Conflict in Ukraine by Rajan Menon / Eugene Rumer – Book Review

This is a book about the events leading up to and including the Russian invasion of Crimea and the Donbas area in 2014 and doesn’t cover the 2022 invasion of the rest of Ukraine. The authors mention Zbigniew Brzezinski and his 1997 book The Grand Chessboard in which he stressed the importance of Ukraine asContinue reading “Conflict in Ukraine by Rajan Menon / Eugene Rumer – Book Review”

Byzantium – A Very Short Introduction

Number 437 in the ‘A Very Short Introduction’ series. In 324 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine defeated the last of his foes, Licinius, at sea, in the vicinity of the ancient Greek settlement of Byzantion (Latin Byzantium) on the straits of the Bosphorus. In celebration of his victory, he renamed the city Konstantinoupolis Nea RomeContinue reading “Byzantium – A Very Short Introduction”

Cross of Fire by Colin Forbes

This is an extremely long thriller at over 550 pages. It needs to be though as there are so many characters not all of whom are what they seem to be at first appearance. The good people are: Paula Grey, Newman (who appears to be in a permanent bad mood), Nield, Butler, Tweed, and Marler.Continue reading “Cross of Fire by Colin Forbes”

A very short introduction to Alexis de Tocqueville

This very short introduction allows the reader to understand the writings of Alex de Tocqueville most famously known for the two volume Democracy in America. Tocqueville travelled for 9 months in America in 1831-32 with his great friend Gustave de Beaumont. The first volume of Democracy in America appeared in 1835. This volume was aboutContinue reading “A very short introduction to Alexis de Tocqueville”

Life on the Golden Horn – Book Review

This is number 6 in the ‘Great Journeys’ series by Penguin. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu travelled to Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1716 with her husband who had been appointed ambassador to the Ottoman Empire by King George I. This idea didn’t turn out very well and they were recalled in 1718. I’ve not seen anyContinue reading “Life on the Golden Horn – Book Review”

The Masque of Anarchy by Shelley

Well better late than never for me to discover this poem about non-violent opposition to the oppressors, a message that will be taken up in increasing numbers as governments become more and more unpopular over the next year or so. This poem of 91 stanzas was written in response to the Peterloo massacre of 1819Continue reading “The Masque of Anarchy by Shelley”

Avalanche Express by Colin Forbes

This is a review of Avalanche Express only and not of The Heights of Zervos. This is a cold war escape story of a high-ranking member of the Politburo of the Soviet Union who defects in Romania and is flown to Milan, just before the airport is closed by a severe snowstorm blanketing Northern Europe.Continue reading “Avalanche Express by Colin Forbes”

This Can’t Be Happening by George Monbiot

Number 4 in the ‘Penguin Books – Green Ideas’ series, this book is a collection of speeches and essays by the investigative journalist and ‘professional troublemaker’ George Monbiot, a leading voice in the fight for climate justice. This book isn’t just about the obvious changes we have to make such as removing petrol-driven cars fromContinue reading “This Can’t Be Happening by George Monbiot”

Durham and St Cuthbert – The Cathedral

An excerpt from the book: Travels through History – North-East England The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham is the official name of Durham Cathedral and is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The present cathedral was founded in 1093 and was built in just 40Continue reading “Durham and St Cuthbert – The Cathedral”