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marquis de revu (Manchester UK)

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Im a Dreamer
Im a Dreamer
Price: £12.90

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth it for the title track alone, 18 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Im a Dreamer (Audio CD)
A beautiful song - but by no means the only highlight. A gorgeous idiosyncratic album - music that sounds out of time and timeless all at once: poignant, heartfelt and wise. An album for people who love exceptional music regardless of genre.


The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future
The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future
by Joseph E. Stiglitz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing eye opener, 23 May 2013
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This book explains what you possibly already know - that economic policy is not guided by economic theory but by vested interests: politics, lobbyists, the super-rich. It explains how and why, and it debunks the myths of modern day ultra capitalism - such as, wealth creators create wealth that 'trickles down' to the rest of us. In fact the top 1% are getting richer and richer while the rest of us are stagnating or getting poorer. What is actually happening is that the super wealthy are all too often creating their wealth not by doing anything that has socially useful consequences but by hoovering it up from the rest of us.

This is the essence of Stiglitz's argument: that inequality is incapacitating our economies; 99% of us are better off when there is greater equality. When I say 'us' it is the citizens of the USA and UK who have lost the most in the name of supposed free market capitalism.

What struck me most about the book is that the situation has gone beyond traditional notions of right and left in politics. When 99% of us stand to gain from a different economic regime you understand that the lines are dramatically redrawn. Stiglitz claims that the super rich have achieved this position without most of us being aware of it happening. I must admit, as someone who has long believed that a world with less inequality would be more at peace with itself, and who is interested in politics and economics, I was surprised to learn exactly how bad things had got.

The most depressing aspect for me is the lack of control governments seem to have anymore. In a world of increasingly globalised corporations and capital movements, and politics infested with relentless lobbying, governments are increasingly emasculated - Stiglitz does an excellent job of warning of the threat to democracy this entails.

Incidentally, it is not a socialist doctrine as some would no doubt suggest; it is a wake up call for capitalism itself, in that it needs to learn how to work for all its citizens, not just the top 1%.


Winter: Five Windows on the Season
Winter: Five Windows on the Season
by Adam Gopnik
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A walk in the woods, 13 Feb. 2013
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This is a lovely book - a ramble around winter with no particular aim in mind. But it isn't a completely random miscellany, the unifying theme - winter - holds it together. There's a focus on writers and artists as well as winter sports and polar expeditions, and numerous little wanderings off into intriguing facts and viewpoints. Maybe his most interesting insight is that winter became warm and cosy and something to be enjoyed when people began to heat their homes properly. Before that it was bitter and dangerous. I liked the bit about Christmas - especially the revelation that people were railing against it turning into an orgy of materialism as far back as the end of the nineteenth century. Occasionally he overwrites - almost as though he's decided to establish his philosophical/writerly credentials - but, oddly, I found that to be part of the book's considerable charm.


Marissa Nadler
Marissa Nadler

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why is she not better known?, 7 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Marissa Nadler (Audio CD)
This is an amazingly good album. If you like female singer songwriters of an indie/folk type disposition then it doesn't get much better than this. It is mystifying to me why Marissa Nadler isn't better known. Amongst the current crop of female singer songwriters she is right up there - the songs are beautiful and melodic, her voice is distinctive and charming - I prefer her to Laura Marling, Joanna Newsome (admittedly a marmite choice) and even Emiliana Torrini, who I also love.


Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives
Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives
by Daisy Hay
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Domestic bliss - not, 9 Jun. 2010
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If you don't know the story of the (younger) romantic artists and their interconnected lives, as I didn't, then this is fascinating. If you ever thought Shelley, Byron, Keats and co. hid themselves from the world for the sake of their art then this book certainly dispenses with that idea. What you get is the story of the Regency equivalent of Brit Art artists hanging out together, falling in and out of love and in and out of each others beds, their rivalries, their cruelties and, in spite of it all, a powerful sense of their artistic purpose. It focuses on their struggles and their debts and it evokes a time when people died young as a matter of course. I lost count of the number of children who died, never mind the fact that of Shelley, Keats and Byron only the latter managed to get beyond his twenties. All of this is told with great energy, and also understatement, by Daisy Hay, who never seems to claim more than can be confidently asserted given the source material available, and whose only axe, if it can be called that, is to assert that their art grew as much from the inspiration they gained from one another as from their innate genius. She balances being fair to all concerned whilst, at the same time, not sparing us their weaknesses and personal failings. You do feel like you are in the hands of a reliable biographer, and a very entertaining one at that.


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