The World of Paperbacks. (Reviews)

Contemporary Review, November 2002 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks. (Reviews)


SUTTON PUBLISHING has always had an interest in local history and, with this in mind, has reissued as part of its History Handbooks series a second edition of Kate Tiller's English Local History: An Introduction ([pounds sterling]14.99). As the author says in her introduction, 'local history is vital' and this guide will help those interested in the history of their areas to make best use of the material available. In its own right it is an invaluable survey of the whole field. Also from Sutton we have paperback editions of two books dealing with World War II: Denis Rigden's Kill the Fuhrer: Section X and Operation Foxley, which deals with SOE's plan to assassinate Hitler, and Stan Lauryssens' The Man Who Invented the Third Reich, a study of the influence of Arthur van den Bruck's 1923 book, Das Dritte Reich. Both are priced at [pounds sterling]7.99.

From CASSELL we have a new reference work and two histories which are concerned with the twentieth century's two great wars. The reference work is Cassell's Dictionary of Word Histories ([pounds sterling]14.99) by Adrian Room which traces the roots of over 20,000 words in English. The first history title is Blind and Alone: British Military Executions in the Great War ([pounds sterling]16.99) which examines one of the most emotional and controversial aspects of the First World War. The second, Prisoner of the Turnip Heads: The Fall of Hong Kong and Imprisonment by the Japanese by George Wright-Nooth with Mark Adkin ([pounds sterling]6.99) is a second edition of a 1999 reprint. It is a firsthand and chilling account of the barbaric treatment of prisoners at the hand of the Japanese. Sadly Mr Wright-Nooth died in August.

GRANTA BOOKS has brought out a revised edition of Edward W. Said's study of the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum: The End of the Peace Process ([pounds sterling]9.99) which was first published two years ago. This new version takes account of the succession of tragic events that has occurred since the first edition and gives us the views of this well known commentator on the Middle East. Also from Granta we have a reprint of Charlotte Hobson's Black Earth City: A Year in the Heart of Russia ([pounds sterling]7.99), a fascinating, first-hand account of daily life in Russia during the 1990s and Neal Ascherson's The King Incorporated: Leopold the Second and the Congo ([pounds sterling]8.99) which is as horrifying a tale as when first published in 1963.

THAMES & HUDSON have recently published a new, paperback edition of Nineteenth Century Art: A Critical History edited by Stephen F. Eisenman and first published in 1994. This survey, lavishly illustrated, was written by a team of six experts and covers the development of art in Europe and North America. Thames & Hudson have also brought out a paperback edition of Brenda and Robert Vale's The New Autonomous House: Design and Planning for Sustainability ([pounds sterling]15.95), a guide to 'green' house design which produces homes that are inexpensive to maintain and 'friendly' to the environment. The first has also brought out a new, revised edition of Francis Watson's India: A Concise History ([pounds sterling]8.95) first published in 1974 and now with a new chapter on 'India after Nehru' by the historian, Dilip Hiro.

WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON, under their Seven Dials Paperback imprint, have republished Ron Redfern's Origins: The Evolution of Continents, Oceans and Life ([pounds sterling]19.99). The beautifully illustrated book, first published by Cassell in 2000, surveys the development of the earth over 700 million years and shows how this has created the landscape we know.

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