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The Fallout: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence
The Fallout: How a Guilty Liberal Lost His Innocence
by Andrew Anthony
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not an easy read, 5 Nov. 2008
An insiders insight into the thinking of left wing intellectuals and how they try to distort reality to fit their view of the world rather than face facts and deal with life as it is. Indirectly it explains why New Labour and its allies in the EU have failed to make the lives of ordinary people better. Definitely worth reading for anyone interested in contemporary politics or concerned about the rise of the new totalitarianism in Europe.

However, I found the style a hard read and often needed to go over piece two or three times before understanding it. The content is excellent, but his prose retains much of the heaviness and convoluted style common to left wing writers as they juggle their words to sidestep inconvenient truths.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 24, 2010 11:46 AM BST


The Origins of Totalitarianism (Harvest Book)
The Origins of Totalitarianism (Harvest Book)
by Hannah Arendt
Edition: Paperback

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant thinking but very heavy going., 25 Mar. 2008
A rare book which left me thinking "now I understand".

It is a very detailed analysis of the rise of totalitarian regimes in 20th century Europe. It covers a wide spectrum: anti-semitism, imperialism, the differences between American, British and continental forms of democracy, the propaganda techniques of totalitarian politics and much more.

Although Arendt was writing about the late 19th and early 20th century her words are still relevant. Her book is not a list of atrocities, but focuses on the thinking behind totalitarianism and its implementation. By distancing itself from the horror to focus on political thought and theory the book resonates with much of current European politics. Only the names need to be changed to strip away the democratic facade behind which Europe's current political elites curtail freedom and stifle debate as they work towards their totalitarian goal.

This book has changed the way I think about politics. It has made me more pessimistic about prospects for liberal democracy in Britain because it explains why and how the country is being transformed into a totalitarian state.

This work should be a warning to all Europeans that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, but unfortunately it is very heavy going, so the warning will go unheeded. If only it had been written by that other great American woman historian Barbara Tuchman who knew how to bring history alive.


Speaking Better French: Achieving Fluency with Everyday Expressions (Studymates)
Speaking Better French: Achieving Fluency with Everyday Expressions (Studymates)
by Monique Jackman
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PC, 25 Mar. 2008
This excellent little book gives practical advice on how the French actually use their language. It is concise, well structured and has hundreds of examples.

Faults? The later chapters appear to have been hurried or cut short to squeeze them in.

Overall it does what the title says and does it well. Thoroughly recommended.


No Title Available

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for money, 14 Feb. 2007
This is a great camera for anyone who wants full photographic control, a really useful zoom lens and decent picture quality all for under £300. At high magnification the picture quality is not as good as a digital SLR, but with a similar zoom range that would cost at least twice the price.

Best features: You can see the settings in the focus adjustable viewfinder, a boon for those who need reading glasses. The 28mm wide-angle is so much better than the usual 35mm. Manual zooming, no more clunky, slow, power zoom. Fast startup. Flash hotshoe, no built in flash can match the power and flexibility of a decent flashgun. Little loss of definition up to ISO 400. ISO 800 is no worse than most camera's ISO 400, ISO 1600 is for emergencies only. Loads of functions to play with, even raw mode.

Worst features: All those functions to learn. Quite a lump to carry, the price you pay for that 28 - 300mm lens.

I bought a Lowepro TLZ10 case which is a comfortable, rattle free fit for the camera alone, but tight with a spare XD card and 4 spare AA batteries.


The Winner's Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life
The Winner's Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life
by Richard H. Thaler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You have to dig to find the gold, but it is there, 4 Jan. 2006
This book has some profound insights into the psychology behind economic behaviour and explains a number of the paradoxes of the world of finance and investment. However, I have two issues with it. One: Thaler makes few concessions to those with no understanding of economics or psychology. Two: He continually refers to the sources material from which he draws his conclusions, which breaks the flow. These characteristics make the book pretty heavy going, but if an understanding what makes the world of finance tick is important to you then you a must read it. Just don't expect it to be easy.


The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic about the Outbreak of World War I
The Guns of August: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Classic about the Outbreak of World War I
by Barbara W Tuchman
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History written as a novel, 4 Jan. 2006
This is a fascinating and highly readable book. Tuchman creates her characters very fully, the plot is fast moving and well structured, the scenes well drawn. This would be a good novel except that it's history! A frightening essay in how politicians and generals can get it terribly wrong. Whether or not you agree with Tuchman's conclusion that what happened between mid-August and mid-September 1914 set the direction of world history for the rest of the century, she makes a formidable case. Anyone interested in history or politics should read this book.


Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (A Marketplace Book)
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (A Marketplace Book)
by Edwin Lefèvre
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but flawed for the 21st century reader, 3 Jan. 2005
This book appeals in so many ways. It's full of insights about trading and investment, although the language and lack of structure make you work hard to extract these gems. It's a picture of a byegone age where Wall Street people trusted and tricked each other in equal measure and a man would call his wife "My Girl". It's full of anecdotes, stories and memorable one liners. And I've worked out what some of the anachronistic terminology means, so it's a book of puzzles too.
It desperately needs a glossary to explain those early 20th century words to a readership which goes to a 'bucket shop' for cheap airline tickets (publisher please note).
Overall, I've never read anything like it. One to remember.


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