Claire Ashmore, Danny Dorling, Liz Gloyn, Sandra Leaton Gray and June Purvis...

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

February 19, 2015

Claire Ashmore, doctoral candidate in linguistics, Sheffield Hallam University, is reading Jane Hodson’s Dialect in Film and Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). “On a freezing cold day recently I attended a talk given by Hodson. Tea, parkin and mention of The Full Monty put a smile on my face, as does this page-turning book. I want to read the novels and watch the films she analyses (apart from Four Weddings and a Funeral – I now understand why Charles ‘erms’, but I’ll never like it).”

Book review: Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust, by Darrell M. West

Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder professor of geography, University of Oxford, is reading Darrell M. West’s Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust (Brookings Institution, 2014). “It’s the asides I enjoy most in this book on the extremely rich; the descriptions of the complications of being the child of a billionaire in a world where nine-year-olds can sue their parents if they do not think they are getting enough money. Apparently depression, anxiety, delinquency and substance misuse are more common among children at the very top.”

Book review: Slow River, by Nicola Griffith

Liz Gloyn, lecturer in Classics, Royal Holloway, University of London, is reading Nicola Griffith’s Slow River (Ballantine, 2003). “Three strands of narrative weave together the story of a woman in a futuristic society who has been kidnapped and left for dead, amnesiac, with her ID chip removed. As she slowly recovers her memory and identity, she shapes a new life. Her world’s high-tech water-purifying technology enriches the plot in surprising ways. A gripping read as the full picture unfolds.”

Book review: PISA, Power, and Policy: The Emergence of Global Educational Governance, by Heinz-Dieter Meyer and Aaron Benavot

Sandra Leaton Gray, senior lecturer in education, UCL Institute of Education, is reading Heinz-Dieter Meyer and Aaron Benavot’s PISA, Power, and Policy: The Emergence of Global Educational Governance (Symposium, 2013). “This lays out the Programme for International Student Assessment phenomenon in all its flawed glory, with reference to globalisation, governance, non-educational influences on PISA outcomes and the implications of policy. It is important to challenge anything that is forced down educationalists’ throats by career politicians, and this book seems to be making a good fist of it.”

Book review: The Home Front in Britain: Images, Myths and Forgotten Experiences since 1914, edited by Maggie Andrews and Janis Lomas

June Purvis, professor of women’s and gender history, University of Portsmouth, is reading The Home Front in Britain: Images, Myths and Forgotten Experiences since 1914 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), edited by Maggie Andrews and Janis Lomas. “This interesting collection of 14 chapters makes the case for a reappraisal of the place of the home front in British conceptualisations of war and conflict. Studies of the housewife in the First World War, as well as war widows and land girls and the role of factory inspectors, complement research on canal boat women, Guernsey evacuees and clothes rationing in the Second World War. We see that gender roles remained intact in both post-war eras.”

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