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Archive for the ‘What Gerry’s reading’ Category

MY FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2015

December 24th 2015

NEW BOOKS:

SCOTLAND

Project Fear: How an Unlikely Alliance left a Kingdom United but a Country Divided, Joe Pike, Biteback

A brilliant access all areas account of the chaos of the ‘Better Together’ campaign in the indyref. To think there was an even more Armageddon-ish‘Project Fear’!

Queer Voices in Post-War Scotland: Male Homosexuality, Religion and Society, Jeffrey Meek, Palgrave Macmillan

At long last a serious study of Scottish gay culture (focusing just on gay men) and in particular the period between Wolfenden (1957) and decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales (1967) and Scotland (1980).

The Spaces of Fiction: Voices from Scotland in a Post-Devolution Age, Marie-Odile Pittin-Hedon, Association for Scottish Literary Studies

French scholar turns her attention to fiction (after a study of Alasdair Gray) and finds a diffuse, diverse Scotland telling particular and universal stories.

Demanding Democracy: The Case for a Scottish Media, Christopher Silver, Word Power Books

Thoughtful, non-partisan exploration of public life in Scotland; good on context, history and traditions, with suggestions for change. And produced by the wonderful Word Power Books in Edinburgh – a bookshop, an imprint and an inspiration. Read the rest of this entry »

Here is a wee selection of some of the things I have been reading:

Momus: The Book of Scotlands

An imaginative tour de force from the idiosyncratic and fabulous singer-songwriter. Momus outlines one hundred and fifty fictionalised Scotlands of the past, present and future. Some are no more than a line or two, some are short, crazed essays. There is so much to choose from here that is hilarious and revealing; in particular I like the 1950s story of Alan Lomax and Alfred Kinsey touring the land studying the sex habits of the Scots fiddler; it all sounds so plausible! Read the rest of this entry »

Here are some of the books that in the last couple of weeks I have been reading:

Friedrich August von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, University of Chicago Press 2007

Hayek is one of the two great bogeymen of the New Right (the other being Milton Friedman) and this is Hayek’s most famous and influential book. It is actually a powerful and convincing case against the tyranny of the state and collectivism, and a book whose eloquence and logic was widely recognised when it was first published in 1944 by even left-wingers such as George Orwell. And this despite being completely out of kilter with the times.

National Review – the American right-wing publication – recently published their 100 best non-fiction books of the last century and listed ‘The Road to Serfdom’ at No. 4 stating that it ‘shatters the myth that the totalitarianisms of the left and of the right stem from differing impulses’. The Review list – which is a riveting and challenging counterblast can be found at: http://www.nationalreview.com/100best/100_books.html

Read the rest of this entry »

Sue Palmer, 21st Century Boys: How Modern Life is Driving Them Off The Rails and How We Can Get Them Back on Track

Sue Palmer is the one-woman force that brought us ‘Toxic Childhood’, a powerful and wonderful polemic about how we relieve the modern pressures piling up on parents and children. 21st Century Boys sees her bring her mixture of good old-fashioned ‘commonsense’, impatience and radicalism to what has gone wrong with boys and how they are portrayed. Palmer believes in the power of play, but ‘free play’, not the ‘structured play’ of policy-makers and is damning of the pervasive influence of marketing. Read the rest of this entry »

The list below is some of the books I am currently reading, being provoked by, enjoying, being infuriated by, or have just finished.

Andrew Gamble, The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist Crisis and the Politics of Recession, Palgrave 2009

Gamble is one of Britain’s finest political writers and analysts explaining contemporary Britain and the global order. His latest book offers a fascinating take on the series of events which led to the global crunch of 2008-9. On the way he addresses the nature of the managed capitalism which sprang out of World War Two, how this unwound, the characteristics of ‘the feast’ which followed the end of the Cold War, and how that imploded in the last year and a bit. Read the rest of this entry »

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