successful society in the world and the most agreeable to live in.'"

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The Wehrmacht, by Wolfram Wette (Harvard)
Reviewed by Benjamin Healy and Benjamin Schwarz ( "Cover to Cover," July/August 2006)

"A German historian dismantles the myth that the Wehrmacht fought World War II with relatively clean hands."

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Framing the Early Middle Ages, by Chris Wickham (Oxford University Press)
Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz ("Orson Agonistes", September 2006)

"History doesn't get any better... Wickham's manages to be at once grand and rigorous. In its adroit and confident treatment of an array of subjects and disciplines, and in its exhaustive bibliography, this book...has encapsulated and synthesized a burgeoning field of scholarship at the point of perhaps its greatest creativity."

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After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World, by A. N. Wilson (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
Reviewed by Christopher Hitchens ( "Downhill all the Way,", January/February 2006)

"Wilson has the ability to evoke the past without condescension, and to measure its passing without sentimentality."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/11/agincourt-by-juliet-barker-little-brown-reviewed-by-benjamin-healy-and-benjamin-schwarz-cover-to-cover-june-2006/305348/