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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rehash rather than a new book
Apart from the introduction this is a collection of Guardian articles from the past few years grouped under various themes. Some are 'edited amalgams of two pieces'. Seumas says: 'Being right was, of course, never going to be enough to shift the entrenched vested interests that depended on building the status quo. What was needed was political and industrial organisation...
Published on 12 Oct. 2012 by M. Spellman

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Lazy lack of editing
Although the writing is good, it is a disgrace that the author or his editor was too lazy too edit the essays so that we would not have to be confronted with 'tomorrow, yesterday, on Tuesday', etc; it makes for confusing and highly irritating reading.
Published 6 months ago by J.M.R.


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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rehash rather than a new book, 12 Oct. 2012
By 
M. Spellman "martinwriter" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century (Hardcover)
Apart from the introduction this is a collection of Guardian articles from the past few years grouped under various themes. Some are 'edited amalgams of two pieces'. Seumas says: 'Being right was, of course, never going to be enough to shift the entrenched vested interests that depended on building the status quo. What was needed was political and industrial organisation and social pressure strong enough to turn the tables of power.' (p.xvii) Because as he also remarks: '... while the free-market model had been discredited, it was very far from being abandoned... across the Western world, governments used the fallout from the crisis, shock doctrine-style, to try and reconstruct and further entrench the neoliberal system.' This is an argument made by Colin Crouch in his 2011 book The Strange Non-Death of Neo-Liberalism: that neoliberalism will shrug off this challenge. The weakness lies with what might be done and who might do it. When it comes to Chapter 8 'The Tide of Social Change' it seems more like a trickle as he can only cite Latin America and China. These have so far not inspired any significant forces in Britain. Chapter 5 'Resistance and Reaction' likewise deals with Palestine and Iraq. So it seems that our only hope lies in, what used to be called, the 'Third World'. 'The weakness of the anti-corporate movement, in Britain at least, is not so much that it lacks a common world view or programme of action -- something of a strength at this stage -- but that it is disconnected from other more socially rooted groups and organisations.' (p.20-21)
While the sins of Blair and New Labour are dealt with it would have been good to see some analysis of how neo-liberalism has diminished and corrupted our political process, including the Tories and the trade union movement and how we might 'turn the tables of power' against it. Zbigniew Brezinski in his book, also published this year, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power also talks of '...the emergence of a volatile phenomenon: the worldwide political awakening of populations until recently politically passive or repressed.' (p.26) Perhaps this is where the answer lies? Millions marched in Britain against war in Iraq and 'The Revenge of History' reflects their beliefs.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative book about capitalism's failure, 4 Feb. 2013
By 
William Podmore (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book, informative and passionate, which exposes capitalism's responsibility for wars and crises.

Lord Ashdown told us in November 2001 that warnings that invading Afghanistan would lead to a `long-drawn-out guerrilla campaign' were `fanciful'. Jack Straw jeered at those who said that US and British troops might still be fighting there a year later.

Milne looks at the illegal Israeli occupation and siege of Palestine, backed by the USA and the EU. Between 2001 and 2008, 14 Israelis were killed and more than 5,000 Palestinians. Michael Ben-Yair, Israel's attorney-general in the mid-1990s, called the Intifada a `war of national liberation' and wrote, "We enthusiastically chose to become a colonialist society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justifications for all these activities ... we established an apartheid regime."

Kosovo declared its independence against the wishes of the UN Security Council. Russia, China and Spain all deemed it illegal. NATO forces have occupied Kosovo since 1999. It is `an EU protectorate controlled by Nato troops'. But the Independent on Sunday called NATO's war a `triumph of liberal interventionism'. By 2008 Kosovo had 50 per cent unemployment. It also housed a US military base which was a Guantanamo-style torture camp.

In March 2002 David Frost stated that Mugabe supporters had killed 100,000 people between 2000 and 2002. Actually, 160 people had been killed, by both sides. This was the typical wild inflation of numbers killed by official enemies.

Milne opposed the criminal wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Not one terrorist attack or plot against Britain has been sourced to Iraq or Afghanistan, but the `war on terrorism' did not keep our streets safe from terrorism. But, as the CIA reported, the war and embargo against Iraq did kill one million civilians.

In 2003 Milne warned against US attacks on Syria and Iran. In 2005, he warned that rule by radical Islamists was the most likely alternative to Assad.

He points out that we are suffering the failure of capitalism, not of this or that type of capitalism. He argues that capitalism is to blame for war and depression.

Milne writes that the EU is `an undemocratic neoliberal superstate' and remarks on "the economic ideology that has shaped the whole European Union for decades: of deregulation, privatisation and the privileging of corporate power." He also notes, "The government has deliberately used the unregulated EU influx as a sort of twenty-first century incomes policy." He points out that Greece needs an Argentina-style default and devaluation, which means that it needs to exit the euro.

