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An Edible History of Humanity
An Edible History of Humanity
by Tom Standage
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Food for Thought, 12 May 2016
Why were Indian eunuchs classed as spices in fifth century Alexandria when black pepper wasn’t?
Why were seventeenth century Japanese samurai beheading tribal leaders in the Banda Islands for the Dutch?
Why did bird droppings turn nineteenth century Bolivia into a landlocked country?

These are just some of the quirkier issues addressed in the impressive book, the side dishes if you like at a substantial and nourishing meal.
Standage’s book is neither a history of cuisine nor a scholarly work but rather a history of food supply from the roots of agriculture to the present day aimed at the general reader.

The book is divided into 6 sections.
1. The Edible Foundations of Civilization. This covers the origins of agriculture.
2. Food and Social Structure. This covers the social structures that arise as social units become bigger, more complex and more unequal.
3. Global Highways of Food. This covers the importance of the spice trade in encouraging exploration and thereafter imperial expansion.
4. Food, Energy and Industrialization. This covers the Columbian Exchange and how it helped fuel the Industrial Revolution.
5. Food as a Weapon. This covers not only feeding armies and the invention of canned food but the Berlin Airlift and the famines produced by the policies of Stalin and Mao. (While Mao’s famine was the worst in history it was the product of his barmy belief in what communism could achieve; Stalin’s famine was deliberate). Standage makes the point that others have made before that where you have both a democracy and a free press famines don’t tend to happen.
The importance of the weaknesses in Soviet food production in the eventual
collapse of the Soviet Union I had underestimated until I read this book.
6. Food, Population and Development. I wonder in how many histories of the world and/or of the 20th century do Fritz Haber and/or Norman Borlaug get a mention? Yet were it not for the work of these men the world would be a very, very, very different place. Here they get their due.
The book ends with a review of the present and with a look to the future
without wandering into the author’s politics or fanciful speculations.

While I liked this book there are some thoughtful negative reviews on Amazon.com giving alternative opinions.


The History of Astronomy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
The History of Astronomy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
by Michael Hoskin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars How Many Stars?, 25 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is part of the OUP’s Very Short Introduction series of 100+ page books that can fit into your jacket pocket.
It is somewhat misleadingly titled as it’s not a “History of Astronomy” but a history of West Eurasian astronomy until about the mid-19th century when astrophysics began to develop. Chinese and Indian astronomy are ignored. We are told on page 10 that ever since the time of Eratosthenes “everyone with a modicum of education has known that the earth is spherical”. Everyone in Christendom and the Islamic world, perhaps, but when the Jesuits reached China they found that the consensus view amongst the highly educated elite was that the earth was flat. (Chinese astronomy produced a large mass of observational data but little useful theory).
After a brief review of what little we can know of what was known in prehistoric times there is a solid chapter on Babylonian and Greek astronomy. Here I feel the author is remiss not to mention Aristarchus as knowing that the geocentric theory was around for almost two millennia before it was widely accepted puts the reluctance of people to accept Copernicus’s resurrection of it into better perspective.
This is followed by another good chapter on medieval Islamic and Christian astronomy. (After this the author is on safer ground in ignoring non-Western astronomy as from the mid-1400s the history of Western astronomy is the history of astronomy).
Chapter 4, “Astronomy Transformed” covers Tycho, Kepler and Galileo. This leads on to a chapter on “Astronomy in the age of Newton” where Hooke receives generous treatment.
The final chapter takes us out of the Solar System and into the exploration of stars until the point where astrophysics takes off.
There follows a brief and appropriate epilogue on light which is, after all, what we see rather than the object itself.
The book is well written and I would recommend it to the general reader. I noticed only one factual error, a small one. On page 72 we are told that John Harrison sailed to Barbados in 1764. In fact it was his son William who undertook the trip on behalf of his elderly father. However I am no expert and there may be other errors of which I am unaware.


