No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
See below for a selection of the latest books from Social & cultural history category. Presented with a red border are the Social & cultural history books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Social & cultural history books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
This book maps changing patterns of drinking. Emphasis is laid on the connected histories of different regions and populations across the globe regarding consumption patterns, government policies, economics and representations of alcohol and drinking. Its transnational perspective facilitates an understanding of the local and global factors that have had a bearing on alcohol consumption and legislation, especially on the emergence of particular styles of 'drinking cultures'. The comparative approach helps to identify similarities, differences and crossovers between particular regions and pinpoint the parameters that shape alcohol consumption, policies, legal and illegal production, and popular perceptions. With a wide geographic range, the book explores plural drinking cultures within any one region, their association with specific social groups, and their continuities and changes in the wake of wider global, colonial and postcolonial economic, political and social constraints and exchanges.
'A formidable, brave and important book' Robert Macfarlane Who owns England? Behind this simple question lies this country's oldest and best-kept secret. This is the history of how England's elite came to own our land, and an inspiring manifesto for how to open up our countryside once more. This book has been a long time coming. Since 1086, in fact. For centuries, England's elite have covered up how they got their hands on millions of acres of our land, by constructing walls, burying surveys and more recently, sheltering behind offshore shell companies. But with the dawn of digital mapping and the Freedom of Information Act, it's becoming increasingly difficult for them to hide. Trespassing through tightly-guarded country estates, ecologically ravaged grouse moors and empty Mayfair mansions, writer and activist Guy Shrubsole has used these 21st century tools to uncover a wealth of never-before-seen information about the people who own our land, to create the most comprehensive map of land ownership in England that has ever been made public. From secret military islands to tunnels deep beneath London, Shrubsole unearths truths concealed since the Domesday Book about who is really in charge of this country - at a time when Brexit is meant to be returning sovereignty to the people. Melding history, politics and polemic, he vividly demonstrates how taking control of land ownership is key to tackling everything from the housing crisis to climate change - and even halting the erosion of our very democracy. It's time to expose the truth about who owns England - and finally take back our green and pleasant land.
Celebrity, with its neon glow and selfie pout, strikes us as hypermodern. But the famous and infamous have been thrilling, titillating, and outraging us for much longer than we might realise. Whether it was the scandalous Lord Byron, whose poetry sent female fans into an erotic frenzy; or the cheetah-owning, coffin-sleeping, one-legged French actress Sarah Bernhardt, who launched a violent feud with her former best friend; or Edmund Kean, the dazzling Shakespearean actor whose monstrous ego and terrible alcoholism saw him nearly murdered by his own audience - the list of stars whose careers burned bright before the Age of Television is extensive and thrillingly varied. Celebrities could be heroes or villains; warriors or murderers; brilliant talents, or fraudsters with a flair for fibbing; trendsetters, wilful provocateurs, or tragic victims marketed as freaks of nature. Some craved fame while others had it forced upon them. A few found fame as small children, some had to wait decades to get their break. But uniting them all is the shared origin point: since the early 1700s, celebrity has been one of the most emphatic driving forces in popular culture; it is a lurid cousin to Ancient Greek ideas of glorious and notorious reputation, and its emergence helped to shape public attitudes to ethics, national identity, religious faith, wealth, sexuality, and gender roles. In this ambitious history, that spans the Bronze Age to the coming of Hollywood's Golden Age, Greg Jenner assembles a vibrant cast of over 125 actors, singers, dancers, sportspeople, freaks, demigods, ruffians, and more, in search of celebrity's historical roots. He reveals why celebrity burst into life in the early eighteenth century, how it differs to ancient ideas of fame, the techniques through which it was acquired, how it was maintained, the effect it had on public tastes, and the psychological burden stardom could place on those in the glaring limelight. DEAD FAMOUS is a surprising, funny, and fascinating exploration of both a bygone age and how we came to inhabit our modern, fame obsessed society.
When the Titanic sank, so did the Edwardian age that created it. In this brilliantly original history, Gareth Russell recasts a tragedy we think we know to explore an era of seismic change. With new research and previously unseen first-hand accounts, Gareth Russell peers through the most famous portholes in the world to follow six travellers. Amongst them, a Jewish-American immigrant, an American movie star, a member of the British nobility, and a titan of industry. Setting these lives against that of the Titanic, Russell investigates social class, technological advancement, political turmoil and pioneering ambition in an age that swang between folly and brilliance, hubris and triumph. A dramatic history of human endeavour told through extraordinary, diverse personalities, The Ship of Dreams dispels myth to revive the story of a ship that was to become symbolic of its own doomed era. Previously published as The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World.
