Laurie Taylor Column

January 26, 2007

Last week's Letters page in The Times Higher contained complaints about unsatisfactory book reviews. In the interests of comprehensiveness, we now bring you a further selection of critical correspondence.

What about Hitler?

In his recent review of my new book, Analysing World War Two: A Critical Re-Assessment , Professor W. M. D. Wainwright claims that I pay "insufficient attention" to the role played in the war by Adolph Hitler.

In fact, I devote three of my six chapters explicitly to this topic: chapter three ("Hitler's role at the beginning of the war)", chapter four ("Hitler's role during the war") and chapter five ("Assessing Hitler's role in the war").

Has Professor Wainwright read my book?

J. G. Balustrade
Senior lecturer in Hitler studies

University of East Molesely

Professor Wainwright replies:
It is, I'm afraid, typical of Dr Balustrade's approach to scholarship that he should choose to concentrate entirely in his letter upon evidence that only supports his own point of view.

It was exactly this type of partiality that I sought to document in my review.

Simple minds

In his review of my new media studies text, Generally Cloudy: Weather Forecasting and Ideology , Dr P. W. B. Cirrus refers to my writing as "simple-minded and repetitive".

What does she mean by that exactly? I mean, what does she mean? If you ask me, she doesn't know what she's talking about. That's my opinion anyway.

She doesn't know what she's talking about. That's what I think. That's my opinion.

Dr Mike Tusk
City University of Rummidge

The world on a string

I was shocked to read Dr A. J. Botty's recent review ("A ragbag of regurgitated old nonsense") of my new book, Unravelling String Theory .

Readers of this review should know that a recent book on the same topic by Dr Botty was remaindered by the publisher. They should also know that Dr Botty recently left his long-suffering wife, Eileen, for a young graduate student.

I hope this places his critical remarks in context

Professor L. R. W. Gambit
Designate University of Tadcaster

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