A fascinating photographic review of the murky underwold of Crime within Great Britain, ranging from Victorian and Edwardian public order, Dr Crippen,...moreA fascinating photographic review of the murky underwold of Crime within Great Britain, ranging from Victorian and Edwardian public order, Dr Crippen, the Poll Tax riots right through to the London Bombings in July 2005.
The selected photographs are of the highest possible quality, and the accompanying captions provide an overview of the subject matter in question, including the legal outcome (where applicable).
For a country which is internationally-renowned for "Dreaming Spires" and the "Stiff Upper Lip", the appalling crimes covered by this book lift the lid on the evolution of the criminal underworld which lurks beneath the veneer of conservative respectability. In this sense, the book also covers the evolution of British policing, and the contiguous deployments of emergent technologies as the offender and the Police Officer seek to outwit, and apprehend respectively. (less)
My first venture into the world of the 9/11 "Truth Movement". The book is a composite of divergent narratives which vacilate widly around the subject...moreMy first venture into the world of the 9/11 "Truth Movement". The book is a composite of divergent narratives which vacilate widly around the subject at hand, and cover aspects such as US foreign Policy; the Laws of Gravity, and the death of UBL.
The book has acted as a foundation for further reading in this field. In it's own way, it sets the (anticipated) tone for similar books on my reading lists. (less)
This was a worthwhile and thought-provoking read, which added another dimension to my understanding of 'that day in September'. Having a read a number...moreThis was a worthwhile and thought-provoking read, which added another dimension to my understanding of 'that day in September'. Having a read a number of key works surrounding 9/11 chronology; accounts of the First Responders, and some conspiracy theory - related works, my understanding of the events was somewhat one-sided. The emergence of this autobiographical work was timely, as it brought to the fore the notion of coping and operating with the 'post 9/11 World' which was something that I had never considered previously.
The Author's account of his personal journey starts with a move to New York City to pursue an acting career, when the income from this vocation dwindles, the Author applies for a job with a legal firm, which, for operational reasons, moves into the World Trade Centre thereby catapulting the Author into the horrors of 9/11.
The Author provides a fascinating insight into the everyday realities of working at the World Trade Centre, from street theatre; street vendors, and apparent care-free nature of the majority of the people whom used to work at the complex. In this reading, life at the World Trade Centre was something of an idyll. It had an almost symbiotic relationship with the Author, which explains in part, why the loss of the complex had such a profound effect on the Author as a former way of life died on that day. This is something that I had not considered before, as the Trade Centre had previously been viewed as a place of work as opposed to a friend.
The appalling horrors of 9/11 are recounted in detail; the impact, the sights, the sounds, as are the frustrations of the Author at not being able to control the devastation wrought on his colleagues and his way of life that day. The notions of helplessness; insignificance, and terror left a deep imprint on the Author, and the account of the support and guidance that he received from medical professionals and 'ordinary' people was inspiring. The ability of 'ordinary' people to restart their lives from zero; establish routines, and provide emotional and practical support to one another in the aftermath is a testimony of the human spirit in the face of extreme adversity. The Author provides an incredible insight into how quickly pre 9/11 routines were reinstated, as much as an involuntary shock reflex as they were concerted drives to reconnect with a lost world.
This account offers no bravado or machismo. It provides a brtual, but honest assessment of a survivor's experiences, which in itself rates as one the most compelling accounts of 9/11 that I have encountered to date. The accountof a life which straddled the pre and post 9/11 worlds.
I thought that this was a tremendous account of the everyday experiences of an emergency Call Handler. I was riveted from start to finish.
The individ...moreI thought that this was a tremendous account of the everyday experiences of an emergency Call Handler. I was riveted from start to finish.
The individual, fictionalised case studies contained within the book are punctuated by a meandering, and self-indulgent monologue on the part of the Author as he wrestles with exhaustion; Call Centre politics, and his own volatile work load against a backdrop of tragedy and farce.
The Author's temporal exhaustion is kept in check by the need to comprehend; control, and then dispatch the appropriate resources in response to the Caller on the line, which sounds straightforward, but as the accounts demonstrate; the nature of the emergency has a direct bearing on the rationality of the Caller and the effectiveness of the reponse provided. The control that the Author portrays in response to each Caller he encounters is what makes the book so gripping. I found that I was drawn into the unfolding drama, and invited, in some respects to consider how I would respond to calls of this nature. Particularly when a life is in danger, and you are physically powerless to intervene.
The individual calls range from appalling tragedy, and life-threatening emergencies of all hues, through to time-wasters and sociopaths whom consider the emergency number to be the best forum within which to air their greivances.