'Somerville is one of our finest gazetteers of the British countryside. He brings his formidable knowledge to bear on his personal quest to explore the cathedrals in this entrancing book' The Spectator Christopher Somerville, author of the acclaimed The January Man, pictured cathedrals as great unmoving bastions of tradition. But as he journeys among Britian's favourites, old and new, he discovers buildings and communities that have been in constant upheaval for a thousand years. Here are stories of the monarchs and bishops who ordered the construction of these buildings, the masons whose genius brought them into being, and the peasants who worked and died on the scaffolding. We learn of rogue saints exploited by holy sinners, the pomp and prosperity that followed these ships of stone, the towns that grew up in their shadows. Meeting believers and non-believers, architects and archaeologists, the cleaner who dusts the monuments and the mason who judges stone by its taste, we delve deep into the private lives and the uncertain future of these ever-voyaging Ships of Heaven. 'Somerville paints word pictures of exquisite quality' Church Times
Pumpherston - surely one of the strangest place-names in Lowland Scotland - has a history that is as unusual as its name. The ancient castle and lands of Pumpherston evolved into a fertile estate with an experimental farm, and those in turn gave way to one of the world's most successful early oil companies. The Pumpherston story includes a huntsman eaten by his own hounds, a bankrupt MP and a golf course enlivened by cows - and cow-pats. In 1884 the Pumpherston Oil Works was built and a substantial village came into being. The Pumpherston Oil Company is seen in the wider context of the shale oil industry. The story of its successes and failures is followed through the era of Scottish Oils and BP to the close-down of the shale oil industry in Scotland in 1962. The village was built, supervised and patronised by the oil companies. A strange culture emerged in which the employers intervened in all aspects of their employees' lives, whether at work, at home or at leisure. This book also looks at the rich social life that grew up in the village, and the wealth of characters - high achievers as well as eccentric worthies - that will stir the memories of everyone who grew up in or remembers Pumpherston in the old days. The story of Pumpherston comes full circle with the cleaning up of the oil works site. BP has used pioneering technology to clear the site of the pollution from more than a century of work, and to return the area to its original rural nature. A mix of historical, technical and anecdotal material makes up a book that should appeal to readers not just in the local area, but to Pumphy exiles all over the world and to anyone interested in the shale oil industry and Scotland's industrial heritage.
The Routledge History of American Sexuality brings together contributions from leading scholars in history and related fields to provide a far-reaching but concrete history of sexuality in the United States. This interdisciplinary group of authors explore a wide variety of case studies and concepts to provide an innovative approach to the history of sexual practices and identities over several centuries. Each essay interrogates a provocative word or concept to reflect on the complex ideas, debates and differences of historical and cultural opinions surrounding it. Its authors challenge readers to look beyond contemporary identity-based movements in order to excavate the deeper histories of how people have sought sexual pleasure, power, and freedom in the Americas. This book is an invaluable resource for students or scholars seeking to grasp current research on the history of sexuality and is a seminal text for undergraduate and graduate courses on American history, Sexuality Studies, Women's Studies, Gender Studies, or LGBT Studies.
From droving to driving, heilan coos to long horns, Highland Cowboys explores the links between the two cattle cultures of Scotland and America through music, song, dance, and folklore. The vast number of Scots who emigrated to North America, whether through forcible eviction during the Highland Clearances or voluntarily in the hope of a better life, has been well documented. With them they took their culture, their language, their music and their skills. Cattle droving in Scotland was an established profession from the 16th century, and many such migrants took cowboy jobs in the American West. The medium of music paints a vivid picture of their social and personal lives, and describes a mutual exchange as music crossed and re-crossed the Atlantic creating strong links between the old culture and the new. This unique exploration of the cowboy culture sheds new light on the everyday life of the cattle communities.
This is the first book to examine the lives and works of women photographers active in the settler colonial nations of the Pacific Rim from 1857-1930. The few histories of women's photography that have been written so far have been confined to developments in Britain, France, Germany and the USA, and have overwhelmingly focused on artistic photography, ignoring the whole area of commercial photography. Taking 12 case studies as representative of the many women who entered the profession between 1857 and 1930, this book deals with both early 20th-century artistic and ethnographic photography in the region and 19th-century commercial photography. In addition to asking how female photographers coped with the pressure of being women in a male-dominated profession, what was new about the techniques and methods they deployed, and the kinds of artistic visions they brought to bear on their subjects, it breaks new ground by asking how they responded as photographers to the on-going decimation and displacement of indigenous peoples as white settlement and capitalism became ever more entrenched across the new world territories of the Pacific Rim, and photography more influenced by the international art movements of Pictorialism and Modernism.
