Newsletter 1034

Hic sunt camelopardus: this historical edition of The Browser is presented for archaeological purposes; links and formatting may be broken.

Best of the Moment

Margaret Thatcher: Lady Of The House

Dominic Lawson | Literary Review | 13th June 2013

Another fine review of recent Thatcher biographies by Charles Moore and Robin Harris. "When people attain a certain level of fame, their notable acts have been so exhaustively described and analysed that what we crave to know about them is the banal and everyday: what they might have in common with the rest of humanity, rather than what sets them apart. This is true of the Queen, for example. It is even truer of Margaret Thatcher"

Europe’s Reluctant Hegemon

Zanny Minton Beddoes | The Economist | 13th June 2013

Germany accounts for one-fifth of the EU's production and one-quarter of its exports. It has low unemployment, a balanced budget, and falling government debt. Power in Europe is shifting to Berlin. For Germany, this ought to be a time of triumph. But Germany isn't like that, at least not yet. It has no historical experience of successful international leadership, and no great desire to lead. Can it rise to the opportunity?

My Life As An Amateur Taxidermist

Hayley Campbell | New Statesman | 16th June 2013

Icky in parts, also funny, original, and highly informative. "You can buy a mole for a tenner on eBay. Three crows might cost you twenty. Merely searching for these things changes eBay’s profile on you and they start suggesting sheep thigh bones, dental picks and disembodied hawk feet." Nor had it occurred to me, before reading this, that the giblets bagged up inside a store-bought chicken are not going to be the bird's own

Albert O. Hirschman And The Power Of Failure

Malcolm Gladwell | New Yorker | 16th June 2013

Essay pegged to Jeremy Adelman's book, Worldly Philosopher: The Odyssey of Albert O. Hirschman, centred on Hirschman's insight that the greatest progress is made not when things go exactly as planned, but when they go wrong in a big way, and an innovative solution has to be found. "The entrepreneur does not see himself as a risk-taker, because he operates under the useful delusion that what he’s attempting is not risky"

Video of the day: Submarine Test

Thought for the day:

"Philosophy is the attempt to find good reasons for conventional beliefs"— John Gray

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