ANN: New and Forthcoming Publications

Juan Meneses's picture

Dear H-Empire members,

This is a list of new and forthcoming publications of interest to members:


Hélder Carvalhal, André Murteira, and Roger Lee de Jesus (eds.), The First World Empire. Portugal, War and Military Revolution (New York: Routledge, 2021).

This book offers a comprehensive overview of the early modern military history of Portugal and its possessions in Africa, America, and Asia from the perspective of the Military Revolution historiographical debate. The existence of a military revolution in the early modern period has been much debated within international historiography and this volume fills a significant gap in its relation to the history of Portugal and its overseas empire. It examines different forms of military change in specifically Portuguese case studies, but also adopts a global perspective through the analysis of different contexts and episodes in Africa, America, and Asia. Contributors explore whether there is evidence of what could be defined as aspects of a military revolution, or, alternatively, whether other explanatory models are needed to account for different forms of military change. As such, it offers the reader a variety of perspectives that contribute to the debate over the applicability of the Military Revolution concept to Portugal and its empire during the early modern period. Broken down into four thematic parts and broad in both chronological and geographical scope, the book deepens our understanding of the art of warfare in Portugal and its empire and demonstrates how the Military Revolution debate can be used to examine military change in a global perspective. This is an essential text for scholars and students of military history, military architecture, global history, Asian history and the history of Iberian empires.


Patrick M. Kirkwood, "'A War Time Love Affair': The Round Table and The New Republic, c.1914-1919," The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 20.1 (2021): 44-65.


Itay Lotem, The Memory of Colonialism in Britain and France: The Sins of Silence (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).

This book explores national attitudes to remembering colonialism in Britain and France. By comparing these two former colonial powers, the author tells two distinct stories about coming to terms with the legacies of colonialism, the role of silence and the breaking thereof. Examining memory through the stories of people who incited public conversation on colonialism: activists; politicians; journalists; and professional historians, this book argues that these actors mobilised the colonial past to make sense of national identity, race and belonging in the present. It uses a range of sources from textual publications to oral history and tells two distinct stories of the mobilisation of the colonial past in present-day politics. In focusing on memory as an ongoing, politicised public debate, the book examines the afterlife of colonial history as an element of political and social discourse that reflects actors' understanding of their present-day, multi-ethnic European societies.


Rashna Darius Nicholson, The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage: The Making of the Theatre of Empire (1853-1893) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021).

The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage is the first comprehensive study of the Parsi theatre, colonial South and Southeast Asia’s most influential cultural phenomenon and the precursor of the Indian cinema industry. By providing extensive, unpublished information on its first actors, audiences, production methods, and plays, this book traces how the theatre—which was one of the first in the Indian subcontinent to adopt European stagecraft—transformed into a pan-Asian entertainment industry in the second half of the nineteenth century. Nicholson sheds light on the motivations that led to the development of the popular, commercial theatre movement in Asia through three areas of investigation: the vernacular public sphere, the emergence of competing visions of nationhood, and the narratological function that women served within a continually shifting socio-political order. The book will be of interest to scholars across several disciplines, including cultural history, gender studies, Victorian studies, the sociology of religion, colonialism, and theatre.


David Todd, A Velvet Empire: French Informal Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021).

After Napoleon’s downfall in 1815, France embraced a mostly informal style of empire, one that emphasized economic and cultural influence rather than military conquest. A Velvet Empire is a global history of French imperialism in the nineteenth century, providing new insights into the mechanisms of imperial collaboration that extended France’s power from the Middle East to Latin America and ushered in the modern age of globalization.  David Todd shows how French elites pursued a cunning strategy of imperial expansion in which conspicuous commodities such as champagne and silk textiles, together with loans to client states, contributed to a global campaign of seduction. French imperialism was no less brutal than that of the British. But while Britain widened its imperial reach through settler colonialism and the acquisition of far-flung territories, France built a “velvet” empire backed by frequent military interventions and a broadening extraterritorial jurisdiction. Todd demonstrates how France drew vast benefits from these asymmetric, imperial-like relations until a succession of setbacks around the world brought about their unravelling in the 1870s. A Velvet Empire sheds light on France’s neglected contribution to the conservative reinvention of modernity and offers a new interpretation of the resurgence of French colonialism on a global scale after 1880. This panoramic book also highlights the crucial role of collaboration among European empires during this period—including archrivals Britain and France—and cooperation with indigenous elites in facilitating imperial expansion and the globalization of capitalism.


Members may also be interested in the latest issue of World History Connected.