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Book Reviews

Dunkirk: the film and the book

16 October 2017

Christopher Nolan’s film Dunkirk, is an evocative but unusual portrayal of the evacuation of the British and French armies from the French port in June 1940. Joshua Levine’s fascinating book gives a more complete picture of why Dunkirk is of such singular importance.

A different game

18 September 2016

Dave Roberts celebrates the real ethic of British football in a new book, Home & Away, through a grand tour of Britain with a collective of working class ‎non-league supporters.

A strike worth remembering

26 February 2016

The historian and novelist John Tully tells the story of a forgotten strike of 1889. This book brings the struggle of those workers back to life and gives an insight into how our class developed into an organised labour movement.

Concorde: engineering marvel

13 February 2016

Concorde was a great British engineering achievement. This book tells the story and explains the significance of Concorde for British engineering against the backgound of industrial decline.

Capitalism: leading to an early grave

23 November 2015

A book by eminent researcher Sir Michael Marmot shows that people at relative social disadvantage suffer worse health and live shorter lives and gives evidence about how that can be prevented. 

The USA: a force bad for the world

23 November 2015

The WikiLeaks files of US State Department cables reveal how the US government operates in world affairs. This book provides a thorough analysis of the different ways the US government keeps its power.

The rape of Africa

This study by investigative journalist Tom Burgis about the systematic looting of Africa’s riches gives us case studies of the theft of Africa’s resources. It covers Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Guinea, Niger, Ghana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Not a real change

25 August 2015

This book by Christian Felber, an economist and university lecturer in Austria, outlines an “alternative” to the economic chaos and social suffering caused by financial capital. Some of his ideas are utopian; but there’s also stimulating thought about how to mitigate capitalism’s callousness.

No good comes from the rich

26 July 2015

All parliamentary parties hold the view that very rich people are good for the economy. By implication workers can only hope to have crumbs from the table. That’s never been a convincing argument – and this book from Andrew Sayer shows how the opposite is true.

Them and us

Unemployment benefits account for just 4 per cent of Britain’s welfare budget. But 75 per cent of us thought that they account for 40 per cent or more. Myths have consequences. Playing on such false belief makes it easier to justify cutting the welfare budget.

EU membership: Britain’s choice

29 May 2015

The paper that won the Institute of Economic Affairs’ 2014 Brexit Prize argues that Britain could thrive outside the EU by improving our links with the rest of the world

Blundering to disasters

2 May 2015

This excellent book, recently updated, is a manual of policy-making and implementation. It analyses many of the most conspicuous policy disasters committed by governments in recent decades.

Unsustainable policies

2 May 2015

This biography of the new SNP leader by David Torrance is well-informed and full of ideas. His is both appreciative and critical of his subject. His objectvity brings out the flaws in the SNP position.

Welcome to the zombie economy

16 March 2015

A new book exposes the devastating impact of austerity across society, though it places too much faith in restoring the lost world of social democracy.