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The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940
The Chinese in Mexico, 1882-1940
by Robert Chao Romero
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.95

4.0 out of 5 stars An incisive analysis and narrative of the immigrant experience, 13 Aug. 2014
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Robert Chao Romero is to be congratulated for bringing this this uncomfortable episode to a wider audience. I knew from graduate study that there was an "expulsion" of the Chinese from Mexico, but details and evidence were scarce. Chao Romero has well captured the changing experience of industrious and ingenious immigrants: from valuable labour to vilified subversives, from success to threat. The extremely negative attitudes towards the resultant mixed-race offspring accord with my own experience. Chao Romero's description and analysis of the "transnational commercial orbit" and its rationale would be of value to researchers and interested parties as its existence is generally hidden from the indigenous population, and this ignorance permits the construction of false theories of immigration, and falsification of the motives of immigrants. This work would therefore be of interest to anyone researching the immigrant experience in general: only the names and locations would need to be changed.

Chao Romero has skilfully used a wide range of sources, some of which I would consider very obscure, to assemble a rational and reasonable narrative that balances the immigrant experience with the experience of their hosts. However, Chao Romero's literary style sometimes obscures his point by excessive repetition: this could be resolved by judicious editing.

A valuable work on Chinese immigrants and emigration, on Mexican social attitudes of the early twentieth century, and on the vexed question of immigration, integration and assimilation generally.


The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband
The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband
by David Finch
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.38

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introspection for the Asperger's man, 11 Nov. 2012
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I ordered this book with the expectation that it contained a list of useful practices, by category, to smooth social relations. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to find a very readable, funny account of one Aspergers man to be a better husband: I read it in one sitting. Although written by a man with Asperger's Syndrome for the benefit of other men with Asperger's Syndrome and their partners (and children, if any), it struck me that it contained good sense for any man who wished to strengthen his relationship with his partner. This looks like a very costly exercise in gaining self-knowledge and insight into the character and interests of another person whose value to you is greater than the cost of obtaining this knowledge. This exercise looks as if it could be very painful as shortcomings and deficiencies have to be identified and acknowledged, and we all think we are near to perfect.

This book would be a valuable addition to the library of any person with Asperger's Syndrome.


Manuel Alvarez Bravo (Phaidon 55's)
Manuel Alvarez Bravo (Phaidon 55's)
by Amanda Hopkinson
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Images of the soul of mexico and mexicans, 11 Nov. 2012
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A good selection of photographs of everyday or commonplace subjects. The respect of the photographer (Manuel Alvarez Bravo) for the subjects is manifest: his work captures the dignity of the Mexican and of Mexico. My favourite image is Daydream (1931): this image caught my eye and my imagination when I first saw it in an exhibition in Mexico DF in the late 1980s. It captures, for me, the hope, anticipation, and apprehension of youth on the verge of adulthood and responsibility. The work is not a panorama of Mexico through the decades but it does chronicle the impact of change on Mexicans and their experience of living through that change.


The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary (Penguin Modern Classics)
The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary (Penguin Modern Classics)
by Ambrose Bierce
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dictionary for the realist, 23 Feb. 2012
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If you find that the art of good communication has been transformed into the art of obfuscation, then this is the remedy to your confusion and annoyance. Bierce's clarity of thought, his wit and his cynical eye make The Devil's Dictionary a source of joy for the realist and those not enamoured of hypocrisy. But be warned, Bierce is even-handed: your prejudices will be exposed and punctured, and you smile as he deals it a heavy blow.


The last steam locomotives of Western Europe
The last steam locomotives of Western Europe
by Patrick Ransome-Wallis
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A view into an exotic menagerie of locomotives, 18 Sept. 2011
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If you like the commonplace foreign or the exotic foreign in steam locomotives, you will enjoy this book. The photographs, captions and the tables of dimensions convey the physicality of the steam locomotive and satisfy the need for information about them. The coverage of each country's steam locomotive stock gives the reader a good indication of whether the country had a unified (state controlled) policy, or whether the national rail system was formed by bringing separate companies together, eg., Germany and France. It is also interesting to see the geographical spread of different design philosophy and political influence.

Looking through this book is liable to return the reader to the days of their youth when foreign travel was unusual and remind them of their enthusiasm for all things steam.


The Silent Traveller in London (Lost & Found Classic Travel Writing) (Lost & Found Classic Travel Writing)
The Silent Traveller in London (Lost & Found Classic Travel Writing) (Lost & Found Classic Travel Writing)
by Chiang Yee
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not at all what you would expect, 13 Aug. 2011
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A fascinating view of London life in the late 1930s, of interest to social historians and those curious to know how others saw Londoners. The writer, a Chinese academic and intellectual as well as an excellent participant observer, described what he saw or heard but did not always understand: his analysis can therefore seem superficial or obvious rather than profound. However, his chapter on Women is a revelation: he treats his female subjects and their circumstances with a rare respect and empathy, which makes it easy to see why he was so popular with London women of all classes and backgrounds. This chapter is absolutely not what a Western reader would expect, and is worth the price of the book alone. A very good read.


Building Capitalism: Historical Change and the Labour Process in the Production of the Built Environment
Building Capitalism: Historical Change and the Labour Process in the Production of the Built Environment
by Linda Clarke
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The hands-on experience of urban extension, 13 Aug. 2011
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A thorough investigation into the world of the small builder in the "long 18th Century" (approx. 1690-1837); the analysis of building costs of real value to the researcher. The study of the financial, legal and commercial problems and their outcomes well integrated into a study of the development of the Capitalist System in the "long 18th Century". The evolution of costing systems and payment methods makes for interesting comparisons with the development of Economic theory in this period.

A valuable basic work for all researchers in the fields of architecture, building and urban extension, despite its Marxist interpretation.


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