Book review: The Secrets of Station X, by Michael Smith

When Winston Churchill published Their Finest Hour, the second volume of his memoir of the second world war, in 1950 he made no mention of Ultra, the programme to decrypt the German cipher system that had been carried out at Bletchley Park. This was not an oversight, of course. The total secrecy that characterised this huge enterprise was not relaxed at the end of the war; not until 1974 did it become generally known.  Read more

Book review: The Problems of Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell

This short book is over a hundred years old but it reads surprisingly freshly. All the same, it isn’t light reading. It tackles a number of philosophical questions, mostly connected with theory of knowledge. Although it’s intended for a non-professional audienc, Russell expects his reader to work quite hard. But the difficulties arise from the ideas themselves and not from Russell’s writing, which as always is clear and humorous. Worth the effort. Read more

Book review: Their Finest Hour, by Winston S. Churchill

This is the second volume of Churchill’s six-volume memoir of the second   world war. The dominant impression it gives is of how fine the margin was between victory and defeat. As Wellington said of Waterloo, it was a damn close-run thing. Like the first  volume, it’s enthralling reading.

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Book review: Replay, by Ken Grimwood

It would be a disservice to readers to classify this as genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy or whatever). It is good enough to stand up in its own right as fiction pure and simple, and fiction of very high quality at that. It is also a metaphysical novel, but one that avoids any direct allusion to metaphysics. It’s a book I find I can reread at intervals: a good test indeed.

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Book review: The Gathering Storm, by Winston S. Churchill

This is the first volume of Churchill’s six-volume memoir of the Second World War. It is in two parts. Book I describes events in the years preceding the outbreak of war and Book II deals with the start of the war. I initially published the reviews of each part separately but here they are combined as one review.

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