Book review: Biologists in the Age of Totalitarianism: Personal Reminiscences of Ornithologists and Other Naturalists

Biologists in the Age of Totalitarianism: Personal Reminiscences of Ornithologists and Other Naturalists, written by Eugeniusz Nowak and edited and translated by Brian Hillcoat, has been reviewed in the latest issue of Ardea by Rob G. Bijlsma. The review is available here (email registration is required to read the full review), and an indicative excerpt is available below:

“”Altogether 43 life historiesare described in detail, some in great detail (likeErwin Stresemann, Nikolai Timoféeff-Ressovsky and Hans Stubbe). The index of persons exceeds 200 names. It is a worthy tribute to the people who contributed, under great personal strife, to science in an era steeped in paranoia and bloodshed. A great many portraits and documents, all of them fittingly in black-and-white, illustrate the book. The translation by Brian Hillcoat, Leela Sashidharan and Mike Smart is meticulous.”

The book is available to purchase now by clicking here.

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Book review – “The first book on colors in China, a must have for all Chinese Art Collectors”

The Language of Color in China, authored by Professors Jun Zhou and Gail Taylor, has been reviewed on the Italian site Gingko by Angelo Paratico. The review is available open access here

A new review of The Da Vinci Globe by Elisabetta Gnignera

The recently published reference publication by Cambridge Scholars Publishing with the Title: The Da Vinci Globe by the Belgian Prof. Dr. Stefaan Missinne, Da Vinci’s expert cartographer, breaks new ground.

Based on a very sound methodology, Missinne offers irrefutable evidence for Da Vinci’s authorship of the so-called ‘Ostrich Egg Globe’ dating from 1504 and for its identical twin, the Lenox globe a the New York Public Library.

By investigating in detail the miniature globe engraved on an ostrich egg, Missinne extends his analysis not only to the technical peculiarities of Leonardo Da Vinci but also to the geographical and social context in which this artifact was conceived.

Through a cross-examination of the documentary sources together with autograph annotations of the Tuscan Master concerning, among others, particular chemical devices (detection of arsenic in a metal droplet, consistently with Leonardo’s anti-corrosion method) and mathematical proportional studies and geometrics contained in Leonardo’s codices traceable in the globe itself, Missinne weaves a dense network of evidence that leads him to identify the author of the globe as Leonardo da Vinci.

Following Missinne’s findings,  we learn that the Tuscan master not only knew about the discovery of America, but he also made a preparatory drawing dating from around 1503-1504, kept at the British Library (Codex Arundel) and evidently used for his globe, as he described it in the Codex Atlanticus.

I enjoyed this book very much and I therefore recommend it to anybody interested in the life of this universal Italian genius and author of the oldest globe to depict the new World.

Book Review: Edmund Burke, the Imperatives of Empire and the American Revolution: An Interpretation

We are delighted to share a new review of H.G. Callaway’s Edmund Burke, the Imperatives of Empire and the American Revolution: An Interpretation, published in the latest volume of Studies in Burke and His Time. The full review can be read open access here (scroll down to p.92), and an indicative excerpt is below:

“The editor’s challenge in this volume is to inject freshness into a largely familiar collection of Burke’s writings relating to America. This he does with a textual analysis that appears to stand upon four main arguments: that the tension over the legacy of the Glorious Revolutionwas focused primarily on the relationship of liberty and representation; that Burke was a “liberal Whig” in his conception of that relationship; that the almost unforeseen consequences of the acquisition of an extensive continental empire—in 1763, but also in 1803—contorted that tension in challenging and unexpected ways; that there remains unplumbed contemporary value in grappling with these issues afresh—not least in comparing the thought of Burke and of Thomas Jefferson, a comparison that finds “poignant commonalties” to place beside the “well known contrasts” (p. xvi).”

The book is available to purchase directly from Cambridge Scholars – please click here to do so.

Cultural Studies Approaches in the Study of Eastern European Cinema: Spaces, Bodies, Memories reviewed in latest edition of Contact Zones

Andrea Virginás’ edited book Cultural Studies Approaches in the Study of Eastern European Cinema: Spaces, Bodies, Memories has been reviewed in the online journal Contact Zones: Studies in Central and Eastern European Film and Literature. The full review is available open access below. Continue reading

Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star reviews Nature and Life: Essays on Deep Ecology and Applied Ethics

The Bangladeshi daily The Daily Star has published a superb open access review of Md. Munir Hossain Talukder’s book Nature and Life: Essays on Deep Ecology and Applied EthicsThe review is available open access here, and an indicative excerpt is below:

“How is a philosophical worldview of nature and life (in the sense of its totality) possible? The answer to this question can be found in the philosophical approach of Md. Munir Hossain Talukder who invites us to take the universe in its totality as a way of correcting the metaphysics of ‘self’ and its relation with the nature.Of all the far reaching insights, the one most relevant of Professor Talukder’s book is his engagement in exploring the issues of values, virtues and attitude towards life and nature through a common lens of culture in which the “quality of life” is emphasized not only as a logical outcome of “Self-realization” but also as a common denominator of (bio)ethical choice. This way of thinking as such would contribute profoundly to the ongoing dialogue about deep ecology and applied ethics, generated from the renewed interests in transforming the metaphysic of self into a philosophical worldview of life and nature.”

Muhammad A Sayeed, Jahangirnagar University, The Daily Star


The book is out now, and can be purchased directly from Cambridge Scholars by clicking here.