Posts tagged biography

The Ants Will Come and Tell Me

As the Empire was falling apart, Britain had a problem: how to keep control of all its former colonies and their resources as they became independent. Acting in good faith was, of course, out of the question. Many of the leaders pushing for independence were talking of using their resources for the benefit of their own people, which went against… Read More

Paul Robeson: A Watched Man by Jordan Goodman

If you’ve ever wondered just how far government agencies will go to keep us safe from ideas that they find dangerous, this account of the US government’s sustained attack on the singer Paul Robeson will make fascinating reading. Robeson never participated in or advocated violence or crime, and yet he was placed under continuous surveillance for years, called before the… Read More

Sea of Ink by Richard Weihe

The premise of this book is delightful: a novella in 51 short chapters, describing the life of famous 17th-century Chinese painter Bada Shanren, partly through his paintings themselves, which are reproduced in the book. The writing in places was quite beautiful, but as a novella it didn’t really work for me. I’ll attempt to explain why. Part of it, I think,… Read More

“T.S. Eliot” by Peter Ackroyd

I hardly ever read poetry, but for some reason T.S. Eliot’s poetry speaks to me. Perhaps it’s because, like Eliot, I used to work at a bank in the City of London, and the feeling of his poems is the exact feeling I had as a ‘Hollow Man’ looking at the masses of other Hollow Men crossing London Bridge to… Read More