The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, August 2000 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


VERSO has published a paperback edition of Nick Cohen's Cruel Britannia: Reports on the Sinister and the Preposterous ([pound]10.00. 247 pages. ISBN 1-85984-288-7) in which The Observer journalist turns a libertarian eye on the Blair regime and exposes its weaknesses and hypocrisies with a vengeance.

PAPERMAC recently brought out new editions of two of Modris Ekstein's works: Walking Since Daybreak: A Story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the Heart of the Twentieth Century ([pound]12.00. 258 pages. ISBN 0-333-76621-0) and Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age ([pound]12.00. 396 pages. ISBN 0-333-76622-9). In both volumes the Latvian-born historian uses his unique approach to disentangle the threads that make up twentieth century European history.

PAN BOOKS has joined the current rage for memoirs of life in Dublin by publishing Peter Sheridan's 44: A Dublin Memory ([pound]6.99. 296 pages. ISBN 0-330-37511-3), published last year in hardback by Macmillan.

VIKING, part of the Penguin stable, has reissued David S. Landes' Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World ([pound]12.99. 518 pages. ISBN 0-670-88967-9) which was first published in the U.S., in 1983. It is a fascinating account of how clocks have shaped man's existence.

YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS has released two new titles. The first, Frank Barlow's William Rufus ([pound]14.95. 486 pages. ISBN 0-300-08291-6), is part of its Yale English Monarchs series. In the second, Denis Donoghue's The Practice of Reading ([pound]10.50. 307 pages. ISBN 0-300-08264-9) the Irish-born literary critic urges fellow critics to return to the text and eschew wild theories about literature.

Last month JOHN MURRAY issued paperback editions of two recently published history titles. The first is John Keay's Last Post: The End of Empire in the Far East ([pound]10.99. 385 pages. ISBN 0-7195-5589-2) in which the author describes the slow dissolution of Europe's Far Eastern colonies. The second is Frances Wood's No Dogs and Not Many Chinese: Treaty Port Life in China 1843-1943 ([pound]10.99. 368 pages. ISBN 0-7195-6400-X) which discusses European enclaves which began in 1843 and were destroyed by the rampaging Japanese in 1943.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS has republished David Stevenson's Armaments and the Coming of War. Europe, 1904-1914 ([pound]15.99. 463 pages. ISBN 0-19-820831-6) first published in 1996. The author has updated the bibliography and corrected errors in his study of the relationship between rearmament and the outbreak of the Great War. This has become an indispensable tool in our understanding of this vital era and the cheaper format is to be welcomed.

PHOENIX PAPERBACKS have brought out Edmund White's short biography, Proust ([pound]6.99. 149 pages. ISBN 0-75380-918-4) which seems to place Proust somewhere between the asthmatic and the homosexual.

VINTAGE have rescued Marina Warner's Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and Cult of the Virgin Mary ([pound]9.99. 400 pages. ISBN 0-099-28449-9) from oblivion. When first published in 1976 it outraged many Catholics because of its perceived anti-Catholic sub-text but fascinated and still fascinates intellectuals. …

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