A History of the World in Six Glasses
A History of the World in Six Glasses
by Tom Standage
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars No Mere Froth, 21 Oct. 2015
“A History of the World in Six Glasses” begins with a quote from Karl Popper that, “There is no history of mankind, there are only many histories of all kinds of aspects of human life”, and the author then proceeds to show the important impact of six drinks – beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and Coca-Cola – have had on world history.
I’m not going to go through each of them but will highlight a couple to show the points he author makes.
Beer was particularly important at the birth of civilization as water supplies were contaminated in early cities (and still are in some parts of the world) and the brewing process killed off some of the harmful germs.
Tea played a pivotal role in the development of the modern world. Apart for providing a suitably refreshing – and sober – drink for workers at the start of the Industrial Revolution it played its part in the American Revolution. More importantly the need to pay for its tea imports led in part to the First Opium War. Perhaps even more importantly the establishment of tea plantations in British-ruled India took away from China one of its main sources of foreign income.
As I only drink one of these beverages regularly I am perhaps not in the best position to spot errors in this work but the only ones that really jumped out at me was Swift being described as English and ascribing to Arab scholars “the modern numeral system”. Arabic numbers are, in fact, Indian.
(Furthermore, on page 184-185, we are told in relation to the early sixteenth century that, “Nor was any European technology of the time unknown to the Chinese, who were ahead of Europe in almost every field...” I think this is somewhat misleading and will explain why to any reader of this review who might want me to elucidate this point.)
In summary I was expecting a more lightweight work but, though it is an easy read, it is no mere froth.
The book ends with an epilogue on the most important drink of all, water, and how countries both co-operate and fight over its use. There is an appendix on efforts to recreate the original tastes of ancient drinks and, as should be required in all good history books, a bibliography and an index.


Millenium, A History of our last Thousand Years
Millenium, A History of our last Thousand Years
by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Edition: Paperback

2.0 out of 5 stars A Curious (But Not Cosmic) Collection, 5 Aug. 2015
“The subject of this book is the fate of civilizations, defined by seas: the shift of initiative from the China Seas and the Mediterranean, the hegemony of the Atlantic, the cultural counter-invasion from the Pacific”. To look at his subject from a novel angle Felipe Fernandez-Armesto envisions a “galactic museum of the distant future, in which…Coke cans will share with…chain mail a single small vitrine marked ‘Planet Earth, 1000-2000, Christian Era’.” So far, so good. The author deserves high marks for originality (this work predates the recent spate of “A History of X in Y Objects’ books) as he does for his erudition. Furthermore it is largely devoid of those annoying little factual inaccuracies that litter so many of the books I’ve reviewed.
It begins promisingly with a review of the relatively discrete civilizations of 1000AD. But it is as we start to approach the ‘Rise of the West’ that, to my mind, the wheels start to come off and never get put back on again for the rest of the book.
We are told that, “The fourteenth-century experience…made western Europe in the fifteenth-century the least promising of the world’s civilizations and, to objective scrutiny, among the worst equipped to profit from the world’s ‘age of expansion’, which began with initiatives weighted in favour of China and Islam and...with states of greater dynamism in Africa and the Americas than any visible in the Latin West.” And that, “Fifteenth-century Europe…will appear, to the galactic museum-keepers…if the notice it at all, stagnant and introspective.”
Now Felipe Fernandez-Armesto is both an author and a graduate of – and later a fellow at – the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The fifteenth century Latin West, which in earlier centuries had given birth to the university (as opposed to a cathedral school or a madrassa), saw an explosion in the number of universities and also the invention of the printing press with moveable metal type.
Consider our cosmic curator. Presumably it travels by spaceship or is at least descended from more primitive beings that still had to travel by such a machine.
To travel through space it helps if you have a machine with which to do so, an instruction system that tells you how to run it, devices for measuring time and space – however relative they may be – and a means of magnifying far away objects.
While it might have marvelled at the ingenuity of the water-powered devices built by Su Sung and Al Jazeri it might have noticed that these were one-offs and anyway not suitable for mechanization. From about 1300 onwards Medieval Latin Christendom was dotted with mechanical clocks in churches and town halls. The mechanical clock has been called the ‘mother of machines’. To this day our measure of how smoothly efficient a machine works is that it ‘runs like clockwork’. As Lewis Mumford put it in Technics and Civilization
“The clock is not merely a means of keeping track of the hours, but of synchronizing the actions of men. The clock, not the steam-engine, is the key-machine of the modern industrial age…In its relationship to determinable quantities of energy, to standardization, to automatic action, and … accurate timing, the clock has been the foremost machine in modern technics; and at each period it has remained in the lead: it marks a perfection toward which other machines aspire.”
From the 1450s onwards Medieval Latin Christendom was also dotted with printing presses with moveable type, the machine necessary to produce instruction manuals. But such printing press were ignored or, in the Islamic world, rejected outside of the West for centuries after their invention.
The fifteenth century Latin West also led the world in glass making (spectacles were another medieval western invention) that would lead on to the telescope, the microscope and also those tubes and beakers without which chemistry would be well-nigh impossible.
To my mind from then on the book never really recovers. Near the end we are told that, “Over the period as a whole, the east may well seem to have been more influential in the west than the other way around.”
Seriously?
A thousand years ago the West lagged behind the East in general and China in particular in many ways. But things have changed a tad since then.
I think China, where Adam Smith seems to be taking over from Karl Marx, houses more Christians than the West does Confucians. The demonstrators in Tiananmen Square built their own Statue of Liberty. I don’t recall the Occupy movement invoking the Mandate of Heaven.
What population could Asia support today were it not for the work of the likes of Pasteur, Haber and Borlaug?
Having taken a wrong turning the book meanders on telling us more about the author’s highly impressive erudition than it does about how the world changed in the last millennium.
What we’re left with is more a cabinet of curiosities than a cosmic class collection.