Bernhard Otto Holtermann emigrated from Hamburg to Australia in 1858 as a destitute young man, where, in 1872, he unearthed the largest lump of gold in the world. Holtermann shared his newfound wealth with his adopted home. As he travelled through the settlements, he had the poverty-stricken life documented in spectacular images, and promoted Australia to the world. More than 150 of these impressive photos have now been published, most for the first time, in this bilingual edition and are thus immortalised for eternity. Over more than 200 pages, the spectacular story of the German emigrant and his lucky discovery is told, with the images commissioned by him now available for the general public. Holtermann's photos impressively document the drudgery of the gold mines and life in Australia during the 19th century. Several modern-day photos and representations of how contemporary artists interpret his work have been included in this coffee-table volume. Thanks to this book, Bernhard Holtermann's legacy has been given the distinction it deserves for the first time. Text in English and German.
Buildings provide tremendous insights into the character of imperialism, not least in the manner in which Western forms were spread across the globe. They reveal the projection of power and authority in colonised landscapes, as well the economic ambitions and social and cultural needs of colonial peoples in all types of colonies. They also represent a colonial order of social classes and racial divisions, together with the ways in which these were inflected through domestic living space, places of work and various aspects of cultural relations. They illuminate the desires of Europeans to indulge in cultural and religious proselytisation, encouraging indigenous peoples to adopt western norms. But the resistance of the supposedly subordinate people led to the invasion, adoption and adaptation of such buildings for a post-colonial world. The book will be vital reading for all students and scholars interested in the widest aspects of material culture. -- .
The Perfect Gift for Mother's Day A feeling that we could do whatever we liked swept through us in the 60s... The sexual revolution liberated a generation. But men most of all. We tend to think of the 60s as a decade sprinkled with stardust: a time of space travel and utopian dreams, but above all of sexual abandonment. When the pill was introduced on the NHS in 1961 it seemed, for the first time, that women - like men - could try without buying. It was paradise for men... all these willing girls... But this book - by 'one of the great social historians of our time' - describes a turbulent power struggle. Here are the voices from the battleground. Meet dollybird Mavis, debutante Kristina, Beryl who sang with the Beatles, bunny girl Patsy, Christian student Anthea, industrial campaigner Mary and countercultural Caroline. From Carnaby Street to Merseyside, from mods to rockers, from white gloves to Black is Beautiful, their stories throw an unsparing spotlight on morals, four-letter words, faith, drugs, race, bomb culture and sex. This is a moving, shocking book about tearing up the world and starting again. It's about peace, love, psychedelia and strange pleasures, but it is also about misogyny, violation and discrimination - half a century before feminism rebranded. For out of the swamp of gropers and groupies, a movement was emerging, and discovering a new cause: equality. The 1960s: this was where it all began. Women would never be the same again. 'One of the great social historians of our time. No one else makes makes history this fun' Amanda Foreman 'Intimate, immersive, often moving, How Was It For You? subtly but powerfully subverts complacent male assumptions about a legendary decade' David Kynaston 'An absorbing study of an extraordinary age. Beautifully written and intensively researched' Selina Hastings 'Every baby boomer should read this great and wonderfully revelatory book if only to shout, Ah yes, that's exactly what it was like for me! ' Anne Sebba 'Virginia Nicholson is the outstanding recorder of British lives in the twentieth century... and this account of the 1960s is the most vivid and moving of all her works' Carmen Callil 'Essential reading' Marina Lewycka 'A dazzling kaleidoscope of facts, feelings and observations' Juliet Nicolson 'A hugely ambitious, kaleidoscope of a book' Richard Vinen 'Makes it feel like the Sixties have never been away' Hunter Davies 'I was there, and she's right' Valerie Grove 'Sparklingly readable . . . Having read Nicholson's magisterial and sensuous overview of the decade, I feel I'm floating above the Sixties (a bit like Lucy in the Sky) and looking down on them with a new understanding ' Ysenda Maxtone Graham, The Times 'The stories are terrific' Rosie Boycott, Financial Times 'Sparkling . . . there is a wonderfully diverse range of voices . . . we have a long way to go, but reading this book made me grateful for how far we have come' Daisy Goodwin, The Sunday Times