Category Archives: International Relations

Nothing Left But The Think Pieces

It would be hypocritical in the extreme for someone who writes as many think pieces of one kind or another to be hostile to them as a whole. Nonetheless, there is something immensely dispiriting about the thought of the sort … Continue reading

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Book Review: Panda Nation

Panda Nation: The Construction And Conservation Of China’s Modern Icon, by E Elena Songster How and when did the panda become so important to China, and what has been done by China to preserve the vulnerable animal and to understand … Continue reading

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Winners At A Losing Game

One of the more momentous wars in the 19th century was fought mostly in the Crimean Peninsula in the southern portion of Ukraine. Since time immemorial this constricted space has proven to be the location of ferocious conflict, and it … Continue reading

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Book Review: In Distant Lands

In Distant Lands: A Brief History Of The Crusades, by Lars Brownworth What this book offers is mainly a short narrative history of the Crusades. Given that depending on one’s count there are either eight or nine crusades, to cover … Continue reading

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Book Review: Crusader Castles

Crusader Castles: Christian Fortresses In The Middle East, by Brian Hoggard The author of this book makes a strong case for the vital importance of fortification design for the relative longevity of the Crusader states in the Outremer. While we … Continue reading

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Turning The Box Inside Out

There are some parts of the world that appear to continually be problems for nations seeking to expand their control into peripheral regions. For example, the Scottish lowlands and Ulster have long been difficult regions to pacify and control in … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Battle For The Falklands

The Battle For The Falklands, by Max Hastings and Simon Jenkins If this book is the most thorough book I have ever read on the Falklands war and on the lack of decisiveness regarding how it was fought and how … Continue reading

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Book Review: Empire’s Crossroads

Empire’s Crossroads: A History Of The Caribbean From Columbus To The Present Day, by Carrie Gibson It is worthwhile to beware of books written by people who have axes to grind. And this book is certainly an example of that … Continue reading

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Book Review: When China Ruled The Seas

When China Ruled The Seas: The Treasure Fleet Of The Dragon Throne, 1405-1433, by Louise Levathes This book is essentially 1421 without the claims about the colonization of the Americas. Still, the essential story, for those who have an interest … Continue reading

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Would You Be So Kind As To….

I have never considered myself to be a particularly polite person. Although I do not relish interpersonal disagreements and tend to exercise considerable emotional restraint so as to avoid unpleasant scenes with those people I am around, I have frequently … Continue reading

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