Millennium: A History of Our Last Thousand Years
Millennium: A History of Our Last Thousand Years
by Dr Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Curious (But Not Cosmic) Collection, 5 Aug. 2015
“The subject of this book is the fate of civilizations, defined by seas: the shift of initiative from the China Seas and the Mediterranean, the hegemony of the Atlantic, the cultural counter-invasion from the Pacific”. To look at his subject from a novel angle Felipe Fernandez-Armesto envisions a “galactic museum of the distant future, in which…Coke cans will share with…chain mail a single small vitrine marked ‘Planet Earth, 1000-2000, Christian Era’.” So far, so good. The author deserves high marks for originality (this work predates the recent spate of “A History of X in Y Objects’ books) as he does for his erudition. Furthermore it is largely devoid of those annoying little factual inaccuracies that litter so many of the books I’ve reviewed.
It begins promisingly with a review of the relatively discrete civilizations of 1000AD. But it is as we start to approach the ‘Rise of the West’ that, to my mind, the wheels start to come off and never get put back on again for the rest of the book.
We are told that, “The fourteenth-century experience…made western Europe in the fifteenth-century the least promising of the world’s civilizations and, to objective scrutiny, among the worst equipped to profit from the world’s ‘age of expansion’, which began with initiatives weighted in favour of China and Islam and...with states of greater dynamism in Africa and the Americas than any visible in the Latin West.” And that, “Fifteenth-century Europe…will appear, to the galactic museum-keepers…if the notice it at all, stagnant and introspective.”
Now Felipe Fernandez-Armesto is both an author and a graduate of – and later a fellow at – the oldest university in the English-speaking world. The fifteenth century Latin West, which in earlier centuries had given birth to the university (as opposed to a cathedral school or a madrassa), saw an explosion in the number of universities and also the invention of the printing press with moveable metal type.
Consider our cosmic curator. Presumably it travels by spaceship or is at least descended from more primitive beings that still had to travel by such a machine.
To travel through space it helps if you have a machine with which to do so, an instruction system that tells you how to run it, devices for measuring time and space – however relative they may be – and a means of magnifying far away objects.
While it might have marvelled at the ingenuity of the water-powered devices built by Su Sung and Al Jazeri it might have noticed that these were one-offs and anyway not suitable for mechanization. From about 1300 onwards Medieval Latin Christendom was dotted with mechanical clocks in churches and town halls. The mechanical clock has been called the ‘mother of machines’. To this day our measure of how smoothly efficient a machine works is that it ‘runs like clockwork’. As Lewis Mumford put it in Technics and Civilization
“The clock is not merely a means of keeping track of the hours, but of synchronizing the actions of men. The clock, not the steam-engine, is the key-machine of the modern industrial age…In its relationship to determinable quantities of energy, to standardization, to automatic action, and … accurate timing, the clock has been the foremost machine in modern technics; and at each period it has remained in the lead: it marks a perfection toward which other machines aspire.”
From the 1450s onwards Medieval Latin Christendom was also dotted with printing presses with moveable type, the machine necessary to produce instruction manuals. But such printing press were ignored or, in the Islamic world, rejected outside of the West for centuries after their invention.
The fifteenth century Latin West also led the world in glass making (spectacles were another medieval western invention) that would lead on to the telescope, the microscope and also those tubes and beakers without which chemistry would be well-nigh impossible.
To my mind from then on the book never really recovers. Near the end we are told that, “Over the period as a whole, the east may well seem to have been more influential in the west than the other way around.”
Seriously?
A thousand years ago the West lagged behind the Eat in general and China in particular in many ways. But things have changed a tad since then.
I think China, where Adam Smith seems to be taking over from Karl Marx, houses more Christians than the West does Confucians. The demonstrators in Tiananmen Square built their own Statue of Liberty. I don’t recall the Occupy movement invoking the Mandate of Heaven.
What population could Asia support today were it not for the work of the likes of Pasteur, Haber and Borlaug?
Having taken a wrong turning the book meanders on telling us more about the author’s highly impressive erudition than it does about how the world changed in the last millennium.
What we’re left with is more a cabinet of curiosities than a cosmic class collection.


