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Josephus (Nelson's Super Value)
Josephus (Nelson's Super Value)
by Thomas Nelson Publishers
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.87

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 20 Aug 2014
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This is part of the Nelson's Super Value Series and super value is what it is. It is also good quality and one of the few places were all of Josephus' writings can be accessed in translation.

Josephus was an aristocratic Jew from a priestly family. He was born Joseph ben Mattathias in 37 AD. He had misgivings about the Jewish revolt when it began but eventually joined it, becoming a commander in Galilee. He was taken prisoner by the army of Vespasian, who was in charge of the Roman army in Palestine. Josephus changed sides. The Jews were defeated, the emperor Nero killed himself and eventually Vespasian became emperor. Josephus changed his name to Flavius Josephus (Flavius was Vespasian's family name) and Josephus spent the rest of his life in Rome, writing.

Josephus is of interest to students of New Testament or Roman history. His Jewish War is also an early documented example of a revolution in the ancient world. Readers of Josephus may also be interested in the works of Philo of Alexandria.

My only criticism of this complete works is that the Introduction is only one page long. It is left to the reader to use Josephus' own autobiography to get some background information. A more objective discussion about the life and works of Josephus in a longer introduction would be better.

THE BOOK is well bound and has a readable typeface. The pages are thin, but not too thin. This is the complete works, with over 1,000 pages, so it is bulky, but not so bulky that it cannot be held whilst reading. The text is a reproduction of the standard William Whiston translation of 1737 (see Comments). Josephus' best known work was the "Jewish War". This was the Jewish revolt against the Romans from 66 to 70 AD. This is an easily obtainable book. His other great work was "The Antiquities of the Jews" and this is much more difficult to obtain. It is a re-writing of the Old Testament as the history of the Jews and was probably written to explain the Jews to the Romans and Greeks. Together these two books make up the majority of this complete works. This book also includes the 50 page "Against Apion", which is a defence of the Jews against an Alexandrian teacher, and Josephus' 30 page autobiography. There are also several appendices, including a correspondence between the Antiquities and the Old Testament, a comprehensive Index of 39 pages and 8 pages of maps.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 20, 2014 9:31 AM BST


The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English
by Doris Lessing
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Good short references, 19 Aug 2014
This is an alphabetically arranged doorstep of a book with over 1,000 pages consisting of short articles on writings in English. It includes articles on writers and separate articles on some of their works. As well as poets, novelists and playwrights, some literate thinkers such as Keynes (1/2 page), Darwin (3/4 page) and Hume (1/2 page) are included.

Although it cannot be completely up-to-date, the articles stretch from Beowulf (1 page) through to Gore Vidal (1/2 page), passing through Piers Plowman (1 page), Shakespeare (8 pages) and Oscar Wilde (1/2 page). There are also some "-isms", for example Marxism Literary Criticism (1/2 page), but no Marx, and Poststructuralism (1/2 page).

This is a useful and authoritative reference. For reasons of space the articles are short but numerous. It would be ideal as an e-book, where the articles could be expanded. There is no index as the book itself is its own index.


Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism
Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism
by George A. Akerlof
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Economics and the force of life, 18 Aug 2014
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This book is aptly subtitled "How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism". Much as economics would like to be a science, it is still firmly in the realm of social science. For all the econometrics and complex computer models it is still at its heart about the behaviour of people. And people are only rational and self-interested on the surface; below this are their emotions, their sense of fairness, culture, fear and greed. No economist has ever produced a comprehensive mathematical model for these attributes.

The term "animal spirits" comes from the Latin "spiritus animalis", the life force. It has been adopted and adapted by economists to describe the human factor. The economist John Maynard Keynes incorporated it into his work, a fact overlooked by many later Keynesians but not by the authors of this book.

