Avril Goodwin, Stephen Halliday, Christina Hellmich, David Milne and R. C. Richardson...

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

October 31, 2013

Avril Goodwin, campus librarian at Dumfries, University of the West of Scotland, is reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (Phoenix, 2013). “A well-plotted, page-turning thriller with a dual narrative of husband and (missing) wife. As the story races along, it becomes clear that all is definitely not what it seems. Flynn cleverly creates an engaging yet unnerving story of a marriage that has lost its way, set in a very recognisable contemporary US, where reputation management is a key life skill.”

Insider Dealing, by Sarah Clarke

Stephen Halliday, panel tutor in history, Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge, is reading Sarah Clarke’s Insider Dealing: Law and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2013). “This is a remarkably clear exposition of a dark corner of the City of London. Clarke’s book will be bought by lawyers, accountants and academics, but its avoidance of legal jargon taught this layman what insider dealing is, why its detection is important and what is being done about it.”

Political Self-Sacrifice, by K. M. Fierke

Christina Hellmich, reader in international relations and Middle East studies, University of Reading, is reading K. M. Fierke’s Political Self-Sacrifice: Agency, Body and Emotion in International Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2013). “Suicide bombers are not crazy, but rational actors. But are they? Fierke’s informed empirical analysis of political self-sacrifice demonstrates the inseparability of emotion and agency that not only challenges the well-established mantra of terrorism studies but also the way we think about the conduct of politics.”

The John McPhee Reader, by John McPhee

David Milne, senior lecturer in American political history, University of East Anglia, is reading The John McPhee Reader (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1976). “Princeton University-based scholar McPhee is one of the finest authors of literary non-fiction of the past half-century. This selection of essays, all originally published by The New Yorker, demonstrate his versatility, style and single-minded dedication to his craft. Reading McPhee is inspirational and instructive – I turn to him often – and this collection is testament to the artistic possibilities of non-fiction.”

Our Inheritance, by Stanley ­Baldwin

R. C. Richardson, emeritus professor of history, University of Winchester, is reading Stanley Baldwin’s Our Inheritance (Hodder & Stoughton, 1938). “Remembered today as the unfortunate prime minister in office at the time of both the General Strike and the abdication crisis, Baldwin’s patriotism, devotion to empire, naive belief in homespun common sense and distrust of theory shine through in these essays. Most of them were delivered as speeches in Britain and in Canada, but a few began life as broadcasts on radio, a new medium that he was the first prime minister to master and exploit.”

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together