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Karl Caetano Bloch "thegreatnewdandyfiasco" (Oxford / London / S. England)

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The Radical Right in Britain (British History in Perspective)
The Radical Right in Britain (British History in Perspective)
by Alan Sykes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.99

10 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concerning, 19 July 2007
Like the other reviewers, I have never read Sykes' book but feel compelled to intervene over their absurdities. It is of great concern that an academic study of an important historical issue is being sabotaged by whatever perculiar right-wing sect has targeted 'The Radical Right in Britian', published by an imprint know for their quality of modern research. (It is laughable though... can they really have expected to have looked like anything other than an orchestrated and agressive political mob?) Such lack of education, no doubt aggravited by whatever strange cult-like leaders they adhere to, is seriously damaging for publci understanding. It is a FACT that British Nationalism has utilised St George's Cross and emblems of supposed 'Englishness'. There is no dispute. A British nationalist almost invariably understands the British Union as a rightful imposition of a culture originating from England. There are no pictures of Welsh nationalists on the cover because they have never been involved in British nationalism. It is furthermore almost impossible to imagine an English nationalism contingent and seperate from a British nationalism in todays world, since any concept of an English 'race' or 'people' would be even more couched in myth and ahistorical understanding than conventional nationalism already is. What could the 'English race' possibly be?

I encourage all who read this actively to counter and check such dangerous and damaging assertations and to protect enquiery and historical knowledge,
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 11, 2013 9:40 PM GMT

Benedictine Maledictions: Liturgical Cursing in Romanesque France
Benedictine Maledictions: Liturgical Cursing in Romanesque France
by Lester K. Little
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Maledict! Not Benedict.', 12 Aug. 2005
In such a way did the devil taunt Benedict, compiler of the monastic rule. Yet from the end of the tenth century and through out the eleventh century and beyond, cursing (or the use of maledictions) was a common practice of the Frankish monastic communities. A fascinating subject in itself, this study of the methods and occurrences of liturgical cursing is far from a curio - it is nothing less then a general portrait of the collapse of public authority in the Carolingian territories and Christian perspective in the period.
Professor Little (something of a Blochist, (and Dixie professor of history at Smith College)), argues in powerful terms, with enthralling evidence, that the monks' use of cursing violent transgressors and those threatening their property was a result of living in a society with no system of judicial support; their only line of defence was spiritual. Deftly, lines and approaches that seem dealt with reappear in new contexts to illuminate the breadth and far-reach of Little's survey. The study demonstrates how the Irish church (the only Christian communities not to be Romanised) with its Druidic heritage influenced continental Catholicism while religious precedent was based on the Old Testament, a text of vengeance. Little answers questions such as how theologians of the time reconciled Old and New Testament teachings, how liturgical cursing reflected the volatile mechanisms of the gift economy and how society came to be dominated by a class of brutalised fighters, the 'milites'.
As a study of cursing in monastic communities 'Benedictine Maledictions' is unrivalled, literally - to my knowledge there is no comparable work (though I may be quite mistaken, more than a decade having elapsed since publication). However such a piece would struggle to either challenge such a strongly supported thesis or expand upon his exposition. Little employs everything from excerpts from 'Tristram Shandy' to John Austin's philosophy of speech acts in his uncompromising goal to understand comprehensively the nature, origin and significance of the malediction. For this reason it is so valuable as it offers fresh and cogent examinations (in wonderfully written prose) of feudal society and contemporary religion and thought. 'Benedictine Maledictions' is a powerful tool for students and scholars of either.

Marxism and History (Theory and History)
Marxism and History (Theory and History)
by Matt Perry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound Gateway into Marxist Historiography, 3 Aug. 2005
Matt Perry has written a solid, consice and lucid educational sketch of Marxism's input into history. It is thoroughly comprehensible and is supported by a glossary of intellectual terms and that near-underground dialect that is the vocabulary of classical and contemporary Marxism. Furthermore Perry introduces the basic tenets of Marx's philosophy and assumptions at some length before demonstrating their use and application as historical tools, in particular in the fields of social history and of 'history from below'. This is a necessary and important component of a book like this, and largely it succeeds.

