Category Archives: History

Philbrick, Nathaniel: “In The Heart Of The Sea”.

This is the real story of the Essex, a ship which set sail from Nantucket in 1820 and upon which, famously, Herman Melville based Moby Dick. As is so frequently the case, the truth is stranger than fiction. Philbrick is … Continue reading

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Lichtheim, George: “A Brief History Of Socialism”.

George Lichtheim details the history of the word “socialism”, from its 1827 appearance in Robert Owen’s Co-operative Magazine through to its far broader use in the 1970s. Like so many political words and concepts, the term has been rendered somewhat … Continue reading

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Frankopan, Peter: “The Silk Roads: A New History Of The World”

The first half of Peter Frankopan’s book is a triumph which presents the Eastern history of the world in a clear manner. “It is easy to mould the past into a shape that we find convenient and accessible. But the … Continue reading

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Kafka, Franz: “The Trial”.

It remains mystifying that Kafka was not writing about a totalitarian society when he penned “The Trial”. He did not have the benefit, like Orwell, of observing the Soviet Union. Yet, so perspicacious was Kafka that he imagined almost entirely … Continue reading

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Quinn, Michael: “Irish-Soviet Diplomatic And Friendship Relations 1917-1991”.

Umiskin press have published a timely account of Irish-Soviet relations in this the centennial year of the wholly unnecessary Russian Revolution. Quinn developed this book from a thesis that he had submitted to earn his PHD.  Ultimately, relations between Ireland … Continue reading

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Kurlansky, Mark: “Cod: A Biography Of The Fish That Changed The World”.

Truthfully, I cannot say that I ever envisaged myself reading about cod. In fact, anything even vaguely scientific is usually beyond my remit. This is no slight on science, you understand. Far from it. I am an acolyte of the … Continue reading

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Murakami, Haruki: “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”.

The true meaning of Murakami’s “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” is tightly entrenched within copious layers of symbolism. Here, Murakami mixed sharp and well written dialogue with long, lyrical, loquacious passages which explored the psychology and feelings of the characters while … Continue reading

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