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Giovanni De Grandis (Oxford UK)
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Duncan of Liverpool: An Account of the Work of Dr.W.M.Duncan, Medical Officer of Health of Liverpool, 1847-1863
Duncan of Liverpool: An Account of the Work of Dr.W.M.Duncan, Medical Officer of Health of Liverpool, 1847-1863
by W.M. Frazer
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars although sometimes indulges in slightly boring enumerations. Although the book is meant to be ..., 8 July 2014
A short and interesting account of the life and achievement of the 1st Medical Officer of Health appointed in England. Thanks to Duncan's dedication to the sanitary cause (and to the full support of the town council and the town engineer, James Newlands) Liverpool moved from being the most unhealthy place in Britain, to be at the forefront of the sanitary movement of the mid 19th century. Frazer writes well, although sometimes indulges in slightly boring enumerations. Although the book is meant to be a celebration and hence has a mildly hagiographic character, Frazer never goes overboard and often is dispassionate enough to point out the limits and shortcomings of Duncan's work. Even though it is not meant to be a piece of thorough historiographical scholarship, the book is reliable, fair and well informed. For those interested in the emergence of modern British public health, this is a definitely a book worth reading, and one that can be read in a couple of afternoons without much effort.


Sir John Simon, 1816-1904, and English social administration
Sir John Simon, 1816-1904, and English social administration
by Royston Lambert
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars The biography of a civil servant may not sound like the most exciting genre, 8 July 2014
This is a truly outstanding book about a remarkable man who played a major role in the development of a modern public health administration in England. The career and character of Simon are very carefully reconstructed and the author while clearly admiring his character keeps the necessary detachment and objectivity. The book is extremely exhaustive, well documented and very rich in information not only about John Simon, but about the Victorian era, the development of modern medicine and of public administration. Indeed, anyone interested in the relations between science, politics, public administration and culture will find a goldmine of enlightening information in this book. On top of this Lambert writing is elegant and a pleasure to read. The biography of a civil servant may not sound like the most exciting genre, but Lambert managed to write a book immensely informative and even entertaining (well if you do not expect to be reading Nick Hornby!). I first borrowed it from the library, but decided to buy because I wanted to own my own copy.


Ethical Theory: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)
Ethical Theory: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)
Price: £22.91

6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars mediocre anthology, awful kindle version, 23 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This anthology is extremely rich in content, but is sadly narrow in its conception of what counts as ethical theory. It should be called an anthology of analytical moral philosophy, or something like that. I find it extremely disappointing that in such a long anthology (82 chapters) only one type and tradition of ethical theorising is considered: the contemporary Anglo-American analytical tradition. There are some occasional token appearances of past philosophers, and, surprise surprise, they are obviously the usual suspects: Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Kant and Mill. It would be difficult to put together an anthology less surprising, less conventional and more parochial than this. That in such a long anthology you do not find Epicurus, Seneca and Cicero, that there is no trace of medieval or Christian ethics, that Montaigne, Lipsius, Spinoza, Mandeville, Adam Smith, Diderot and Rousseau do not find a place, that Hegel, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Bradley are not worth being included, that Santayana, Westermark, Spencer, Dewey and Unamuno have nothing to tell us, that no surprise awaits us (Durkheim? Gandhi? Simone Weil? Albert Schweitzer? Walter Kaufmann?), that traditions like phenomenology (Brentano, Scheler, Levinas), existentialism (Heidegger, Sartre), marxism and critical theory (Habermas, Apel, Honneth) are completely ignored… Well taken individually all these omissions are understandable and acceptable, but taken together they show a narrow-mindedness that I find worrying.
On top of this the Kindle version is quite simply crap. How on hearth is it possible that an expert publisher like Blackwell produces a Kindle version of an anthology like this, where the table of contents does not even mention the authors of the excerpts! And this is only the most absurd feature of the Kindle version. Whoever is responsible for having produced it should be fired as thoroughly incompetent.


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