Book reviews

Kerry Brown reviews Parish Church Treasures: The Nation’s Greatest Art Collection by John Goodall

Churches are difficult buildings to interpret. A lot of studies I’ve read tend to treat them as unique, almost sui generis structures that can’t be judged by the aesthetic criterion used for other kinds of buildings. At the heart of this is the challenge of marrying their function and their physical layout - we know broadly

By |2017-12-13T11:38:13-05:00November 14th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Relations Past and Present by June Teufel Dreyer

The late Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kwan Yew once typified the China-Japan relationship as one where, on one side (China's) nothing is forgotten, and on the other (Japan's) nothing is remembered. This neat summary comes towards the end of June Teufel Dreyer's comprehensive overview of the relationship - Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising

By |2017-12-13T11:38:31-05:00November 9th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown, Reader and Reviewer

We have long wanted to publish book reviews, and suddenly find ourselves with a starter set of more than 20, thanks to Kerry Brown of King's College London, editor in chief of the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography. This is not because we used our detailed plan for getting review copies, soliciting reviews, and sending guidelines

By |2017-10-30T10:14:26-05:00October 27th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Citizen Clem by John Bew

While wandering around China in late September last year, on the interminable bus and high speed train journeys, I managed to read through my colleague at King’s College, John Bew’s new biography of Clement Attlee, Citizen Clem (Quercus 2016). This is an Amazon affiliate link for your convenience. We also encourage you to buy from

By |2017-09-23T04:44:17-05:00September 21st, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics by Mark Thompson

Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics (Bodley Head 2016) is about a very important subject, and Mark Thompson outlines that reasonably enough. Public discourse now is degraded – or so Thompson believes. We only have to witness the linguistic carnage that occurred during the recent elections in the US. Public trust in

By |2017-10-15T19:17:57-05:00September 14th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews The Tale of the Axe: How the Neolithic Revolution Transformed Britain by David Miles

In the wet spring of 1991, I spent a week travelling around ancient earthworks and Iron Age forts. It was a somewhat esoteric interest I had developed then with a friend, and we managed to haul my ramshackle Ford to places like Maiden Castle, Cadbury (regarded as a likely candidate for the Arthurian Camelot - if

By |2017-10-15T19:18:08-05:00September 12th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Through by David Herd

I enjoyed reading David Herd’s Through (Carcanet Press 2016), a collection of poetry assembled from some events and other publications and put under one cover. That gives an opportunity to appreciate their shared themes and concerns, despite their diverse provenances. “Who Leaves the Language”, the opening sequence, refers constantly to an issue that Herd has made

By |2017-10-28T05:47:20-05:00September 7th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews The Journals of Kierkegaard by Søren Kierkegaard, translated by Alexander Dru

Søren Kierkegaard has been a figure that I have felt, since first encountering his work during a year trying to study philosophy at Cambridge in the mid-1980s, I should have liked more. The themes, the literary treatment, the playful use of pseudonyms, and the relentless focus on humanity's religious fate, were all powerful and appealing themes.

By |2017-10-15T19:18:32-05:00September 5th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments
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