In 2008 New Zealand renationalised its railways and ferry services. Here, British taxpayers give £2 billion a year to the train operating companies. We could renationalise them, at no cost, when their franchises expire.

Private Finance Initiative projects will cost the taxpayer £25 billion more than if the government had paid for them directly. A cross-party House of Commons committee found that PFI was expensive, inefficient, inflexible and unsustainable, but delivered `eye-watering profits', the capitalist class's only real criterion.

By the late 1990s, Russia's national income had fallen by more than 50 per cent, (compared to the USA's 27 per cent in the Great Depression), investment by 80 per cent, real wages by half, and meat and dairy herds by 75 per cent.

In 2010 there was a wave of strikes in China's high-tech export sector, in which workers won 30 per cent wage rises at Foxcomm's production centre in Shenzhen and at Honda's factory in Foshan, and 25 per cent wage rises at the Hyundai supplier in Beijing.

China's share of world manufacturing output has risen from 2 per cent to 20 per cent since 1993. Investment soared, so growth soared too, yet China's deficit is only 2 per cent.

Between 2007 and 2011 US national income rose by just 0.6 per cent, the EU's fell by 0.3 per cent and Japan's by 5.2 per cent; China's grew by more than 42 per cent. No wonder we so often hear wishful forecasts of a Chinese crash.

With capitalism's failure so clear, the ruling class's lies against socialism grew ever cruder. Stalin was `as much an aggressor as Hitler', said Niall Ferguson (Guardian, 1 September 2009). Orlando Figes opined that the Non-aggression pact was `the licence for the Holocaust' (BBC website, `Viewpoint: The Nazi-Soviet Pact', 21 August 2009).

Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast Time sneered that President Chavez was `famous for his promises of social change' (5 January 2013). In the real world, Chavez's policies nearly halved poverty in Venezuela, provided free health care and education, virtually ended illiteracy, set up thousands of cooperatives, got cheap food to poorer people, brought privatised utilities and oil production back under public ownership and control, raised pensions and the minimum wage, and redistributed land.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting - well worth a read., 3 Nov. 2012
This review is from: The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century (Hardcover)
Very interesting - I'm not a Guardian reader and I don't even agree with much of the content. However, this is a good book and makes a number of interesting points. It's well worth a read.

I would ignore the nutters who post on here pretending that this book is poor - it reflects their childish approach to politics.

I can appreciate the strength and logic of someone else's arguments whilst disagreeing.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be put off by the loony right, 31 Oct. 2012
This review is from: The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century (Hardcover)
This is an excellent collection of essays by a writer who's been proven correct in his views constantly since the turn of the century. A caveat, however: if you're a member of the Tory Taliban and tend to froth at the mouth and go bug eyed with fury when anyone expresses a view slightly to the left of Himmler, stick with the Daily Mail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent journalism, 16 April 2014
By 
Shaun Wilde (Midlands, England) - See all my reviews
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Seumas Milne is one of a very elite group of journalists working in the mainstream media whose work is informative and whose analysis is excellent. This book is a collection of his articles published over a number of years and are very useful in gaining an understanding of the world we live in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seumas Milne - the best political mind, 8 May 2014
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I clip and save every article in the Guardian by Milne, so was delighted to have this collection in one volume. However the print is so small and faint it's a nuisance to read, even with a magnifying glass. The publishers have not done justice to this marvelous political commentator
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lazy lack of editing, 7 Sept. 2014
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Although the writing is good, it is a disgrace that the author or his editor was too lazy too edit the essays so that we would not have to be confronted with 'tomorrow, yesterday, on Tuesday', etc; it makes for confusing and highly irritating reading.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book was meant as a gift, 24 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century (Hardcover)
the recipient was pleased with the bday gift - that's all I can say (do I H A V E to say this in precisely twelve - 12 words???!)
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8 of 99 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cliched juvenile rubbish, 17 Oct. 2012
This review is from: The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century (Hardcover)
A rehashed collection of columns by the Guardian's resident Dave Spart public school Marxist revolutionary.

I guess if you want to read a stream of childish, badly written rants against capitalism, "neoliberalism"', American Imperialism and every other pet obsession of the more unhinged fringe of the Guardian set, then you can always do so for free on the website.
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6 of 79 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One for the remainder bin., 20 Oct. 2012
This review is from: The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century (Hardcover)
God, what a boring book. If you really need a perspective on the last two decades go seek out a professional historian, not a ranting journalist from The Guardian. It's just so totally unreadable rubbish.
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The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century
The Revenge of History: The Battle for the Twenty First Century by Seumas Milne (Hardcover - 1 Oct. 2012)
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