Robert Shiels

1-15 of 34 Articles
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Robert Shiels commends a new look at the self-invented authoritarian Caesars who present such a clear and present danger to democracy and the rule of law today.

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1848, sometimes known as The Springtime of the Peoples, saw revolutionary fervour sweep across Europe and the ominous publication by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels of The Communist Manifesto. Robert Shiels finds a new history of this European turning point by the eminent historian Sir Christopher Cl

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Robert Shiels is impressed by a new history of opium which paints a fascinating picture of an ancient trade with a profound impact on modern society. Opium has its own history and this discursive study by novelist Amitav Ghosh, moving into factual history, concentrates on individual aspects of the o

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Robert Shiels uncovers the story of how our everyday truths came to be. This substantial and interesting book has a rather contrived title that suggests a military battle of sorts, although it narrates a crucial aspect of the history of ideas in the British context.

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Robert Shiels enjoys a new book on the age-old practice of wine fraud. This modest but interesting study of the murky side of wine-making gives an insight as to the old trade practices and the weakness of the system within which the business has been conducted.

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The centenary this year of the first Labour government will doubtless see the publication of a number of new books analysing a game-changing event. Robert Shiels reviews one of the first, by Scottish journalist David Torrance. In 1923 the immediate consequences of an inconclusive general election su

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Robert Shiels commends a new biography of the comic genius who fell victim to the USA's post-war red scare. This attractively produced book, with many photographs, is a social, political and cultural history of a crucial period in the life of an influential 20th century figure, an original and indep

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Professor Joseph Bristow’s impressive new study, which deserves close attention, shows that the civil libel suit and the criminal trials involving Oscar Wilde were understood to be within the legal procedures of the time. The significantly wider importance of his book may be that the detailed

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Robert Shiels welcomes an important new study on the Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy, the Clydeside merchants who made fortunes from Caribbean misery. The nature and extent of the economic impact of Caribbean slavery in British society is a highly topical and political issue. There is no doubt that many m

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In the wake of the dropping of proposed legislation in Scotland to pardon those unfortunate women convicted of witchcraft, Robert Shiels reviews the latest book to consider witchcraft trials of the past – and present. There was before the Scottish Parliament from June 2022 a proposal for legis

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Ever since the publication of George Dangerfield's classic 'The Strange Death of Liberal England', the demise of the Liberal Party pre-WW1 has fascinated historians. Robert Shiels reviews the latest addition to the literature.

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Robert Shiels reviews the latest book on the murders that terrified Glasgow in the sixties. After the early short study by Charles Stoddart, who passed away last week, Bible John: Search for a Sadist (1980), there have been at least four or more books, in the last 20 years, specifically on a we

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Robert Shiels reviews the autobiography of distinguished KC Michael Beloff. Michael Beloff KC has had a very varied career as a barrister in practice, arbitrator, and judge. His career followed an education as scholar at the Dragon School in Oxford, then Eton (a King’s Scholar and Captain of t

1-15 of 34 Articles