News and reviews

Permanent Crisis featured in Times Higher Education

Added on 09/09/2021

Johann N. Neem enjoys a sharp historical analysis of why the humanities always seem to be overpromising on what they can do


Geometry of Grief reviewed in Nature

Added on 06/09/2021

“Grief informs geometry and geometry informs grief.” How so? His epiphany on first understanding any beautiful mathematical idea is always tinged with sadness, because it is unrepeatable.


Who Killed Cock Robin? reviewed in the Observer

Added on 05/09/2021

In the 1960s when Sir Stephen Sedley was a young barrister, he successfully defended a number of Travellers in Kent who had been charged under an old law of “being a Gypsy encamped on a highway”. Getting the charges thrown out gave him status and an introduction to local singers…


Black Paper chosen in The Guardian

Added on 04/09/2021

The Guardian’s biggest books of autumn 2021

“In a collection of essays the celebrated author of Open City explores the ways we retain our humanity and different ways of thinking about the colour black.”


Luisa Roldán reviewed in the Art Newspaper

Added on 03/09/2021

The earliest known document to credit a work of art to the 17th-century Spanish sculptor Luisa Roldán is a note that was discovered inside the hollow head of her wooden sculpture Ecce Homo (1684) during its restoration in the 1980s.


What UK progressives can learn from community organisers in the US

Added on 01/09/2021

Back in 2012, the US Service Employees International Union (SEIU) launched the Fight for $15, a national campaign to raise the minimum wage by organising fast-food workers. It began with a one-day strike in New York City, and by 2015, it had spread to 200 cities across the US.


The Story of Work reviewed in the New Statesman

Added on 01/09/2021

Before it became our family home, our house in the Aude was a factory for the recycling of wool into shoddy. Built next to the river around 1900, it once had just two large open floors. Bales would be winched in through the open top floor and pushed down the trapdoor to the second…


Empire and Jihad reviewed in the Times

Added on 28/08/2021

Faulkner, a Marxist historian best known for his work on TE Lawrence, tells the story of British imperialism in northeast Africa, arguing that Victorian attempts to end the African slave trade led to a backlash and the “first modern jihad”.


Cabbage and Caviar reviewed in the TLS

Added on 27/08/2021

This engrossing book – suitable for the old hand and the tenderfoot – shows that Russia’s food history is far more than feast or famine, opulence or gruel. It is complex, quirky and entertaining.


The Story of Work reviewed in The Guardian

Added on 26/08/2021

…an encyclopedic survey that’s also a whistle-stop tour of human history – and it is absolutely fascinating… a history of work spanning such a vast timeframe could be full of vague extrapolations from archaeological studies, but it’s the detail that makes this so gripping.


Striking from the Margins reviewed in The International Spectator

Added on 24/08/2021

Overall the book succeeds in providing a different perspective to the issue of the transformation of the state in the Mashreq region. Notably a positive feature of the book is that it convincingly holds religious elements as novel phenomena connected to recent forms of state atrophy.


Games People Played reviewed in The Spectator

Added on 22/08/2021

The best time ever to be a player or fan is probably today. All the horrors of modern sports — cheating, drugs, violence, racism, money-grubbing and so on — have always existed.