Category Archives: Book Review

The Silk Roads and Slavery

There was a thread running through “The Silk Roads: A New History of the World” that demands attention: the issue of slavery. Slavery as a constant. The empires of the past all became wealthy on the slave trade; and it … Continue reading

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The Wilder Shores of Marx

In the twilight hours of the Soviet Union’s disastrous political and economic experiment Anthony Daniels (who now writes as Theodore Dalrymple) began a unique project. To travel to the scraggly peripheries of the USSR, to get a feel for life … Continue reading

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The Silk Roads: A New History

We in the west study Western European history. There is nothing wrong with this, it brings the epic story of mankind into manageable chunks, into which we can then delve deeply. And western history is our history, America was made … Continue reading

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The Moon and Sixpence

This is not the first time I’ve read “The Moon and Sixpence” by W. Somerset Maugham. Maugham is England’s best Edwardian novelist, living in that turn of the century period when imperial decline was just visible on the edges, but … Continue reading

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A Letter from Stalin

Some people do only one thing, and that if they are lucky. Given the cacophony of life and the myriad people vying for meaning and significance against each other – 8,000,000,000 souls – how to stand out and be counted … Continue reading

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The (Re) Making of the World

Aleksandr Dugin, Russian philosopher and proponent of the idea of ‘Eurasianism’ has often highlighted the difference of what he considers ‘land based powers’ and ‘sea based powers’. In Dugin’s mind, the new war between Russia and the West is really … Continue reading

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A Novel about Haiti

Canape-Vert was written eighty years ago by two up-and-coming Haitian writers and chosen for a special prize by – among others – John Dos Passos. It is a novel about old Haiti written by Haitians; about the island peasantry and … Continue reading

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On Dune

Achieving the level of creativity and having the courage to invent something completely new is hard. Usually we regurgitate things we have seen and most stories are the rewriting of other people’s stories. Most fantasy is an attempt to rewrite … Continue reading

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The Great Gorky

Do Russians love to suffer, or do they simply find ways to cope with the difficulties that tribe and geography have subjected them to? One cannot but entertain the idea that Russians, perhaps unwillingly but certainly sometimes enthusiastically, tend to … Continue reading

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Communist Writers and Utopia

I don’t know what it is about books about writers, but I find them fascinating. My favorite so far is perhaps Vasily Grossman and his book about the Soviet writers workshop built on Lake Sevan in Armenia. At about the … Continue reading

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