Dixon, Simon

Dixon, Simon

Simon Dixon

1 April 2004Review

Published independently, 2003. For more information contact Graham Carey, 6 Granville Terrace, Bingley, W. Yorks, BD16 4HW, Britain. Tel +44 1274 568973; email c/o andrew@holytrinity.com

This document is described by its author as a, “response to the conviction that protest alone will not make a sufficient impact on the status quo”.

Carey begins by setting out the major threats facing the world today, both in his own words and through extensive quotations from other writers. Much of what appears in the opening section, titled “Prognosis”, will be familiar to PN readers.

This first section is followed by an excellent critique of the environmental, social and…

1 December 2003Review

Jeremy P Tarcher/ Penguin, 2003; ISBN 1 58542 276 2; US$11.95, CAN$17.99

Had they not become leaders in the field of exposing government spin doctoring and propaganda, you suspect that Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber would make pretty effective PR consultants themselves.

I recently spotted Weapons of Mass Deception riding high in the best-seller lists in a mainstream British bookstore. How many of those buying it were seduced by the snappy title and the Saddam/Bin Laden comic-strip on the cover? Those expecting the Michael Moore approach to US…

1 September 2002Review

Sansom & Company, 2001. ISBN 1 900178 87 7, 180pp, £14.95

The name Arthur Wragg will no doubt be familiar to some of PN's more senior readers. He joined the Peace Pledge Union in 1935, and contributed regularly to Peace News in the late 1930s. Later, he would design posters for the PPU, and his pacifism and social radicalism would inform much of his work during a career which spanned over five decades.

It is difficult now to fully appreciate the impact that Wragg's drawings would have had on contemporary audiences. Yet…

1 June 2002Review

Sessions of York, 2001. ISBN 1 85072 269 2, 124pp, 5

Peter Brocks copious writings on the history of pacifism are well known. However, this book marks a slight departure from his previous output in that its subject is Brock himself, and the six months he spent in British jails as a conscientious objector during World War II.

At the time of his imprisonment Brock was a diffident young pacifist in his early twenties, educated first at an English Public School, and then at Oxford University. His mother was a generals daughter, and his…

1 March 2002Review

Frank Cass, 2000. ISBN 0 7146 8157 1, 173pp

Gerrard Winstanley famously once wrote that “words and writings were all nothing, and must die, for action is the life of all, and if thou dost not act, thou dost nothing”.

He was that unusual individual, a utopian thinker who not only committed his vision of a better world to print, but acted to turn his vision into a reality. That he failed, and the patch of land upon which the Diggers first established their commune is now one of the most exclusive private estates in England, is…

1 December 2001Review

William Sessions Ltd, 2001. ISBN 1 85072 261 7, 76pp

Appearing in English for the first time, this fascinating little book tells the story of Nikolai Trofimovich Iziumchenko (1867-1927), a peasant conscript to the Imperial Russian Army whose Tolstoyan beliefs led to his two-year imprisonment in a penal battalion.

Following a short, and informative, introduction from the book's editors, Iziumchenko's story is reproduced in translation with minimal annotation, making the account both accessible and readable for those with no prior…

1 September 2001Review

Pluto Press, 2000. ISBN 0 7453 1542 9 (Paperback) 188pp

While I was reading this book, the north of England saw some of the worst race riots in Britain for over a decade. In the lead-up to the recent General Election, main-stream politicians competed with one another to see who could produce the most right-wing immigration policies. In Oldham,one of the cities worst hit by the race riots, the leader of the far-right British National Party polled just under 15% of the vote. It is for these reasons that Teresa Hayter's book could not havebeen…

1 June 2001Review

Praeger, 2000. ISBN 0 275 96859 6. 264 pages, 14 photos. $24.95.

Love them or loathe them, the James Bond films and novels comprise one of the most significant British cultural phenomena of the last fifty years.

For Black, among the central themes are the impact of the Second World War upon western culture, the declining importance of Britain on the world stage and changing relations between the west and Russia. He also gives a great deal of consideration to changing attitudes towards gender, race and ethnicity throughout the period.

In a…