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"Good Readance" - The Book Club


old man emu
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We get stuck into a wide variety of topics in this corner of Ian's World. Lots of time we post links to sources that progress the various debates, but there are also lots of books for which links don't exist. I thought it would be advantageous to open a thread in which members could post details about books which also contain information that progresses the various debates.

 

Here's on to go on with:

 

Heyday. The 1850's and the Dawn of the Global Age. Ben Wilson ISBN 978 0 753 82921 9

 

Wilson describes how British industrial production, backed by gold dug from the hills of Victoria and New South Wales, and protected by the Royal Navy lead to the golden years of the British Empire, but at the same time woke the sleeping giants of the USA, Russia, China, Japan and India. Once awoken these giants began a struggle marked by bloodshed, gunboat diplomacy and wealth that created an embryonic global world order that gestates to this day.

 

We are so used to reading the history of one country, or the reports of one incident, but that is missing the forest for the trees. Wilson's description takes a whole world approach, showing that what happened in one corner of the world lead to its effects being felt half a world away. The world was reshaped by technology, trade, mass migration and war. The global economy expanded fivefold, millions of families emigrated to the ends of the earth to carve out new lives, technology revolutionized how people communicated, and a steamships and railways shrunk distance continents and oceans. It was a decade of breathtaking and remorseless transformation, fueled by the promise of exponential progress. And as more and more countries sought that progress, war inevitably followed, both between and within countries.

 

And at the end of that decade, the British Empire began its decline; Germany united and began to force its way into Africa, Asia and the Pacific; France got a foothold in Indochina, and everyone flocked to China and Asia. The USA was torn asunder because of a desire of the cotton producers to expand their fields to meet the British demand for cotton for the mills of Manchester. Free slaves? Abolish slavery? Not even Lincoln had that on his agenda when he first took office.

 

So, can you recommend a book that will increase the eclectic knowledge of our members?

 

.

 

 

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If you're interested in Australian politics, 'The Longest Decade' by George Megalogenis is a good one. It's basically about Paul Keating and John Howard being the joint architects of the modern Australian economy and how they broke the boom and bust cycle.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Perhaps it is time to give " A brief History of Time" another go, if for no other reason than to honour the author the late Stephen Hawking.

 

I like many others purchased a copy and despite every good intention did not finish it.

 

Carl Sagan's summarised "A Brief History.." as

 

Specifically, Professor Hawking was attempting to answer the famous question posed by Einstein: how much choice did God have in constructing the universe?

 

As Mr Sagan puts it, A Brief History Of Time ultimately suggests the universe might have "no edge in space, no beginning or end in time, and nothing for a creator to do".

 

 

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I tackled this book or should I say audiobook some time ago. At the time my partner and I were traveling 1.5 hours EACH way to work, along with my young son we would listen to a chapter and then turn it off and discuss what we thought it meant. Sometimes it would require a relisten. Is still know what branes are :)

 

 

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Octave,

 

I've grandson older, My daughter is 55, & has just started counting-down the years to retirement.

 

Great-Grand-children will keep you younger longer.

 

But a secret is : When you get grand-kids you babysit, When you get Great-Grand-kids, there'r ALWAYS at their Grand parents.

 

And you have to ask to get a visit .

 

spacesailor

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, here's a brilliant author for anyone into sci-fi/fantasy.

 

Peter V. Brett.

 

I've started the Demon Cycle series with book 1 (always a good place to start!) - "The Painted Man".

 

(Published in the US as "The Warded Man" in case you're looking on Amazon etc).

 

Possibly the best fantasy I've read since George R.R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" series (the books, not the TV show, although that's good too).

 

 

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