The battle of Pavia, 1525, at which the forces of Francis I of France were overwhelmed by those of the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V © The Art Archive/Ashmolean Museum
Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present by Brendan Simms (Allen Lane, £30)
Diplomatic history—the history of interstate politics—has fallen on hard times in the academy. Half a generation ago, a piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education claimed that the discipline had become boring, elitist or irrelevant. Its “corps is shrinking, losing academic prestige and tenured positions,”…
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