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S. A. Richmond (London, UK)
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The Rise and Fall of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu
The Rise and Fall of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu
by Mark Almond
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 24 Jan. 2011
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I wanted a book that explained the cult and background of Nicolae Ceauºescu and his wife. This book fitted the bill perfectly. Very well written, covers the facts, and also assesses the plausibility of some of the fiction surrounding the dictator.


Estates: An Intimate History
Estates: An Intimate History
by Lynsey Hanley
Edition: Paperback

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but assumes readers are socialists, 31 Jan. 2008
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This was a good book to read, and it gives a great analysis of housing policy and conditions over the past 100 years in Britain. The author uses some good case studies, including the Wood estate which she grew up on near Birmingham.

One word of caution. The author is quite subjective when it comes to putting forward her own view on who could qualify for publically funded housing, and what type of housing this should be. She rightly points out that the main beneficiaries of council housing these days are the "undeserving poor", and I agree that this is unfortunate. However, the author seems to think that a house with a garden is a right of everyone. I'm not so sure about that.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 21, 2010 11:06 PM GMT


Shah of Shahs (Penguin Classics)
Shah of Shahs (Penguin Classics)
by Ryszard Kapuscinski
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 21 Jan. 2008
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Very good book. You hear a lot written about Iran, and it often focuses on post-revolution times, often drawing comparisons with the comparatively liberal attitudes of pre-revolutionary Iranians. This good gives a quick insight to the regime that existed for much of the 20th century, and exposes the wickedness and ignorance of the Shah.


Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi )
Nikon Coolscan LS50 35mm Film Scanner ( 4000 dpi )

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 21 Jan. 2008
I got this scanner because I wanted to start using B&W 35mm film again, after a ten year break. It's really the only film dedicated scanner on the market within an affordable price range for an amateur/semi professional.

Some people reported that it was very slow, and yes, it's not the fastest, but the wait is worth it. I don't feel that speed is an issue at all - let's face it, if you're using film, you've accepted that things won't be instant. I also compare the process with the amount of time it took to print a photograph in the darkroom - this is lightening fast!

The ICE technology works brilliantly on colour slides/negatives - however, it does not work with B&W (this has been noted elsewhere). You just need to make sure your negatives are clean.

Regarding, set up and ease of use - no problem. I really recommend this scanner - I've been very impressed with the results.


No Tears: Tales from the Square Mile
No Tears: Tales from the Square Mile
by David Charters
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking, 4 Nov. 2007
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I don't know why I was so shocked at the end of each story, but without exception each tale had a fantastic ending where you'd think "jeezz". Very well written in an entertaining and engaging way. I'd certinely read more from this author.


Germany since 1945 (Studies in Contemporary History)
Germany since 1945 (Studies in Contemporary History)
by Dr Pol O'Dochartaigh
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, 30 Oct. 2007
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This was the perfect book to get a consolidated account of what took place in Germany after 1945. The division of germany, first into zones and sectors, and the subsequently divided into two states before being reunited in 1990, is a very interesting story, and forms an important component post war European history.


Suicide of the West
Suicide of the West
by Richard Koch
Edition: Paperback

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, 10 Oct. 2007
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This review is from: Suicide of the West (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading this book because it's an opportunity to take a step back, and look at how we got where we are today. We talk about the "West" all the time, but what do we mean, and what exactly does the West stand for; what makes us unique?

The authors identify six areas that define the West: Christianity, optimism, science, growth, liberalism and crucially, individualism. I'd say the later was the most compelling distinctive trait, found after the Reformation, and this has broadly created the climate of questioning and personalisation that we have today.

I'd really recommend people read this book.


My Forbidden Face
My Forbidden Face
by Latifa
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very powerful, 26 Sept. 2007
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This review is from: My Forbidden Face (Paperback)
This book gave a very intimate and personal view on Afghanistan during the 90s, and the terrible destruction that the country saw as various warlords, Soviets and the Taliban fought for control. The barbarism of the Taliban is shocking, and the author communicates the general environment of terror and fear that people lived in. It's a very good book.


On Brick Lane
On Brick Lane
by Rachel Lichtenstein
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 19 Sept. 2007
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This review is from: On Brick Lane (Hardcover)
I was really pleased to see this book released a few weeks ago. Rachael Lichtenstein writes a contemporary account of Brick Lane and its current and past inhabitants. What impressed me most about the book is that the author didn't just concentrate on one of two of the well known groups, like the Jewish and Bangladeshi immigrants. She spent time talking to artists, the infamous Sandra from the Golden Heart, and a whole host of other people that make up the area. As a former resident in the old Spitalfields Market buildings, I got a real feel for the area, and the types of people she writes about.

The area has gone through a lot of changes in the last few years, and the new crowd, "Trustafarians", as one of her subjects calls them, are now as much a part of the new Brick Lane as the more established groups. The encroachment of the City and the general gentrification of Spitalfields, and the former Huguenot homes, will have a lasting impact on the area.

Above all, I'm glad this book has been written from an historical perspective, so future generations can get a feel for some of the characters that epitomised Brick Lane in 2006/2007, and have some understanding, through first hand accounts, of the types of people that lived there in the last century.


Tehran Blues: Youth Culture in Iran
Tehran Blues: Youth Culture in Iran
by Kaveh Basmenji
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 8 Sept. 2007
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I bought this book specifically to understand the current climate for Iranian youth, and the impact of the post revolution years on their culture. The first and final chapters deal with that very well, but most of the book is about Iranian politics and history in the post Shah years. Basmenji covers extensively the periods of Rafsanjani to the more recent Ahmadinejad, and gives a very interesting account of how the referms had an impact on the urban and largely middle class population.


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