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Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
by Massimo Pigliucci
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nonsense on Stilts, 16 Feb. 2011
An excellent book and a must-read for any person with no scientific background. It deals concisely, readably and authoritatively with most of the major areas of scientific hocus-pocus, giving both full evidence and logical refutations. The author perhaps, however, does not quite realise what vital ground he concedes by his very frank and honest account of science's frequent mistakes, muddles, and inadequate theories in the past; these can lead a reader after viewing them to say "well what's new now?" This, of course, weakens the whole thrust of the book. A minor quibble is that while the author is very well informed indeed on his scientific subjects, the minute he strays outside this into areas such as straight history he shows, on occasion, a considerable lack of grasp of the subject. This rather matters because his whole arguement is that people should be much more familiar with the facts and theories of science. These are, however, minor matters and of no great importance compared to the solid worth of this book in an area of increasingly vital importance, ie. the layman's knowledge and attitude towards the sciences.


Engines of War: How Wars Were Won and Lost on the Railways
Engines of War: How Wars Were Won and Lost on the Railways
by Christian Wolmar
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Engines of War: How Wars Were Won & Lost on the Railways, 16 Feb. 2011
This book is very informative on the subject of railways, not surprisingly in view of the author's other works on this subject, but it suffers from a lack of a broader context for the discussion of wars and warfare. This leads on occasion to some less than adequate judgements on the role and significance of the railways, and sometimes the role of railways in the causes and pre-history of a war needs a more penetrating discussion - a case in point would be the railway issue in the arguments over the extension of slavery which led to the American Civil War. It is also sometimes difficult to disentangle the role of the railways in warfare from their broader social and economic and political impact.


Keynes: The Return of the Master
Keynes: The Return of the Master
by Robert Skidelsky
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keynes: The Return of the Master, 16 Feb. 2011
As one would expect after Skidelsky's massive biography of Keynes this book is full of concise and valuable information on "The Master". It could, however, have attempted to shine rather more light on the current banking and financial crisis which one suspects most readers would expect, though admittedly this is possibly not the book's prime purpose. It does however seem a bit of an opportunity missed, and indeed given Skidelsky's own qualifications as an economist a reader would have welcomed rather more of his own thoughts (as distinct from those of Keynes) on this hugely important subject.


The Hindus: An Alternative History
The Hindus: An Alternative History
by Wendy Doniger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.54

45 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hundus: An Alternative History, 16 Feb. 2011
The book is very long and full of information, in most respects well divided up and presented. Biggest criticism would be, not enough indication of where the author's views and arguments differ from established ones. This is particularly significant because most of the readers, like me, will know very little about this massive religion. Some more discussion too would have been useful about the Buddhist-Hindu split, and how Hindoism was able so successfully to bury Buddhism in the country of its origin.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 2, 2014 8:47 PM BST


Computer (Objekt)
Computer (Objekt)
by Paul Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.50

0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A limited history of computing, 8 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Computer (Objekt) (Paperback)
This book relies too much on anecdote, underplays the British contribution to the development of computers in favour of America, concentrates too much on the "showcasing" of computers, and is too thin on an understandable discussion of how they actually work. It was this latter point that I was particularly looking for when I bought the book. It is an easy read that does not do adequate justice to the complexity, interest and ingenuity of computers and their designers.


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