Category Archives: Book review

Gaffney, Frankie: “Dublin Seven”

Albert Camus, in his wonderful, Create Dangerously, questions how realistic art should be. He imagines how unsatisfactory it would be to observe a camera following a person around all day, every day. Meaning, for Camus, lies in expressing the parts … Continue reading

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Arendt, Hannah: The Origins of Totalitarianism

This is the definitive book on the twentieth-century totalitarianism that Arendt split into what she referred to as the “three pillars from hell”: namely anti-Semitism, imperialism and racism. It is particularly important to explore how she defines each of these … Continue reading

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Sakwa, Richard: “Frontline Ukraine. Crisis In The Borderlands”

Professor Sakwa views the current conflict in Eastern Europe as extremely serious, likening it to the turmoil that took place in the Balkans before the outbreak of World War One. Sakwa, welcomely, challenges the liberal doctrine of the West in … Continue reading

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Fromm, Erich: “Escape From Freedom”

Fromm has some interesting perspectives in his quasi-psychological assessment of the post-World War Two geopolitical landscape. The first half reminded me of Siedentrop’s “Inventing The Individual” in its analysis of the part that religion has played in putting the focus … Continue reading

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Orwell, George:  “Notes On Nationalism”

Is Orwell a better essayist than novelist? When you consider just how seminal and outstanding Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four are, it would seem a near impossible case to prove.  Yet Notes On Nationalism does just that. It is an … Continue reading

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Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost. A Story Of Greed, Terror And Heroism In Colonial Africa.

Europeans first advanced into Africa when shipping became a realistic mode of transport in the fourteenth century. The Portuguese sailed down to the Kongo (it was spelt with a K at that time) to find Africans who were willing to … Continue reading

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Shavit, Ari: “The Promised Land: The Triumph And Tragedy Of Israel”

“Zionism embodies conflict,” writes Shavit and the sentiment is typical of how he thinks about Israel. His great-grandfather, Herbert Bentwich, moved to the land that was to become the state of Israel in 1897 during the first wave of Zionism … Continue reading

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