|Falling||Falling to Pieces: Making Sense of Self Deception and the Divided Mind
We are all familiar with self deception, though we may not know it by that name. Most of us, at one time or another, have encountered gamblers, alcoholics or addicts who deny the gravity of their compulsions despite evidence to the contrary. We know of the lover who excuses a partner's cheating behaviour in order to allay a break up, a terminally ill patient who refuses to accept the imminence of death despite contrary evidence, and the mediocre student who is convinced of success despite failing results. Self deception is a ubiquitous piece of human theatre.
But do we really understand what this behaviour involves and why people do it? Is self deception a rational way to behave? Indeed, is it even a coherent term in the first place? This book sets out to answer these and other questions. While the focus is primarily on philosophical analysis, the book cites recent research in cognitive psychology, particularly experiments on human motivation, perception and irrationality, in order to illuminate this subject. Some of Freud's case studies are also examined in order to explore whether psychoanalysis can shed light on self deception.
|The Greatest Briton: Essays on Winston Churchill's Life and Political Philosophy
After several decades of historical revisionism, Winston Churchill remains one of the most controversial figures in modern history. Critics allege he was a diehard imperialist and warmonger, a bitter opponent of the working classes and a maverick opportunist with an insatiable appetite for power. Despite his record as 'the man who won the war', he is often accused of being a war criminal.
This book sets out to correct the historical record in a stimulating collection of essays. Arranged in chronological order to show his life in the context of 20th century world history, these essays are both detailed and analytical while still highly accessible to a general audience. Each one answers a specific historical question about Churchill through a critical examination of the existing historical record.
The author believes that Churchill deserves to be remembered as much for his domestic policy as his wartime achievements. Of particular interest is an evaluation of his role in introducing old age pensions and unemployment benefits for the very poorest in Edwardian Britain. This, some historians argue, made the difference between revolution and evolution at the end of the war.
A special section examines his political philosophy, which is revealed to be more consistent than many imagine. While attention is given to Churchill's prodigious political accomplishments, the book also shows how he anticipated many important debates facing the world today. According to a recent review (in Finest Hour), the essays are 'literate, well-written, and cite a variety of published sources.'
|Projecting Britain at War: The National Character in British World War II Films
This detailed chronological analysis of British World War II movies from 1939 until the present explores how recognizable stereotypes of British national character were projected and how the times in which a film was made shaped its perceptions. Several chapters look at films from the Golden Age of World War II. In films about the Home Front, characters display resolve as well as emotional restraint and present an image of a classless society co-operating to fight evil. By contrast, duty and patriotism are the paramount virtues of service films while spy melodramas exemplify the British love of improvisation. Fifties war films are examined against the backdrop of alarm and uncertainty caused by the Cold War. Such films reflect traditional national character stereotypes, though the stiff upper lip begins to be questioned by the end of the decade. The book then traces the radical effect of the 60s revolution, revealing how the fondness for sceptical antiwar movies went hand in hand with the questioning of Britain's place in the world. The book ends by looking at recent war films and asks whether these reflect the cult of narcissism so prevalent in modern Britain.
|||Refuting the anti-Israel narrative: A Case for the Historical, Legal and Moral Legitimacy of the Jewish State
In recent decades, Israel has come under sustained diplomatic pressure from the West. According to the press and the policy establishment, Israel acts aggressively and with disregard for civilian lives in pursuit of an unnecessary and illegal occupation of Palestinian territory. Others view Israel as an embarrassing outpost of colonialism, racism and apartheid whose actions-and those of the "pro-Israel lobby" have provoked a fiery Islamist backlash. This book refutes these misrepresentations, showing that Israel's actions are well within the norms of international law and morality, and arguing that the country-far from being a deviant state, is a bastion of Western values. The author offers a nuanced narrative, outlining the legal, moral and historical justice behind Jewish statehood and discussing the reasons behind the failed peace process in recent years. He also shows how it is possible to attack and ultimately discredit Israel's most hardline critics.