News and reviews

Turkey Under Erdogan reviewed in the FT

Added on 13/05/2022

A particular strength of [Bechev’s] book is that he does not attribute Turkey’s turn from democracy exclusively to Erdoğan, but emphasises “the authoritarian legacies shaping the state”, rooted in the Ottoman Empire and in the long rule of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who founded the modern secular republic in 1923 and held power until his death in 1938.


Where Light in Darkness Lies in the Daily Mail

Added on 11/05/2022

Today, nearly all lighthouses around the world are unmanned. They lost some of their mystery but our fascination with them remains. They are, in della Dora’s words, “magnets for human thoughts and for the human imagination”. Her book goes some way towards explaining that fascination.’


The Return of the State reviewed in The Guardian

Added on 07/05/2022

Graeme Garrard…assembles the moral, economic and political reasons why the world of the privatised and outsourced state is over…The title of this book comes as a timely reminder that The Return of the State is here already.


A Conspiratorial Life reviewed in the FT

Added on 04/05/2022

Edward Miller’s A Conspiratorial Life chronicles the extraordinary character and career of Robert Welch (1899-1985), founder of the hard-right John Birch Society and thorn of conventional Republicanism… offers a good angle from which to appraise the fractured state of American conservatism.


The Elizabethan Mind reviewed in Literary Review

Added on 03/05/2022

The year 1600, writes Helen Hackett in her ambitious study of the mental world of the Elizabethans, was ‘a moment of the mind’. Around the turn of the 17th century, an unusually rich crop of literary works was published and performed that took as their principal subject the nature of the mind and mental processes, character and self, and the impact of ‘passion’ (in other words, emotion) on human thought and action.


English Garden Eccentrics in the Art Newspaper

Added on 01/05/2022

From a miniature Swiss glacier and raptor-filled aviary to a “pilgrim’s cell” fashioned from the jaws of a whale, how free thinkers expressed their personalities through unique creations. The book is rich in unexpected insights into cultural history that give a broader context to its theme.


Against the Law featured in The Ecologist

Added on 29/04/2022

Under neoliberalism, the whole of existence is understood as an opportunity for the creation of markets – in water, in housing, in utilities – which require rules and people to enforce them. No mechanism has been accepted for changing how business behave, except through market creation, and business regulation and reward. The vast majority of people are left out of these dynamics.


Queens of the Wild reviewed in the Daily Telegraph

Added on 28/04/2022

With Britain on the brink of a pagan revival, read Ronald Hutton’s new book Queens of the Wild to learn what it’s all about…It is an intertwined folklorish and religious picture that Hutton carefully assembles, all rooted in nature.


English Garden Eccentrics featured in the FT

Added on 22/04/2022

A glorious cabinet of curiosities…English Garden Eccentrics is a compilation of enjoyably singular case studies but if there is an overarching theme it is that in gardens we find reflections of human yearning.


Critical Revolutionaries praised in The Guardian

Added on 21/04/2022

Exhilarating…It would be hard to think of any writer better able to lay out the dust-ups and love-ins of interwar literary culture than Terry Eagleton. His respect for these thinkers, in whose tradition he is perhaps the last member (he was taught by Raymond Williams, the youngest of the Cambridge group) shimmers gratefully and lovingly on the page


The Melancholia of Class reviewed in Protean

Added on 20/04/2022

Arguing that the virtual entirety of mass culture has come to reflect values of “classlessness,” Cruz identifies this as a cornerstone of the working class’s social dislocation…When we can’t achieve in ostensible meritocracy, we become despondent and confused. The onus of structural failings are placed on the individual’s shoulders.


Victory at Sea praised in The Sunday Times

Added on 17/04/2022

An authoritative global narrative [and] lavishly illustrated with watercolour paintings by the fine marine artist Ian Marshall, together with excellent maps and graphs…I believe the Royal Navy and US navy to have been the outstanding wartime fighting services of their respective nations. Kennedy offers them a fitting tribute and a penetrating analysis.