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Big Uig (London)

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HIKER'S GDE TO SCRAMBLING SAFE
HIKER'S GDE TO SCRAMBLING SAFE
by Tom Morin
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent little introduction to scrambling, 12 Nov. 2014
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This is an excellent little introduction to scrambling from the Canadian perspective. Although just only over 100 pages long, it provides good coverage all of sorts of issues including weather, managing hazards, movement and rope work. A good little gem for both the novice and the more experienced mountaineer.


British Armour in the Normandy Campaign 1944 (Military History and Policy)
British Armour in the Normandy Campaign 1944 (Military History and Policy)
by John Buckley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.10

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful Revisionist Perspective, 23 Feb. 2014
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This is an excellent revisionist perspective on the issue of why British armour apparently failed to perform in the Normandy campaign. There has been a persistent glorification of German military efficiency which often has failed to stand up to proper scrutiny, and I am delighted that in recent years it has been challenged, as it has done a great disservice to past generations of British soldiers. The author covers everything from tank production to morale via British doctrine in a comprehensive fashion, and I will not repeat what the other book reviewers have covered in much more detail. One factor which is covered but remains the elephant in the room, is the question of how good British leadership was at the formation level. There are two main issues from my individual perspective: Why did the so much lauded German army lose and allow the British and Canadians to effectively destroy the bulk of the German armoured formations in the West? Was British morale dangerously low and impacting on operational efficiency? Both these questions the author addresses and I think that it is appropriate that this year, the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the centenary of the start of the First World War, we remember the courage, resilience and innovation of the citizen soldiers who beat the Spartans of their day.


Deconstructing the Mafia: An Historical and Theoretical Study of Organized Crime
Deconstructing the Mafia: An Historical and Theoretical Study of Organized Crime
by Joseph L. Albini
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately Disappointing but some Good Ideas, 12 Nov. 2013
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This was Albini's last major piece before his death earlier this year. Albini is regarded as a major contributor to work on organised crime, and I was therefore disappointed in a book which promised much but ultimately delivered little. I am not clear what the target audience is; it veers between academic and populist, but risks satisfying neither. It is very much written at times like a conversation piece and covers his thoughts and work on organised crime. It is written around sets of case studies around specific themes including Globalisation, The Mafia (various chapters), and Organizing Criminals. Many of the case studies are weak, as they rely on a minimal amount of secondary or tertiary sources, with little in the way of critical analysis. The book could have done with some editing as there is much padding and waffling, without losing some of the key ideas which the authors want to put forward. I had some reservations about including terrorism as part of organised crime, and this has led to the inclusion of material which I found difficult to place within an organised crime context and lacked adequate proper treatment. There were some interesting ideas such as the organised crime matrix and a critique of the head-hunting strategy (ie decapitation) followed by many law enforcement agencies, which were only introduced in the last chapter. This is a shame as they could have formed a useful framework for organising Albini's messages.


The Origin of Organized Crime in America (Routledge Advances in American History)
The Origin of Organized Crime in America (Routledge Advances in American History)
by David Critchley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.10

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable Academic Re-evaluation of early US Italian Mafia, 1 Mar. 2013
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This is an invaluable and detailed academic piece which re-evaluates early Italian organised crime in the States. It encapsulates a significant body of research at the grass-roots level (through public, media and police records) which both debunks certain mafia myths, but at the same time paints a vivid picture of the emerging patterns of organisation and personalities. It is a bit weaker in accessing more recent Italian research on the transatlantic link between Italian and Italian-American groups. Although predominantly academic, it also paints a picture of the individuals and groups concerned which will have an attraction for the more general reader and budding thriller writers; truth is often stranger than fiction.