This is an economics book without graphs, tables or equations, making it an accessible read, but it is still a book about economics and the dismal science cannot be avoided. The ability to construct quantifiable theories is not enough to describe economics and economic behaviour. Indeed, basing government policy on purely quantifiable theories can be dangerous. To put the proper emphasis on the soft, unquantifiable factors that drive the economy is what this book is all about.

THE BOOK has 176 pages plus 22 pages of Notes and 20 pages of References. It is split into two parts: "Animal Spirits" and "Eight Questions and their Answers". These questions are:

+ Why Do Economies Fall into Depression?
+ Why Do Central Bankers Have Power over the Economy?
+ Why Are There People Who Cannot Find a Job?
+ Why Is There a Trade-off between Inflation and Unemployment in the Long Run?
+ Why Is Saving For the Future So Arbitrary?
+ Why Are Financial Prices and Corporate Investments So Volatile?
+ Why Do Real Estate Markets Go Through Cycles?
+ Why Is There Special Poverty among Minorities?

RECOMMENDATIONS: Everyone is involved in the economy so this book should have wide appeal, but more specifically it should be of use to students of psychology and economics. Graduate economists will find it too populist. Neo-classical economists will find it heretical. Marxists will find that it confirms the view that capitalism is inherently unstable and will inevitably collapse. Conservatives will regard this book as just a collection of woolly liberal ideas with no real substance.

LINKS
Galbraith, John Kenneth The Great Crash 1929
Keynes, John Maynard The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
Kindleberger, Charles Manias, Panics and Crashes
Lamont, Michele The Dignity of Working Men
Minsky, Hyman Can It Happen Again?: Essays on Instability and Finance
Shiller, Robert Irrational Exuberance
Shiller, Robert The Subprime Solution


The Wake
The Wake
by Paul Kingsnorth
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.89

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars i is feohtan for angland, 11 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Wake (Hardcover)
This is a novel about how the events of 1066 affected one man living in the fen-lands of England, his reaction to these events and his own personal fight for England. The overwhelming characteristic of this novel is the style of language the author, Paul Kingsnorth, has used. This language in turn bemused, exhausted and enriched me. The main character is not Hereward the Wake but Buccmaster of Holland (Lincolnshire). He is a flawed man, not a hero. This is an interesting book and I would recommend it, but only if the reader is prepared to fully engage with the language.

EXAMPLE: The following is taken from the near the start of the novel on page 9: "a great blaec fugol it was not of these lands it flown slow ofer the ham one daeg at the time of first ploughan. its necc was long its eages afyr and on the end of its fethra was a mans fingors all this I seen clere this was a fugol of doefuls. in stillness it cum and slow so none may miss it or what it had for us. This was eosturmonth in the year when all was broc" I presume that this means that a comet was seen in the sky. A great black bird (fugol) flew slowly over the village one day in the early morning at the time of the first ploughing. Its neck was long and its eyes afire and on the end of its feathers were a man's fingers. I saw all this clearly and this was the devil's bird. It came slowly so no one would miss it. This was in the Easter month (April).

This is not an exceptional quote; this is the style and language of the whole book. At first I found it incomprehensible. I missed much of the story because I was concentrating on the language. It did seem to be more understandable as I continued reading, but this was because I got used to the language, not because the language got any easier.

EXAMPLE: The following is taken from near the end of the novel on page 324: "well he is frenc and this is a frenc biscop and he has been gifen the abbodrice of petersburh as his. this was not one month ago and all of the fenns is specan of it for when hereweard hierde that the abbodrice was to go to a frenc biscop he gan in and he threw out all the muncs and toc all the gold and all things from the abbodrice to say to the frenc that this place can nefer be theirs". I think this means that a French bishop (biscop is pronounced bishop) had been given the monastery of Peterborough a month ago and everyone in the Fens was talking about it. When Hereward heard about it he went there and threw out all the monks and took all the gold and other things from the monastery, saying that this place would never be theirs.

