Helpful votes received on reviews: 76% (28 of 37)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 77,616 - Total Helpful Votes: 28 of 37
A Fortunate Life (Puffin story books) by A B Facey
This simply written narrative gives the reader a feeling for early 20th century life in Western Australia.
Although the writer always presents himself in a very favourable light and seems a little self righteous at times, the reader cannot but admire the tenacity of spirit that enabled him to overcome great adversity.
From being sent to work at the age of eight years, to being wounded in the first world war, losing his farm during the great depression and losing a son in the second world war, the writer remained cheerful and resolute and grateful for his lot.
A great contrast with the attitudes of so many in our time.
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
Written in the idiom of mid nineteenth century, the book is a first hand narrative of the experience of the writer. Born free in New York state and, whilst a married man with children, Northup is tricked in to taking a trip to Washington from where he is kidnapped and subsequently sold into bondage in the southern state of Louisianna.
Northup describes the 'lighter side' of slavery in which some slave owners were decent people who treated 'their' slaves well. Nevertheless they appeared to have no problem with the idea of slavery.
The reader is challenged to examine his or her conscience and to ask 'what would I have done?'

Many owners were brutal and the slaves under… Read more
Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tony Judt
This is no easy read. To be frank, I started reading on Kindle last August and I am 80% through. It is a massive piece of work. In his book 'Postwar' Tony Judt describes in sometimes excruciating detail, the economic, social and political changes as well as the reasons for the changes in all the countries of Europe. The work is probably most valuable as a reference on subjects such as for example; the fall of communism, the effect of the transistor radio on 1960's youth, the impact of the EU. I could go on.

Judt sometimes writes difficult sentences and has a habit of using unusual words so that frequent references to a dictionary are required. A more annoying habit is the… Read more

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