12 Rules For Life, An Antidote To Chaos

12 Rules For Life, An Antidote To Chaos “Then he took his poison, like a man” Jordan Peterson; 2018 I picked this book up because of the controversy in academia over free speech. Jared Peterson is being proclaimed the intellectual leader of the side that says it’s OK to have a certain point of view and express it openly. Sounds good. The other side are the Politically Correct who shout

The Second Machine Age, Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

The Second Machine Age, Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies; Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee; 2014 Review by Graham Mulligan The trajectory of human history has changed. Expressed as a graph it has gone along a slow but improving line that travelled slightly upwards until the Industrial Revolution or the First Machine Age. The graph then starts to accelerate upward as the physical environment becomes altered

The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic: A Witness to the Spanish Civil War

The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic: A Witness to the Spanish Civil War; Henry Buckley; first published 1940, re-published 2013.   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   This is an important book. Although Buckley published his account of the Spanish Republic in 1940, the book had ‘disappeared’ in the chaos of the World War. All but a few copies were destroyed in a warehouse during the London blitz. Now,

Spain, A Unique History

Spain, A Unique History; Stanley Payne Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   Payne describes the study of Spanish history as problematic compared to other Western European countries. He summarizes the outsiders’ perceptions of Spain, the stereotypes, into four broad groups; the Black Legend stereotype of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the enlightenment second half of the seventeenth century and eighteenth century; the romantic myth of the nineteenth century; and the composite

Gaudi, A Biography

Gaudi, A Biography; Gijs van Hensbergen, 2001 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   In preparation for a trip to Barcelona I read Van Hensbergen’s excellent biography of Antoni Gaudi, the architect of the Sagrada Familia. Gaudi lived in a period of great transition, not just for Spain, but also for Europe and for art and ideas. He was born in 1852 during the Carlist Wars that divided Spain, characterized by liberalism

Bill Bryson’s African Diary

Bill Bryson’s African Diary Bill Bryson, 2002. This is a short book but I thought I’d review it because it was sponsored by CARE, the international charity. Bryson visited Kenya for a brief 8-day tour, sponsored by CARE, so he could add some celebrity status to their work and give them a nice little book. His journey included very brief visits to locations where the charity is doing some badly

Imperial Reckoning; The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya.

Imperial Reckoning; The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. Caroline Elkins; Holt, 2005   This book is still widely read in Kenya; you see it on bookstore shelves everywhere. The author, Caroline Elkins, a Harvard history graduate in 1997, started researching the Mau Mau rebellion in 1995, looking at colonial archives in London, but in Kenya discovered many of the records pertaining to the period of ‘The Emergency’ were

The Death and Life of the Great American School System, How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education

The Death and Life of the Great American School System, How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education Diane Ravitch, Basic Books, 2010   Review by Graham Mulligan   Two key ideas are presented at the start of this book, the collapse of communism and its corollary, the victory of the free market and “seeing like a state” policymaking, which is really planning for the future based on a theory of