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No Straight Path tells the stories of ten successful female historians who came of age in an era when it was unusual for women to pursue careers in academia, especially in the field of history. These first-person accounts illuminate the experiences women of the post-World War II generation encountered when they chose to enter this male-dominated professional world. None of the contributors took a straight path into the profession; most first opted instead for the more conventional pursuits of college, public-school teaching, marriage, and motherhood. Despite these commonalities, their stories are individually unique: one rose from poverty in Arkansas to attend graduate school at Rutgers before earning the chairmanship of the history department at the University of Memphis; another pursued an archaeology degree, studied social work, and served as a college administrator before becoming a history professor at Tulane University; a third was a lobbyist who attended seminary, then taught high school, entered the history graduate program at Indiana University, and helped develop two honors colleges before entering academia; and yet another grew up in segregated Memphis and then worked in public schools in New Jersey before earning a graduate degree in history at the University of Memphis, where she now teaches. The experiences of the other historians featured in this collection are equally varied and distinctive. Several themes emerge in their collective stories. Most assumed they would become teachers, nurses, secretaries, or society ladies--the only "respectable" choices available to women at the time. The obligations of marriage and family, they believed, would far outweigh their careers outside the home. Upon making the unusual decision, at the time, to move beyond high-school teaching and attend graduate school, few grasped the extent to which men dominated the field of history or that they would be perceived by many as little more than objects of sexual desire. The work/home balance proved problematic for them throughout their careers, as they struggled to combine the needs and demands of their families with the expectations of the profession. These women had no road maps to follow. The giants who preceded them--Gerda Lerner, Anne Firor Scott, Linda K. Kerber, Joan Wallach Scott, A. Elizabeth Taylor, and others--had breached the gates but only with great drive and determination. Few of the contributors to No Straight Path expected to undertake such heroics or to rise to that level of accomplishment. They may have had modest expectations when entering the field, but with the help of female scholars past and present, they kept climbing and reached a level of success within the profession that holds great promise for the women who follow.
In three thousand years of history, China has spent at least eleven centuries at war. The Roman Empire was in conflict during at least 50 per cent of its lifetime. Since 1776, the United States has spent over one hundred years at war. The dream of peace has been universal in the history of humanity. So why have we so rarely been able to achieve it? In A Political History of the World, Jonathan Holslag has produced a sweeping history of the world, from the Iron Age to the present, that investigates the causes of conflict between empires, nations and peoples and the attempts at diplomacy and cosmopolitanism. A birds-eye view of three thousand years of history, the book illuminates the forces shaping world politics from Ancient Egypt to the Han Dynasty, the Pax Romana to the rise of Islam, the Peace of Westphalia to the creation of the United Nations.This truly global approach enables Holslag to search for patterns across different eras and regions, and explore larger questions about war, diplomacy, and power. Has trade fostered peace? What are the limits of diplomacy? How does environmental change affect stability? Is war a universal sin of power? At a time when the threat of nuclear war looms again, this is a much-needed history intended for students of international politics, and anyone looking for a background on current events.
Few decades have given rise to such potent mythologies as the 1930s. Popular impressions of those years prior to the Second World War were shaped by the single outstanding personality of that conflict, Winston Spencer Churchill. Churchill depicted himself as a political prophet, exiled intothe wilderness prior to 1939 by those who did not want to hear of the growing threats to peace in Europe. Although it is a familiar story, it is one we need to unlearn as the truth is somewhat murkier.The End is Nigh is a tale of relentless intrigue, burning ambition, and the bitter rivalry in British politics during the years preceding the Second World War. Journeying from the corridors of Whitehall to the smoking rooms of Parliament, and from aircraft factories to summit meetings with Hitler,the book offers a fresh and provocative interpretation of one of the most crucial moments of British history. It assembles a cast of iconic characters--Churchill, Neville Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin, Clement Attlee, Anthony Eden, Ernest Bevin, and more - to explore the dangerous interaction betweenhigh politics at Westminster and the formulation of national strategy in a world primed to explode.In the twenty-first century we are accustomed to being cynical about politicians, mistrusting what they say and wondering about their real motives, but Robert Crowcroft argues that this was always the character of democratic politics. In The End is Nigh he challenges some of the most resilientpublic myths of recent decades - myths that, even now, remain an important component of Britain's self-image.
Lady Mary Derby (1824-1900) occupied a pivotal position in Victorian politics, yet her activities have largely been overlooked or ignored. This volume places Mary back into the political position she occupied and offers the first dedicated account of her career.Based on extensive archival research, including hitherto neglected or lost sources, this study reconstructs the political worlds Mary inhabited. Her political landscape was dominated by the machinations and intrigues of high politics and diplomacy. As Jennifer Davey uncovers, Mary's political skilland acumen were highly valued by leading politicians of the day, including Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone, and she played a significant role in many of the key events of the mid-Victorian era. This included the passing of the Second Reform Act, the formation of Disraeli's 1874 Government,the Eastern Crisis of 1875-1878, and Gladstone's 1880-1885 Government.By exploring how one woman was able to exercise influence at the heart of Victorian politics, this book considers what Mary's career tells us about the nature of political life in the mid-nineteenth century. It sheds new light on the connections between informal and formal political culture,incorporating the politics of the home, letter-writing, and social relations into a consideration of the politics of Parliament and Government. It provides a rich investigation of how a woman, with few legal or constitutional rights, was able to become a significant figure in mid-Victorian politicallife.
This book analyses the representations of the different instances of war in the letters and diaries of the nurses and doctors of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals who worked in Romania during the Great War. These nurses detailed their experiences into journals through literary diegesis that included minute observations on their work, surroundings, and different developments of the front, as well as their own interpretations of, and impressions on, their work and the war’s destructive character. Generally, the approaches to the Great War by women who witnessed and lived it have either been gender-oriented or, simply, seen as petit histoire (s). This research represents a complementary addition to the existing literature, through its focus on the experience of the women on the fighting front, looking at it from the double perspective of autobiographical writing and war testimony.