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Mr. L. C. Edwards "Leslie Edwards" (Huntingdon, Cambs. UK)
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Encounters with a Fat Chemist: Teaching at a University in Northern Cyprus
Encounters with a Fat Chemist: Teaching at a University in Northern Cyprus
by Chris Payne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This scented Isle...., 9 Sep 2012
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Iron bars do not a prison make, but a Green Line is the next best thing. From untreated sewage running down the street, to water shortages, to an erratic electricity supply essential for Summer heat use of air conditioning....the author had it all. Plus working at the American Institute of North Cyprus, and finding on arrival the Fat Chemist was his female boss at this for profit University.

The book describes what life is like in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, warts and all. From the venous Landlords of two out of three rented properties, to the nepotism and cronyism of the University, to the inevitable networking abilities of those he meets and who can assist in the daily petty struggles of life in the Northern part of this divided Island. While it does have over 300 days of sunshine each year, each day is an endurance test. A chaotic University system catering for Turks, Cypriots, Azerbyjanis, and dozens of other nationalities has weak controls on English standards both written and spoken. There is an expectation by the students that they will be awarded the coveted Degrees, for which they have paid tuition fees in hard currency, Euros.

Competing currencies complicate matters, especially when health issues bedog the author. There is no health insurance available to a Professor at this University. Travelling in and out of the North, the chaos and confusion of Ercan and Istanbul airports, and the massive bureaucracy of TRNC is all so calmly described. A wonderful book.


War and Social Change in Modern Europe: The Great Transformation Revisited
War and Social Change in Modern Europe: The Great Transformation Revisited
by Sandra Halperin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterly analysis on a giant canvas., 18 Sep 2011
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The book deconstructs Polanyi's (1944) The Great Transformation. The concept of the "long peace" between 1815 and 1914 as the creator vehicle to social change is challenged by the actual effect of continuing and sometimes near continuous war between states, and neighboring countries, and the drive for colonial expansion so energetically followed as policy by the bigger countries involved. This is a masterly work which deserves wide readership by all those studying social change. Halperin's work is clear, well referenced and written. It is an exceptional piece of scholarship in scope and complexity, without losing the connection of lucid argument in support of her contention. A great book, on a level with Schumpeter's classic: Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1950).


Off Message
Off Message
by Bob Marshall-Andrews
Edition: Hardcover

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Off message, but on Target!, 3 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Off Message (Hardcover)
The trials and tribulations of being an MP are well explained. The tyranny of the Whips Office, the power of the Executive, and the whole Messianic delusion, and economy with truth, that took the country to War three times under Blair, are recounted. The repercussion of restriction on civil liberty, and the struggle of MPs to oppose the draconian legislation intended to safeguard us against ill defined enemies makes the book well worth reading. Bob Marshall-Andrews witty style made reading the book a pleasure.


Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World
Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World
by Nicholas Shaxson
Edition: Paperback

33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's gone wrong....., 24 Jan 2011
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Nicholas Shaxon has written an excellent, well referenced , substantive book on how the money system works. Governments collude with financiers, and business interests, to make and take easy options for the benefit of the wealthy. The book is truly a revelation, and does much to explain how the sub prime crisis in the US morphed inexorably as institutions wrapped their packages in ever more complex instruments, built on an avalanche of cheap money. Shocking, un-putdownable, a brilliant piece of writing. Every Economics student should read this book. It should be mandatory for all Bankers and Financial Investment people to read and understand the immorality of their profession.


Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation
Beyond the Crash: Overcoming the First Crisis of Globalisation
by Gordon Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Curate's Egg, 21 Jan 2011
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An interesting book, in which Mr Brown details the actions he took in Britain -post Crisis - that may have been better than the alternative chaos of major Banks and financial institution collapse. However, his understanding of the causes of the Crisis, and his prescriptions to overcome the defects of light touch regulation rely too much on theory of social justice rather than understanding the dynamics of free market Capitalism.

I suggest that any serious reader will read Nicholas Shaxsons's Treasure Islands" tax havens and the men who stole the world....and conclude that politicians with five and ten point plans, and who ascribe wisdom to the likes of Goldman Sachs by name dropping to gain respectability, have misunderstood the dynamic of Capitalism. Perhaps this politician should have read Schumpeter rather than Keynes!


Hitler's Home Front: Wurttemberg Under the Nazis
Hitler's Home Front: Wurttemberg Under the Nazis
by Jill Stephenson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £41.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How the countryside coped with war., 30 Aug 2009
Jill Stephenson is to be congratulated for this detailed book dealing with the area of Wurtemburg in WW2. The book demonstrates both the degree of control imposed on country people, the increasing disruption caused by bombing and refugee rehousing (and the clash of temperament this caused), through to the final apocolyptic moments of defeat. This serious book, well referenced with original research, merits high praise to the author


The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945
The Fire: The Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945
by Jorg Friedrich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £41.31

40 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An antidote to the one sided view of Allied air bombing., 3 April 2007
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In the Tv series "Fawlty Towers", John Clees as Basil Fawlty warned his staff when German guests were at the Hotel "Don't talk about the War". And generations of Germans grew up with individual and distinct understandings about what happened between 1939 and 1945. The War was not talked about, and the suffering of the civilian population as the bombing campaign gained momentum to it's full destructive fiery fury remained based on singular recollection as opposed to the national recollection this book describes.