Early Carolingian Warfare: Prelude to Empire (The Middle Ages Series)
Early Carolingian Warfare: Prelude to Empire (The Middle Ages Series)
by Bernard S. Bachrach
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.76

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Review of Early Carolingian Warfare, 27 April 2012
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This book provides an excellent scholarly review of early Carolingian warfare, and sets the scene for the Charlemagne's reconstitution of the Roman Empire in the West. It covers the recruiting, training and logistics of the troops as well as their tactics and strategy. The main idea is that the Carolingians were true descendants of the late Roman military tradition, and as a result were much more sophisticated than we give them credit for. The book is well written and you should note that there is only about 250 pages of text, the rest are copious notes, etc which can be quite revealing. Useful for historians or wargamers alike.


George Kelly: The Psychology of Personal Constructs (Mind Shapers)
George Kelly: The Psychology of Personal Constructs (Mind Shapers)
by Dr Trevor Butt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good intro to George Kelly and PCT/PCP, 21 Sept. 2010
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This is a good introduction to George Kelly and his Personal Construct Theory or Personal Construct Psychology. Butt covers Kelly's constructivism, places it in its historical context both on a theoretical and philosophical basis, and stresses its clinical provenance. He critically compares it with behaviourism, cognitive therapies and psychodynamics. I have a lot of time for Butt's insights, but the book at times is a bit uneven, though worth perservering with. Proof reading could have been tighter.


Raising Churchill's Army: The British Army and the War against Germany 1919-1945
Raising Churchill's Army: The British Army and the War against Germany 1919-1945
by David French
Edition: Paperback
Price: £45.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Overview of the British Army Performance in WW2, 17 April 2009
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This is an exceptional overview of the British Army's performance in the West during WW2 and why it came about the way it did. It highlights the development of doctrine which built on the lessons of WW1 and reflects on the failures, mainly due to the lack of cultural change, to go as far as the changes in doctrine demanded. It also explains the political context and consequences which throughout caused a significant lack of resource being invested in the Army both in the interwar years, and then subsequently during the war where for understandable reasons the Navy and RAF were seen as more critical. Professor French also shows how the Army developed its tactical and operational techniques, using machines and firepower instead of the declining manpower pool to achieve ultimate victory over the Germans. These techniques included integration of the RAF and airpower into the land battle, sorting out command and control structures, developing artillery capability to new heights, properly grasping the importance of logistics and its inherent limitations, specialised armour, improved staffwork, the use of SOPs and battledrills, and the use of deception and intelligence in ways that the Germans could not comprehend. Where appropriate, relevant comparisons are made to the German experience. The book also provides a good perspective of how Montgomery, the consumate profesional, was, for all his faults, a key architect of the resurgence of the British Army in the West.


Compost: The natural way to make food for your garden
Compost: The natural way to make food for your garden
by Kenneth Thompson
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All You Need to Know about Composting, 11 April 2009
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Although probably written as an introduction, this is an excellent little book which covers all the key strands of composting exceptionally well; all the way from the science to the practicalities. It is packed full of useful stuff expressed in a very digestible manner, and at times you forget how much information the author is imparting.


Shinobi No Mono 3: Resurrection [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Shinobi No Mono 3: Resurrection [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 4 April 2009
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Third in the series with the ninjas operating in a very realistic and historical setting. There is a distinct change of pace as the hero matures and becomes more cunning. No shortage of skullduggery and sleight of hand as the hero sets out to destabilise Hideyoshi's regime. There are many examples of ninja techniques at work and although there are less fighting scenes than in the second episode, the fight scenes continue to be realistic and excellent, with the one between the rival ninja teams being quite outstanding. Again dubbing of a high standard.


Shinobi No Mono [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Shinobi No Mono [DVD] [1962] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 4 April 2009
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This is a classic and historical depiction of the ninja and is the first of an eight part series. It was a major success when it first came out in Japan many years ago. The hero is shown as a competent ninja but a naive and flawed human who has still much to learn. Excellent storyline with good dubbing and a plot that is far from simple and keeps you guessing, and which I will not spoil. This is more of a thriller than an action flick so do not expect non-stop fighting, though the fighting scenes are realistic. It does help to have some knowledge of Japanese history.


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