Books: Private Historian

(See front cover) Old history is in books and new on front pages. Yet neither tells the whole story of a people, a period, a place. Behind the extraordinary news in the papers, the decisive events described by historians, lies a mass of anonymous, miscellaneous human happenings, comprising the routine stuff of daily living. This is private history and, though it rarely gets into public history, it outweighs soldiers and statesmen, battles and booms, in the final balance of time.

To relate these minutiae of contemporary experience to the broad sweep of...

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