Peter K. Booker

Helpful votes received on reviews: 66% (113 of 172)
Location: Portugal


Top Reviewer Ranking: 168,965 - Total Helpful Votes: 113 of 172
Equator by Miguel Sousa Tavares
Equator by Miguel Sousa Tavares
Miguel Sousa Tavares has written a highly credible novel about a murky place and period in Portuguese colonial history. Yes, slaves were used in the coffee and cocoa plantations of these islands, and Portugal had the unenviable choice of dissembling, of pretending that slavery did not exist. Or the principled Quaker chocolate manufacturers in Britain would cease their purchase of São Tomé cocoa and buy instead from British West India producers. Hypocritical Britain may or may not have been using slaves in the West Indies, but they were certainly using slaves (or more properly indentured labourers) in the gold mines of South Africa. This indentured labour system became a hot… Read more
Wellington's Smallest Victory: The Story of Willia&hellip by Peter Hofschroer
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Humbugged?, 10 Feb 2013
Ever since I have become aware of the Battle of Waterloo, I have been conscious of the different weights attached to the importance of the efforts of the allied army under Wellington and the Prussian army under Blücher. Without the Prussian attack on Plancenoit in the evening of 18 June, 1815, the allies would have lost this battle, despite the lethal mistakes made by French commanders such as Ney. Yet Wellington deliberately downplayed the role of the Prussians in his Waterloo Dispatch (which was the report that he wrote and sent to his government in London immediately after the battle). Further, on the previous days, he had promised support to the Prussian army if it was to be… Read more
The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama by Sanjay Subrahmanyam
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Sanjay Subrahmanyam is a highly qualified professional historian. He consults the sources, he reviews the work of other writers, he considers the view of history down the ages on his subject, and lastly, he writes well. In this book we have precisely what the title promises us, a review of the career of Vasco da Gama together with a review of the legends built around his life's work. The author at every turn exposes the sources upon which he bases his arguments and consequently this book is well argued and thoroughly convincing.

It is a masterly book, the epitome of a work of scholarship. We find out what makes Gama tick (probably his overbearing and nasty temper) and we can… Read more