Reviews from 11/2015

Why I Write

Book reviewed by Rob Mason on 28 November 2015

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell

George Orwell says that; writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of of some painful illness and that one would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by by some demon with whom one can neither resist nor understand.  He explains that it is neccessary to efface one's personality or make oneself appear insignificant or inconspicuous and that in…Read

The Life of T.E. Lawrence

reviewed by Rob Mason on 17 November 2015

John E. Mack. A Prince of our Disorder: The Life of T.E. Lawrence

When this Pulitzer Prize-winning biography first appeared in 1976, it rescued T. E. Lawrence from the mythologizing that had seemed to be his fate. In it, John Mack humanely and objectively explores the relationship between Lawrence's inner life and his historically significant actions.The dominant theme of Mack's work has been the exploration of how one's perceptions of the world affect one's relationships. He addressed this issue of "world view" on the individual level in his early…Read

Bridge of Spies

reviewed by Rob Mason on 16 November 2015

Bridge of Spies is a 2015 American historical drama-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg.

 A true story of three extraordinary characters – William Fisher, alias Rudolf Abel, a British born KGB agent arrested by the FBI (1957) in New York City and jailed as a Soviet superspy for trying to steal America’s most precious nuclear secrets; Gary Powers, the American U-2 pilot who was captured when his plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over the closed cities of central Russia; and Frederic Pryor, a young American graduate student in Berlin mistakenly identified…Read


Book reviewed by Rob Mason on 3 November 2015

Journalism. The essentials of writing and reporting by James Morrison

To whom is this book intended?  The simple answer is anyone and everyone with an interest in writing, the sense of wanting to sit down at the nearest keyboard and have a go at it themselves, to get their thoughts and observations down on paper, to blog, or to interact with others via social media. We live in an age when more of us than ever before are effectively journalists already, not only keeping diaries or journals, compiling information on our pet likes and…Read