Exodus Lost by S.S.Compton is easier to describe by saying what it isn’t than what it is. Despite having a lot about the Bible in it, it isn’t a book with any particular angle on religion. It isn’t a conventional history book. And it isn’t a crazy ‘Chariots of the Gods’ style fairy story. So what is it? It is a very good read, and because it has a sort of detective story feel to it, I don’t really want to talk about the contents. You don’t often have to worry about spoilers reviewing history books. But in this case the fun is seeing the case being built up. Let’s just say it covers the question of whether or not there was communication between Ancient Egypt and the civilisations of South America. Continue reading Exodus Lost – S.C.Compton
The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers was highly influential when it came out and continues to make an interesting read, though it has rather swiftly slippd from being an interesting look at the contemporary situation to an interesting look at how the world looked in the Eighties. Having read it not long after it came out, I can remember the way it seemed to have some kind of great predictive power. This was enhanced when the Soviet Union collapsed – an event that was foreseen by almost nobody, including Paul Kennedy, but he somehow seemed to have the best explanation. Continue reading The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers by Paul Kennedy
This huge book was also a huge success when it came out. There was a time when it was a common sight on buses and trains, and every bookshop in Britain had it in stock. In the seventies and eighties it seemed perfectly obvious that everyone was interested in the working class so a long and detailed history of it was a very logical proposition. Continue reading The Making of the English Working Classes by E.P.Thompson
|Short Japanese Surrendering to Tall Americans (thanks to Wikipedia)
I have been very interested lately in a branch of economic history that until recently I knew nothing about, but which seems to offer a way of looking at the past that has never crossed my mind before. And it is surprisingly simple, suspiciously so in fact. You can tell a lot about changes in society simply by looking at average height. Continue reading How Tall Are You? How Tall Should You Be?