The Book of Life, ed Eve Claxton
Reyhana is a journalist, writer and researcher specialising in issues surrounding Muslim communities, community cohesion, radicalisation and counter-terrorism policy. Reyhana contributes to the Huffington Post UK and hosts a blog on ‘how to successfully combat extremism.’
Sunday 16 March 2008
Ranging from the words of St Augustine describing his childhood ("I cast about limbs and voice, making the few and feeble signs I could") to the thoughts of the British archaeologist and writer Margaret Murray, who waited until she was 100 to write about herself ("At my age I stand, as it were, on a high peak alone. I have no contemporaries with whom I can exchange memories or views"), this compendium of autobiographical writing is compelling.
Harpo Marx describes what he thinks comprises a real education, Casanova explains the joys of self-sufficiency and relates some of his night-time pranks that didn't take place in bedrooms, and the film director Akira Kurosawa confesses to being short-tempered and obstinate.
It's often interesting hearing people who have become very famous commentate on their own lives, and some of the characters here are very well known. Freud's reflections on being Jewish ("I found I was expected to feel myself inferior and an alien because I was a Jew. I refused absolutely to do the first of these things") and Margaret Thatcher's on her time at Downing Street, are certainly worth reading.
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- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
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The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
Doctor Who Christmas special, review: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
The Interview film review: Controversial gross-out satire is broad, bawdy and bad - but undeniably entertaining
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'