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Thread: From My Bookshelves

  1. #16
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    An old book that I love is by Alfred Watkins The Old Straight Track(Abacus, 1994).

    First published in 1925 and out of print for many years, The Old Straight Track remains the most important source for the study of the ancient straight tracks or leys that criss-cross the British Isles - a fascinating system which was old when the Romans came to Britain." (back cover text)

    Another book that I bought is Francis Hitching Earth Magic (Picador, 1976). This is a world-wide phenomenon.

    But Watkins book is very detailed and unique. Many ley lines are found in the English border country near Wales, where Watkins was born (Hereford).

  2. #17
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    Norbert Elias Reflections on a life Polity Press (1994).

    I was a first year student at Leicester University when I attended his lectures (and also Anthony Giddens). I was very impressed by Elias, especially. It is in English and well worth reading!

  3. #18
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    Merilyn Moos The Language of Silence Cressida Press (2010). Merilyn was the child of jewish refugees from Germany, and since my father never wanted to talk about his Jewish background it created a silence around his life, similar to that which the author, Merilyn experienced in hers. So I bought her book, only to find that in many respects there were, of course, many differences. In the first place my aunt took me to Czechoslovakia several times, so I could visit the places that my father lived in - Puchov, Levoča, Nitra - a voyage of discovery as a young teenager I learned a lot from. Of course, still there were silences I could not explore, but it was a start.

  4. #19
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    Bernadotte: Napoleon's Marshal, Sweden's King Alan Palmer (John Murray Ltd, 1990).

    Lacking a male heir to the throne, John-Paul Bernadotte applied and became King of Sweden in 1818, as Charles X1V of Sweden and Norway. His line still rules today, the current Bernadotte King of Sweden (though no longer King of Norway). As Charles XIV John, Bernadotte made Sweden neutral, and it has been neutral ever since. This book tells the story of this extraordinary man.

  5. #20
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    This thread gives just a small selection from my bookshelves. In addition I have some 20 books by Anne Perry, 6 by Peter Robinson, 2 by David Baldacci, several in Swedish by Jan Guillou, the 4 volumes by Vilhelm Moberg on Swedish immigrants to Minnesota, two on the Habsburg Dual Monarchy, and one by Julia Orringer The Invisible Bridge. I have two by Anthony Beevor on the fall of Berlin and Stalingrad.

    Its not impossible that I may add to this thread in the future, as reading is one of my increasingly important pastimes as I get older.

  6. #21
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    I also have two books by Anthony Beevor "Stalingrad" and "Berlin". Stalingrad was circa the day I was born, the panzers were racing for the Don crossings. Two vital events that formed the early postwar years. The success with which the Russians, almost single-handedly, defeated Nazi Germany was remarkable. In the end, the allies (mainly Britain, France and the USA) had to hasten to reach Berlin at the same time as the Russians did.

    The other event was the success of Miklós Horthy in preserving the jews of Hungary from extinction. The above link shows how much he did. It didn't help my father, whose relatives were all killed in Auschwitz, but today the Jewish minority in Hungary is thriving and the second largest synagogue in the world at Dohany Utsa (Tobacco Street) in Budapest is thanks to the rule of Horthy. Even today the present Hungarian Government has good relations with the Putin Government in Russia, and the Hungarians were the first to throw off the Soviet Yoke in 1956: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungar...lution_of_1956.

    All in all, Hungary has a special place in European history. There remains in Hungary a sense of loss that the Treaty of Trianon nearly 120 years ago, created.
    Last edited by Dreamwoven; 04-04-2017 at 03:16 AM.

  7. #22
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    Another book that I have now read twice is The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Vintage Books, 2011). It reminded me how much of the Hungarian language I remember from my childhood. The book is long, some 750 pages, but I love the way the Budapest railway stations are named: Keleti (dawn), and Nyugati (sunset or resting), and a street called "Forget-me-not". Set in the late 1930s and early 1940s mainly in Paris and Hungary it describes very well the trials and tribulations of her Jewish relatives. She was helped in writing it by her grand uncle and aunt. Its the kind of book that I will return to read again.

  8. #23
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    Critical Criminology has been an interest of mine since the late 1960s and the early 1970s, when I attended the National Deviancy Symposium at York University. The books of C. Wright Mills, especially his essay on The Sociological Imagination. I will have to post this as a quick reply and return to it tomorrow to extend it and add links.

  9. #24
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    The National Deviancy Symposium was about the so-called New Criminology that sprang up in the late 1960s and continued well into the 1970s.

  10. #25
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    For some reason I have been unable to edit the last two posts, but will continue it here anyway. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...ancy_Symposium. Several of the contributors made major contributions but undoubtedly the most influential was Jock Young: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jock_Young, who died recently. I bought his three most important books - The Exclusive Society (Sage, 1999), The Vertigo of Late Modernity (Sage, 2007) and The Criminological Imagination (Polity Press, 2011).

