Dear FiveBooks Readers,
This week, we’ve brought you interviews on a wide range of subjects – from
James Dunkerley on Latin American History to Italian food guru Diane Seed on
Mediterranean cooking. Our discussions with experts have featured paeans to
some of our favorite authors, including Mark Twain, Henry James and Charles
James Dunkerley on Latin American History
Monday, January 10th
Queen Mary professor and former director of UCL’s Institute of Latin
American Studies recommends five books that examine the Latin American past
through political, religious, and cultural lenses, concluding with a
powerful endorsement of Greg Grandin’s _Blood of Guatemala_.
Charles Glasson on Americans Abroad
Tuesday, January 11th
Journalist and broadcaster Charles Glass leads us on an uproarious,
Americanized grand tour. More Americans have ventured abroad since the days
of Twain’s _Innocents Abroad_, he says – but then again, American brands
have spread so far that perhaps traveling Americans are no longer leaving
home at all.
Matthew Taylor on Progress
Wednesday, January 12th
The chief executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts,
Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) argues that relationships and values are
more important than scientific or economic advances when it comes to
societal success. His five books on society and progress run the gamut from
neuroscience and behavioural economics (Dan Gilbert’s _Stumbling on
Happiness_) to Dickens’s classic _Great Expectations_.
Jeremy Black on War
Thursday, January 13th
Distinguished military historian Jeremy Black, who is author of over 90
books, questions the traditional view that the rest of the world is
struggling to catch up militarily with the West - and argues that war
represents “the revenge of the contingent on the determinist”.
Diane Seed on Mediterranean Cooking
Friday, January 14th
The bestselling cookbook author, who runs her own cookery school in Rome,
takes us on a culinary tour of the Mediterranean, stopping off in Sicily,
Morocco, the Middle East, Turkey and Greece. Her interests turn out to be
cultural as well as gastronomical, as she ultimately argues that “writing
about food is social history”.
Finally, we know you’ll be excited to read today’s FiveBooks interview with
Tony Blair’s legendary spin doctor, Alastair Campbell. Don’t forget that you
can buy the second volume of Campbell’s diaries, _Power and the People_, out
this Thursday, in our online store.
The FiveBooks team at TheBrowser
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