The Murder of William Norwich; The Origins of the Blood Libel in Medieval Europe by E.M. Rose. Oxford University Press, 2017 paper. The mutilated body of a young boy was found outside the city’s walls. A rumor spread that his death involved a ritual murder performed by Jews in imitation of the Crucifixion and intended by them to be a mockery of Christianity.
How to Plan a Crusade; Religious War in the High Middle Ages by Christopher Tyerman. Pegasus, 2071. How the crusades worked; more broadly an attempt to rethink how we understand the Middle Ages.
The Templars; The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors by Dan Jones. Viking, 2017. They began as defenders of the Holy Land but eventually quarreled with the band of French crusaders and were brutally disbanded.
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Simon & Schuster, 2017. Connects this artist to his science.
1997; The Future that Never Happened by Richard Sayeed. Zed, 2017, paper. Some two decades ago, Britain looked hopefully to their future. But slowly the country has moved toward the right and racism has further undermined its Imperial tradition.
Fractured Continent; Europe’s Crises and the Fate of the West by William Droazdiak. W.W. Norton, 2017. Europe is facing a time of confusion and crisis. The UK, Germany, Spain, others once stable countries are facing not only a refugee crisis but also the erosion of their post-war prosperity.
Nowhere-Lands; An Atlas of Vanished Countries, 1840 to 1970 by Bjorn Berge. Thames & Hudson, 2017. Fifty-some countries that once existed are gone from the world map.
The Knights Errant of Anarchy; London and the Italian Anarchist Diaspora (1880 to 1917) by Pietro Di Paola. AK Books, 2017 paper. The culture and politics of anarchist refugees in London at the beginning of the last century.
London’s Triumph; Merchants, Adventures, and Money in Shakespeare’s City by Stephen Alford. Bloomsbury, 2017. The dramatic story of the dazzling growth and power of London in the sixteenth century.
The Less You Know; The Better You Sleep; Russia’s Road to Terror and Dictatorship under Yeltsin and Putin by David Satter. Yale University Press, 2017 paper. The author claims that the bombings of apartment buildings in 1999, which were blamed on the Chechens and brought Putin to power, were actually carried out by Russian security police.
Safe Passage; The Transition from British to American Hegemony by Kori Schake. Harvard University Press, 2017. An unusually peaceful transition of hegemonic power from Britain to America. The transition began with the Monroe Doctrine and on to the “special relationship” during the Second World War.