A Companion to Mexican Studies
With its unique fusion of the Aztec tradition, Christian iconography and modernism, Mexican art is powerful, distinctive and immediately recognizable. This scholarly but readable history traces its development from pre-Columbian times through the Spanish colonial period and revolution to the present day. Covering not only the visual arts but writing, theatre, music and dance, it takes in such great artists and writers as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Octavio Paz. With colour plates, maps, a chronology and extensive bibliography.
How have gay men and women lived, loved, and coped with prejudice through the ages? This chronological survey ranges from two men of ancient Egypt to the Cuban writer and dissident Reinaldo Arenas (1943–1990), taking in such celebrated figures as Sappho, Michelangelo and Oscar Wilde. With 128 illustrations, 56 in colour, it presents a rich tapestry of gay life from the unknowable relationships of the distant past to the frankest affirmations of modern sexuality. Slightly off-mint.
Attack of the 50 Ft Women
How Gender Equality Can Save the World!
Gender equality is good for everyone, so why are fewer than 10 per cent of the world’s leaders women? In this provocative, surprising and inspiring book, Catherine Mayer, who founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015, combines the insights gained from hands-on political experience with wide-ranging interviews and in-depth research to tackle some of the biggest questions of our age. From business to politics, from the environmental crisis to global conflict, could women hold the key to the planet’s future?
The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones
Confronting the New Age of Threat
We have been alerted to the threat of cyberterrorism and nerve-agent attacks by hostile states, but the power to wield robotic technology, the internet or biological agents as weapons is increasingly accessible to individuals and small groups as well as national governments. This thoughtful study explores how this possibility has created an entirely new security landscape, assesses how these new threats might be developed as technology advances further, and also discusses possible approaches to dealing with them.
A Critical Introduction
Like modern art, psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s work is famously difficult to decipher. Accordingly, this study takes an original approach, peering at the man through a prism of ideas, stories and associations drawn not only from Lacan’s theoretical influences, including Hegel, Freud and Saussure, but also from his emotional and professional life. The result is a pleasing matrix of ideas revealing Lacan to be as wilful as he is complex.
Wilde's Last Stand
Scandal, Decadence and Conspiracy During the Great War
In January 1918 the Imperialist newspaper made the startling claim that Britain was losing the war because the German secret service was blackmailing 47,000 ‘sexual deviants’ in the British establishment. This account reveals how the ensuing libel trial drew Oscar Wilde’s friends into a posthumous battle for his reputation, and illuminates a twilight world of MPs and dancing girls, drug clubs in London and transvestites in the trenches.
A History and Celebration of Swimming the River Thames
It is now illegal to swim in the Thames through London, where the busy river traffic and dangerous currents are more immediate dangers than the health threat from the water. However, once there were beaches, diving pontoons and swimming clubs along the capital's waterfront as well as along the river's 200-mile journey from Gloucestershire. This book celebrates the history of swimming in the Thames from recreational bathers and champion racers of past centuries to the wild swimmers of today.
The Science and Showbiz of Hypnosis
An Olivier award-winning performer, accredited hypnotherapist and the first-ever artist in residence at the British Library, Christopher Green presents an illustrated history of hypnosis, covering both the reputable side of the subject – brain imaging, clinical trials, hypnotherapy etc – and the smoke and mirrors of stage ‘mesmerists’ and hypnotists. ‘I love hypnosis’, writes Green, ‘I don’t know of any other subject that is at once so erudite and yet so trashy’.
A History of Marriage
Marriage is at once the most public and most intimate of institutions, and one we generally assume has always taken its now familiar form – yet its long and complex history has included arranged marriages, dowries, child brides and same-sex marriages. This lucid, entertaining and impressively researched study asks what marriage meant to ordinary people 100 or 500 years ago, how long the average marriage lasted, and what were a couple’s alternatives to staying together.
Dinner with a Cannibal
The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo
In this thorough examination of human cannibalism, a palaeoanthropologist analyses the evidence, from ancient fossils to recent genetic findings, that marks us all as descendants of cannibals. Investigating when and why humans have eaten their own kind, she identifies cannibalism as an ancient, natural strategy used by early humans to survive periods of food scarcity, but also considers the religious and culinary contexts in which it has been practised in historical times.
Fat, Gluttony and Sloth PB
Putting the current obesity epidemic in historical perspective, this study explores fatness in art, literature and the history of medicine, from the Venus of Willendorf to Monty Python’s Mr Creosote. Starting with the medical understanding of obesity, the authors discuss topics such as the history of food and drink; fat people on show; diet drugs; the deadly sins of gluttony and sloth; and how the desirable body shape has changed over time.
