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Tom Griffin

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A Putney Plot?
A Putney Plot?
by Peter Hain
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: A Putney Plot? (Paperback)
A short book, but a valuable record of a significant episode in the murky parapolitics of 70s Britain.


Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason (Science and Cultural Theory)
Imre Lakatos and the Guises of Reason (Science and Cultural Theory)
Price: £18.04

5.0 out of 5 stars Lakatos' surprising synthesis, 1 Feb. 2014
Extremely interesting account of Lakatos' surprising synthesis of Popperian epistemology and Hegelian-Marxian thought, and of how Lakatos extened Popper's fallibilism to mathematics.


Ravelstein
Ravelstein
by Saul Bellow
Edition: Paperback

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A roman à clef of the neocon literati, 19 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Ravelstein (Paperback)
This novel is heavily autobiographical, and its main attraction for me was in the thinly-disguised depictions of Leo Strauss (Davarr) and Allan Bloom (Ravelstein). It is valuable as a self-portrait of the neoconservative circles that were about to come to power in America at the time it was written.

The literary interest was secondary for me, but while the main characters are fairly unsympathetic, I did find myself taking an interest in the fate of the narrator, Chick, (whose story is really Bellow's own.)


2005 Blogged: Dispatches from the Blogosphere
2005 Blogged: Dispatches from the Blogosphere
by Tim Worstall
Edition: Paperback
Price: £1.10

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to the blogosphere, 9 Dec. 2005
There's a lot of very fine writing here.
The disparate posts come together very well as a review of the year with a somewhat satirical tone overall. It would stand up very well against a similar compilation from the mainstream press.
It's also a great introduction to the blogging phenomenon. If you enjoy the writers here, you can read plenty more, and what's more join in the conversation, on the web.


The Tyrannicide Brief
The Tyrannicide Brief
by Geoffrey Robertson
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most engaging books on the period, 19 Oct. 2005
This review is from: The Tyrannicide Brief (Hardcover)
Geoffrey Robertson's life of John Cooke is one of the most engaging books I have read on the Seventeenth Century.
Robertson has researched his subject throughly, but as you might perhaps expect from a top barrister, he wears his learning lightly and presents the story with wit and style.
It is particularly timely because this era was decisive for the development of civil liberties in Britain, as Robertson shows.
Men like Cooke risked their lives to hold authority to account. Their reputations deserve to be rescued from the aspersions cast on them by royalist historians.
The Tyrannicide Brief succeeds in that task admirably.


Free-Born John: A Biography Of John Lilburne
Free-Born John: A Biography Of John Lilburne
by Pauline Gregg
Edition: Paperback

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive account of the human struggle in the Civil War, 12 Jun. 2002
Free Born John is the definitive biography of a neglected but decisive figure in English history, the Leveller leader John Lilburne.
Gregg's account focuses on the Levellers' fight for legal and political rights for ordinary people, a story which has many parallels with strugges for human rights around the world today.
She shows how Lilburne used propaganda and mass organisation in a way which made him arguably the first modern political activist, and the Levellers the first modern poitical movement.
Its particularly good on the network of underground printing presses which sustained the Puritan underground opposition to Charles II.
Required reading for anyone who wants to understand the human struggle underneath the costume drama of the English Civil War.


To Hell or Barbados: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland
To Hell or Barbados: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland
by Sean O'Callaghan
Edition: Hardcover

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid account of the Irish slave trade, 23 Sept. 2001
To Hell or Barbados describes the fate of the thousands of Irish sold into slavery in the West Indies and Virginia after Cromwell's invasion in the Seventeenth Century.
As someone from an Irish background, I have to confess that, although I knew about the slave trade before, reading about the fate of my own countrymen and women gave the subject a new immediacy for me.
The book illustrates the links between Cromwell's policies in England, the invasion of Ireland and the 'Western design' in the Carribean. Irish rebels and English dissidents were sold into slavery along with millions of Africans.
It conveys a strong impression of an era whose legacy is still with us today. That is partly down to the power of O'Callaghan's description of the colonial West Indies. It is a vivid, not to say lurid account, of a society of exploitation and cruel debauchery maintained by systematic violence.
This is a powerful book, well worth reading for anyone interested in West Indian, American, Irish or English history


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