Marcuse (Modern Masters)
Marcuse (Modern Masters)
by Alasdair MacIntyre
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Low Marx for Marcuse, 3 July 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Herbert Marcuse was a philosopher was influence outside his field was far greater than his influence within the small circle of professional philosophers and – as far as I am concerned – more’s the pity. Not only do I not agree with his worldview but I disagree with how he viewed the world. Marcuse strikes me as one of those people for whom theory – his and his fellow Frankfurt School members’ updating of Marxist theory – trumps facts.
Marcuse tried to marry the ideas of Marx with those of Freud, perhaps in an effort to explain away the failure of the Western proletariat to do what Marxists expected of them. He concluded that under consumerist capitalism the worker had bought into the system, albeit as a “one dimensional man”. The revolution would have to be led by radical intellectuals and the marginalized. Such ideas made Marcuse the darling of the “New Left”.
This work is part of the Fontana series on “Modern masters” published in the 1970’s –while Marcuse was still alive. This is the 29th one I’ve read. One – Bryan Magee’s ‘Popper’ – had a profound influence on me. Most I found informative, some – such as the one on Chomsky’s linguistics – I found heavy going. Of those I’ve read this one is unique in that the author has such an unremittingly negative attitude to its subject. Now, as you may have gathered, I didn’t approach the book with a positive predisposition to Marcuse, quite the reverse as what I knew of Marcuse’s ideas I didn’t like. In particular I opposed his ideas concerning tolerance, that “"Liberating tolerance… would mean intolerance against movements from the Right, and tolerance of movements from the Left... it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.” Whatever happened to the concept of, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?
While I approached the work with a negative view of Marcuse I also approached it with an open mind and, so negative was the author to Marcuse that, before writing this review, I sought out on YouTube Magee’s 45 minute interview with Marcuse before writing this review least I do Marcuse an injustice.
I also tried to read the selection of Marcuse’s own words in Wikiquotes but quit least I lose the will to live.
The author presupposes a level of knowledge that the general reader – myself very much included – may not have and concentrates primarily on pointing out the inconsistencies in Marcuse’s positions and on his habit of making assertions rather than supporting his arguments with evidence.
This book was published in 1970 and I suspect that were such a work commissioned today it would concentrate more on the effect of Marcuse’s though and less on the systematic critique of Marcuse’s theories. Because of this I’m giving it a three star rating rather than a four star one.


