Fiscal Military States in Early Modern Europe

According to Nicholas Henshall, historians have long misinterpreted the term “absolutism.”  The term “absolutism” emerged after the fall of the ancien regime and came to describe “a highly centralized and despotic government ruled by an all-powerful monarch authority extended to all parts of the realm and was not subjected to any constitutional, aristocratic, or legalContinue reading “Fiscal Military States in Early Modern Europe”

Diem’s Final Failure

In Philip Catton’s Diem’s Final Failure, the author examines the government of President Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam from 1954 – 1963 and argues that the conflict between the United States and the Diem government resulted from a “clash of visions” on the methods of modernization and nation building (Catton 2). Catton develops thisContinue reading “Diem’s Final Failure”

For the Soul of Mankind – Review

In Melvin Leffler’s book For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War, the author identifies five key moments of the Cold War and seeks to understand why American and Soviet leaders were unable to bridge their differences. By focusing on individual leaders, Leffler explores the backgrounds and experiencesContinue reading “For the Soul of Mankind – Review”

American Umpire – Review

In Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman’s book American Umpire, the author examines the history of U.S. foreign policy from the founding to present day.  By exploring specific events in American history, the author challenges those scholars who suggest that the United States is an empire and she asserts that the term “umpire” better describes American foreign policy. Continue reading “American Umpire – Review”

Soviet Collectivization: A Historiographical Essay

In the 1920s, following the Bolshevik victory in the Russian Civil War, the leader of the Bolsheviks Vladimir Lenin distanced the newly formed government from the policies of War Communism through a series of decrees.  Under War Communism, the Bolshevik Party practiced class warfare against the peasants and justified the use of force to carryContinue reading “Soviet Collectivization: A Historiographical Essay”