Geoffrey Alderman, Caroline Flurey, Richard Howells, Karen McAulay and John Shand...

A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers

July 10, 2014

Geoffrey Alderman, professor of politics, University of Buckingham, is reading Rosa Freedman’s The United Nations Human Rights Council: A Critique and Early Assessment (Routledge, 2013). “In 2006, the UN was compelled to wind up its thoroughly discredited Commission on Human Rights, which was replaced by a Human Rights Council. But hopes that the council would not repeat the politically driven failures of the commission have been dashed. Freedman tells us why this is. It is a depressing story, superbly told.”

Men, Masculinities and Health: Critical Perspectives edited by Brendan Gough and Steve Robertson

Caroline Flurey, postdoctoral research fellow in the department of health and applied sciences, University of the West of England, is reading Men, Masculinities and Health: Critical Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), edited by Brendan Gough and Steve Robertson. “The idea that masculinity is bad for your health is now outdated: men are more complex than this. Drawing on an international cast of contributors, this informative book brings together the evidence for sociological and psychological factors that influence men’s health and explores masculinity theories of health and how men engage with their health in practice.”

Necessary Errors Caleb Crain

Richard Howells, reader in culture, media and creative industries at King’s College London, is reading Caleb Crain’s Necessary Errors (Penguin, 2014). “Nearly 30 years after we met in a freshman writing class at Harvard University, Crain has just published his debut novel. I began it out of personal loyalty; I’m continuing for sheer literary pleasure. The layers of uncomfortable detachment that surround his central character – and the time it has taken the author to construct them – will reverberate with any writer.”

Everyday Sexism Laura Bates

Karen McAulay, music and academic services librarian at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has been reading Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism (Simon & Schuster, 2014). “I began following Bates’ project on Twitter a few months ago, and my interest grew. I’ve spent my adult life under the impression that feminism was gradually making a difference, and that equality was becoming more embedded; this book jolts any right-thinking person out of such complacency. Bates demonstrates how insidious and pervasive everyday sexism actually is. Essential reading.”

A Philosophy of Walking Frédéric Gros

John Shand, associate lecturer in philosophy, The Open University, is reading Frédéric Gros’ A Philosophy of Walking (Verso, 2014). “Quite the best book on the meaning and point of walking, as well as evoking what it is like. It’s amazing how rich the author makes the subject seem, in a work that is light yet profound, poetic yet clear. Far from being an armchair walker’s book, it makes one want to get out walking.”

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