Profile for Rowland Nelken > Reviews

Browse

Rowland Nelken's Profile

Customer Reviews: 2
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,714,757
Helpful Votes: 9




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Rowland Nelken RSS Feed (Nottingham, England, UK)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1
pixel
Блондинка вокруг света или I did it my way: Хочешь сбежать? Спроси меня как\ Do you want to run away? Ask me how (Russian Edition)
Блондинка вокруг света или I did it my way: Хочешь сбежать? Спроси меня как\ Do you want to run away? Ask me how (Russian Edition)

5.0 out of 5 stars So we get not only excellent descriptions of the scenery, August 12, 2014
This is a singularly moving traveller’s tale. The world grows ever smaller and more and more of us have the opportunity to explore it. For most of us, however, our journeys are a break from life’s routines. We may be tourists, travel writers, young people enjoying a gap year, retireds spending our savings on that dreamed of world tour, or indeed have a job which demands that we are ever encountering new people and places.
Anna Lazarus is none of these. For her, travel is her life, her raison d’être, at least for the period recounted in this book. So we get not only excellent descriptions of the scenery, the history, the people, resident and transient, the food, the music, dance and climate of India, South East Asia, England and the USA as well as South and Central America; there is also regular, intriguing, and sometimes agonised reflection on her compulsion to keep on the move.
The title itself tells us a lot. It tells us first that Anna has that ‘giftie’ dreamed of by Robert Burns in his poem ‘To a Louse’. ‘Oh wad some pow’r the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us…’ Anna is not a blonde; her hair is mousey. In India, however, her first port of call, because her hair is not of the all but universal Indian black, she is referred to as a blonde. ‘Blondie’, however, is not her only identity in India. She is employed as a singer in restaurants. And music making, with voice, and later guitar, is a recurring theme in her journey. But travel is the thing, and singing is but one of many means of earning herself both food, shelter and the next air fare or bus ticket.
The ending is quite cathartic. The search for the greener grass over the hill, or, in Anna’s words, the Promised Land, ends, inevitably, in frustration. Likewise her dream man, her American ‘White Knight’, who falls so desperately in love with her, proves a disappointment. He is possessed by his family, and wants, in turn, to possess Anna.
Anna will be nobody’s property. Her conclusion, on return to her native Russia, is one of satisfaction. Whatever the trials; the poverty and physical discomfort of her odyssey, she has lived a life, indeed several lives, of which most others merely dream. And if freedom means being solitary, so be it.


Locke: Political Writings (Hackett Classics)
Locke: Political Writings (Hackett Classics)
by John Locke
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.00
51 used & new from $8.00

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'modern' man of the late 17th century, February 8, 2010
Once I became used to the very long sentences I found this book a delight. In 21st century England we have long been used to religion being confined to the personal sphere, notwithstanding the Lords Spiritual, the Queen as Head of the Church and a tiny, disaffected minority that would see our country take its place in a Global Caliphate. In both his Treatises on Government, as well as in his Essay on Toleration, Locke seeks to demolish many barriers, then still standing, against freedom of custom in forms of worship and freedom of conscience in belief. Such was the atmosphere in the late 17th century. The place of God in our Constitution had been a crucial issue in the blood soaked Civil War which had been the backdrop to Locke's childhood. He was sixteen years old when the Prot./Cat. Thirty Years War drew to a close.

Locke's burial of the notion of the divine right of kings, and his acknowledgement that rulers can only rule legitimately with their people's consent may make him sound like a pioneer of liberalism, or even a visionary of our modern age. He is, however, very much a man of his time. Indeed that is the attraction of this book. The comments of a 17th century man from a 17th century perspective bring the period to life in a way that would tax the skills of a 21st century historian. Consciously or no, historians will have their own agenda.

'Liberal' is a relative term. Locke would outlaw atheists; he was convinced that morality was impossible without a belief on God. 'Mahomedans', whose loyalty would, with their essentially political faith, be to the Ottoman Sultan and Caliph, could not possibly be subjects of the English crown. Regarding the early development of human societies, polities and nations, Locke was writing prior to the development of anthropology and sociology, and 200 years befroe Darwin wrote 'The Descent of Man'. His conjectures, therefore, on primitive societies, appear, quite naturally 'primitive'.

In other ways Locke appears prescient. One hundred years before Adam Smith he attempts an explanation of the laws of supply and demand. 200 years before Marx he outlines his own 'labour theory of value'. He proposes what we would now call 'workhouses' as a a remedy for beggary and paupery. His grand scheme for eradicating poverty might read, at first sight, like an early version of Thomas Paine's 'Rights of Man'. Unlike Paine, however, who envisioned a state education system providing universal literacy, Locke would have the poor children set to work in the textile industry.

And finally; for South Carolina he proposed a constitution definitely aristocratic, if not feudal, and for England he recommends that the Act of Queen Elizabeth's day whereby unlicensed beggars would have their ears cut off, should be enforced with full rigour.

The seeds of modern England can be seen in this selection of Locke's writings, but whatever his influence, our country has changed in ways that Locke would find inconceivable.


Page: 1