Alison Light’s evocatively written Common People: The History of an English Family may well inaugurate a new genre of non-fiction: public family history. Today the internet and regional record offices around the country are buzzing with people tracing their genealogies, looking up long-dead ancestors. The vast majority of this work is kept in the family or posted online for millions of us to ignore. Light offers another path: family history not as a catalogue of names, dates, occupations and events, but as a generational history of interconnected people, where the historian’s task is to get a sense of how a life was made and what it felt like to make it that way. This isn’t history from below so much as history from inside, to use the author’s neat phrasing. It begins with Light’s father dying of cancer and with the author trying to find the resting place of his mother (her grandmother) who had been buried in a common grave when she was 38 and when the … [Read more...] about Common People review – family history as a new genre of non-fiction
The problem with feminism is that it’s just too familiar. The attention of a jaded public and neophiliac media may have been aroused by #MeToo, with its connotations of youth, sex and celebrity, but for the most part it has drifted recently towards other forms of prejudice, such as transphobia. Unfortunately for women, though, the hoary old problems of discrimination, violence and unpaid labour are still very much with us. We mistake our fatigue about feminism for the exhaustion of patriarchy. A recent large survey revealed that more than two thirds of men in Britain believe that women now enjoy equal opportunities. When the writer and activist Caroline Criado Perez campaigned to have a female historical figure on the back of sterling banknotes, one man responded: “But women are everywhere now!” It’s a smart strategy, therefore, to invite readers to view this timeworn topic through the revealing lens of data, bringing to light the hidden places where inequality … [Read more...] about Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez – a world designed for men
In the spring of 1997, shortly before Tony Blair took power, William Rees-Mogg, ex-editor of the Times, leading Eurosceptic, pinstriped self-publicist and father of Jacob, published a book that claimed to see the future of the world. The Sovereign Individual: The Coming Economic Revolution and How to Survive and Prosper in It opened with a quote from Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia: “The future is disorder.” For 380 breathless pages, Lord Rees-Mogg and a co-author, James Dale Davidson, an American investment guru and conservative propagandist, predicted that digital technology would make the world hugely more competitive, unequal and unstable. Societies would splinter. Taxes would be evaded. Government would gradually wither away. “By 2010 or thereabouts,” they wrote, welfare states “will simply become unfinanceable”. In such a harsh world, only the most talented, self-reliant, technologically adept person – “the sovereign … [Read more...] about How to explain Jacob Rees-Mogg? Start with his father’s books
Mumbai: Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt lost his cool while talking about "fitting" in the society during his daughter Shaheen Bhatt's book launch. His other daughter and actress Alia Bhatt tried to calm him down and joked that "Papa is not allowed to talk". Shaheen has unveiled a deeply personal memoir "I've Never Been (Un)Happier" on her struggle with depression. The book launch was attended by family -- Alia, Mahesh, Soni Razdan and Pooja Bhatt. During the interaction with the media, Mahesh got emotional and used a loud tone while answering a question. He said: "I can't expect a young little girl to fit into this sick world where brutality is legitimised." In a video, Soni can be seen signaling him to calm down. An uncomfortable Alia also says: "I warned you this was going to happen." Alia later says: "Papa is not allowed to talk." Watch the video below: 'Happy Birthday Sweet Carrot': Alia Bhatt Shares ADORABLE Throwback Pics To Wish Sister Shaheen View this post on Instagram … [Read more...] about VIDEO: Mahesh Bhatt Loses Cool At Daughter Shaheen’s Book Launch; Alia Bhatt Gets Upset!
A county library in north-western China has been criticised for burning books in line with a nationwide cull of “illegal” or “improper” materials used in school libraries. Reports and photos of two women burning a pile of books outside the Zhenyuan county library in Gansu province emerged at the weekend. According to Chinese media, an article on the county’s website detailed a “removal and destruction” cleanup at the end of October, focusing on illegal, religious, and biased books. Earlier in October, the ministry of education had ordered all primary and secondary schools to “firmly cleanse” their libraries of reading material deemed illegal, improper, or outdated as part of efforts to “create a healthy and safe environment for education”. Over the past year, China has focused especially on regulating what content young people see, from what can be posted online to how long minors can play video games. This year, … [Read more...] about Book burning by Chinese county library sparks fury