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Mr. P. I. Browne "Ian" (UK)
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White Heat: A  History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties 1964-1970
White Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties 1964-1970
by Dominic Sandbrook
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.64

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothng special, 3 Jun 2014
It read a bit like an intellectual coffee table book. Tells the story, but his account of the events in Northern Ireland is rather poor. Far too much about pop music. Who really cares about Brian Jones, and was he a cultural figure of any significance?

Too much wading in nostalgia to be serious.


The Politics of Decline. Palgrave Macmillan. 2004.
The Politics of Decline. Palgrave Macmillan. 2004.
by GEOFFREY K. FRY
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, 3 Nov 2013
This is one of the worst books I have read by an academic. Rather than offering serious analysis, it repeats uncritically many of the rather suspect assumptions and conclusions of earlier studies, that have now been seriously questioned. It comes as no surprise to see included in the bibliography four books by Corelli Barnett, whose work has been called into question by recent studies, but none by Jim Tomlinson, who is perhaps one of the most significant critics of the whole idea of decline and the political use that was and is made of it. And although Nick Tiratsoo appears in the bibliography, he's written more interestingly on the idea of decline than the book cited by Fry. There are lots of economists and economic historians who have written extensively on decline, some of whom, such as Nick Crafts, the author would probably find to his liking, but none of them feature in his book. All in all the book fails to engage with the most recent scholarship and as such it is really quite poor.


Diaries: In Power 1983-1992
Diaries: In Power 1983-1992
by Alan Clark
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Uproriously funny - especially his desire to urinate on the general public, 27 Oct 2013
This is an authentic slice of real English upper class humor. As a member of the general public I found Clark's desire to urinate on us uproariously funny. I laughed out loud when he lied to the police and was willing to let the innocent directors of Matrix Churchill go to prison to protect his reputation. What a hoot! And as for his "economical with the actualité" to describe his lies - well, it sounds so much funnier when you throw in a French word like that even if he got it wrong and it actually means "economical with the topical events" rather than "economical with the truth". It's so much funner when you use French without being able to speak it properly. I roared with laughter at his aging lust for young women - it's better than Benny Hill. And as for his racism and love for Hitler - it would have had them laughing in the gas chambers. I would have liked to read more about his sexual predilection for fourteen year old girls - what a wag he was. He's much funnier than Jimmy Saville.

He is the authentic voice of England, and catches the wit and humour of the English to perfection. Thank God the spirit of deference to our "betters" hasn't entirely disappeared. If only he'd become Prime Minister what a country it would be now!

A true conservative and a real Englishman.


Margaret Thatcher: Iron Lady v.2: Iron Lady Vol 2
Margaret Thatcher: Iron Lady v.2: Iron Lady Vol 2
by John Campbell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 21.47

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first volume, 31 Jan 2013
You can't fault Campbell for not doing his research. This is an extraordinarily detailed work. However it suffers from the same fault as the first volume - a tendency to defer to Thatcher's own account of herself. It's a biography, albeit a political biography, so perhaps it's a bit unfair to criticize its political judgement too much, but he takes too much of the received Thatcherite account at face value. Opinionated and often extraordinarily ignorant, Thatcher pursued a course whose consequences we are still living with. Privatization was not a wonderful success. The economy did not improve. Northern Ireland remained an unresolved problem. It's hard to see this as success, so I would have preferred a more informed and critical political assessment. Campbell offers a version of the received account - "standing up to terrorists", rather than failing to address the problems of Northern Ireland, "defeating the unions" rather than destroying the manufacturing base upon which union power was based and not enough about her (unintended) contribution to the rise of Scottish nationalism - a subject the English barely think worth mentioning. He's quite even handed over Europe and the exasperation she caused which resulted in Britain carping on the sidelines rather than involved in the decisions. But a fascinating read and well worth the price.


Lost Love - Historical romance
Lost Love - Historical romance

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and engrossing love story, 30 Jan 2013
I bought this from Amazon US, and read it on the plane. I really enjoyed this book. It's a little different, being set in Transylvania during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I found myself getting drawn into the story, and the characters were entirely believable. It's the story of two lovers, for whom fate is a little unkind. I don't want to give away the story, but I will say that I found it extraordinarily moving and engrossing, and that I read the book in two days, as I just wanted to know what happened to the two lovers. The story is as much about the characters as about what happens, and I hope we seen more from this author soon


Kill the Messenger
Kill the Messenger
by Bernard Ingham
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious beyond belief, 22 July 2012
This review is from: Kill the Messenger (Hardcover)
I bought this in a charity shop for 50 pence and I wasted my money. If you want to know about Thatcher read something else. As for learning about Bernard Ingham - I can't imagine why anyone would be interested in that. You can hear these sorts of views in provincial pubs anywhere in the South of England from the local pub bore.


The Restraint of Beasts
The Restraint of Beasts
by Magnus Mills
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A very funny and intelligent book, 29 Mar 2012
I'll just add to what everyone else has said that it is a very funny and intelligent look at the sort of physical work that ordinary people have always done. It captures the spirit and humor of that work perfectly.


The Age of the Fish
The Age of the Fish
by Odon Von Horvath
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A neglected masterpiece, 29 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Age of the Fish (Hardcover)
It would be a shame if this book were simply remembered as a piece of German literature from the 1930s by a writer who was obliged to flee from the Nazis. It is a profound book, dealing with the difficulties of behaving in a moral way when living in a society where moral behavior has no meaning. It is not a political book, except in the broadest sense, and has a relevance to anyone who has found themselves in a position where social norms and moral behavior are out of alignment, which would mean almost any intelligent person living in modern Britain. The translation is excellent, and the style is engaging and sparse. If i had one wish, it would be that this book became widely known.


The Diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner (Virago classic non-fiction)
The Diaries of Sylvia Townsend Warner (Virago classic non-fiction)
by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute delight, 29 Mar 2012
Sylvia Townsend Warner was perhaps the best diarist and letter writer of the twentieth century. The diaries are enlivened by an intelligence and subtlety that you rarely find, and are models of wit and shy humor. The qualities that unfortunately only rarely surface in her fiction are there in absolute abundance in her private writing, and one comes away from them with a sense of one's own life having been enriched.


Sylvia Townsend Warner: A Biography
Sylvia Townsend Warner: A Biography
by Claire Harman
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful biography of a delightful writer, 22 Mar 2012
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A must for every fan of Sylvia Townsend Warner.

Sylvia Townsend Warner wrote perhaps the best and most intimate diaries of the twentieth century, which give the reader a full sense of life well lived. Never mind the tedious ruminations of politicians or the mean spirited remarks of Alan Clarke. Sylvia Townsend Warner is the real thing - a truly great diarist.

This biography is the perfect complement to her diaries and letters, and can't be recommended too highly.


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