New Books: September - December 2020
New & Upcoming Books by Our Faculty:
Making a Modern Central Bank: The Bank of England, 1979–2003
By Harold James (September 2020)
Making a Modern Central Bank examines a revolution in monetary and economic policy. This authoritative guide explores how the Bank of England shifted its traditional mechanisms to accommodate a newly internationalized financial and economic system. The Bank's transformation into a modern inflation-targeting independent central bank allowed it to focus on a precisely defined task of monetary management, ensuring price stability. The reframing of the task of central banks, however, left them increasingly vulnerable to financial crisis. James vividly outlines and discusses significant historical developments in UK monetary policy, and his knowledge of modern European history adds rich context to archival research on the Bank of England's internal documents. A worthy continuation of the previous official histories of the Bank of England, this book also reckons with contemporary issues, shedding light on the origins of growing backlash against globalization and the European Union. Read more.
Power and Time: Temporalities in Conflict and the Making of History
Edited by Dan Edelstein, Stefanos Geroulanos, and Natasha Wheatley (December 2020)
Time is the backdrop of historical inquiry, yet it is much more than a featureless setting for events. Different temporalities interact dynamically; sometimes they coexist tensely, sometimes they clash violently. In this innovative volume, editors Dan Edelstein, Stefanos Geroulanos, and Natasha Wheatley challenge how we interpret history by focusing on the nexus of two concepts—“power” and “time”—as they manifest in a wide variety of case studies. Analyzing history, culture, politics, technology, law, art, and science, this engaging book shows how power is constituted through the shaping of temporal regimes in historically specific ways. Power and Time includes seventeen essays on human rights; sovereignty; Islamic, European, Chinese, and Indian history; slavery; capitalism; revolution; the Supreme Court; the Anthropocene; and even the Manson Family. Power and Time will be an agenda-setting volume, highlighting the work of some of the world’s most respected and original contemporary historians and posing fundamental questions for the craft of history. Read more.
After the Deportation: Memory Battles in Postwar France
By Philip G. Nord (December 2020)
A total of 160,000 people, a mix of résistants and Jews, were deported from France to camps in Central and Eastern Europe during the Second World War. In this compelling new study, Philip Nord addresses how the Deportation, as it came to be known, was remembered after the war and how Deportation memory from the very outset, became politicized against the backdrop of changing domestic and international contexts. He shows how the Deportation generated competing narratives – Jewish, Catholic, Communist, and Gaullist – and analyzes the stories told by and about deportees after the war and how these stories were given form in literature, art, film, monuments, and ceremonials. Read more.
The Experimental Fire: Inventing English Alchemy, 1300-1700
By Jennifer M. Rampling (December 2020)
In medieval and early modern Europe, the practice of alchemy promised extraordinary physical transformations. Who would not be amazed to see base metals turned into silver and gold, hard iron into soft water, and deadly poison into elixirs that could heal the human body? To defend such claims, alchemists turned to the past, scouring ancient books for evidence of a lost alchemical heritage and seeking to translate their secret language and obscure imagery into replicable, practical effects. Read more.