Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?: Books

Magazine article Times Higher Education

What Are You Reading?: Books

Article excerpt

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers.

Sir David Bell, vice-chancellor, University of Reading, says: "Having recently visited the country, I read Martin Jacques' When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order (Penguin, 2009). He defies the conventional wisdom that China is on an inexorable path to 'Westernisation'. Rather, the Middle Kingdom, with its enduring language, culture and values, will plot an alternative route to modernisation. As Jacques puts it, the 'gravitational pull' of China will have a profound impact on the West, and not the other way round."

Helen Bynum, former lecturer in medical history, University of Liverpool, is reading The Diaries of Kenneth Tynan (Bloomsbury, 2002). "The legendary theatre critic is funny, filthy and just when you cannot take him any more, very witty. Tynan bitches brightly about Peter Hall's takeover of the National Theatre and complains about having no money to pay his income tax. This fails to stop him buying a petrol-guzzling Jaguar and eating in Michelin-starred restaurants, all during the 1970s oil crisis."

Michael Patrick Cullinane, senior lecturer in US history at Northumbria University, is reading Edward Lengel's Inventing George Washington: America's Founder, In Myth and Memory (Harper, 2011). "Could Washington really not tell a lie? The myths that Americans have perpetuated about the nation's first president rank as the biggest fabrications in US history. …

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