Category Archives: Political Science



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Title The Byzantine World War
Author Nick Holmes
Publisher Matador (May 23, 2019)
Format Kindle, Paperback
Pages 233
Language English
ISBN # 1789017580 (ASIN: B07S7DGSGH)


Nick Holmes is a graduate of Cambridge University with degree
in history. He was entranced by the ancient walls that circle Istanbul, Turkey and became intrigued with Byzantium following a trip to the region. The juxtaposition of the modern and the ancient engaged him and surprised him. The massive escarpments over a thousand years old decorate the city with imposing battlements. Hagia Sophia, a key location in the events that transpire in his book still stands in testament to the events of the past that still color our world today. Holmes finds the important role of Constantinople and the fulcrum around which Europe and the Near East pivot to be a wonderful backdrop of the events that took place so long ago. Nick posits the importance of the period beginning in 1068 that leads to the first, of several, Crusades and its effect on modern history.


If you are the kind of person that loves to read history books that are not dry and stuffy, but engaging and conversational, then look no further. The Author, Nick Holmes, shares a style of writing not so different from Simon Winchester or Erik Larson. Well-constructed, and set in an important time in world history, Holmes posits his opinion on the what, when, and how of the now distant history. The Byzantine World War, is a perfect fit for teenagers or adults bookshelf, and is a must read for anyone who enjoys intelligently constructed concepts set against the context of tumultuous times.


The Byzantium World War is set at a time when the power of Rome was beginning to ebb and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) was beginning. Some of the Key locations of historic importance include; Anatolia, Byzantium, The Middle East, The Balkans, The Caucuses, and North Africa. The timeline is 1068-1097 and this book is written almost as a thriller in its style. The range of characters is extensive, and Holmes does a masterful job in recreating them and their foibles for the modern audience. It is  a must read for all those who want to extend their knowledge of pivotal historic events, and for those who enjoy their history made three-dimensional and easily consumed.


This book is a great primer for those who are looking to increase their knowledge of the rise of Turkey in the form of the Pax Ottomana, and the fall of Pax Romana. The book is written in an easily accessible style, in a clear, chronological order, and illustrated with images, maps and detailed timelines. It is an engaging look at past events that still have influence over our period of history. I would like to see a more extensive referencing and bibliography, as well as the addition of some footnotes. That said, I did enjoy the fact that the key players in the book are listed at the rear for examination. I really enjoyed reading this book and I have no hesitation in recommending it highly. It is a rare treat in the world of dusty, dry history books that such a pleasantly written, brief but comprehensive volume comes along. Although I received this book for review; I loved it so much, I bought a copy for my library.


My thanks go out to the following: NetGalley, Matador
and Amazon Digital Services LLC, for affording me the
opportunity to read this rare gem.

Hi there, our records show you are a frequent visitor to Litercurious and I wanted to say a personal thank you for your patronage. Thank you for liking and sharing our posts. Please feel free to reblog any or all of the reviews. I look forward to your valuable input again in the near future.


Litercurious Book Review

AuthorProfessor Waller R. Newell
PublisherCambridge University Press (September 26, 2019)
FormatKindle, Hardcover
ISBN #1108713912   

Tyrants: Power, Injustice and Terror will appeal to anyone interested in the danger posed by tyranny and terror in today’s world.

Tyrants, by Professor Waller R. Newell, (Sept. 26, 2019) Loc 2.



Tyrants is a must read for all those studying political science.


Tyrants, by Professor Waller Newell is an encyclopedic panoply of absorbing facts relating to despots from ancient history to present days autocrats. Waller categorizes the various kinds of tyrannical systems together with their characteristic methodologies and potential risks each poses to the society and the wider world. Tyrants spans over 2,000 years of anarchic insanity posing under the guise of political change. Professor Newell describes succinctly how tyrannical systems grow, often seeming to be ineffectual to their rise and through their inevitable fall. The pattern repeating itself again and again against the tapestry of human history. As time and technology progress the number of victims arising out of tyranny increases to terrifying levels. Newell mentions the usual suspects, Hitler, Stalin, and, Alexander the Great as well as those from the distant past.

From the onset I was surprised to observe the subject to be compelling, fascinating, and enthralling. I commend Professor Newell for taking a complex and sensitive subject and making it accessible and interesting. I felt that Newell argued well that tyrants represent an existential threat to the existence and continuation of democratic systems.

