The Buried Giant: Kazuo Ishiguro

England, a few years after King Arthur’s death. Dragons, ogres and knights roam the land. There is a sort of peace after a fierce civil war—the opposing sides, the Britons and Saxons, coexist. But a mist lies over the land, a mist that clouds people’s minds, taking away their memories. The mist keeps the peace—if …

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Beyond Our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves by Sheldon Garon

The key question Sheldon Garon, Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton, tries to answer is why are some countries thriftier than others, and in particular, why is the US saving so little? Through a comparative historical analysis, Garon tracks thriftiness back in time in Western Europe, Asia and the US. The central …

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Koestler’s Kafkaesque Nightmare: Parallels Beyond Perception

The Scum of the Earth by Arthur Koestler 2006, Eland, London. Originally published in 1941 by the Left Book club. Arthur Koestler was a curiosity. So often spent rowing against the tide, his life personifies the experience and aura of the twentieth century intellectual more than any other. So then, how appropriate that his first-hand rendering …

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V for Vendetta: written by Alan Moore, illustrated by David Lloyd

Written in the 1980s, this graphic novel is set in another one of Alan Moore’s dystopian alternative futures. It’s the late 1990s in Britain. A war and a near-miss nuclear conflict has led to the takeover by a fascist government, with Adam Susan at its head. The government is presented by Susan as paternalistic, with …

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