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Archive for the ‘history’ Category

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.

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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…)

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September has been a very good month. A score of  7.07 on the Depression Scale which is the second highest ever and by far the best September. This may be partly because I am now marking more generously. (more…)

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The impact on Mill of the events in Paris in February 1848 was, as was common among European radicals, immense and galvanising. (more…)

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Chapter 6

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…)

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A Woman in Berlin

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…)

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4th July 2007

Continuing to watch Rome, the second series, and reading a lengthy discussion on ECW about classicism, I fell to musing on these topics. The problem with the discussion was the lack of definition of ‘classicism’. What do we mean by this? (more…)

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