The most striking aspect of the narrative is the composure the Author displays when dealing with literla life and death situations. In particular; how the Author has developed a coping mechanism to allow him cancel-out the last call and focus on the next, thereby ensuring a contiunuity of response, and that the mental stresses of handling these calls does not take it's toll on his family outside of the call centre.
A thoroughly worthwhile, and gripping expose about the reaility of a life behind the one number in our lives that we all take for granted; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read. From start to finish, I was enthralled by the narrative; gripped by the characterisations, and conv...moreThis was a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging read. From start to finish, I was enthralled by the narrative; gripped by the characterisations, and convinced by the strategic implementation of street-talk and police lingo within the story line, accurately articulating the competing sides of the arguments that PC Surname was faced with in the course of his duties.
The book is one of the most realistic works of autobiographical fiction that I have encountered to date. Highly recommended. (less)
An evocative, and indulgent review of the erstwhile Warwickshire Constabulary. Wonderful photographs accompanied thoroughly-researched captions made t...moreAn evocative, and indulgent review of the erstwhile Warwickshire Constabulary. Wonderful photographs accompanied thoroughly-researched captions made this book a pleasure to read. The underlying narrative shines a light on the rise of organised policing on a county basis, and the historical challenges the police officers in Warwickshire have faced in the quest to uphold law and order. (less)
This was an enjoyable, and informative overview of the history of the evolution of the motor vehicle and it's application to the evolution of Policing...moreThis was an enjoyable, and informative overview of the history of the evolution of the motor vehicle and it's application to the evolution of Policing in Great Britain.
The book covered a timeline dating from the early 1900's through to the 1970's, and in doing so, charts the rise and fall of the UK Volume Motor industry. The combination of force amalgamations; the evolution of new policing methodologies, and the emergence of new socio-economic challenges led to an increased level of standardisation in the context of vehicle purchasing.
The resultant eradication of low-volume, niche manaufacturers, supported previously as a result of the geography of the Force Area changed the automotive landscape, and consolidated power in the hands of Ford; GM, and British Leyland, with a concomitant rise in decadence and decline in build quality.
An informative and nostalgic review which is highly recommended.
This has proven to be one the most enjoyable and well-constructeed books that I have read to date. In the words of the narratives' archetypal fall guy...moreThis has proven to be one the most enjoyable and well-constructeed books that I have read to date. In the words of the narratives' archetypal fall guy, The Bouff, it truly was "a revelaaaaation"!
The Author demonstrated great skill with the characterisations portrayed within the book. The Author actively drew the Reader into the heart of unfolding drama, and by way of these characterisations, and made it incredibly easy to picture the key protagonists, understanding their motivations and therefore predicting the reasoning behind their behaviour as the drama unfolded.
My key reason for issuing this book with five stars is due to the sheer entertainment that the narrative provided. The Author's dry, and incredibly accurate observations of daily life in Britain, coupled to his incisive critques of the people that he metalong the way, geniunely made me laugh out loud and / or nod my head in agreement. In this respect, the ease with which I could identify with the people encountered, only enhanced my understanding of the narrative. This allowed me to buy into the version of events that PC Henduck was putting forward, no matter the level of his own personal culpability!
An entertaining and enjoyable read. Buy it or download it now! (less)
If you are looking for a cogent and neutral analysis of the economic debate surrounding Scottish Independence; then this is the book for you.
The Auth...moreIf you are looking for a cogent and neutral analysis of the economic debate surrounding Scottish Independence; then this is the book for you.
The Author skilfully transcends the vacuity of the "No" campaign, and the self-indulgence of the "Yes" campaign by analysing the economic realities which will impact the UK in the event of the retention of Scotland, and England and Wales in the event of the loss of Scotland.
In the process, the Author highlights how the ambitions of the central protagonists are inevitably intertwined, and that, despite the pomp and circumstance, are largely agents of a globalised economy which consigns concepts of "Sovereignty" and "Self-Determination" to the dustbin. The Independence debate becomes one of managing state activity within the economic arena for the benefit of particular client groups, rather than a full-blooded call for nation-hood.
Indeed, the Author concedes that rise and rise of English Nationalsim in the form of UKIP and the apparent concensus between Labour and the Conservative parties in social and economic policy, may prove to be more of a motivation to leave the Union, due to the "disconnect" between a Social-Democratic Scotland, and a Bourgeoise, London-Centric Westminster clique. In essence, the debate becomes one of "Anyone but Westminster", for Scotland, and, in the event of seperation, other regions within the former UK whom may also to express self-determination.
