Reviews

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Following the conclusion earlier this week of the five-year-long National Socialist Underground (NSU) trial in Munich, In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) from German-Turkish director Fatih Akin makes particularly timely viewing.

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Often mis-attributed to Bismark, the poet John Godfey Saxe is reputed to have said that “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made”. The authors of this book are both lawyers with a wealth of political experience, and this combination makes

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Fifty years on from the riots that rocked Detroit in 1967, director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) brings alive one of its most infamous and disputed incidents in an intense and powerful cinematic polemic against racial injustice. We see enough of the rioting to place the f

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The Tartan Turban: In Search of Alexander Gardner by John Keay In The Tartan Turban John Keay seeks to rehabilitate the reputation of 19th century adventurer Alexander Gardner, a Scots-American who committed feats of travel far ahead of his time, traversing as he did “remotest Kafiristan&rdquo

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The title of this book refers to an incident in April 1945. In response to the denial by SS Guards that there were any Anglo-American prisoners being held at Ravensbrück concentration camp, Mary Lindell, the subject of what might be loosely termed a biography, bravely stepped forward and produced a

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The Ruler's Guide by Chinghua Tang In 626CE Li Shimin murdered his brothers and forced his father to abdicate the throne of China’s nascent Tang dynasty, ushering in the country’s golden age and becoming Emperor Tang Taizong, the greatest of China’s Sons of Heaven.

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Border by Kapka Kassabova This is a magical book and one of the very, very few to open up the wild and forgotten lands of ancient Thrace that straddle that corner of Europe where Turkey meets Bulgaria and Greece.

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Anyone who wants to understand modern Russia and the collective sense of humiliation felt by the Russian people should read this powerful collection of interviews, mainly with Sovoks, those Russians brought up in the Soviet era and who lived through the transition of the crumbling one-party state in

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Robert Sutherland There is irony in the fact that whilst surveys show that the number of agricultural tenancies in Scotland has been falling, the amount (and complexity) of legislation and regulation of agricultural tenancies continues to increase. As a consequence, the need for an updated version o

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Barrister Kieron Wood has turned what might have been a footnote of history into a highly readable account of the long-running affair between the Allied commander General Dwight D Eisenhower and his West Cork-born chauffeuse Kay Summersby (née MacCarthy-Morrogh). It may seem frivolous and distracti

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Designed as a Diploma text, this book is worthy of a much wider, and older readership. It more than covers the Law Society of Scotland learning requirements – it is a vade mecum (look it up) for any young solicitor seeking to understand areas and disciplines which will actually make us men, or the

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Ruadhán Mac Cormaic’s book on Ireland's Supreme Court comes highly recommended by Seosamh Gráinséir. Ruadhán Mac Cormaic’s book reads with such ease that you tend to forget that you’re reading an extensively researched chronicle of the cases that have shaped Ireland. Each chapter serves to

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Kapil Summan was greatly impressed by East West Street and spoke to the author about current threats to human rights. In The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee, scientist Jared Diamond cites 20 genocides since 1950, arguing that “genocide has been part of our human and prehuman heritage for

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The main character in WHS McIntyre’s book is Robbie Munro, a criminal lawyer in a one man band on Linlithgow High Street. From this book’s opening paragraph, it takes the reader into the highly recognisable field for lawyers undertaking criminal work as it refers to “Clients. They fall into on

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