An Anthropology of Britain
What does it mean to live in Britain and to be ‘British’, and is an anthropology of Britain even a legitimate undertaking? Ranging across subjects as diverse as achieving collective identity on the Isle of Man, the London dance scene, leisure and change in a post-mining mining town, and Armenian and other diasporas, this volume of 15 essays establishes that an anthropology of Britain can set excellent standards of subtle ethnography and complex analysis.
In this second, updated edition of a pioneering work in the social history of Britain and the Welfare State, Welshman explores the idea that an underclass has been successively reinvented since 1880, in Britain and the US. After discussing general ideas such as the undeserving poor and the lumpenproletariat, the study examines the continuities and differences in concepts ranging from the ‘social residuum’ of the 1880s, through the ‘problem family’ of the 1950s to today’s ‘troubled families’.
Moon Landings, The Kinks and the 1966 World Cup
Increasing disposable income, new technologies and social reform changed British life in the 1960s and made it an exciting time to be growing up. This round-up of 1960s culture describes what life was like for many British children, at home and at school, and recalls the entertainments that made the period so memorable, from books, comics, toys and TV programmes to pop music and fashion.
From Crimea to Afghanistan: the Real Lives of Women Behind the Men of Uniform
Through the centuries, army wives have had to contend with anxiety, separation, injury, bereavement, post-traumatic stress, and the struggle to maintain a normal home life in abnormal circumstances. Using interviews, letters and diaries, this remarkable history gives them a voice, sometimes for the first time. It traces their experiences from the Crimean War – the last in which wives followed their husbands to the front – to the new breed of independent women supporting their men through the war in Afghanistan.
How a Century of War Changed the Lives of Women
Part of the Counterfire series, which presents radical perspectives on history, society and current affairs, this volume discusses the ways in which conflicts, from the First World War to the War on Terror, have changed women’s lives and given them a central role in anti-war and peace movements. As well as analysing the two world wars as catalysts for social change, the study examines how the changing nature of war involves civilians, and particularly Muslim women, in new ways.
Britain's Best-Known Brand
As Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the Queen is seen by many as a calm, reassuring presence in an era of restless change. But what of the institution she represents? This revelatory book takes a glimpse behind the scenes at the machinery that sustains the monarchy today: its constitutional role, its leadership of the Church of England, its finances. It also takes a clear-eyed view of its future, and the pressures that will face an heir to the throne. Slightly off-mint.
Call The Midwife
A True Story of the East End in the 1950s
The book that sparked the award-winning TV series details Jennifer Worth’s very real experiences as a young midwife based in a convent amid the chaos of post-war London Docklands. Her true-life stories show how tough conditions were in the East End, especially for women, who often lived in slum accommodation – grateful if they had a cold-water tap – with ten or more children to look after.
The Good Old Days
Crime, Murder and Mayhem in Victorian London
The moral tone of Britain's elite may have been high in the 19th century but the reality for many of the people living in the world's richest city was squalor, drunkenness, violence and crime. Drawing on contemporary accounts, this tour of Victorian London lifts the lid on the living conditions of the poor and describes some of the capital's most notorious crimes and criminals. Slightly off-mint.
The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism
In 1924, asked by his sister-in-law Mary Cholmondeley for ‘a few of [his] ideas of socialism’, George Bernard Shaw produced this panoramic survey of the competing ideologies of the day. Hailed by the Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald as ‘the most important book that humanity possesses’ after the Bible, it outlines Shaw’s belief that British institutions, from the state to the family, were ‘corrupted at the root by pecuniary interest’, and required not piecemeal reform but radical change.
The Secret Poisoner
A Century of Murder
In the 19th century, homicidal poisoning was considered a grave threat to society, yet prosecutors were commonly frustrated by lack of evidence. Stratmann chronicles how, during a century-long battle of wits between the law, medicine and the public, the new science of forensic toxicology evolved to thwart the poisoner’s art. Painful death, post-mortems and executions darken a gripping narrative that includes, among others, the notorious cases of Eliza Fenning and Betty Eccles.
Domestic Life, Devastation and Survival 1900–1950
From 1917 to 1945, Paul Ginsborg views great events and transitions through the lens of family life, examining the role of families (and radical alternatives to families) in the social and political life of the nation-state. The book focuses on five nations: revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union; Turkey in the transition from Ottoman Empire to republic; Italy under Fascism; Spain during and after the Civil War; and Germany from the failure of the Weimar Republic to the Nazi state.
