Category Archives: Books

Rats, Lice & History – Hans Zinsser

Hans Zinsser’s Rats, Lice & History was written in 1934 as an explanation of one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments – the understanding and control of deadly infectious diseases, especially typhus. It was only in 1909 that Charles Nicolle identified lice … Continue reading

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Elmer Gantry, American Huckster

I was inspired to read Elmer Gantry in this, the year of Drumpf, to see how American hypocrisy and pandering to people’s hopes and fears played out a century ago. Continue reading

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The Oldest Profession

Sapiens by Yuval Harari is a “long view” history of humanity. Harari’s view is that history only starts about 70,000 years ago with the “cognitive revolution” which helped to separate “Homo Sapiens” from all the other members of the genus … Continue reading

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Music and dance in Liberia in the 1930s

Graham Greene took a Journey without Maps in the mid 1930’s to Liberia. “I examined the usual blank map on the wall, a few towns along the coast, a few villages along the border.” One other map Greene saw had … Continue reading

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The World in 1930 – New Atlas

A “new” Atlas provides a different view of the world, or at least it did prior to the advent of Online mapping. Philips Handy Volume Atlas of the World, Vol 17, 1930 contains 80 maps in a book approximately the … Continue reading

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Goyder’s Line: C19 responses to “climate change”

On the Margins of the Good Earth: The South Australian Wheat Frontier 1869 – 1884 D W Meinig         1962 It was regarded as a classic in the 1960’s, I read it in the 70’s, and it seems to stand up … Continue reading

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New York – The Big Oyster

It is almost axiomatic that great cities have grown up in magnificent natural environments. Certainly this was true prior to the growth of Los Angeles which had to hijack its water supply from far away in the Rocky Mountains. Subsequently … Continue reading

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