It should go without saying that it is impossible to avoid partisanship in writing on Marxism - even in an educational survey like this. Matt Perry stands, both intellectually and as an activist, in the (heterodox!) Trotskyist tradition and, unsurprisingly therefore, gives particular attention to those who have written about history in the 'classical' tradition, if we may call it that: Marx, Engels, Trotsky and Gramsci. He then deals with the famous group of British Marxist Historians, and some of the debates that have arisen from contact between Marxist history writing and other shools. The narrower range of particular historians discussed may dissapoint some, but in an introductionary work such as this is perhaps to be expected, although some may still have hoped for a wider look at Marxist historians.

Still, the survey should spur on anyone who hasn't already to read the greats of the British Communist Party Historians' Group: Eric Hobsbawm, Christopher Hill, Edward Thompson and others. Moreover, Perry includes a very clear, understandable account of the the challenge to history posed by Postmodernism and in particular the healthy rebuttal Marxism has built within it to respond to this challenge, touching on much interesting material on the way.

Altogether, this is to be strongly recomend to those either wishing to move on their hisorical understanding into social and Marxist fields, or to those interested in Marxism who would like to extend their understanding into the huge input that that system of thought has had in history and, indeed, the importance of history as a study for the sake of humanity. That said, the book is, like the rest of the series in which it forms a part, very much an introduction, and is geared towards undergraduate students. For those looking for a work that looks much more in depth at the debates and arguments within Marxist history writing, with closer and more detailed attention paid to the twists and turns in academic history, Paul Blackledge's 'Reflections on the Marxist Theory of History' is to be highly recommended and may be more appropriate.

The Bright...
The Bright...
Offered by music_by_mail_uk
Price: £28.55

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 10 April 2005
This review is from: The Bright... (Audio CD)
This record is a twelve-minute space-odyssey of post-Freudian Floyd, gloriously kaleidiscopic yet never disjointed. Pure Reason Revolution take a very clean British indie sound and smother it completely with smooth, lucid prog-sensability - and not to mention a powerful dose of Led Zeppelinism!
The track is based on a rich, spaced atmospheric investiagation which rises in numerous different manners; we pass elevated indie-riffing, Barret-esque intonation and a pulse-racing heavy guitar. All this is connected by the complex and multilayered male and female vocal passages which are in turn dreamy and operatic.
Yet despite this the track is never anything other than accesible and flowing - this is the reason why Pure Reason Revolution (so demonstrated by their mere TWO singles!) are so special and are going to dominate the minds of our generation; their music is creative and progressive but never a trial - only ever a joy.
Having been first discovered by myself playing live the time has come for you to sieze history; the bourgeoisie have already begain to lay their hands on them (The Sunday Times attributed them with 'fabulous largesse'). So make them your own.

Young Adam [DVD] [2003]
Young Adam [DVD] [2003]
Dvd ~ Ewan McGregor
Offered by Jasuli
Price: £7.79

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Cinema is not Dead, 22 July 2004
This review is from: Young Adam [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
I do not exagerate when I articulate this as one of my personal favourite films of recent times. Young Adam is nothing short of a master-piece, and those fortunate to have read the utterly remarkable novella by Alexander Trocchi will be not only astounded by the picture's faith but also how absolutely it captures its tone and atmosphere. McGregor is brilliant in his best performance since Trainspotting as the young beat in '50s Scotland lacking a moral compass , which as the film progresses he is forced to assess. Swinton is also magnificent and oozes grit throughout.
Aside from the enitely brilliant cast the cinematography is superaltive. Such simple shots as the barge moving through a lock-gate, fair-ground lights fading away or even just rain falling onto the canal's surface are rendered absurdly memorable. All of the exceptional photography is heightened by a soundtrack that is at once filth and ethereal. I honestly cannot recommend this film enough although the small screen struggles to do justice to some of the most beautiful frames. And if possible read the Trocchi first (its very short), as it is one of the literature's most overlooked treasures and essential for enthusiasts of modernist and existentialist work. As to the meaning behind the title, two things came to my mind: one would wreck the plot but as for the second, when you watch the film think carefully about the expressionist value of Adam of the Creation, and things should become clear...

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