The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, February 2004 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


From PENGUIN BOOKS we have a variety of new titles. The first is a paperback edition of Mark Tully's India in Slow Motion ([pounds sterling]8.99), a first-hand account of India's 'bad governance' and of the reasons behind it. Next we have Wordsworth: A Life in Letters ([pounds sterling]9.99) edited by the highly respected Wordsworth scholar, Juliet Barker. This volume includes material from over 600 letters which are newly transcribed. Thirdly we have David Lodge's Consciousness and the Novel ([pounds sterling]9.99) whose hardback edition was praised in Contemporary Review for its 'intellectual stimulation'. We also have five new titles from Penguin's 'Evelyn Waugh Centenary Edition', issued to commemorate the birth of the best-selling novelist. In chronological order they are: Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, A Handful of Dust, Scoop and Brideshead Revisited. Each is priced at [pounds sterling]6.99. There are also two new reference works. The Penguin Concise Encyclopedia ([pounds sterling]16.99) is edited by Cambridge's David Crystal and is a condensed edition of the New Penguin Encyclopedia. With over 21,000 entries, it aims at giving readers 'a succinct, systematic and readable guide to the essential facts, events, issues, beliefs and achievements' of man's time on earth. The second new reference title is The Penguin Encyclopedia of American History ([pounds sterling]14.99) by Robert A. Rosenbaum with 1200 entries covering the whole of American history up to the present.

PERSEPHONE BOOKS have recently republished two minor classics of the early twentieth century. The first is Miss Ranskill Comes Home ([pounds sterling]10.00), a novel by Barbara Euphan Todd which was first published in 1946. Here the author, best known for her Worzel Gummidge stories, criticised certain aspects of the 'war fever' between 1939 and 1945 in a gentle, mocking manner that was not popular when published. The second title is Ambrose Heath's Good Food on the Aga ([pounds sterling]10.00) published in 1933. Any social history of the twentieth century must include the impact of the 'Aga', the cooker first imported from Sweden in 1929. Years later the stove even gave its name to a certain form of fiction as well as to a way of life. This book was written to popularise the new stove and is now a minor classic in its own right.

POLITICO'S has reissued Sir Bernard Ingham's Kill the Messenger ... Again ([pounds sterling]12.99) which was first published in 1991. This insider's unique view of Mrs Thatcher's administrations comes out in the wake of Sir Bernard's second book, Wages of Spin. Politico's has also brought out a paperback edition of Sir John Nott's autobiography, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Recollections of an Errant Politician ([pounds sterling]8.99), a refreshingly honest portrayal of government by HM's former Secretary of State for Defence during the Falklands War.

YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS's London branch has brought out four titles which originated in New Haven, all of which are concerned with recent history and current affairs. The first is Voices of Revolution, 1917 ([pounds sterling]14.50) by Mark D. Steinberg, a unique collection of documents written by those caught up in the Russian Revolution. We have also received Prof. Nikki R. Keddie's Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution ([pounds sterling]12.50), a revised and expanded version of the 1981 edition and John Lukacs' At the End of an Age ([pounds sterling]10. …

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