One of the problems Historians face is to separate detail in manageable chunks. Jorg Friedrich excels at this as he excoriates layer on layer of information from Allied and German sources. He avoids the politics of the formerly divided Germany that resulted in the purposeful failure to reconstructthe Frauenkirche in Dresden so as to illustrate the capitalist destuctive tendency. His attribution of guilt to Churchill is less well founded. Britain bombed Germany after the fall of France because there was no alternative land based strategy until the defeat of the Axis forces in North Africa in 1943.

Our American allies believed that strategic bombing in daylight offered the solution. But they quickly found that unescorted bombers sent to distant targets such as Schweinfurt suffered unaccceptable losses. Thus their bombing reverted to nearer targets until 1944 when long range fighter escorts allowed support of their bomber fleets over Germany. The British who are most criticised in this book adopted area bombing (aka the bombing of residential areas) when it was proved that early RAF targetting (Mudd Report)rarely resulted in a bomb hit within five miles of the target. The use of incendiaries increased the performance of the high explosive bombs that blew in the roofs, doors and windows of cities under attack. It was after the 1944 invasion of France that the full fury of the bomber fleets was loosed, culminating in the apocalyptic destruction of city after city acroos Germany; and 500,000 deaths.

The book begins with the bombing of Wuppertal during the so called Battle of the Ruhr. 3400 people were killed, 1100 acres of Barmen and Elberfelde were destroyed on a Saturday night when the fire crews were largely stood down, the river level was low combined with hot dry weather, and the destruction of the large Seiler Paper Warehouse in der Fleute Strasse gave integrity to the resulting devastating firestorm, the first recorded in the War.

It was quickly followed by the massive Hamburg raids and firestorm. The British bombed by night, and the Americans followed in the morning navigating by the smoke cloud visible from a hundred miles away. Their target was the Docks. 40,000 people died in that bombing and firestorm. Another 40,000 died in the destruction of Dresden in January 1945 with a similar British by night pattern followed by the Americans the morning after, which has gained a special notoriety in our conscience. Hardly a city with under 100,000 inhabitants survived unscathed as target vulnerability coincided with the destruction of the Luftwaffe and grounding fuel shortages affecting them in 1944 and 1945.

The book defines what happened, where it happened, why it happened, when it happened and tries to answer how it was allowed to happen. Friedrich is to be congratulated on a very powerful book, though whether Alison Brown's translation does justice to Friedrich's precise hard German is not certain. Congratulations are also due to the American publishers of the book, after no British publisher would accept the risk of publishing. Perhaps the book has too many home truths in our politically correct age.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 21, 2011 5:36 PM GMT


In the Shadow of the Dictators: The British Left in the 1930s (International Library of Political Studies S.) (International Library of Political Studies)
In the Shadow of the Dictators: The British Left in the 1930s (International Library of Political Studies S.) (International Library of Political Studies)
by Paul Corthorn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £57.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for study of the Left in the 1930s, 8 Mar 2007
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This book draws upon new research, and revisits previous works, dealing with attitudes of the British Left following the split in the Labour Party occasioned by the economic crisis of 1931. It weaves an intricate pattern but draws clear conclusions as the Left coped with and adapted to the rapidly changing international situation brought on by the rise of Fascism, the Abyssinian War, the Spanish Civil War, re-armament and appeasement. The growing realisation that the Stalinist Soviet Union preaching the brotherhood of the working class was itself an enemy of democracy is well demonstrated in this finely crafted book. Paul Corthorn

is a leading young historian, and I can't wait for his next book!


The War in the Empty Air: Victims, Perpetrators, and Postwar Germans
The War in the Empty Air: Victims, Perpetrators, and Postwar Germans
by Dagmar Barnouw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful recollection., 9 Jan 2007
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In the chaos and reconstruction of post war Germany, coping with day to day existence and surviving was enough. This book explores how the generation of Germans that had lived through the period of National Socialism and survived now had to cover their suffering as perpetrators for fear of upsetting the victims. The result of this subterfuge is that while most Germans are aware of the immense suffering caused during the 2nd World War through the Holocaust and the specific of Auschwitz, they are less familiar with the destruction rained upon their country in the liberation for which they are so thankful.

Barnow's book covers the ground thoroughly. It is a book for the thoughtful reader


The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy
The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy
by Adam Tooze
Edition: Hardcover

78 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive masterpiece book on the Nazi Economy., 17 July 2006
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Adam Tooze has written the definitive masterpiece book on the Nazi economy. Throughout he demonstrates the inter relationship between ideology,impending events, and how the Nazi economy functioned and reacted to those events. His thought provoking detail on Albert Speer casts new light on the man. His analysis of the Allied bombing campaign both of area bombing and strategic bombing shows how the western allies progressively pulverised Germany to the point of eventual defeat. A fantastic book, highly recommended.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 30, 2008 6:50 PM BST


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