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People Who Changed The World Hardcover – 28 Nov 2005
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* A fascinating book detailing the major events that have changed the world we live in.
About the Author
Commended for his meticulous research and fluency of expression, Rodney Castleden's work has been published for 30 years. A teacher of history, he lives and works in Brighton.
Top customer reviews
The author is clearly a Rennaissance man whose areas of expertise apparently encompass ALL of the Arts, ALL of the sciences as well as Politics, military history etc etc etc.
He does have an editorial bias and certainly does not take a neutral standpoint. To me he seems basically right of centre but in the main he does not let this get in the way of the narrative too much. There is one particularly hysterical suggestion that the European Union is in fact the culmination of Hitler's vision. Whilst I may have my differences with Eurocrats from time to time I think that to compare them with the Nazis, even in a very tenuous way, is frankly ludicrous. Another example of the bias is the hagiography of Bill Gates who is portrayed as simply a great benefactor to the human race without any mention of the monoploy and restraint of trade, and hence of development, issues.
Inevitably with such a book there are omissions. Given the scope it seems a bit picky to point these out, but some are quite unexpected.
There is no mention of Clement Atlee or Nye Bevan for example. For those who think I am merely demonstrating my own bias I can only say that I was equally shocked by there being no mention of Thatcher or Reagan. Also certain subjects seem under represented. The Twentieth Century section has no economists; yes no Keynes or Friedman. There are few REAL psychologists (Freud and Jung don't count). No Alexander Fleming (a world without anti-biotics would be very different). As a Scot I'm surprised by the omission of Burns.
The one that really got to me though is that whilst Kennedy gets a mention apparently FDR and Nixon just did not make the grade. They were undoubtedly the two most influential US Presidents of the 20th Century and I just cannot understand them not being in this book.
Despite this, the book is an enjoyable (certainly better the the Dictionary of National Biography) and educational read. It makes an excellent car book for dipping into.
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