    This trio of books make up the main part of his contribution. But see also Taylor, Walton and Young The New Criminology: for a social theory of deviance Routledge and Kegan Paul (1973), and Paul Walton and Jock Young The New Criminology Revisited (Palgrave and Macmillan (1998).
    Last edited by Dreamwoven; 03-25-2017 at 06:55 AM.

  11. #26
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    Jock Young's third book is titled The Criminological Imagination and is taken from C. Wright Mills The Sociological Imagination.

    C. Wright Mills - see http://www.cwrightmills.org and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._Wright_Mills. Mills died in his mid-40s, a great loss, but I have at least three books by him - White Collar and The Marxists in addition to the The Sociological Imagination, which has its own Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_So...al_Imagination.

    He was critical of "Grand Theory" and "Abstracted Empiricism".
    Last edited by Dreamwoven; 04-04-2017 at 03:18 AM.

  12. #27
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    Jock Young's third and last book, The Criminological Imagination, draws heavily on Wright Mills' essay The Sociological Imagination. Wright Mills was critical of Grand Theory, especially the work of Talcott Parsons, though who today remembers Parsons' ponderous study of social structure. He has been consigned to the rubbish bin of social theory. Abstracted Empiricism remains, detailed manipulation of statistical data remains, and both Wright Mills and Jock Young made withering critiques of this kind of empty analysis.

    Jock Young cites an article in Criminology from May 2003 on the question "Do police raids reduce illegal drug dealing at Nuisance Bars?

    Young comments as follows:
    "The findings were, incidentally, "that police intervention suppresses levels of drug dealing during periods of active enforcement but the effects largely disappear when the intervention is withdrawn. (2003, p. 257)". No comment."

    Young goes on to say that "it is cutting-edge stuff" "and the authors are well-published and respected".

    Young adds the following observations:
    "The Article simply fascinates me. The confetti of Greek letters, beta, lambda, epsilon, the masquerade of science, the strange litany of indicators: Time, Unemp, Risk, Nuisance, Closed, Dosage and Duration, seem in a different universe from the louche bars, dope smokers, snitches and police harassment of downtown Pittsburg. It is, of course, a full-blown example of abstracted empiricism." (this quote should be in colour, I usually choose blue, but here these options are not available).

    I spent a couple of hours writing this post.

    I need help. Could someone who understands my dilemma let me know when LitNet goes back to its old format Thank you.
    Last edited by Dreamwoven; 04-05-2017 at 03:57 AM.

  13. #28
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    Having published that post I should explain the rest of this story. I applied for a research studentship to several American universities in the late 1960s, hoping to study symbolic interaction. I only had one acceptance, from Minnesota University, so we went there. The first year course had several quantitive courses but only one symbolic interaction. This was to be the only course in symbolic interaction, so there was no way to do course at Minnesota in the subject. It was to be quantitative method or nothing. I got the message and resigned my position.
    Last edited by Dreamwoven; 04-08-2017 at 04:15 AM.

  14. #29
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    Abstracted empiricism was set to be the big growth point in the social sciences. Quite why, I don't understand...

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post
    Jock Young's third and last book, The Criminological Imagination, draws heavily on Wright Mills' essay The Sociological Imagination. Wright Mills was critical of Grand Theory, especially the work of Talcott Parsons, though who today remembers Parsons' ponderous study of social structure. He has been consigned to the rubbish bin of social theory. Abstracted Empiricism remains, detailed manipulation of statistical data remains, and both Wright Mills and Jock Young made withering critiques of this kind of empty analysis.

    Jock Young cites an article in Criminology from May 2003 on the question "Do police raids reduce illegal drug dealing at Nuisance Bars?

    Young comments as follows:
    "The findings were, incidentally, "that police intervention suppresses levels of drug dealing during periods of active enforcement but the effects largely disappear when the intervention is withdrawn. (2003, p. 257)". No comment."

    Young goes on to say that "it is cutting-edge stuff" "and the authors are well-published and respected".

    Young adds the following observations:
    "The Article simply fascinates me. The confetti of Greek letters, beta, lambda, epsilon, the masquerade of science, the strange litany of indicators: Time, Unemp, Risk, Nuisance, Closed, Dosage and Duration, seem in a different universe from the louche bars, dope smokers, snitches and police harassment of downtown Pittsburg. It is, of course, a full-blown example of abstracted empiricism."

    I spent a couple of hours writing this post.

    I need help. Could someone who understands my dilemma let me know when LitNet goes back to its old format Thank you.
    The Sociological Imagination is a short book, and applies to other disciplines not just to sociology. A quick perusal of Mills' work makes this very clear. He is trying to understand society in terms of power relationships in society, and to do this needs to relate events in society in such a way that makes it understandable both in macro and micro terms, relating the levels to each other in a way that is easy to understand without a lot of theory or abstracted empirical work.

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