A History of Charisma
Palgrave Macmillan, $59.95 hb, 280 pp
Nothing, it seems, is too small to have its own history. As academic disciplines such as the history of ideas have grown and prospered, popular non-fiction has followed suit, offering the history of a word, a concept, a technology. This has proven to be a highly effective method of opening up the processes of culture for closer inspection, and for revealing the contingent or motivated roots of what we now take for granted. It has become an appealing and often lively way to write cultural histories.