Whether tainted by censorship and suppression or hailed as a liberator of truth, the news is integral to our daily life. From the first newspaper publication just over 400 years ago to today’s 24-hour coverage of events in print and online, on television and on social media, the scope of news has altered drastically and permanently. Fast-evolving technologies and attitudes have shaped not only how we make news but, more crucially, how we consume it. But what makes an event ‘news’? Are we justified in our skepticism about shocking images and inflammatory headlines? Or is the news a vital tool, enabling worldwide activism movements such as `BlackLivesMatter and enforcing necessary scrutiny of the ethics of those in power?
Diplomatic history is the critical study of the management of relations between nation-states. Based on significant historical case studies – the American Revolution, the origins of the Great War and its aftermath, Versailles, the Iraq War, and diplomacy in the age of globalization – this book locates the universal role of diplomatic negotiation.
Cnut, or Canute, was King of England for nearly 20 years, dying in Dorset in 1035. A formidable figure, Cnut is one of the great ‘what ifs’ in English history. The culmination of a long period of Viking attacks and settlement across England, Cnut’s reign could have permanently shifted 11th century England’s orbit to Scandinavia. Stretching his authority across the North Sea to become king of Denmark and Norway, and with close links to Ireland and an overlordship of Scotland, Cnut created a Viking Empire at least as plausible as the Anglo-Norman Empire that would emerge in 1066. Ryan Lavelle’s book explores this fascinating and powerful man. He has popularly come down to us for the story of Canute and the waves – but he was a nation and empire builder on the grandest scale and his reign is a sort of masterclass in the contingent, wayward nature of history.
From Henri Fabre’s first successful take off from water and landing near Marseilles, to the introduction of a hull rather than floats by American Glenn Curtiss, to the world-wide development of huge, ocean-crossing flying boats on both sides of the Atlantic – the passenger flying boat era continues to fascinate aviation enthusiasts and historians alike. Wartime necessity for paved runways to support long-range, high flying land-planes and the faster movement of airmail, overcame in peacetime the unique ability enjoyed by such craft to economically utilise the natural waterways of the world, thus depriving passengers of the ability to enjoy the panorama unfolding below in luxurious accommodation and ease. A sadly missed epoch of flight: though related in clear and vivid detail by Leslie Dawson in his account of a pre-war Imperial Airways flight from Southampton to South Africa.