Category Archives: History

Conquest, Robert: “The Dragons of Expectation. Reality and Delusion in the Course of History”

The Dragons of Expectation is the last book that Conquest, the brilliant historian of the Soviet Union, published before he died.  It remains a fascinating perspective of the twentieth century, in which Conquest dispels a myriad of myths in the … Continue reading

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O’Callaghan, Sean: “James Connolly: My Search For The Man, The Myth And His Legacy”

As much an autobiography of O’Callaghan as it is a biography of Connolly, O’Callaghan discusses Connolly’s influence on his political development, which in part lead to O’Callaghan joining a Provisional IRA he loosely describes as Nationalist, anti-communist and Catholic. All … Continue reading

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Chomsky, Noam and Pappe, Ilan: “Gaza In Crisis. Reflections On Israel’s War Against The Palestinians”

On a cold, brumal Saturday morning before Christmas, I was collecting George Lichtheim’s A Short History Of Socialism from Pembroke Library when I spotted a little red copy of Chomsky and Pappe’s Gaza In Crisis. Trump had just decided to … Continue reading

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Jason Brownlee, Tarek Masoud, Andrew Reynolds: “The Arab Spring. Pathways of Repression And Reform”.

The Middle East was thrown into a tailspin on 17th December 2010 when 26-year-old Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest against the repression in his native country.  The protest spread to Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Syria and … Continue reading

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Peterson, Jordan: “12 Rules For Life. An Antidote To Chaos”.

The hype surrounding Jordan Peterson is nauseating: it’s depressing that people can’t be even remotely objective about a thinker on a different side of the political divide to themselves. Peterson writes with a conversational tone here and tries to impart … Continue reading

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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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