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George Thomas, former Labour Cabinet Minister and Speaker of the House of Commons, was sycophant supreme of the British political system and arguably the most divisive figure in twentieth-century Welsh politics. Political Chameleon dissects George Thomas chapter by chapter, exposing him as a sanctimonious hypocrite whose religious veneer was a sham. 33 black and white photographs.
The book examines the creative industries of Cameroon and Africa and makes bold the cultural triumphant assertion that Africa is home to some of the most diverse cultural patrimony and the most versatile creative professionals. It also discusses indigenous development models and questions the rationale for Eurocentric democratic paradigms which have partly contributed to the demise of a concrete democratic development entitlement in most African countries. Ngwane weaves both the cultural and political strands into a search for a homegrown development web which he calls 'glocalisation'. Ngwane's essays, most of which have animated debate and discourse in national newspapers, online blogs and International journals are lucid in their arguments, poignant in their ideological focus, rich in their non-fiction craftsmanship and urgent in their message delivery. The essays will make good reading for students of Africa studies, Development studies, Politics and Culture.
Sharpening the debate over the values that formed America's founding political philosophy, Barry Alan Shain challenges us to reconsider what early Americans meant when they used such basic political concepts as the public good, liberty, and slavery. We have too readily assumed, he argues, that eighteenth-century Americans understood these and other terms in an individualistic manner. However, by exploring how these core elements of their political thought were employed in Revolutionary-era sermons, public documents, newspaper editorials, and political pamphlets, Shain reveals a very different understanding--one based on a reformed Protestant communalism. In this context, individual liberty was the freedom to order one's life in accord with the demanding ethical standards found in Scripture and confirmed by reason. This was in keeping with Americans' widespread acceptance of original sin and the related assumption that a well-lived life was only possible in a tightly knit, intrusive community made up of families, congregations, and local government bodies. Shain concludes that Revolutionary-era Americans defended a Protestant communal vision of human flourishing that stands in stark opposition to contemporary liberal individualism. This overlooked component of the American political inheritance, he further suggests, demands examination because it alters the historical ground upon which contemporary political alternatives often seek legitimation, and it facilitates our understanding of much of American history and of the foundational language still used in authoritative political documents.
The role of the state in capitalist societies has been a bone of considerable contention among scholars. The two founding fathers of sociology held radically opposing views on this subject which were reflected in the numerous debates over subsequent decades to this day. Yet, no answer has been found to the vexing question: on whose side is the state in capitalist societies? The author examines current theories and, comparing Britain and Germany, shows that they are unable to explain the contradictory social and industrial policies in these two countries during the twentieth century. Based on in-depth archival and secondary sources the author offers an alternative theoretical framework, one that focuses on the interactions among historical contingencies, the global cultural context, and political processes.
From award-winning author Michael Scammell comes a monumental achievement: the first authorized biography of Arthur Koestler, one of the most influential and controversial intellectuals of the twentieth century. Over a decade in the making, and based on new research and full access to its subject’s papers, Koestler is the definitive account of this fascinating and polarizing figure. Though best known as the creator of the classic anti-Communist novel Darkness at Noon, Koestler is here revealed as much more–a man whose personal life was as astonishing as his literary accomplishments. Koestler portrays the anguished youth of a boy raised in Budapest by a possessive and mercurial mother and an erratic father, marked for life by a forced operation performed without anesthesia when he was five, growing up feeling unloved and unprotected. Here is the young man whose experience of anti-Semitism and devotion to Zionism provoked him to move to Palestine; the foreign correspondent who risked his life from the North Pole to Franco’s Spain, where he was imprisoned and sentenced to death; the committed Communist for whom the brutal truth of Stalin’s show trials inspired the superb and angry novel that became an instant classic in 1940. Scammell also provides new details of Koestler’s amazing World War II adventures, including his escape from occupied France by joining the Foreign Legion and his bluffing his way illegally to England, where his controversial novel Arrival and Departure, published in 1943, was the first to portray Hitler’s Final Solution. Without sentimentality, Scammell explores Koestler’s turbulent private life: his drug use, his manic depression, the frenetic womanizing that doomed his three marriages and led to an accusation of rape that posthumously tainted his reputation, and his startling suicide while fatally ill in 1983–an act shared by his healthy third wife, Cynthia–rendered unforgettably as part of his dark and disturbing legacy. Featuring cameos of famous friends and colleagues including Langston Hughes, George Orwell, and Albert Camus, Koestler gives a full account of the author’s voluminous writings, making the case that the autobiographies and essays are fit to stand beside Darkness at Noon as works of lasting literary value. Koestler adds up to an indelible portrait of this brilliant, unpredictable, and talented writer, once memorably described as “one third blackguard, one third lunatic, and one third genius.” From the Hardcover edition.

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