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Reviews Written by
Dr. R. S. Philipson (Cambridge, UK)

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Secret Location: A Witness to the Birth of Radar and its Postwar Influence
Secret Location: A Witness to the Birth of Radar and its Postwar Influence
by Ian Goult
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent personal account of the development of radar, 25 Dec 2010
I found this to be an engaging, well-written and insightful account of the development of radar. The author's personal experiences provide the reader with a clear narrative that starts before the Second World War, and which is particularly interesting as it describes the very significant contribution made towards the war effort. Whilst there are some technical descriptions, these never interfere with the main thrust of the book, which is a personal historical account. The post-war period is similarly fascinating in its description of events relating to the 'Cold War'.

Overall this is a an excellent read, and I recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in matters historical and/or technical.

by Roland Huntford
Edition: Paperback
Price: 12.79

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding biography, 20 Jun 2009
This review is from: Shackleton (Paperback)
I am not a historian, but have an absorbing interest in Antarctic exploration. I have read accounts of Scott's and Amundsen's expeditions to the South Pole, but needed to augment this with a history of Shackleton's contribution to the history of Antarctica. I therefore turned to Roland Huntford's biography of Shackleton, and have found a truly outstanding account of Shackleton's life.

Shackleton is symapthetically portrayed as a somewhat 'larger than life' character, but his flaws and failings are clearly presented too. Whilst the book is a true 'birth to death' biography, it understandably concentrates on Shackleton's Nimrod and Endurance expeditions, and the interspersing parts of his life consequently do not have the energy and tension of these dramatic trips.

Particular strengths of the book are to put Shackleton's life and his exploration of Antarctica into the context of life in Britain at the start of the 20th century and in particular against the background of the First World War. Huntford's account of the open boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia is one of the most compelling pieces of narrative that I have ever read: an outstanding account of Shackleton's leadership, Worsley's seamanship and the forces of nature conspiring against them.

This is a book that I can thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in Shackleton, polar exploration or 20th century history that is beautifully written and an immense work of scholarship.

The Death of Yugoslavia (BBC)
The Death of Yugoslavia (BBC)
by Allan Little
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Account, 8 May 2009
I bought this book after visiting the Imperial War Museum's Genocide installation, which included documentary footage of the conflicts in Yugoslavia. I felt woefully uninformed about what had happened in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, so came across this book whilst searching Amazon for relevant material.

The book provides an excellent, clear and thoughtful account of events leading up to the start of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and subsequent conflicts which occurred as states seceded from the federation. What could have been an incomprehensible succession of people, dates and events has been woven into a compelling narrative which gives a clear account of how the catastrophe unfolded. The book is well-written, and there are some thoughtful touches missing from many books, such as the list of key personalities and acronyms, which acts as a useful reference; I found the maps provided rather inadequate though. Whilst I acknowledge that I am a non-historian, I wonder whether a short account of the more remote history of Yugoslavia (from its origins after the First World War), might have provided some additional useful context.

Overall, this book provides an excellent, clear account of events in Yugoslavia and is thoroughly recommended to anyone wishing to improve their knowledge of this component of 20th century history.

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