Sarah Helm’s If This is A Woman: Inside Ravensbruck: Hitler’s Concentration Camp for Women is the most important and best history book I have read in a long while. It is a gruelling read full of horror and evil, redeemed in part by extraordinary acts of courage, compassion, heroism, solidarity and generosity. But it would be foolish to pretend that it is anything other than tragic both in its detail and in its overall effect. Quite apart from the strengths of the book’s narrative however, there is the central vital fact that what matters most is that at long last, and just in time, the extraordinary story of these women is being told in English.
Archive for the ‘history’ Category
Whilst I have read, or reread, many ‘real’ books in the past 20 months, the most significant development in my reading habits has been the acquisition of a Kindle. I do not intend in future to bother specifying in which format I am reading any particular book I discuss, but did want to spend some time giving a general oversight of what I perceive as the strengths and weaknesses of Kindle, an account of the mistakes I made, and how acquiring a Kindle has affected my reading practice. (more…)
In the late 1830’s Mill once again became heavily involved with public political events. It was a time of hope for the Radicals; hopes which were centred on achieving a split in the Whigs between the progressive element and the rest, and the introduction of the secret ballot. (more…)
This is a joint review and consideration of the book A Woman in Berlin (1954) and the film of the same name (2008), whose original German title was Anonyma – Eine Frau in Berlin. I saw the film much earlier this year and then by complete chance came across a first edition of the London publication of the book (1955) in a second-hand bookshop (it was reprinted by Virago in 2005). (more…)