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

Climate Wars

Climate Wars Gwynne Dyer, Random House, 2008   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   Gwynne Dyer’s projections of geopolitical scenarios set in the near future under the effects of disastrous climate change are scary reading. Increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere plus an average increase in global warming above 2 degrees Celsius will combine with numerous negative consequences for human society.