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2020 8. All time periods ★★★★☆ Global Reviews

The Fabric of Civilisation

★★★★☆ (2020)
“Surrounded by textiles, we’re largely oblivious to their existence and the knowledge and efforts embodied in every scrap of fabric.”

Any visitor to the West Berkshire Museum can see the Newbury Coat, a coat made in 1811 from sheep to finished garment within a day…

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2020 3. Early Modern ★★★★★ Central and South America Reviews

Fifth Sun

★★★★★ (2020)
If Flamingo Snake was going to get out of the palace alive he would have to drum with all the exuberance, the raw power that he possessed.

It shouldn’t even have been him leading the show: the chief musician had fainted – perhaps from terror – and Flamingo Snake had taken over the starring role at the last minute. For he and his men to survive, he would need to put all this out of his mind and instead focus on all his attention on his drum and his song: a protest song directed at the most powerful leader in the known world.

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2020 4. Middle Ages ★★★★★ Europe Reviews

Ravenna

★★★★★ (2020)
This is the celebrated Byzantine Emperor Justinian who is credited with reconquering the Western Roman Empire through his general Belisarius. The image itself is not from the capital Constantinople (now Istanbul) as you might expect, but instead from the small Italian city of Ravenna, on the north east coast of Italy…

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1. Contemporary 2. Late Modern 2020 ★★★★☆ Europe North America Reviews

A Curious History of Sex

★★★★☆ (2020)
Sex, as we all know, has been around for about two billion years or so. But we humans continue to struggle with what sex is supposed to be all about. As Kate Lister notes in the introduction to “A Curious History of Sex”: “Humans are the only creatures that stigmatise, punish and create shame around their sexual desires…

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2020 3. Early Modern ★★★★★ Global Reviews

The Enlightenment

★★★★★ (2020)
The author, Ritchie Robertson, is a professor of German language and literature at the University of Oxford. His treatment of the Enlightenment is broad, both in terms of subject matter and geographic scope…

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2020 8. All time periods ★★★★☆ Europe North America Reviews

Past Mistakes

★★★★☆ (2020)
Close your eyes and conjure up an image of Christopher Columbus… Did you do it? What did you see? If you are anything like me you will envisage a cheerful little fellow wearing a captains hat, pantaloons and buckled shoes…

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2020 5. Ancient ★★★★☆ Europe Reviews

Thebes

★★★★☆ (2020)
In 371 BCE the Thebans achieved one of the most shocking victories in the history of warfare, by trouncing the previously invincible Spartans at the battle of Luectra despite being outnumbered almost two to one.