The language and the story are both down-to-earth, but I was surprised to find many F-words and some C-words, especially as these would have been unknown words in Old English. However, this is not Old English but a special language designed to give the atmosphere of the time.

EXAMPLE: The following is taken from page 141. It describes an encounter between a child and his new Norman master. "frenc fuccer calls the cilde thu cwelled my father and I will cwell thu and all the hores thu calls thy folc and the bastard thu calls thy cyng. Go home frenc c-word or thu will die. At this the cilde then tacs dawn his breces and teorns his bare arse at the thegn". I would render this into modern English as: French f-worder, calls the child. You killed my father and I will kill you and all the whores you call your people and the bastard you call your king. Go home, French c-word, or you will die. At this the child takes down his breaches and turns his bare arse at the lord.

It helps in understanding this language to whisper it as you read rather than staying silent in the modern fashion. In fact, this book may be better as an audio book than as a book of words. This is all a long way from Charles Kingsley's best-selling Victorian novel Hereward the Wake with its easy English and its romantic re-writing of history.

THIS NOVEL is 344 pages long. There are no chapters but the text is divided into three sections named 1066, 1067 and 1068. The novel is followed by "A partial glossary" (4 pages), "A note on language" (4 pages), "A note on history" (4 pages), "Sources" (4 pages), "Subscribers" (6 pages) and "A note about the typeface" (1 page). I suggest reading the glossary and then the note on language before reading the novel itself.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 11, 2014 8:32 AM BST


QUALITY WOODEN TIE RACK - TIE HANGER -UP TO 20 TIES - GIFT IDEA
QUALITY WOODEN TIE RACK - TIE HANGER -UP TO 20 TIES - GIFT IDEA
Offered by Hangerworld
Price: 5.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Elegant and slightly more expensive, 5 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a sturdy and elegant tie rack holding 20 ties, 10 on each side. I have been using this tie-rack for several years without any problems. The wood looks good - It is a solid piece of wood with a heavy varnish. The metal loops hold the ties safely and securely as long as there is only one tie per loop. The loops will take more than one tie, depending on the thickness of the ties, but then they may slip out. If you find you have too many ties then it is better to buy an extra tie rack one than to overload this one. Cheaper tie racks of the same design are available, but the wood will not be as hard, will be unvarnished and the metal loops will be thinner. Comparing the price of this tie rack with the cost of an individual tie suggests that it is worth the money, although the slightly cheaper versions of this design are just as functional.


H & L Russel Tie Hanger, 20 Bar, Matt Beech
H & L Russel Tie Hanger, 20 Bar, Matt Beech
Offered by SelectiveGoods
Price: 3.60

4.0 out of 5 stars Good-looking, functional and inexpensive, 5 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a sturdy and good-looking tie rack at an inexpensive price. I have been using it for several years without any problems. It holds 20 ties, 10 on each side. The enclosed metal loops hold the ties safely and securely. Because it uses closed metal loops, more ties, if they are thin, could be accommodated by doubling up, but this should be avoided. Considering the price it would be better to buy another one of these tie racks. The wood is a solid piece of blond wood and looks good. The wire loops seem thin but they do their job. This tie-rack fits into the middle of the market, being neither cheap and cheerful nor fancy and slightly more expensive.


1 Non-Slip Metallic Silver Tie Hanger for up to 12 Ties
1 Non-Slip Metallic Silver Tie Hanger for up to 12 Ties
Offered by CaraselleDirect
Price: 3.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, functional tie rack, 5 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a perfectly good, functional tie rack. It is robust and should be long lasting. However, it is functional rather than elegant. Apart from the hook it is coated in a dull-silver coloured material which could be a plastic or a rubberised plastic. It is this coating which provides the friction to hold the ties in place, 12 in total, and 6 on each side. If you have very skinny ties you could get two to each holder, but once ties overlap or are on top of each other they will tend to fall off. Thus the safe total number of ties is 12. The price is reasonable. However, it you have spent some money on your ties you might want to spend a little more to get something a little better looking. If you just want something to hold ties, this is perfect. I have been using this tie-rack for several years without any problems.


