History Files: voyages of Discovery.
History Files: voyages of Discovery. David Boyle. Thames &
Hudson. [pounds sterling]12.95 p.b. 144 pages. ISBN 978-0-500-28959-4.
History Files: The Cold War. Michael F. Hopkins. Thames & Hudson.
[pounds sterling]12.95 p.b. 144 pages. ISBN 978-0-500-28958-7. Thames
& Hudson have recently published two more titles in its new series
designed to introduce major historical topics, to summarise key events,
and to present to students the latest work and approaches. The series
also makes use of the publisher's high reputation for excellent
illustrations and includes a most useful selection of documents, and
facsimiles of important items. While the series is presumably aimed at
Sixth Form students and first-year undergraduates it will, in the event,
prove very useful for anyone wishing to study the topic for the first
time. In Voyages of Discovery Mr Boyle begins by delineating the reasons
for European exploration--trade, religion, and technological ability. He
then describes the adventures of Dias and da Gama, Columbus, Cabot,
Magellan, the Conquistadors, and Cook before summing up. In The Cold War
Prof. Hopkins takes a chronological approach after a short introduction
in which he shows how the 'cold war' followed inevitably on
the end of the Second World War and the pre-existing crusading element
in Soviet Communism. While not eschewing the political element he also
discusses the extraordinary economic growth in the Free World and the
impact of the 'youth revolution'. He is therefore concerned
with the main political and cultural elements in this historic
confrontation as well as the reasons behind the Communists'
collapse. (Sadly he does not mention the work of the late Otto von
Habsburg and his Paneuropean Union in 1989.) Both these titles, as well
as the series itself, are good, solid introductions presented in
attractive formats. (A.C.T)