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Post enlightenment "Rationalist" (London, England)

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Modern Mythology
Modern Mythology

4.0 out of 5 stars The proper study of mankind is man not competitive linguistics, 31 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Modern Mythology (Kindle Edition)
Demolishes the philological school of mythology with wit and erudition in abundance. Understandably he resists from using the iron age desert tribe myths we learn in Church as examples.


Among the Hoods: My Years with a Teenage Gang
Among the Hoods: My Years with a Teenage Gang
Price: £4.19

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy successor to Theodore Dalrymple's Life at the bottom., 12 Mar. 2013
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Until I read this book I used to think Dalrymple exaggerated the role of the state and liberal views in creating the underclass. I now realise he was right. This account of real social observation and engagement with black ghetto youngsters, proves beyond reasonable doubt who is to blame for all the wasted lives of the inner city. It is the social workers, teachers and the system which by having abandoned common sense standards of discipline in schools, of decent family values and of joined up support for the children to put them in families regardless of colour, when their own families fail them, who have created the expanding pool of the disaffected who will riot again and again. Poor Ken Loach could not bring himself to believe the dialogue reported and accused Seargent of making it up. She coolly directed him to the BBC film archive transcripts. As a long term resident of Wood Green I can confirm the crime and civil disorder that results from the dire liberal policies of the past 30 years. Labour's open door immigration policy of the year's they were in power has also harmed the chances of the lost boys.


The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Their Friends
The Inklings: C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and Their Friends
by Humphrey Carpenter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deleted my previous review as it was off topic, 8 Sept. 2011
Dear 86erbooks,

Your critical comment on my review of "The Inklings" was justified and I have therefore deleted it completely. My idiosyncratic reaction to the book, as described in my review, was not in any way relevant to the book itself. As such my comment was out of place and is withdrawn.

Thanks for pointing out my error.


The Will to Believe and Human Immortality
The Will to Believe and Human Immortality
by William James
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.93

2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I doubt it, 26 Dec. 2010
How could I possibly be the first person to review a book written in the first decade of the last century! Anything I might have to say about this book is so unlikely to cast new light on such a classic it could only be described as hubris of the worst order to even make the attempt.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 12, 2013 3:52 PM BST


Darwin's Dangerous Idea [DVD]
Darwin's Dangerous Idea [DVD]
Dvd ~ Andrew Marr
Offered by somethinginmyeye
Price: £4.99

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Get the book as well- not the book of the film, 23 Feb. 2010
There is no copywrite in titles which is why Andrew Marr and the BBC can reuse the title of Daniel Dennett's truly brilliant and thought provoking book of the same name. DVD can never approach print for information density and presentation of long complex arguments. So enjoy the DVD, it is a good short summary, then get the book for a real intellectual feast.


Human guinea pigs: Experimentation on man
Human guinea pigs: Experimentation on man
by M. H Pappworth
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historicaly important book that caused changes in medical ethics, 26 Mar. 2009
When this book came out in the 1960s it lifted the lid on the buccaneering human experimentation that used to go on before ethics committees came into being. In fact it went a long way to creating the will and political climate that led to ethics committees. It was shocking read then and is a sobering read now. Papworth was ostracized by the medical top brass of the day, as always happens to whistle blowers, but he won the argument in the end.


