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Herbert Butterfield and the Pitfalls of Official History
Patrick Salmon
6 December 2021

Herbert Butterfield (1900–1979) was one of the earliest and strongest critics of what he saw as the British government’s attempts to control the past through the writing of so-called, ‘official histories’. His famous diatribe against the 'pitfalls' of government-mandated history first appeared in 1949, at a time when the British government was engaged in publishing official histories and diplomatic documents on an unprecedented scale following the Second World War. But why was Butterfield so hostile to official history, and why do his views still matter today?

Written by one of the few historians employed by the British government, this important new book details how successive governments have applied a selective approach...

Gender, Identities and Social Change in Modern Britain
Edited by Heidi Egginton and Zoë Thomas
15 October 2021

Precarious Professionals uncovers the inequalities and insecurities which lay at the heart of professional life in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. The book challenges conventional categories in the history of work, exploring instead the everyday labour of maintaining a professional identity on the margins of the traditional professions. Situating new historical perspectives on gender at the forefront of their research, the contributors explore how professional cultures could not only define themselves against, but often flourished outside of, the confines of patriarchal codes and structures.

Putting the lives of precarious professionals in dialogue with master narratives in modern...

Edited by Siân Pooley and Jonathan Taylor
17 September 2021

The history of childhood and welfare in Britain through the eyes of children. Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Britain brings together the latest historical research on welfare provision by the state, charities and families from 1830 to 1980. Demonstrating how the young were integral to the making, interpretation, delivery and impact of welfare services, the chapters consider a wide range of investments in young people’s lives, including residential institutions, emigration schemes, hospitals and clinics, schools, social housing and familial care. Drawing upon thousands of personal testimonies, including a wealth of writing by children themselves, the book shows that we can only understand the history and...

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