That he does not engage with all this “stuff’’ means that his book, though it certainly contains beautiful writing and great promise, is a task only half completed.
How those spirits will coexist with the preservation of a People’s Republic that bears distinct resemblances to the empires of old is a major question for our times, for which this book supplies much food for thought, informing the wider debate while retaining its value as a closely observed picture of how some Chinese live today.
Finkel appears to have been quite conscientious in writing “The Stranger in the Woods.” He provides notes on sources. He gives the names of his (two!) fact-checkers. But it’s hard not to notice that he’s chosen a story that is, in some sense, impossible to completely nail down.
The story of the “fat doctor” (as Ohler dubs him) is based on some diligent research. But it is buried beneath the breathless prose, like other interesting aspects of the book. Again and again, Ohler’s hyperbole stands in the way of sober understanding.
The jump — a few precious moments of dizzying freedom and possibility — is the core metaphor in a novel of remarkable power, precision and compassion.
Roper’s biography, distinguished by the excellence of its writing and research, is the beginning of wisdom in all things Reformation, anti-Roman and, alas, proto-Hitlerite. Rarely has a church reformer presented such a dubious side.
Especially vivid is the portrayal of Anna Wolkoff...has a rare talent for isolating details that capture the feel and tempo of London’s past.
Vilcek artfully joins the chronicle of his scientific work and the dramatic events that punctuated his life under two totalitarian regimes, culminating in his flight to freedom. An inspiring page-turner.
In 36 days, he meets an extraordinary succession of other poputchiki, and shares lorry cabins, dire rooms and frozen water buckets with them. The narrative is fuelled by diesel, vodka and tears; Hugo-Bader avoids sentimentality, and has a talent for unearthing grubby human stories and extracting gold from them.
The thickly bound format is ideally read in bed. This is just the kind of book to shut out the world with a sense of Scandinavian comfort.
It might have done with another edit – the word “glittering” is overused and there is a pervasive sense of material overstretched, especially towards the end – but at its best this is an enthralling story...
Mr Beer’s book makes a compelling case for placing Siberia right at the centre of 19th-century Russian—and, indeed, European—history. But for students of Soviet and even post-Soviet Russia it holds lessons, too.
For good or for bad, Pope Francis’ life and papacy cannot be separated from the tarnish on today’s Catholic Church, and readers may end up with more questions than answers, though their respect for Pope Francis should grow.
Smith’s depravity-laden history of turn-of-the-20th-century Russia hinges on his insightful readings of myth and motive, and their tragic consequences.
In this passionately argued book, Sutton claims that the level of poverty today means we may see food riots again: “We need to rethink our food systems.”
His lovely linocuts that front each chapter have the same quality – responsive and naive – showing someone, like a child, fully caught up with his subject , seeking to draw it close to him in his own pieces of art.
“When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep and Stalin Robbed a Bank” is filled with fascinating tales from the annals of history. If you have even a passing interest in the past, Milton’s work here will prove a worthwhile read.
In this brief biography, Peter Ackroyd highlights Hitchcock’s Jesuitical secondary school education at St Ignatius College in north London...For all its insight, Peter Ackroyd’s biography is a deft synthesis of numerous other studies of “Alfred the Great”; it is well written, however, and unusually well attuned to the religious element.
He speculates that the fragmentation of traditional political tribes and allegiances will lead to further multi-party governments. If he is correct, this honest and thoughtful book has some useful advice for smaller parties in future coalitions about how to avoid its author’s fate.