Irrespective of the outcome of the Independence Debate, the Author acknowledges that the political and economic narrative of Scotland's departure or continuation within the Union will be irreconcilably changed by virtue of the existence of the referendum. The question becomes one of managing the inevitable decline in the Union by way of further concessions the the Scottish Executive, thereby retaining Scotland in the loosest possible sense.
Scottish independence is perfectly possible. The vulgarity of the "No" campaign demonstrates that they are, to paraphrase John Kerry, "on the wrong side of History", and can offer little more than a continuation of the status quo on the grounds that the Scottish people haven't governed themselves since 1707. Their's is a behavioural argument if nothing else.
Equally however, an Independent Scotland would have to face a substantial number of entrenched obstacles which were not of it's construction, Obstacles which the London and Brussels-based cliques may contrive to retain for as long as possible. Those campaigning for Scottish independence need to realise that some of the assumptions that they are making depend upon an assumed goodwill internationally, which, given that internal indepence is without precedent within the EU, may not necessarily be present.
The debate is inevitably complex, and this book demonstrates that whilst both sides have the ability to construct eloquent arguments, there are too many "unknowns" muddying the waters, particularly around the Oil Fields off the Scottish coast.
Vote for what you believe is the best course for your Country. Ignore the defective arguments, and research the matter yourself. This book is a critical place to start.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. My only criticism is that it was too short!
The book skillfully charts the evolution of policing within Britain, and co...moreI thoroughly enjoyed this book. My only criticism is that it was too short!
The book skillfully charts the evolution of policing within Britain, and considers the impact the first Peelers had when they were first deployed on London in the late 1820's. The evolution of the Metropolitan Police is considered, and the emergence of other forces is covered in brief as is the origin of the social need for a uniformed police presence.
One thing that book covers in depth is the plight of the Victorian Police Officer. Armed with little more than a truncheon; rattle, (whistles were introduced later) and a strict disciplinary code of conduct, the job was, (and still is) potentially lethal. The first Officer, PC Joseph Grantham died within a year of the founding of the Met.
The relationship with the public is charted, and demonstrates the volatility in the relationship between the Peelers and the broader (non-criminal) public. The initial loathing and inverted morality of the Victorian middle classes towards these figures of authority is both startling, and abhorrent in equal measure. The Libertarian argument against the need for uniformed enforcers of the law, on the grounds of the protection of individual liberty underpins the majority of the armchair pontifications that blight the Press and afternoon chat shows. Self-indulgent rhetoric is the preserve of the British Press.
The current troubled relationship between the police and public demonstrates that the phoney Victorian moralism, which initially resisted the introduction of the Peelers is alive and well, despite the overtures made by the forces across the UK to engage and protect.
In this sense, the book amplifies the notion that Peels' brilliant experiment was almost too successful for it's own good, resulting in a sustained public distrust of one of the most innovative institutions of the Victorian period.
I enjoyed the descriptions surrounding the Nuclear Fall-out zone and the process of navigating through the lethal, and decaying infrastructure. Howeve...moreI enjoyed the descriptions surrounding the Nuclear Fall-out zone and the process of navigating through the lethal, and decaying infrastructure. However, I found the storyline to be predictable and the conclusion to be a disappointment.
The book is ideal for those looking for a quick, non-committal read or those with a passing interest in the fallout caused by Chernobyl. (less)
This book was selected by my Wife on the off chance that I may find it interesting. Without doubt, this has been one of the most enjoyable and enlight...moreThis book was selected by my Wife on the off chance that I may find it interesting. Without doubt, this has been one of the most enjoyable and enlightening overviews of the subject matter that I have read to date.
The combines a punchy and informative narrative with access to documentary sources towards the rear of the book. The book is written in an accessible and cogent style which permits cognition, and provides leads for further investigation.
This book is without doubt, a critical aid to furtherance of understanding about National Socialism, and the examination of the circumstances surrounding the promulgation of Nazism. The book also considers the appalling myopia on the part of the principal actors, for consciously facilitating the rise of Adolf Hitler rather than continuing with economically-deterministic arguments which predominate.
This was a cogent, and critical review of the documentary sources concerned with the origins and promulgation of the Nazi regime from 1919 - 1945. The...moreThis was a cogent, and critical review of the documentary sources concerned with the origins and promulgation of the Nazi regime from 1919 - 1945. The value of the book resides within the factual, and dispassionate analysis of the regime, which lends itself incredibly well to the student and interested reader alike.