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Richard Arthur (London, UK)
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Forgotten Victory: The First World War: Myths and Realities
Forgotten Victory: The First World War: Myths and Realities
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Historian reveals Britain won the First World War., 5 Feb. 2015
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This claims to be a 'revisionist' book, by which is meant the traditional view of the First World War is re-stated. We were right to fight, the generals got it right apart from a few mistakes at the beginning, the British army was brilliant etc. The author is indignant that Blackadder and 'oh what a lovely war' give a misleading picture, and feels the war poets were an unrepresentative group.

The book is well written and a useful summary of major developments, particularly on the British part of the Western front. It is fair to stress that we were fighting against an aggressive militarist regime, and, of course, it was evidently better to win than to lose. However, glossing over the carnage in the trenches, and dismissing the other massive campaigns in ultra brief summary, results in a somewhat sanitised Anglocentric establishment view.


History of the Moors of Spain
History of the Moors of Spain
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Useful introduction., 1 Nov. 2014
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A useful introduction, written in a rather florid 19th century style, showing the complexity of Moorish and Christian state relations.


This Boy
This Boy
Price: £3.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 1 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: This Boy (Kindle Edition)
A wonderful book, very moving. Written in beautifully clear and simple language. The best book I have read all year.


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Price: £9.52

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous Murakami, 27 Aug. 2014
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Murakami in top class form. As usual a lonely introspective finds a sort of redemption by travelling out of Tokyo to solve a mystery, but with lots of new twists and angles.


The Peninsular War: A New History
The Peninsular War: A New History
Price: £8.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful overview, 27 July 2014
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Book covers Spanish political and military developments as well as British involvement. A useful overview that would benefit from maps to clarify.


The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die
The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die
Price: £4.68

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Must try harder, 17 Jan. 2014
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Academic knows why the world is going to pot, but gets in a muddle explaining it. Lots of erudite but not obviously relevant references.


The Blunders of Our Governments
The Blunders of Our Governments

4.0 out of 5 stars Disasters, drily described., 5 Dec. 2013
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King and Crewe have done a very useful service in trying to analyse why things go wrong in government, with an excellent brief account of some super-blunders. It is a very ambitious undertaking, done in a fairly dry academic style, concentrating on high level failures of 'the system', and for the most part avoiding blame of identified politicians and civil servants involved. Perhaps it could have been livened up with a bit more on the political and psychological pressures that lead to over-ambitious projects, and the reasons civil servants fail so readily at executing plans they have made. Their main 'solution' , more careful deliberation before decision making, is a bit less than a complete answer.


Madness: A Brief History
Madness: A Brief History
by Roy Porter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound view of madness, 9 Nov. 2009
Ultra brief history by Roy Porter, whose credentials and writing ability are first class. However, the sheer compactness of the presentation means many subjects are abbreviated, perhaps too far.


Clouds
Clouds
by Eric M. Wilcox
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and informative, 9 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Clouds (Hardcover)
Stunning photos of clouds back up the text of Eric Wilcox, who puts his deep expert knowledge into layman's prose. Great book to have, or give for Christmas!


Hundred Years War Vol 3: v. 3
Hundred Years War Vol 3: v. 3
by Jonathan Sumption
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £40.00

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Instant classic, 9 Nov. 2009
Brilliant and highly readable vol.3 of this history, very well researched, and presented in classical narrative form. Coolly written, yet the heat and emotion of war are well chronicled, showing the war to be as much about greed and cruelty, as chivalry and great feats of war.


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