The Asian Mystique
Dragon Ladies, Geisha Girls and Our Fantasies of the Exotic Orient
Race, sex, fantasy and power – these are the issues explored in this highly provocative book. Challenging the cultural and political stereotypes that are still prevalent in the West, Sheridan Prasso offers anecdotes and insights drawn from her extensive experience of the Far East. She combines a sensitive understanding and a strong sense of history in this account of Asian women and Western fallacies about them. Slightly off-mint.
The Black Carib Wars
Freedom, Survival and the Making of the Garifuna
The Garifuna, who live along the Caribbean coast of Central America from Belize to Nicaragua, trace their origin to the union of Carib Indians and escaped slaves on the island of St Vincent. The product of extensive research in the region, this book charts their remarkable history of struggle against French and British colonists, celebrating their resilience and the survival of a culture and a language that pre-date the arrival of Columbus.
The Riviera Set
Through the story of an elegant art deco villa, the Château de l’Horizon, its owners and guests, Lovell evokes the glamorous lifestyle of the rich and famous on the French Riviera between the 1920s and 1960. Starting with the American actress and society hostess Maxine Elliott, who had the architect Barry Dierks build the house in 1932, the book describes a who’s who of high society, up to the death of Prince Aly Khan, the villa’s owner from 1947 to 1960.
The Ugly Renaissance
Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty
Known as an age of artistic rebirth, the Renaissance is cloaked with an aura of beauty and brilliance. But behind the Mona Lisa's smile lurked a seamy world of power politics, cruelty and corruption. Illustrated with colour reproductions of works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and other Renaissance masters, this groundbreaking survey reveals how these sublime works of art were created by flawed, tormented artists living in a world of corrupt bankers, greedy politicians, sex-crazed priests, extravagance, murder and madness.
A Scene In Between
Tripping Through the Fashions of UK Indie Music 1980–1988
The British alternative pop scene of the 1980s took its fashion cues from 1960s garage rock and punk, with an anti-glam look of charity shop chic, anoraks and bowl haircuts, and distinctive indie guitar music in the form of bands such as Primal Scream, The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine. This portrait of the times comprises a collection of mostly unpublished images of the bands, gigs and fans on the minority scene.
Cream Teas, Traffic Jams and Sunburn
The Great British Holiday
In this funny, acutely observed and engaging social history, Brian Viner celebrates the British holidaymaker at home and abroad. A surprising recent phenomenon is the increase in holidays in Britain, while the holiday abroad appears to be in decline. From holiday flings to the hen night, from the 'full English' to the long-haul gap year, the minutiae of British holiday-making is examined here in all its glory.
The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker
The Story of Britain Through its Census, Since 1801
At the start of each decade since 1801, the national census has offered a snapshot of the British Isles. Drawing on this resource, as well as letters, newspaper reports and other documents, Roger Hutchinson tells the stories of the nation’s men and women in the context of contemporary events – from the Napoleonic Wars, through the Industrial Revolution and two world wars, to the age of the internet – and highlights the valuable contribution of the census to the history of modern Britain.
Ending the African Slave Trade
After the Acts of 1807 and 1833 that abolished slavery across the British Empire, the Royal Navy patrolled the African coast to enforce the law; yet there were still slave markets around the Indian Ocean in the 1860s. This book tells of four British naval officers who took direct action – against Admiralty guidelines which advised adjudication rather than violence – to free captives and disrupt the slave trade along the coasts of Africa and Arabia.
Health and the City
Disease, Environment and Government in Norwich, 1200–1575
In 1559, the physician William Cunningham published The Cosmographical Glasse, focusing on Norwich as an exceptionally ‘healthfull and pleasant city’. Isla Fay’s book explores the philosophy that linked a city’s location and landscape with its health, and the practical realities of Norwich’s ‘vibrant, native culture of urban hygiene’.
100 Years on the High Street
The closure of Woolworths’ last British stores in 2009, a century after the first opened in Liverpool, sparked a wave of nostalgia. This absorbing history charts the American chain’s conquest of the British high street with its cornucopia of sweets and toys for children, cosmetics for young women, and household goods for families. Historic photographs of its distinctive Art Deco shopfronts will strike a chord of recognition, while the retail giant’s inexorable decline will provoke reflection on changing consumer habits.