Reviews

1-15 of 80 Articles
Clock icon 2 minutes

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.

Clock icon 3 minutes

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.

Clock icon 2 minutes

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

Clock icon 3 minutes

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

Clock icon 3 minutes

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

Clock icon 4 minutes

Douglas Thomson reviews a new book by Ian O'Donnell, professor of criminology at University College Dublin, examining four very different prison regimes. In this book, Professor Ian O'Donnell visits and investigates four very different prison environments, all considerably unlike those within the ma

Clock icon 2 minutes

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

Clock icon 5 minutes

Former sheriff Douglas J Cusine is impressed by Gillian Mawdsley's new study of sudden deaths and FAIs in Scotland. For me, there are two very significant sentences in this impressive book: “The public should be able to understand the role of an FAI…” (para. 2.01) and “It is

Clock icon 3 minutes

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

Clock icon 2 minutes

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.

Clock icon 3 minutes

Graham Ogilvy reviews the autobiography of James McIntyre, the Scottish criminal defence lawyer who got too close to his clients and ended up on the wrong side of the law. Firstly, a declaration of interest. I knew and liked James McIntyre at university where he was popular, cheerful, charismatic an

Clock icon 3 minutes

Robert Shiels is sceptical of a proposed link between the Nazis and modern corporate management.

Clock icon 3 minutes

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

1-15 of 80 Articles