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Julia Whitfield (London United Kingdom)

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Two Solitudes
Two Solitudes
by Hugh MacLennan
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for every Canadian, 14 Sep 2003
This book gives an excellent portrayal of the tensions faced by Quebec after the Silent Revolution in the mid twentieth century. For those not familiar with Canadian history or Quebec history it portrays how politics and religion divided Quebec and how Quebec almost separated from Canada.
As well as the underlying Canadian politics and history lessons, the character development is excellent and the plot riveting. This is a must read for every Canadian.

The Economist Guide To Financial Markets
The Economist Guide To Financial Markets
by Marc Levinson
Edition: Hardcover

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Introduction to the Current Financial Markets, 25 Jun 2003
Guide to Financial, by Marc Levinson (former Finance Editor of the Economist) is an excellent introduction to the financial markets. Levinson provides a practical, concise, readable examination of the topic, which is useful for the novice financier. I would highly recommend this book for finance or economics graduates, wishing to pursue a career in finance/banking. It will arm you with very useful finance knowledge you won’t have gained in the classroom. The book examines the where, when, why, what and how of bond, money, foreign exchange, equity, financial futures, commodities, securitisation, options and derivatives markets.

Free Lunch: Easily Digestible Economics
Free Lunch: Easily Digestible Economics
by David Smith
Edition: Paperback

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Digestible Introduction to Economics, 12 Feb 2003
David Smith, Economic Editor of The Sunday Times, has presented an excellent and digestible introduction to economics in his new book, Free Lunch, Easy digestible Economics. Smith provides a good general overview of key economic concepts, an examination of current economic issues and an introduction to key economic thought of the last two hundred years. Smith includes topics such as whether Britain should change to the Euro currency, why some countries are designed to remain in poverty, and how British monetary policy has evolved over the last twenty-five years. Best of all, Smith uses only one simple equation and does not offer a single complicated mathematical example.
The book is set out as a meal plan with appetizers, a main course, desserts, coffee and guest speakers. Guest speakers include many well-known economists such as Carl Marx, Adam Smith, and Maynard Keynes, but the contributions of some less famous economists such as Ricardo are also examined. Smith also provides further details of economic web sites worth visiting and a book list for the interested reader wishing to learn more about economics.
All in all, the book is a fantastic introduction to economics, giving the necessary information to understand the way in which our countries are run and our personal finances are controlled.

Stupid White Men: ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!
Stupid White Men: ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!
by Michael Moore
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Factually contestable but a good laugh!, 28 Jan 2003
Michael Moore's book Stupid White Men assesses the questionable state of modern American politics and its democracy with a critical eye. The book provides a refreshing and humorous review of American politics, which the myopic mainstream American media has neglected. It is a political easy read, which may be why it's remained on The New York Times bestseller list for over forty weeks running. This accessibility may also explain why its popularity has surpassed many other books regarding American politics published over the last two years. Despite Moore's popularity his writing does require some literary and journalistic criticism.
Moore's rants of rage through personal attacks and cheap shots at the Bush administration and the rich are comical but detract from the real political issues and the validity of his arguments. The book is laced with "facts and figures" but lacks the academic finesse and journalistic integrity of a true documentary. If one were inclined to check all of his footnote references (like Ben Fitz), it would be obvious that at least some of his facts are inaccurate. Anyone with a slightly sceptical mind would be inclined to confirm most of these facts elsewhere before quoting them to a friend. And if you've learned anything from the book, you will check all the facts you're reading!
Despite some factual flaws it is a pleasant relief to see some Americans critically examining their country's politics at home and abroad. And if nothing else, the book will definitely get you laughing out loud.

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