Scott, Callum Alexander

Scott, Callum Alexander

Callum Alexander Scott

1 April 2022Review

Seven Stories, 2021; 256pp; £15.99

Kaufman, a documentary producer who works at the Office of Open Learning at MIT (the top science and technology university in the US), begins by establishing what he calls the ‘Monsterverse’. This is a somewhat vague but playful concept that covers all of the interests (both state and private) engaged in a ‘relentless effort to crush freedom of thought, independent thinking, expertise’ and the general spread of ‘free access to knowledge’.

Kaufman explores a number of historical…

20 July 2021Review

Penguin Books, 2020; 528pp; £10.99

The premise of this book is simple: the BBC is under ‘unprecedented attack’ from a wide range of hostile forces, and the challenges it currently faces may destroy it within a generation.

So, what are these challenges?

Following a brief introduction outlining its role as a public service broadcaster, the authors present a passionate and impressively dense analysis.

The first issue covered is the rise of the US media and tech giants: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix,…

11 December 2020Review

Pluto Press, 2020; 224pp; £19.99

Examining over 20 years of UK press coverage of Russia since Vladimir Putin came to power in 1999, Russia and the Media shows how Russophobia has remained a key feature of the UK media since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Beginning with a useful review of the role the Western media played in shaping our understanding of the Soviet Union in the 20th century, McLaughlin first outlines the construction of an ‘enemy image’. This is the ‘simplistic binary opposition of good and evil’…

11 December 2020Review

OR Books, 2020, 240pp; £16; available to purchase on the OR Books website here

In this expanded edition of his 2005 book The Monster at Our Door (the ‘monster’ being a deadly influenza pandemic), renowned historian Mike Davis critically surveys the scientific roots of COVID-19, as well as the political, economic, social and ecological conditions that affected its rise.

From the outset, Davis highlights what few governments and corporate media commentators dare admit: that COVID-19 and its various predecessors (including SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV), as well…

1 December 2017Review

Verso 2017, 256pp; £12.99

Stephen Armstrong shows how consecutive governments have abandoned Britain’s most vulnerable citizens and overseen the gradual dismantling of a welfare state that once protected them. Importantly, Armstrong also tells the stories of those most affected.

Beginning with the 1942 Beveridge Report – the founding document of Britain’s welfare state – Armstrong outlines how, by adopting its recommendations, postwar governments were largely successful in eradicating what the report…

1 October 2017Review

Abramis, 2017; 374pp; £19.95

The scope of Covering Conflict cannot be overstated. Drawing from a dizzying array of sources throughout – interviews with journalists, theoretical approaches, autobiographies, biographies, histories, academic journals, newspapers, magazines and mainstream and alternative websites – it is well-written, well-argued and meticulously referenced. For PN readers it is an extremely valuable resource, and should be a compulsory read for all journalists.

In this book,…

1 August 2017Review

Hurst, 2017; 288pp; £20

Over the years, many writers and scholars have challenged the view that the British empire was, in Winston Churchill’s words, a ‘valiant and benignant force in the history of mankind’. Shashi Tharoor’s latest book on British rule in India aims to combat what he calls Britain’s ‘historical amnesia’ over its past atrocities.

Drawing on an impressive array of historical sources, Tharoor claims that, prior to British rule, India was one of the richest countries in the world, with a 23…

1 June 2017Review

Zed Books, 2016; 181pp; £16.99

Consider a system of organised production in which a single person (owner) or a group of people (shareholders) at the top make all the decisions and give the orders; they decide everything from rates of wages to what is produced, how and where it is produced and where it is sold.

Below them are managers who receive and transmit the orders to a group of workers further down the pecking order who are permitted to sell their labour for just a fraction of the wages that those at the top…

1 April 2017Review

Verso, 2016; 272pp; £16.99

Historically there has been a general consensus across British politics and among British political commentators that the BBC is, by and large, an independent, left-leaning institution that serves the public interest. But, as readers of PN will know, especially when it comes to issues of war and peace, this is a myth.

Since its inception, the BBC has overwhelmingly served the interests of the government and elite sectors in society, a fact backed up by virtually every…