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The Macat Library: Great Works for Critical Thinking


About the Series

Making the ideas of the world’s great thinkers accessible, affordable, and comprehensible to everybody, everywhere. 

With a growing list of over 180 titles across a broad range of subject areas, Macat works with leading academics from the world’s top universities to produce new analyses that focus on the ideas and the impact of the most influential works ever written. By setting them in context – and looking at the influences that shaped their authors, as well as the responses they provoked – Macat encourages readers to look at these classics and game-changers with fresh eyes.

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The Coming of the French Revolution

The Coming of the French Revolution

Tom Stammers
July 15, 2017

Georges Lefebvre was one of the most highly-regarded historians of the 20th century – and a key reason for the high reputation he enjoys can be found in The Coming of the French Revolution. Lefebvre's key contribution to the debate over what remains arguably one of history's most contentious and...

The

The "Hitler Myth": Image and Reality in the Third Reich

Helen Roche
July 15, 2017

Few historical problems are more baffling in retrospect than the conundrum of how Hitler was able to rise to power in Germany and then command the German people – many of whom had only marginal interest in or affiliation to Nazism – and the Nazi state. It took Ian Kershaw – author of the standard...

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

Simon Young
July 15, 2017

Tony Judt decided to write Postwar in 1989, the year the collapse of the Soviet Union provided European history with a rare example of a clearly-signposted ‘end of an era’. It's scarcely surprising, then, that the great virtue of Judt's book is the clarity and the breadth of its account of postwar...

The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology

The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology

Simon Thomson
July 15, 2017

Few historians trace grand themes across many centuries and places, but Ernst Kantorowicz's great work on the symbolic powers of kingship is a fine example of what can happen when they do. The King's Two Bodies is at once a superb example of the critical thinking skill of evaluation – assessing...

The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading

The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading

Damien Peters
July 15, 2017

Perhaps no work of history written in the 20th century has done more to undermine an existing consensus and cause its readers to re-evaluate their own preconceptions than has Jonathan Riley-Smith's revisionist account of the motives of the first crusaders. Riley-Smith's thesis – based on extensive...

The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

The Night Battles: Witchcraft and Agrarian Cults in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries

Etienne Stockland, Luke Freeman
July 15, 2017

In The Night Battles, Carlo Ginzburg does more than introduce his readers to a novel group of supposed witches – the Benandanti, from the northern Italian province of Friulia. He also invents and deploys new and creative ways of tackling his source material that allow him to move beyond their...

The Return of Martin Guerre

The Return of Martin Guerre

Joseph Tendler
July 15, 2017

Few stories are more captivating than the one told by Natalie Zemon Davis in The Return of Martin Guerre. Basing her research on records of a bizarre court case that occurred in 16th-century France, she uses the tale of a missing soldier – whose disappearance threatens the livelihood of his peasant...

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Jo Hedesan, Joseph Tendler
July 15, 2017

Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions can be seen, without exaggeration, as a landmark text in intellectual history. In his analysis of shifts in scientific thinking, Kuhn questioned the prevailing view that science was an unbroken progression towards the truth. Progress was...

The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution

The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution

Harman Bhogal, Liam Haydon
July 15, 2017

Few works of history have succeeded so completely in forcing their readers to take a fresh look at the evidence as Christopher Hill's The World Turned Upside Down – and that achievement is rooted firmly in Hill's exceptional problem-solving skills. Traditional interpretations of the English Civil...

Common Sense

Common Sense

Ian Jackson
July 15, 2017

Thomas Paine’s 1776 Common Sense has secured an unshakeable place as one of history’s most explosive and revolutionary books. A slim pamphlet published at the beginning of the American Revolution, it was so widely read that it remains the all-time best selling book in US history. An impassioned...

Discipline and Punish

Discipline and Punish

Meghan Kallman, Rachele Dini
July 15, 2017

Michel Foucault is famous as one of the 20th-century’s most innovative thinkers – and his work on Discipline and Punish was so original and offered models so useful to other scholars that the book now ranks among the most influential academic works ever published. Foucault’s aim is to trace the way...

Leviathan

Leviathan

Jeremy Kleidosty, Jason Xidias
July 15, 2017

Thomas Hobbes is a towering figure in the history of modern thought and political philosophy. He remains best remembered for his 1651 treatise on government, Leviathan, a work that shows at the very best the reasoning skills of a deeply original and creative thinker. Creative thinking is all about...

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