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THE Books of the week

Email from Ngeti: An Ethnography of Sorcery, Redemption, and Friendship in Global Africa, by James H. Smith and Ngeti Mwadime Subscription

20 November 2014

One-way secrets in a gripping exchange between a Kenyan and an Africanist trouble Joanna Lewis

Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us, by John Hills Subscription

13 November 2014

Most people receive from the welfare state what they pay in taxes, argues Danny Dorling

The Last Beach, by Orrin H. Pilkey and J. Andrew G. Cooper Subscription

6 November 2014

Philip Hoare admires a terrifying portrait of our impact on the sands that protect us from danger

A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, by Allyson Hobbs Subscription

30 October 2014

Those who masqueraded as white scarred more than just themselves, finds Catherine Clinton

Plato at the Googleplex, by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein Subscription

23 October 2014

K. E. Gover assesses the case for the continuing relevance of Platonic thinking to modern life

Born in the GDR: Living in the Shadow of the Wall, by Hester Vaizey Subscription

16 October 2014

First-person accounts add complexity to popular notions of East Germany, writes Ulrike Zitzlsperger

The Man Who Thought He Was Napoleon: Toward a Political History of Madness, by Laure Murat Subscription

9 October 2014

Biancamaria Fontana on the tangled connections between historical events and mental illness

How I Stopped Being a Jew, by Shlomo Sand Subscription

2 October 2014

Lynne Segal on an Israeli scholar’s persuasive arguments against his country’s myths of identity

Joan of Arc: A History, by Helen Castor Subscription

25 September 2014

Rachel Moss praises an elegant account that sets a charismatic Maid of Orleans in political context

The Marshmallow Test: Understanding Self-control and How to Master It, by Walter Mischel Subscription

18 September 2014

Resisting sexual temptation is one thing, forgoing sweets another. Natalie Gold on a study of restraint

The Culinary Imagination: From Myth to Modernity, by Sandra M. Gilbert Subscription

11 September 2014

Shahidha Bari savours a celebration of our relationship with food across genres and cultures

Mysteries and Conspiracies: Detective Stories, Spy Novels and the Making of Modern Sciences, by Luc Boltanski Subscription

4 September 2014

Sharon Wheeler on an ambitious investigation of crime fiction and its relation to modern society

National Service: Conscription in Britain, 1945-1963, by Richard Vinen Subscription

28 August 2014

A. W. Purdue on a British institution that changed lives but has been largely ignored by historians

Female Tommies: The Frontline Women of the First World War, by Elisabeth Shipton Subscription

21 August 2014

Niamh Gallagher on the women who challenged the consensus of who could serve at the front

Italian Venice: A History, by R. J. B. Bosworth Subscription

14 August 2014

Despite popular wisdom, time did not stop in the Most Serene Republic after all, says Kate Ferris

The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language, by John H. McWhorter Subscription

7 August 2014

Kerstin Hoge on a manifesto correcting the view that the language we speak affects how we think

Crisis Without End? The Unravelling of Western Prosperity, by Andrew Gamble Subscription

31 July 2014

Vera Troeger on a persuasive, if gloomy, look at the dangerous paradoxes at the heart of neoliberalism

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