Saturday 23 March 1996
The Trouble with Science by Robin Dunbar (Faber, pounds 7.99) This bad- tempered but stimulating polemic inists that science and empirical observation are basic to human life: we ignore them at our peril. Dunbar offers plenty of evidence, from the rescue of Apollo 13 to the failure of Norse colonies in Greenland. But the case is overstated. His assertion that the reaction against science began with 19th-century Romantics is dubious. Shelley, for one, adored it. Science has gained ground ever since this book appeared last year: there is no mention of the hugely inspiring Hubble photos.
Bosnia: A Short History by Noel Malcolm (Papermac, pounds 10) In this rich and fascinating work, Malcolm performs a prodigious feat in untangling arcane detail and debunking myth. The Serbs and the Croats were Slave tribes who arrived in the seventh century, but the basis of their animosity is economic (Christian peasants resenting Muslim landlords) rather than ethnic. In fact, for much of the period since 1878, the two peoples lived peacefully together. In a new epilogue taking the story to the end of 1995, Malcolm says that ethnic separation will ensure a ``much more troubled future''.
The Brendan Voyage by Tim Sevrin (Abacus, pounds 8.99) The idea that the Irish made it to America 400 years before the Vikings is a thrilling one. Putting his faith in the Navigatio, a medieval text which describes St Brendan's voyage to the Promised Land, explorer Tim Sevrin and four friends reconstructed the saint's tiny ox-hide boat and put the myth to the test. Sevrin's account of their terrifying journey across North Atlantic is unemotionally told, but the power of his story is undeniable. The book includes the text of the Navigatio and extensive design notes on the boat's construction. A real boy's own adventure.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
JK Rowling announces Harry Potter's son is starting at Hogwarts
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
Akram Khan: Choreographer says dance is 'as important as maths and being a doctor'
Common words you're probably misusing: From 'enormity' to 'ultimately', 'gambit' to 'fortuitous'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up