Category: History

Autumn 1066 by Jack Eason: A Review

Posted January 19, 2018 / 14 Comments

Autumn 1066 gives a fictional account of the weeks preceding the Battle of Hastings on the south coast of England in October 1066. It’s a novella that takes about an hour to read. The book has much to commend it, but is let down by many punctuation mistakes, poor editing, and no cover illustration.

Life After America: A memoir about the wild and crazy 1960s

Posted January 13, 2018 / 51 Comments

Life After America is an excellently written, enthralling account of a young American war resistor in the late 1960s. On the verge of being called up to fight in Vietnam, Joseph Glazner puts his pacifism into practice. He flees to Canada before being drafted. The book relates his experiences over the next two years and wonderfully captures the mood of the 1960s.

Charles Taylor and Liberia

Posted November 23, 2017 / 0 Comments

This is an extremely comprehensive, well-researched and readable book that will be of great use and interest to anyone interested in brutal civil wars that ravaged Liberia and brought this country – that was established with such high hopes – to its knees. Although centred around the life and activities of Charles Taylor, the book […]

King Leopold’s Ghost

Posted November 23, 2017 / 0 Comments

This book left me seething with anger. Not at the author – this is a historical biographer at the top of his game – but at his subject. I came to this book knowing very little about the colonisation of Congo, other than it was a dark stain on the history of Belgium (a stain […]

Where Poppies Blow by John Lewis-Stempel reviewed

Posted November 21, 2017 / 0 Comments

The 2017 winner of the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Priz is a deeply thoughtful look at the nature that surrounded the soldiers in the trenches. Its strength is that it is based around actual quotes (hundreds!) from soldiers, either in letters, poems, booklets, newspaper articles, even illustrations.

Blood River

Posted November 19, 2017 / 0 Comments

A gripping, harrowing, fascinating and informative account of one man’s solo trek through one of the most dangerous routes in the world at the moment. Tim Butcher writes extremely well: clearly, concisely, logically, yet very personally. He’s not afraid to reveal his own shortcomings and frailties, even his downright fear. And why shouldn’t he? You […]

Chasing the Devil

Posted November 13, 2017 / 0 Comments

Tim Butcher’s epic trek through three West African countries, following the footsteps of Graham Greene’s 1935 route, does not disappoint. It is gripping throughout, delightfully insightful, and full of fascinating details. Highly recommended.