Herbert Marcuse (Modern masters)
Herbert Marcuse (Modern masters)
by Alasdair MacIntyre
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Low Marx for Marcuse, 2 July 2015
Herbert Marcuse was a philosopher was influence outside his field was far greater than his influence within the small circle of professional philosophers and – as far as I am concerned – more’s the pity. Not only do I not agree with his worldview but I disagree with how he viewed the world. Marcuse strikes me as one of those people for whom theory – his and his fellow Frankfurt School members’ updating of Marxist theory – trumps facts.
Marcuse tried to marry the ideas of Marx with those of Freud, perhaps in an effort to explain away the failure of the Western proletariat to do what Marxists expected of them. He concluded that under consumerist capitalism the worker had bought into the system, albeit as a “one dimensional man”. The revolution would have to be led by radical intellectuals and the marginalized. Such ideas made Marcuse the darling of the “New Left”.
This work is part of the Fontana series on “Modern masters” published in the 1970’s –while Marcuse was still alive. This is the 29th one I’ve read. One – Bryan Magee’s ‘Popper’ – had a profound influence on me. Most I found informative, some – such as the one on Chomsky’s linguistics – I found heavy going. Of those I’ve read this one is unique in that the author has such an unremittingly negative attitude to its subject. Now, as you may have gathered, I didn’t approach the book with a positive predisposition to Marcuse, quite the reverse as what I knew of Marcuse’s ideas I didn’t like. In particular I opposed his ideas concerning tolerance, that “"Liberating tolerance… would mean intolerance against movements from the Right, and tolerance of movements from the Left... it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.” Whatever happened to the concept of, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"?
While I approached the work with a negative view of Marcuse I also approached it with an open mind and, so negative was the author to Marcuse that, before writing this review, I sought out on YouTube Magee’s 45 minute interview with Marcuse before writing this review least I do Marcuse an injustice.
I also tried to read the selection of Marcuse’s own words in Wikiquotes but quit least I lose the will to live.
The author presupposes a level of knowledge that the general reader – myself very much included – may not have and concentrates primarily on pointing out the inconsistencies in Marcuse’s positions and on his habit of making assertions rather than supporting his arguments with evidence.
This book was published in 1970 and I suspect that were such a work commissioned today it would concentrate more on the effect of Marcuse’s though and less on the systematic critique of Marcuse’s theories. Because of this I’m giving it a three star rating rather than a four star one.


Malthus: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Malthus: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Price: £7.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Newtonian not a Darwinian, 6 May 2015
This review is based on reading the OUP’s “Past Master” work of the same name. From a quick check – both books have the same chapter headings and the same opening and closing lines – this is one of the “Past Master” books that have been reprinted in the “Very Short Introduction” series without significant changes other than updating the further reading list. I’m posting it here as readers are more likely to come across the VSI version than the “Past Master” one. Should anyone be aware of any material difference between the two versions I’d be obliged if they’d post a comment to that effect so I can remove this review.

Thomas Malthus is one of those few people whose name became an adjective. While his is a name many will have heard of but whose work many – myself included – will not have read. It is therefore not surprising that many – again I included – may have a somewhat caricatured view of Malthus.
This may in part be caused by the fact that both Darwin and Russell got their idea for natural selection after reading Malthus’s Essay on Population and his name may have been associated with Social Darwinism. But, as the author points out, Malthus lived in a pre-Darwinian age. Furthermore Malthus was a sincere Anglican cleric (who “ranked contraception within marriage as equal to, or even above, prostitution in the scale of vices”, hardly the view of a eugenicist), living within a Newtonian mental framework, who was attempting to alleviate avoidable suffering. Nor did Malthus rule out the possibility of both population increase and increased prosperity – provided population growth didn’t grow faster than improvements in the means of production. Were it not for the work of the likes of Fritz Haber and Norman Borlaug we might be living today in a world more like the one Malthus envisioned.
He had his both detractors (Marx though him a “shameless sycophant of the ruling class”) and admirers (Keynes thought that if Malthus not Ricardo had been the parent of 19th century economics “what a much wiser and richer place the world would be today!”)
The author draws out the useful distinctions between Malthus the population theorist and Malthus the political economist just as he distinguishes Malthus the moralist from Malthus the social scientist. As best I can tell he has done a solid job of explaining Malthus’s ideas and significance.


