Book Bites: Salvatore Babones’ “The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism and the Tyranny of Experts”
Nov10

Book Bites: Salvatore Babones’ “The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism and the Tyranny of Experts”

Babones’ short and pithy book challenges the domination of expert elites in political discourse, but acknowledging the fact that democracies don’t always come up with the ‘right’ answers.

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Tim Parks’ “Pen in Hand”
Oct11

Tim Parks’ “Pen in Hand”

We should read: “with a sense of wonder and curiosity at the general and implacable human determination to fill endless space with dubious mental material when life is short and there are so many other things to be done”.

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Book Bites: Paul Morland’s “The Human Tide”
Aug03

Book Bites: Paul Morland’s “The Human Tide”

Once the Malthusian link is broken and enough food and liberating technology is available, progress begins to feed through to the general population.

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Book Bites: Mark O’Connell’s “To Be A Machine”
Aug03

Book Bites: Mark O’Connell’s “To Be A Machine”

Some of these futurists have taken Enlightenment reasoning and twisted it to a quasi-religious adherence to a technological future… as redemption. Distorted in a post human mind-set which condemns humans to be inferior, presented as a kind of system failure or flaw that only technological superiority can correct.

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Book Bites: Jing-Jing Lee’s “How We Disappeared”
Jul07

Book Bites: Jing-Jing Lee’s “How We Disappeared”

Described by Xinran as a “brilliant, heart-breaking story”, this is indeed a well-crafted, harrowing tale that interweaves a modern narrative with the war years.

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Book Bites: Peter Magyar’s Pen Zen Diaries
Mar17

Book Bites: Peter Magyar’s Pen Zen Diaries

At its simplest, this book will teach you to draw and to learn from the process; with simple line studies and ink renderings. “Architects,” he says, “should aspire to reflect and invent the best of the present, and weigh its value in the future”.

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Book Bites: Sennett’s ‘Building and Dwelling’
Jan03

Book Bites: Sennett’s ‘Building and Dwelling’

Anyone who thinks about the City and its relationship to people, should be interested in this book. It is complex in the same way that a city and its relationships to people is complex.

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The World Cities Culture Report
Nov27

The World Cities Culture Report

The report recognises that revitalising and capitalising on a city’s cultural life plays out differently in vastly contrasting contexts.

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Book Bites: Stoner by John Williams
Oct07

Book Bites: Stoner by John Williams

Stoner has substance, gravity and it stays with you afterwards. What it reminds me of is the enchantment of the book and its suggestion that literature itself might be the best way of understanding life.

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Book Review: After Europe by Ivan Krastev
Oct11

Book Review: After Europe by Ivan Krastev

Ivan Krastev is a respected, left-wing intellectual and professor at Sofia University. He has written several pithy books, mainly about democracy. His commentaries are insightful, with colourful details and images enlivening his academic prose.

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