Wimbledon two hundred years ago: The village, its people and their lives during the reign of George III (History of Wimbledon V)
Wimbledon two hundred years ago: The village, its people and their lives during the reign of George III (History of Wimbledon V)
by Richard Milward
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Wimbledon Becomes Fashionable, 30 July 2014
This is a book about Wimbledon during the reigns of George III and George IV. It gives a detailed account of the period in Wimbledon, especially of the lives and houses of the richer inhabitants drawn there as better communications with nearby London made it a fashionable place to live, at least for part of their time. It also deals with the poorer or less fashionable, for whom Wimbledon was home all the year round.

THE CHAPTERS are grouped into four parts: Part I The Village and its People; Part II Daily Life in the Village; Part III Wimbledon Personalities; Part IV Appendices. Part I has chapters on travellers to Wimbledon, its shop-keepers and craftsmen, the local gentry and the lord of the manor. Part II has chapters on the surrounding land and its use, local government, law and order, Part III has chapters on politicians (Pitt, Dundas, Tooke), the Napoleonic Wars (Fowke, Nelson, Condé), Wimbledon Park (Earl Spencer, the Patersons) and the village (Eades, Castle, Marrayats). Part IV contains two short appendices on the "Prints and Drawings of Georgian Wimbledon" and a "Guide to the Original Sources".

THIS BOOK is the fifth in a series on the history of Wimbledon. It has 136 pages, including an index for the first time in the series. It is A4 in size, whereas all the previous parts of the series were A5 (half A4). This later Georgian period was a time of increased production of prints, engravings and other illustrations and this is reflected in this book, where there is as much space used for illustrations, all in black and white, as for text. There are also numerous boxes, acting like side-bars, giving extra information. Thus in the chapter on the parish church there is a box listing the typical church-warden expenses from 1793 to 1809, as well as an engraving of the exterior of the church and a line-drawing of its interior, drawn in the period.

THE AUTHOR: Richard Milward lived in Wimbledon most of his life and was a History Master at Wimbledon College. He is the author of many publications about the history of Wimbledon and was president of the Wimbledon Society.

This book is part of the History of Wimbledon series:
Part 1 Early and Medieval Wimbledon
Part 2 Tudor Wimbledon
Part 3 Wimbledon in the Time of the Civil War
Part 4 A Georgian Village: Wimbledon 1724-1765
Part 5 Wimbledon during the reign of George III


A Georgian Village: Wimbledon 1724 - 1765 Part IV Of A History Of Wimbledon
A Georgian Village: Wimbledon 1724 - 1765 Part IV Of A History Of Wimbledon
by Richard Milward
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and well written booklet, 17 July 2014
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This interesting 48-page booklet gives a fascinating overview of early Georgian Wimbledon Village. It is well illustrated and easy to read.

Half of this booklet concerns the village church, the large estates and the great houses that appeared in Wimbledon in this period. Although these great houses and their estates did dominate the village, the emphasis on them may also reflect the lack of documentary sources for the poorer people of Wimbledon. In particular, the church (vestry) documents from before 1740 have not survived. However, the author is able to give lists of the names of the local tradesmen and farmers as well as the principle landowners. In the 1740s there were seven publicans and six shop keepers. Of the local farmers, two are still remembered: George Haydon and Daniel Watney. One gave his name to Haydons Road; the other was the grandfather of the founder of Watney's Brewery.

This is the fourth part in the series on the History of Wimbledon. The first was a short booklet on Early and Medieval Wimbledon. This was followed by a larger booklet on Tudor Wimbledon and then a short book on Wimbledon around the time of the Civil War. This part reverses the trend of ever-increasing size in this historical series.