Malthus (Past Masters Series)
Malthus (Past Masters Series)
by Donald Winch
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Newtonian not a Darwinian, 6 May 2015
This work was part of the Oxford University Press’s “Past Master” series some of which, including this one, have been subsumed into their “Very Short Introduction” series.
Thomas Malthus is one of those few people whose name became an adjective. While his is a name many will have heard of but whose work many – myself included – will not have read. It is therefore not surprising that many – again I included – may have a somewhat caricatured view of Malthus.
This may in part be caused by the fact that both Darwin and Russell got their idea for natural selection after reading Malthus’s Essay on Population and his name may have been associated with Social Darwinism. But, as the author points out, Malthus lived in a pre-Darwinian age. Furthermore Malthus was a sincere Anglican cleric (who “ranked contraception within marriage as equal to, or even above, prostitution in the scale of vices”, hardly the view of a eugenicist), living within a Newtonian mental framework, who was attempting to alleviate avoidable suffering. Nor did Malthus rule out the possibility of both population increase and increased prosperity – provided population growth didn’t grow faster than improvements in the means of production. Were it not for the work of the likes of Fritz Haber and Norman Borlaug we might be living today in a world more like the one Malthus envisioned.
He had his both detractors (Marx though him a “shameless sycophant of the ruling class”) and admirers (Keynes thought that if Malthus not Ricardo had been the parent of 19th century economics “what a much wiser and richer place the world would be today!”)
The author draws out the useful distinctions between Malthus the population theorist and Malthus the political economist just as he distinguishes Malthus the moralist from Malthus the social scientist. As best I can tell he has done a solid job of explaining Malthus’s ideas and significance.


The Test: My Autobiography
The Test: My Autobiography
by Brian O'Driscoll
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars An Easy Test, 10 Mar. 2015
I assume that the vast majority of potential readers of “The Test” will know who Brian O’Driscoll is and what he achieved. If you don’t he’s simply one of the greatest ruby players who ever lived.
He begins with an account of his last game for Leinster, the victory in the 2014 Pro12 Grand Final where he had to go off early after injury. He then goes back to his childhood and works forward in chronological fashion to what I suspect was for him his “real” last game, the win for Ireland in France to seal the Six Nations Championship.
For most of the book I thought that the play that would receive most analysis was his account of how he engineered his first meeting with his future wife but as he recounts in vivid detail those final few minutes in Paris as we – I’m Irish – hung on for dear life it was like being in front of the TV with the outcome still in doubt.
A recurring criticism amongst who have given the book a low rating is that it is boring, that it lacks revelations or recriminations.
Well, may I ask what you expected to see in a Brian O’Driscoll autobiography? Sydney Opera House, perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...?
It’s a bit like criticising a vegetarian cookbook for its lack of meat recipes.
What controversies are there to cover? Him being on the receiving end of that spear tackle? Him being dropped for the one and only time in a 15 year career? An opposing team’s ineffectually cheating in “Bloodgate”? The treatment he received at the hands of England in the Grand Slam year? (I was at that match and how he picked himself up time and again I do not know). He covers them all with the class we’ve rightly come to expect of him.
This is a guy with an extraordinary talent who comes from a good family, who married the only girlfriend he ever lived with, who never changed clubs and who never seems to have had a major falling out with a coach or teammate.
The two main revelations in the book are non-rugby related, how he was affected by the unexplained suicide of a close friend and how he spent a night in custody in New York when, needless to say, he’d done nothing wrong.
The book has an index that comes in handy and avoids the need for a glossary of nicknames with such entries as “’Dreamboat’ see Kearney, Dave”.
How to rate the book? Unlike the man himself it’s no five star masterpiece. Through no fault of his own his life lacks “Sturm und Drang”. If I’d no interest in rugby but had been asked to review the book I’d have given it a three. But for fifteen years I, like millions of others, had the pleasure of watching a sporting genius with the heart of a lion, a nice guy who finished first more often than not but who, whether he met with triumph or disaster, treated those two imposters just the same.


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