New Books

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal reviewed two new books on evergreen topics that are sure to be of interest to students.

The first is a biography of the Duke of Monmouth, the bastard son of Charles II who put himself at the head of a rebellion against James II. The reviewer is critical of certain aspects of the biography, but overall suggests that it is well-done. I will have to read it myself, since I spend quite a bit of time in my Civ survey on the Stuarts and the Glorious Revolution.

The second book is a sure winner. Churchill has to be one of the most written-about statesmen of the 20th century and still there is more to say! Paul Bew, in his study on Churchill and the Irish Question, does every instructor of modern European history a huge favor with this book. Every time that I teach HST332, I have students who want to write on either Churchill or Ireland. After his character’s numerous cameos in Peaky Blinders, I expect that the next time I teach the course some eager history major will want to do a paper on “what did Churchill really do” regarding Ireland. Now I have someplace to direct them!


About George Vascik, Historian

A 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan, I have taught history at Miami University since 1992. I maintain blogs on teaching Western Civilization and on Great War. My research focuses on anti-Semitism and rural politics in northwest Germany. I am completing a monograph for Bloomsbury Press, Anti-Semitism and Rural Politics. You can follow my project at Along with Mark Sadler, I have published a book of primary documents on the Stab-in-the-Back Myth (Dolchstoßlegende). I also invite you to visit my profession web page at
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