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Reviews Written by
J. Michna "Councillor Joe Michna" (Britain)
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Europe’s Unfinished Currency: The Political Economics of the Euro (Anthem Finance)
Europe’s Unfinished Currency: The Political Economics of the Euro (Anthem Finance)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Solutions for the 'Euro Problem', 2 Mar. 2013
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Read quite a few books recently on the 'Euro Problem' and most of these big on analysis heavy on the history but lacking in possible solutions. Mayer offers his solutions and a potential way forward for the Euro which just could work. Well worth a read.


Greece's 'Odious' Debt: The Looting of the Hellenic Republic by the Euro, the Political Elite and the Investment Community (Anthem Finance)
Greece's 'Odious' Debt: The Looting of the Hellenic Republic by the Euro, the Political Elite and the Investment Community (Anthem Finance)

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A DIY Book, 5 Jun. 2011
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Jason Manolopoulos's DIY guide to the Greek Debt Crisis adds much to our understanding of how the Greeks ended up where they currently are.

The least interesting section of the book is the seemingly long oomparision with the economic woes that afflicted Argentina in the early 1990's. Although some similarities can be drawn between the Argentine and Greek experiences, the overall context of how both countries reached alomst economic meltdown are very different.

Chapter 5 of the book is the most illuminating and gives wide ranging and diverse examples of the dysfunction and and econoimc abornormalities of 'greek economy' from the inside. This chapter deals with corruption, bribery, nepotism and the apparent willingness of the Greeks to go along with a political and economic system that has a bloated and wasteful public sector, widespread cronyism and almost nonchalant acceptance of tax evasion as being the norm.

The overall thrust of the book is that whilst the Greeks themselves have to bear a large chunk of responsibility for the mess they are in, they have been aided and abetted in creating this mess by the EU political leadership, the banking and investment sectors and of course successive Greek governments.

Along with Matthew Lynn's recent publication - BUST - we now have two contemporary books that between them disect and analysis the real story behind the headlines. Recommended reading.


Bust: Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis (Bloomberg (UK))
Bust: Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis (Bloomberg (UK))
by Matthew Lynn
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.62

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Book, 3 April 2011
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This is a very useful book for the reader who has no specialist knowledge of the euro and all things economic. What I found particulary helpful about this book was the information about how the government bond market works and operates and how these markets can have a significant impact on a government's ability to borrow to finance spending.

The history of the euro provided by the author and the key figures involved in it's creation make the book readable and entertaining. Also of interest within these pages were the examples given of Greek government policies in relation to early payment of employee pensions and tax evasion. These are aspects of the Greek economy which I knew little of.

The book is a must read for anyone seeking to understand the reasons for the Greek financial crisis.


China and the Credit Crisis: The Emergence of a New World Order
China and the Credit Crisis: The Emergence of a New World Order
by Giles Chance
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.18

3.0 out of 5 stars Deals with the Big Issues, 3 Dec. 2010
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Read this book whilst travelling to Beijing, whilst in Beijing and on the return flight. The book is not that technical and lays out for the reader the big issues relating to China's economic performance, the management of it's currency and other linked issues. It is a book which leaves you wanting to know that little bit more about the Chinese way of economic management and some of the politics. A good read for those wanting to know more about why China is now such a significant world power.


The Litvinenko File
The Litvinenko File
by Martin Sixsmith
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Read, 3 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: The Litvinenko File (Paperback)
I found Sixsmith's book a gripping read and consider that the research he undertook has made this book such a good read. Particulary enjoyed the chapters dealing with his visits to Russia to further his research and also his opening chapters. In addition, the relatively short chapters made the book accessible and helped to keep the story flowing. This is the second Sixsmith book I have read and looking forward to his next.


The Albanian Question: Reshaping the Balkans
The Albanian Question: Reshaping the Balkans
by James Pettifer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Book, 23 Feb. 2010
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This is a splendid book for those wishing to get to know something about contemporary Albania.

It is also a well researched book with details and information about key individuals and significant events durng the last 15 years of Albanian history. I particularly enjoyed the almost forensic description of the lead-up to the 1997 and 1998 political turmoil that the country twice found itself in.

Only disappointment about the book was that I thought at least a chapter could hve been devoted to political developments since 2000. Perhaps Pettifer and Vickers are saving that for their next book. If so, look forward to their next publication.


Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment
Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment
by Peter Hallward
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In-Depth Political Analysis, 26 Nov. 2009
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Hallward has created perhaps the most detailed analysis of the politics of Haiti from the 1990's onwards that is currently available. The descriptions of the various factions and political actors involved in this period of Haitian politics is impressive whilst at the same time, occasionally difficult to follow and digest. A mass of acronyms also does not assist the reader but Hallward does present a list of who these acronyms refer to and this is needed as one attempts to keep track of which particular organisation, faction or grouping he is referring to.

Would have wished to have read a little more about Aristide the man and his background as preparation for the upheavals that he subsquently had to go through.

For those wishing an in-depth analysis of Haitain politics during the last 25 years or so, it has to be recommended reading. Those looking for a quicker and easier read may need to look elsewhere.


The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
by Ian Thomson
Edition: Paperback

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jamaica Uncovered, 23 Nov. 2009
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Like many of the reviews of this book, I found it fascinating reading and once reading of it began, I could not leave the book until read fully.

My reservations about the structure of Ian Thomson's narrative are that whilst he devotes a large chunk of the book to various religious matters - interviews with this pastor and that minister - I would have wished to read more about Bob Marley's status on the island as well as the impact of his music and philosophy on Jamiacan attitudes towards violence and peace. Equally, although Edward Seaga is referred to in the book on a number of occasions, I was disappointed that so little of the book covered the successes and failures of the Seaga period in government.

Other than these quibbles - great book.


DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: St Petersburg
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: St Petersburg
by Melanie Rice
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Price, 1 Nov. 2009
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We bought the Eyewitness Travel guide to St Petersburg before our recent visit to that city.

The guide has excellent maps of St Petersburg and some very helpful information on using public transport which we always like to do when visiting overseas cities.

Worth the price and makes a visit to St Petersburg that much more easy.


Blowing Up Russia
Blowing Up Russia
by Alexander Litvinenko
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tough Reading, 1 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Blowing Up Russia (Hardcover)
This book contains a wealth of detail and that is the problem with it. I found myself constantly having to reread back sections and whole chapters in order to try and keep track of events and happenings. A multitude of individuals are brought into the story and trying to keep track of who they are and what there role in the story is,was not easy.

The book is poorly written which is regrettable because the authors are describing things that took place in Russia which may be debated, discussed and argued over for very many years to come.

For those interested in these matters I would not say do not buy the book but would say be prepared to be patient and tenacious when reading it. It's a tough read.


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