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The mysteries of a crime of state (24 August 1572)
Author: Arlette Jouanna

The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, which began in Paris in August 1572 and later spread to numerous other French towns, was the most notorious bloodbath of its kind in early modern Europe. Occurring during the French wars of religion, the Massacre has for long encapsulated the worst features of religious violence. Over the centuries, its gruesome reputation has generated numerous conspiracy theories. This book seeks dispassionately to sift the evidence and follow where it leads, but also to understand how contemporaries came to terms with the events of 1572. It also follows the reactions of those most involved, paying particular attention to the way in which the French monarchy explained its actions to foreign rulers and how the survivors among the Protestant communities read the events in the light of their heavily biblical culture. The role of the Massacre in strengthening arguments for royal sovereignty is also explored.

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The enigmas of Saint Bartholomew’s Day
Arlette Jouanna

From the outset the book evokes the horrors of the August 1572 Massacre in Paris, contrasting them with the magnificence of a great royal marriage that took place only a few days earlier in an atmosphere of peace and reconciliation. How could two such radically different events follow each other so quickly? What secrets lie behind their dénouement? The author probes these enigmas and how historians have tried to deal with a subject so perennially enveloped in conspiracy theories.

in The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre
Bussing, race and urban space, 1960s–80s
Author: Olivier Esteves

In 1960–62, a large number of white autochthonous parents in Southall became very concerned that the sudden influx of largely non-Anglophone Indian immigrant children in local schools would hold back their children’s education. It was primarily to placate such fears that ‘dispersal’ (or ‘bussing’) was introduced in areas such as Southall and Bradford, as well as to promote the integration of mostly Asian children. It consisted in sending busloads of immigrant children to predominantly white suburban schools, in an effort to ‘spread the burden’. This form of social engineering went on until the early 1980s. This book, by mobilising local and national archival material as well as interviews with formerly bussed pupils in the 1960s and 1970s, reveals the extent to which dispersal was a flawed policy, mostly because thousands of Asian pupils were faced with racist bullying on the playgrounds of Ealing, Bradford, etc. It also investigates the debate around dispersal and the integration of immigrant children, e.g. by analysing the way some Local Education Authorities (Birmingham, London) refused to introduce bussing. It studies the various forms that dispersal took in the dozen or so LEAs where it operated. Finally, it studies local mobilisations against dispersal by ethnic associations and individuals. It provides an analysis of debates around ‘ghetto schools’, ‘integration’, ‘separation’, ‘segregation’ where quite often the US serves as a cognitive map to make sense of the English situation.

Suzanne Treister and Roger Luckhurst

, leaving one uncertain about the level of irony in the conspiracy theories and density of interconnections that are being mapped out. That some of the connections made in the pieces are true is unnerving, for it is now well established that the American security services have often invested time and money in psychical and occult research programmes (projects that have become the basis for popular culture like the X-Files television series). Where, though, does Treister leave documented history and enter the realms of paranoia, fantasy, or aesthetic transformation

in The machine and the ghost
Peter Lake

not merely willing agents and allies of the Guise and zealous Catholics, willing to risk everything in order to rescue their country from heresy and Mary from prison, to conspirators as ludicrous as Dr Parry and unlikely as Dr Lopez. What was at stake in these exchanges was not a theoretical, freestanding debate about the rights and wrongs, the proper limits on and privileges of, ‘free speech’ but rather the use of the allegedly pressing threats represented by these rival conspiracy theories, as legitimations for orgies of truth-telling designed to persuade a series

in Freedom of speech, 1500–1850
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Tony Chafer and Alexander Keese

involvement in sub-Saharan Africa (see for example the Dossiers noirs de la politique africaine de la France, of which 23 have been published, 1995–2009; Verschave 1998, 2000; Deltombe et al. 2011). Indeed, conspiracy theories find fertile ground in the literature on Franco-African relations precisely because they have been dominated by secrecy. Moreover, France has in many cases done precisely what the conspiracy theories claim that it does – destabilise or prop up African regimes that are perceived as pro-French in order to further French interests. Moreover, this

in Francophone Africa at fifty
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Lucy P. Chester

conspiracy theories are based on a distortion of the established facts. The ‘bumbler’ school of historiography seems on the surface more credible. However, I argue that the peculiarities of the boundary commission must be understood in the context of British, League and Congress political imperatives. This book aims to show the boundary commission’s place in the run-up to partition, particularly within

in Borders and conflict in South Asia
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Robert H. MacDonald

signifying system is shared by the group, and this system works politically. A case can be made that the manipulation of public opinion by Rhodes and the officers of the Chartered Company led directly to the successful invasion and colonisation of Mashonaland and Matabebeland; this might at first sight seem plausible, yet on reflection appear simplistic, suggestive of conspiracy theory and a gullible press

in The language of empire
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R.J.B. Bosworth​ u​tri/01-09-2010/articolo-id=470544-page=0-comments=1. The respectable publishing house was moving to make them available in book form.  6​ill-​ ordered-assassination-of-Mussolini-to-protect-compromising-letters.html (acc­e­s­ sed 6 September 2010). For De Felice’s conspiracy theory in this regard, see his Rosso e Nero, ed. P. Chessa (Milan: Baldini & Castoldi, 1995), pp. 147–8.  7 (accessed 6

in The cult of the Duce
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Anne Byrne

, Traumatic Politics: The deputies and the king in the early French Revolution (Pennsylvania, 2009).  3 On the importance of ideas of threat and conspiracy, see Marisa Linton, Choosing Terror: Virtue, friendship and authenticity in the French Revolution (Oxford, 2013); Peter R. Campbell, Thomas E. Kaiser and Marisa Linton, Conspiracy in the French Revolution (Manchester, 2010); Barry Coward and Julian Swann (editors) Conspiracy and Conspiracy Theories in Early Modern Europe (Aldershot, 2004).  4 Tackett, Becoming a Revolutionary, 76.  5 Linton, Choosing Terror, 24.   6 Michel

in Death and the crown