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Martin Akiyama (Slough)

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Bring Home the Revolution: The Case for a British Republic
Bring Home the Revolution: The Case for a British Republic
by Jonathan Freedland
Edition: Paperback

18 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This is opinion, not argument., 23 Feb. 2002
Having read all the reviews, I opened this book ready to be coverted to the American way.
Well, I now have a better understanding of why Americans live and think the way they do, but I was left cold by all the arguments that the UK should become more like the US. The author deftly points out the differences between the US and the the UK and discusses the pros and cons of American nationalism, pushiness, insularity and selfishness. Sorry, I mean patriotism, self-confidence, localism and libertarianism. But as to how he goes from there to the argument that Britain ought to become a clone of the USA is a mystery. Okay, so he personally likes America, so what? There are probably equally good arguments to made in favour of the cultures and politics of France or Scandinavia or Japan. Or even Britain.
Oh, and my wife wanted me to point out that the book's cover is really unattractive.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 3, 2009 10:35 AM GMT

The Psychology of Food and Eating: A Fresh Approach to Theory and Method
The Psychology of Food and Eating: A Fresh Approach to Theory and Method
by Dr John L. Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What is the point of this book?, 22 Feb. 2002
In the preface, the author states:
"It so happens that I am not especially committed to the scientific mainstream in psychology. If anything, my interests are closer to critical social psychology. This is a term used to cover a broad mix of theoretical and methodological perspectives held together by a common antipathy for the doctrine of the objective experiment."
So be warned: if you are ignorant of or unsympathetic towards critical social psychology you will NOT enjoy this book.
I found this book to be about one third interesting facts, theories and opinions on random food-related topics relayed in an easy to read style, one third intensely boring "research" of interest only to the author (e.g. a long and pointless description of a dinner party hosted by the author) and one third pseudo-intellectual waffle of the type familiar to anyone who has read critical social psychology texts.
I am not against non-positivistic research in principle, but I would like to know why so many intelligent and well-read people (like the author) seem to think that being critical of the scientific method and in possession of a Ph.D. gives them the right to publish stuff that could not possibly be of any use to anyone (like two thirds of this book).

Cornucopia: A Gastronomic Tour of Britain
Cornucopia: A Gastronomic Tour of Britain
by Paul Richardson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and informative page-turner - spot on!, 2 Feb. 2002
This book must be THE definitive picture of the current state of British food. Richardson covers the whole country and tries every type of food from McDonalds to the poshest London restaurants, Deep Fried Mars bar to Tripe, Jellied Eels to Masala Dosa. His descriptions of the places he visits are absolutely spot on. This is one of those books that compels you to read bits out to anyone who happens to be nearby. It's like Bill Bryson for foodies. And it has recipies!
One difference between Richardson and Bill Bryson, though, is Bryson's self-deprecating manner. Richardson, on the other hand, comes across as exactly the kind of pompous food-critic he criticises himself!
The book ends by imploring British foodies to stop being so fashion conscious and urges them to return to traditional British regional cooking. Hear hear! But . . . traditional British regional cooking *is* the latest food fashion, isn't it?

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