Family Court HELL
Family Court HELL
by Mark Harris
Edition: Paperback

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The courts where some are more equal than others before the law, 17 Jun. 2008
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This review is from: Family Court HELL (Paperback)
The most elementary principle of justice in a democracy is that all are held to be equal in the eyes of the law. On the evidence of this book it is now abundantly clear that a father, far from being equal in disputes over access to his children, is held to be of no account in the secret family courts. He is liable to be dispossessed of all contact with his children at will by his former wife or partner on a whim or as part of a family feud. Mark Harris' one mistake was to marry into a family of vindictive sociopaths who forcibly abducted his wife and children and smashed up the family home. That he stayed in touch with those children and stuck it out through truly Kafkaesque abuse of legal process by the secret family courts and their corrupt mendacious judges, counsel and so called experts for 10 years, until the passage of time allowed his children to make their own choice, is a tribute to human endurance on a parallel with any other I have read about. The lengths the authorities went to in smearing and crushing the harmless organised protests that fathers in similar situations put on, show what kind of state we live in. This book is also a wake up call to defenders of civil liberties, people with whom I normally do not have much sympathy. It turns out that even the alleged plot to kidnap Leo Blair was probably put about by the security services. Was the so called desecration at Stonehenge a matter for grave disquiet? Not really; it was an imaginative publicity stunt and did no damage to the monument. Until the family courts are brought out into the light of day and scrutinised properly, the grave miscarriages of justice described in this book will continue. It used to be said that an Englishman's home was his castle until his wife decided to take it away from him. To that can now be added that his children are his own until the lady decides to remove them with the backing of the courts and legal establishment.


The New East End: Kinship, Race and Conflict
The New East End: Kinship, Race and Conflict
by Geoff Dench
Edition: Paperback

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant follow up to the original classic, 16 Jun. 2008
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Very few sociologists have lived to follow an urban group for 50 years and trace the evolution of a community through the second half of the twentieth century, a period of convulsive change. What happened in this instance amounted to complete replacement of one group by another; something archaeologists usually have to infer from changes in pottery style but here studied in the lives of those affected by it. One reviewer refers in scathing terms to Theodore Dalrymple, the brilliant essayist and observer of the underclass, who demonstrates time and again how treating people as individual agents reveals far more about them statistical studies ever can (see his essay- 'How to read a society' in the wonderful collection 'Our culture what's left of it'). Anyone who disparages Dalrymple is no doubt part of the forces of cultural destruction that afflict modern Britain.
I can only recommend reading this book without being put off by the cries of anguish emanating from the politically correct Marxist establishment that dominates present day sociology in Britain.


Fantasy Island
Fantasy Island
by Dan Atkinson
Edition: Paperback

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Based on extract published in the Guardian, 18 May 2007
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This review is from: Fantasy Island (Paperback)
Like Mark I have decided to buy this book on its title and summary alone. At last someone has noticed that we are living in cloud cuckoo land when it comes to assessing our status, economic viability and social stability as a small island nation. The extract in the Guardian contained many nuggets that make me want to read more like the fact that there are as many people in domestic service now proportionately as there were in 1860, and most graduates are doing jobs for which they are overqualified. I will report back when I have read the whole book.

PS.
I wrote the above in 2007 just before the crash and since then we have seen all or nearly all the book's predictions come to pass. We were living in a debt fuelled phantasy created for us by the exploitative greed of the bankers and the limitless naivety of the population and political classes. So now we are all paying for it. And what about the bankers? They are at it again and in pretty much the same way. Draw your own conclusions but mine is that we now firmly on the downward spiral that can only end in National defaults and sharply declining living standards for anyone who works and pays taxes. The super rich and the welfare dependant continue unscathed.


The Welfare State We're In
The Welfare State We're In
by James Bartholomew
Edition: Hardcover

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating analysis of a great failed experiment., 14 Dec. 2006
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The introductory historical background section is worth the price of the book on its own. Bartholomew's account ot the 1830 poor law commission opened my eyes to the fact that we have been here before. As exhaustively detailed in the Royal commission's report (what tireless sociologists those Victorians were) the whole welfare dependency culture was well established in the early 19t century, with single parenthood and sturdy beggars preferring not to work as they could rely on the parish to support them. This was bought to an end by the reforms which included the work house and enforced adoption of the children of single mothers. Harsh but as it turned out highly effective. My only criticism of this book is in the chapter on health care where I find that the argument takes on the character of a polemic purely designed to denigrate the NHS. To balance this author's view on what privatisation does for medicine read Allyson Pollock's NHS,plc. So that is why I gave the book 4 stars. Never the less it is essential reading for understanding the rapid melt down of British society in the new millenium.


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