In the years before 1914 the novels of William Le Queux provided a catalyst for British debates about the economic, military and political failures of the empire and featured plots that embodied fears about new national and imperial rivals. For Le Queux, the capture of London was integral to German military occupation. Representative of the nation’s will to resist, or its inability to withstand attack, the vitality of London was always at issue in his novels. Drawing on contemporary fears about the capital and its decay, this article considers the moral panics about London and Londoners and their relationship to Britain’s martial decline reflected in his stories. Engaging with images of anarchist and foreign terrorism, and drawing on fears of covert espionage rings operating in government circles, this article probes the ways in which Le Queux’s fiction expressed concerns about London as a degenerate metropolis in the process of social and moral collapse.
Images of London in Dissolution in the Novels of William Le Queux
The Altai and its place in the spiritual geopolitics of Nicholas Roerich
The artist Nicholas Roerich, famous for his expeditions (1925-1928 and 1934-1936) to Central Asia and the Himalayas, was deeply fascinated by the Altai Mountains, which he visited in 1926 (even though he had emigrated from Soviet Russia in 1918). His interest in the region had partly to do with his scholarly theories about the origin of Eurasian cultures. Even more important were Roerich's occult beliefs. Ostensibly artistic and academic in nature, Roerich's expeditions were part of a larger effort to create a pan-Buddhist state that was to include southern Siberia, Mongolia, and Tibet. In the Altai, Roerich aimed to locate the legendary land of White Waters (Belovod'e) and build his capital there. Support for this 'Great Plan' came from American followers of Roerich's mystical teachings. In addition, by representing himself to Soviet authorities as someone who might foster anti-British resentment and pro-Russian feelings among the populations of Central Asia and Tibet, Roerich briefly piqued their interest. The Great Plan was never realised, but Roerich continued to believe in the Altai's magical properties.
Pro-Israel advocacy in the United States has come under a great deal of critical scrutiny in recent years. Denunciations of the excessive influence of the “Israel Lobby” on US foreign policymaking toward the Middle East, allegations of espionage leveled against high-ranking employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), and arguments over whether pro-Israel organizations adequately represent American Jewish opinion have all served to put the pro-Israel lobby in the public spotlight.
Lloyd Kramer Liberal Values: Benjamin Constant and the Politics of Religion by Helena Rosenblatt
Paul V. Dutton Breadwinners and Citizens: Gender in the Making of the French Social Model by Laura Levine Frader
Paul Jankowski The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France by Simon Kitson
Lynne Taylor The Politics of Everyday Life in Vichy France: Foreigners, Undesirables, and Strangers by Shannon Fogg
Rodney Benson Turning on the Mind: French Philosophers on Television by Tamara Chaplin
Elisa Camiscioli La Condition noire: Essai sur une minorité française by Pap Ndiaye
Susan Carol Rogers The Life of Property: House, Family and Inheritance in Bearn, South-West France by Timothy Jenkins
The Legacy of the 1917 Espionage Act in the United States
During the Great War the frenzy to control opposition to war resulted in several efforts to limit freedom of speech. State legislation, gubernatorial proclamations, and municipal ordinances had the immediate impact of controlling dissent, but the cessation of the war ended such activities. Congressional passage of the Espionage Act in 1917 changed this dynamic and left behind a long-term legacy. Several cases argued on behalf of defendants imprisoned for opposing the nation’s war effort arrived at the United States Supreme Court for review. Justices for the first time defined the boundaries of the First Amendment by arguing that expressions could pose a “clear and present danger” during a national crisis. This interpretation has led to passage of recent legislation, including the USA PATRIOT Act, and has been used to justify the arrest of individuals who leak sensitive information.
Francisca de Haan
In the quarter century since the fall of communist governments across Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, scholars have used increased access to archival sources and the fresh perspective created by time to begin to re-evaluate the Cold War, the “all-encompassing struggle for global power and influence between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies.” Yet, much of this new research remains centered on traditional topics like decision making amongst political elites, diplomacy, and espionage. Scholars are only beginning to explore the various and complex ways in which gender played a role in the Cold War conflict, in terms of representation and language, as having shaped foreign policy, or as a core field in which the two sides competed, each advocating its way of life, including its gender system, as superior and in women’s real interest. The Soviet Union, having given women full economic, political, and legal rights, at least until the 1970s claimed to have solved the “woman question”; in 1963, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev proudly stated in a message to an international congress of women held in Moscow that women were full-fledged members of Soviet society.