nick fraser

Helpful votes received on reviews: 78% (28 of 36)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 223,754 - Total Helpful Votes: 28 of 36
Digital Cosmopolitans: Why We Think the Internet C&hellip by Ethan Zuckerman
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HALF-WIRED, 29 Aug 2013
This is a disappointing book on an interesting and important subject. One might have assumed (most did) that the internet would vastly enhance the store of global knowledge. How could it not create a worldwide public of those - there are many of us - who wish to be informed and can't think of an unjoined up, uncosmopolitan world. In reality internet users tend to use the medium in order to shire up their prejudices when they are not communicating with school friends. The consequences of mass public ignorance are a rich subject, but Zuckerman doesn't really ever face up to them. He ran a website from Cambridge Mass., that assembled blogs from all over the world. It didn't take off but… Read more
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ARMAGEDDON REVISITED, 26 Aug 2013
We read history because it tells us about the past, but very occasionally history books tell us how to look at the past, and thus how to decode the world around us. The profound originality of Christopher Clark's book arises from his refusal to accept that very much in the years prior to 1914 had to happen as it did. It's one thing to state that there's no such thing as inevitability in history, another to prove that this indeed is the case. You need serious reserves of energy to consult the mass of documentation surrounding 1914 without succumbing to the often misleading, self-exculpatory interpretations foisted on the events as soon as they occurred. You also require the sensibility of a… Read more
Isaac and Isaiah by David Caute
Isaac and Isaiah by David Caute
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BACK IN THE COLD WAR, 10 Aug 2013
I should start by saying that I'm a Berliner. No other recent writer about history has given me such pleasure, and, yes, I love Isaiah Berlin's prose style. It doesn't seem bombastic or excessively ornate to me. I found all the Berlin talks in the BBC archive, and put them on my I pod - and I recommend listening to them on long flights. So I approached David Caute's investigation into the wrong done by Isaiah Berlin to Isaac Deutscher with trepidation. Would I discover yet another idol with feet of clay? Well, no, not really. Caute does reveal how Berlin stopped Deutscher, the biographer of Trotsky, getting a professorship st Sussex in the mid-1960s. (The episode is also described in the… Read more

Wish List