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Profile for A. W. Jones > Reviews

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A. W. Jones "Prince Myshkin." (SW England.)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every city should have one, 16 Feb. 2013
This is a serious and scholarly study of the development of Association football in the Greater Manchester area. It is not a hagliography, It details the darker side as well as the triumphs. Also, the author doesn't waste too much time on the well documented events such as The Munich air disaster or the 1999 treble season.
This history isn't exclusively about the two major Manchester clubs. It covers, fairly comprehensively the lesser lights, Rochdale, Oldham, Bury, Stockport as well as the non-league clubs like Stalybridge and Hyde. The story is one of organic growth whereby the the history and fates of the larger clubs are somehow part of the same fabric that binds them to the district's smaller clubs.
Collecting the information for this book must have been very difficult as the author is explicit in separating the primary sources from the secondary and he is not afraid to debunk some of the myths that have arisen from some of those secondary (such as oral accounts) sources.
Every major city should commission a similar account of their local football clubs. It is an indispensable record of social development.

The Mulberry Empire
The Mulberry Empire
by Philip Hensher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic., 24 Mar. 2009
This review is from: The Mulberry Empire (Paperback)
This is a wonderfully told story. Entertaining and informative. It captures perfectly that strange air of menace and otherworldliness that characterize Afghanistan (anyone who's ever spent any time there will agree).
No need to reveal the plot here, but it has an authenticity that suggests that the author has spent time studying late-Victorian British social and colonial history.
One last thing...the novel contains a startling, small paragraph that takes one's breath away. This isn't the place to reveal what it is, but you will not miss it!
A modern classic well worth buying.

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: £13.48

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What was made by the white heat?, 24 Feb. 2009
Undecided about this book. The previous book about the 1950's, "You've Never Had it So Good", seemed much more substantial. The title, "White Heat", itself has a tang of typical 1960's shallowness. There is too much retelling of old well-known stories (the various tarradiddles of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles). On the other hand, the author does point out the fact that these and others of similar ilk were, in reality, not all that relevant to the mass of the population which leads one to wonder why he spent so much ink on what was essentially froth!

Where this book does score, is in its accounts of Wilson's leadership. Even though it draws heavily on the diaries of Richard Crossman and Barbara Castle the author manages to convey the background behind the government that dominated the 1960's. The real and substantial achievements of the 1960's (the great social liberalisation policies)are dealt with as are the failures (the handling of the economy). However, there is no real attempt to bind those critical events into the general fabric of everyday life. Maybe that's because their effects didn't become apparent until the 1970's, in which case the author's promised account of the 1970's will tie up those loose ends.

Of course it is difficult to give a comprehensive account of a decade in one book and such an attempt is, by definition going to end up as a synopsis. As a synopsis goes "White Heat" is adequate but "You've Never Had it so Good" was better. That's perhaps because the 1950's are a more easily defined period. When they ended so did many other things. The 1960's saw the start of so much change that the results of those changes didn't bear fruit until the 60's were over.

Mr Sandbrook's forthcoming account of the 1970's will probably add clarity to his slightly muddled account of the 1960's, but to be fair the 1960's was a muddled decade, so perhaps the author has summed it up fairly.

Bull Plus 10%
Bull Plus 10%
Price: £12.93

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the hidden gems., 13 Dec. 2008
This review is from: Bull Plus 10% (Audio CD)
We put this band on at our music venue in September (2008). They are absolutely superb. This is the real thing make no mistake. A lot of people who are into this sort of music and who's opinions I respect raved about them. Just download one of the tracks off this album and you'll be hooked. Oh yes! They are really nice people as well.

Borneo, Celebes, Aru (Penguin Great Journeys)
Borneo, Celebes, Aru (Penguin Great Journeys)
by Alfred Russel Wallace
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A time capsule of attitudes, 23 Sept. 2008
Alfred Russel Wallace's little tome is not for the squeamish or the faint hearted. It was written long before the cloying, sentimental modern view of wildlife came into fashion.

His account of hunting orang utans can be startling to a generation reared on idiotic television shows such as Big Cat, where the ferocious killers of the jungle and savannah are referred to as if they were something out of Beatrix Potter.

It's quite refreshing to read this particular account from a time when wildlife was seen as just that, wildlife. In spite of his atavistic impulses this book is a fascinating glimpse into British Victorian attitudes.

Up North: Travels Beyond the Watford Gap
Up North: Travels Beyond the Watford Gap
by Charles Jennings
Edition: Paperback

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Telling it how it is., 11 May 2006
From busy, self centred Birmingham to dour,provincial Leeds via

surreal prosperous Cheshire, insane Manchester, overwhelming Blackpool and incomprehensible Newcastle this book pulls no punches.

If you are a nostalgic Northerner looking for a misty-eyed account of your something else. If, like me, you are a Northerner in exile... read will remind you why you got out of the place.

Its just a pity he bottled out of taking a look at Liverpool.

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