THE CHAPTERS are: Early Georgian Wimbledon; The People in the Village; Parish Government; The Relief of Poverty; The Parish Church; The Great Houses in the Village; The Great Houses round the Common; Wimbledon Park House; Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading.

THIS BOOKLET has 48 pages spread over 8 chapters including 6 maps and 11 black and white illustrations. One of the maps is a reproduction of the part of John Rocque's Map of Georgian London (1746) that covers Wimbledon. The other 5 are maps or plans of the village drawn by Paul Bowness. The village plans are notable for showing the positions of the houses in Wimbledon at the time, marked as either later demolished or as still standing today. The illustrations are mainly engravings or drawings of the big houses or paintings of the big landowners or buildings of interest such as the Charity School and St Mary's Church.

THE AUTHOR: Richard Milward lived in Wimbledon most of his life and was a History Master at Wimbledon College. He is the author of many publications about the history of Wimbledon and was president of the Wimbledon Society.

This booklet is part of the History of Wimbledon series:
Part 1 Early and Medieval Wimbledon
Part 2 Tudor Wimbledon
Part 3 Wimbledon in the Time of the Civil War
Part 4 A Georgian Village: Wimbledon 1724-1765
Part 5 Wimbledon during the reign of George III


Wimbledon in the time of the Civil War
Wimbledon in the time of the Civil War
by Milward Rj
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A good, short book, 16 July 2014
This is a short book on the history of Wimbledon before, during and after the Civil War. It can seem quite detailed in places and not detailed enough in other places. This is because it is a local history and has to follow the available documentary evidence. Overall, it is a fascinating view of a turbulent time from 1617 to 1724.

This book follows two shorter publications on Medieval and Tudor Wimbledon. It is larger because more documents survive. The sources are mostly these documents; there is little archaeology from this period. These documents are patchy but when available they can be quite detailed and this is reflected in the text

At the end of the book the author gives a short review of the period 1617 - 1724. At this time Wimbledon still meant Wimbledon Village. At the end of the period there were more cottages and especially large brick houses. The village was still basically the same with its manor house, church and two chief roads; the surrounding fields were the same, but the villagers had changed. The rich were richer and the poor were poorer and a new class of villager had emerged in the tradesmen who served the rich.

THE BOOK has 168 pages spread over 18 chapters and a few short appendices. Each chapter is followed by a short Notes section starting with the sources used in the chapter. These sources can be specific, giving the location of documents and their reference numbers; for example "Inventory of Goods at Wimbledon House, 1649, at the British Museum, Harleian MS 4898". The book is illustrated with 22 hand-drawn maps and diagrams, which are crude but effective. There are also 7 black and white illustrations, mostly reproductions of engravings.

THE CHAPTERS: The chapters are collected into three parts: Part I Wimbledon Before the Civil War; Part II Wimbledon During the Civil War; Part III Wimbledon After the Civil War. Part I contains The Village; The Ordinary People; The Gentry; The Church and its Officials; The Manor under the Cecils; The Outside World. Part II contains Queen Henrietta and the Outbreak of War; John Halfhead and the Weekly Assessment; Sir Richard Wynn and the Defence of the Manor; General John Lambert, Lord of Wimbledon; Captain Robert Knox and a Voyage to Ceylon; Reverend William Syms, a Nonconformist Parson. Part III contains The New Tradesmen; The Poor; The Rich; Changes at St Mary's; Bristol and Danby at the Manor House; A New Manor House.

THE AUTHOR: Richard Milward lived in Wimbledon most of his life and was a History Master at Wimbledon College. He is the author of many publications about the history of Wimbledon and was president of the Wimbledon Society.

This book is part of the History of Wimbledon series:
Part 1 Early and Medieval Wimbledon
Part 2 Tudor Wimbledon
Part 3 Wimbledon in the Time of the Civil War
Part 4 A Georgian Village: Wimbledon 1724-1765
Part 5 Wimbledon during the reign of George III


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