Mark Mazower is the Director of the Columbia Institute of Ideas and Imagination in Paris and the Ira D. Wallach Professor of History at Columbia. He is the author, most recently, of What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past and the Journey Home. (July 2020)
by Marlene Hobsbawm, with an introduction by Claire Tomalin
When Eric Hobsbawm died in 2012 at the age of ninety-five, he was probably the best-known historian in the English-speaking world. Though his work centered on the history of labor, he wrote with equal fluency about the crisis of the seventeenth century and the bandits of Eritrea, the standard of living during the industrial revolution and Billie Holiday’s blues. For range and accessibility, there was no one to touch him. What he gave his readers was above all the sense of being intellectually alive, of the sheer excitement of a fresh idea and a bold, unsentimental argument. The works themselves are his memorial. What is there to learn from his biography?
French president Charles de Gaulle’s press conferences in the 1960s were early masterpieces of live television. Towering above the journalists crammed beneath his rostrum—he was six foot four inches tall—he would invite question after question before ignoring them all to embark on one of his renowned tours d’horizon. A contemporary …
Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide
by Taner Akçam
Talaat Pasha: Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide
by Hans-Lukas Kieser
Taner Akçam, a leading authority on the Armenian genocide, is unquestionably a very brave man: now based in the US, he is himself Turkish, and because of his pioneering work has long been a hated figure for the Turkish right. In 2012 he published a fine study of the Young Turks and the genocide, and he has since established Clark University as a center of serious research into it. His new book, Killing Orders: Talat Pasha’s Telegrams and the Armenian Genocide, is not an easy read, and not just because of the subject.
The Story of the Jews, Vol. 2: Belonging, 1492–1900
by Simon Schama
The story of the Jews extends farther back into the past than that of any other faith: perhaps only Hindus and Zoroastrians come close. But having more history does not help in the writing of it. On the contrary: the difficulties have been evident since the appearance of the first …
There was a time, hard though it is now to remember it, when Germany did not pose a great problem for other nations—or at least no more of a problem than anywhere else. Long divided among principalities and regional powers such as Prussia and Bavaria, the country was unified only …