News and reviews

Wading Right In reviewed in brief in Nature

Added on 24/07/2019

Whether swamp, fen, bog or tidal salt marsh, wetlands are complex ecosystems that filter pollutants, sequester carbon and prevent flooding. Yet globally, since 1900, 64% of them have drained away.

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Cigarettes, inc reviewed in Times Literary Supplement

Added on 23/07/2019

After the American industrialist James B. Duke took over his father’s North Carolina tobacco company in the 1880s, the story goes, he “disrupted” the industry by introducing machine-rolled cigarettes.

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Palaces of Pleasure reviewed in the Guardian

Added on 23/07/2019

Whether it was visiting a “human zoo”, taking a bull on a hot-air balloon ride, or singing risqué songs about rhubarb, Victorian Londoners loved to have fun. Victorians effectively invented the modern leisure industry.

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The Uneven Path of British Liberalism featured in the Guardian

Added on 22/07/2019

In 2015, as Tudor Jones notes in his forthcoming book The Uneven Path of British Liberalism, the Lib Dems suffered an electoral collapse as great as the two great vanishings that the Liberal party managed in the 20th century.

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Arabs is a ‘thoroughly remarkable’ 3,000-year history of the region

Added on 21/07/2019

Entire libraries could be filled with books written about the birth of Islam, the Umayyad and Abbasid rules, the Mongols and the ­Mughals. But Mackintosh-Smith further complicates the task of documenting Arabian history…

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One of three books you need to read this July

Added on 20/07/2019

Not just tools for orientation, maps have been bound up with knowledge, identity and power throughout history. Written by Jerry Brotton and Nick Millea Talking Maps highlights the changing role of maps.

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Lois Dodd unveils her first UK exhibition at Modern Art

Added on 19/07/2019

“Not everybody seems to see the world that they’re living in […] and it’s such a kick, really, seeing things.” So says the 92-year-old artist Lois Dodd, who is the subject of a new exhibition at Modern Art in Clerkenwell.

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How mindfulness privatised a social problem

Added on 17/07/2019

In 2008, while forcibly evicting tenants from a concrete high-rise, Southwark Council pulled off a remarkable feat of complacency. Every flat in the development that replaced the Heygate Estate would be sold to foreign investors…

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Fabulosa! recommended summer reading in the Observer

Added on 14/07/2019

Fabulosa! The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language by Paul Baker is a compelling history of the linguistic lengths to which gay people had to go to hide in plain sight within an aggressively homophobic culture.

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Jerusalem: City of the Book reviewed in the Spectator

Added on 13/07/2019

The bearded figure clad in white robes and wandering barefoot through the streets of Jerusalem is not, in fact, the messiah. But neither is he a very naughty boy.  Rather, he is a middle-aged man from Texas in need of a shower…

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Alberto Manguel writes about Fabulous Monsters in Prospect

Added on 13/07/2019

Because my father was a diplomat, my childhood was spent travelling from place to place. The bedrooms in which I slept, the words spoken outside, the landscapes around me constantly changed. Only my library remained the same.

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Insurgent Empire – a superb study of anticolonial resistance

Added on 11/07/2019

Statues of great white Englishmen are not very popular these days. Since 2016, campaigners have been trying to “decolonise” Britain’s history by removing memorials to imperialists such as Cecil Rhodes and the slave-trader Edward Colston.

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