Jewish art collectors in France

Years between 1870 and the end of World War II, several prominent French Jews pillars of an embattled community invested their fortunes in France’s cultural artifacts, sacrificed their sons to the country’s army, and were ultimately rewarded by seeing their collections plundered and their families deported to Nazi concentration camps. James McAuley explores the role…

Geography of Inequality from Seattle to Baltimore – Winner and loser cities

Famed writer and activist Upton Sinclair published a novel titled “ A Story of Ford-America” in 1937, where he blasted the callousness of a company worth “a billion dollars” that underpaid its workers while forcing them to engage in repetitive and sometimes dangerous assembly line labour. Eighty years later, the market capitalization of Amazon.com has…

Hard border, a failure of both British and Irish statecraft

The Easter Rebellion in 1916, as the Irish Government had a dilemma, as to how the upraising be commemorated, as the Republic of Ireland came into being as a consequence of the “ Rising” and thus the centenary could be marked in the most official way possible by having the Irish Army parade through Dublin…

Place human values before market values

The former Bank governor and now the UN special envoy for climate finance, Mark Carney focuses on the global financial system and corporate governance, along with climate change.  Carney’s detailed account of money and finance, where we get tantalising glimpses of life as a central banker – gilt chairs at a G20 summit in Riyadh…

Life supporting real story

During pandemic doctors and nurses have been applauded as saviors by the grateful public, even though they have been flying blind lacking the knowledge or resources to tackle Covid-19. Jim Down, a critical care consultant at University College London Hospitals, tells the story of one intensive care team struggling to fend off the first wave,…

Struggle against sexism oppression

Hannah Dawson, a British academic has been reading, sifting, and understanding this vast global project, the endless battle for freedom of choice. Feminism is the insight that sexism exists, and the struggle against that oppression. The book begins with an experience of female harassment.  “Feminism only makes sense if you believe in feminism, privilege does…

Twins are left to defend themselves

Jeanie and Julius, the twins have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty, Inside the Walls of their English old cottage in the fictional Melbourne, they make music, and in the garden, they grew everything they need for sustenance. While…

Battle and aftermath

Culloden, Falkirk, and Prestonpans, the three pitched battles of 1745, were brief affairs lasting about 90 minutes.  Culloden ended all hope of a Stuart Restoration. What followed destroyed the traditional clan society of the Highlands. The last pitched battle in Scotland, between Scotland and England. There were more Scottish than English support for the Jacobites,…

Sinister story set at an elite girls boarding school

Fifteen years prior to the 1994 Rwandan genocide and a quota permits only two Tutsi students for every twenty pupils. French Rwandan writer Mukasonga reveals the prelude to the Rwandan genocide and unfolds behind the closed doors of the elite school for the girls in the interminable rainy season. Nothing at Our Lady of the…

Be smart and human  and what you might create

  In the world of geeks,  for decades  two competing tribes of artificial intelligence experts have been furiously dueling with each other in research labs and conference halls around the world, with mathematical models and computer codes. The connectionist tribe believes that computers can learn behaviour in the same way as humans do, by processing …