Professor Newell manages to take us from the tyrannical archetypes and through his extensive academic knowledge and skills to reveals the very heart of tyrants at their worst. Newell states from the beginning that his purpose is to prompt the current generation to realize that tyrants are not gone never to return. They are very much alive, well and living alongside us today and that they present a terrifying threat to societies across the globe.

The work is scholarly but not academic, and this is an excellent choice as it gives the greatest number of readers the opportunity to ingest this warning from history. Tyrants is particularly important due to the absence of literature covering this topic.


Tyrants is a primer for those who wish to read Professor Newell’s earlier masterpiece Tyranny. Both manuscripts will give the reader a superior knowledge of the danger that still exists in our world today; as well as the historic context against which to illuminate the cliff edge that faces civilization. This tome is concisely written and researched with inspirational interpretations throughout. I found it a compelling read even though the topic is serious.  Tyrants by Professor Newell is the author at his best.


How Plato and Aristotle Help Us Understand the Tyranny of Bashar al-Assad


His books include Tyrants: A History of Power, Injustice and Terror (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press), Tyranny: A New Interpretation (Cambridge University Press), The Soul of a Leader: Character, Conviction and Ten Lessons in Political Greatness (Harper Collins 2009), The Code of Man: Love, Courage, Pride, Family, Country (Harper Collins, 2003), What Is A Man? 3000 Years of Wisdom on the Art of Manly Virtue (Harper Collins 2000), Ruling Passion: The Erotics of Statecraft in Platonic Political Philosophy (Rowman and Littlefield 2000) and Bankrupt Education: The Decline of Liberal Education in Canada (University of Toronto Press 1994, with Peter C. Emberley).


My sincere thanks go to: The Author, NetGalley, and the Publisher, for affording me the opportunity to review Tyrants.

BREXIT: The Benefit of Hindsight – REVIEW

Litercurious Book Review

TitleBREXIT: The Benefit of Hindsight: King vs Rich Trade-off
AuthorPeace E. Ani MBA
PublisherMatador (6 Aug. 2019)
FormatKindle, Paperback,
ISBN #1838590714   ISBN #-13 (978-1838590710)     

“Whilst Brexit is inherently political, this research focuses on the economic and financial markets consequences.”

BREXIT, Ani E. Peace, (6 Aug. 2019), Loc 128.


Peace E. Ani is a lettered academic with an MBA and an Oxford Scholar. Her expertise for the past 15 years has been in the financial services sectors; specifically, in Investment Banking, Asset Management and Specialized Insurance.  


Anyone interested in reading about the numerous influences involved in attaining the best BRITEX for the Banking Industry would deem this a thought-provoking read. Students of finance, financial or asset managers, CEO’s of major corporations and economists could benefit from the simplified but enlightening information contained therein. 


BRITEX: The Benefit of Hindsight; King vs Rich Trade-off is a primer for anyone who wants to recognize the likely impact on the Banking Sector dependent upon how the politicians govern the nation. It is not an opinion piece on the ‘soft’ aspects of BRITEX. 

Ani begins by tightly defining her chosen subject and continues to maintain that focus throughout her thesis. She makes good use of empirical as well as graphical data to enhance and inform the reader. The writing, whilst it is scholastic, is always clear and concise. Ani is thoughtful in providing a glossary and a list of terms for the layperson otherwise unfamiliar with the financial jargon. 

The monograph proved to be enlightening and informative, well-paced and not at all dry. In fact, I found her work to be educational and remarkably edifying. It was refreshing to follow a tract that didn’t focus on the myriad of interrelated trivia that has plagued the BRITEX debacle.

The considerable research that Ani put into this piece is evident. Her theories are effectively constructed and cited. It came as no surprise to me that this is part of her doctrinal thesis. I was considerably impressed by her ability to maintain the focus of her writing and the clarity with which she expressed her thoughts. 

I thoroughly did enjoy following this work and I harbor no reservation in heartily recommending it to you. Ani has managed to inform the discussion without sermonizing and has managed to deliver a cogent and concise doctrinal study.


To a certain extent, this tome clarifies some of the potential financial implications for the Banking Community. I feel that it is a missed opportunity by excluding the ‘soft’ aspect of the situation; those being the social factors that influenced the ‘leave’ vote in the first place Before I read this book, I thought that it might have limited appeal however, after completing it I’ve completely changed my mind. I currently believe that this is a valuable source of insight for all those involved in the BRITEX experience. If you take the time to peruse this manuscript carefully, you will gain an insight that you may have lacked otherwise.


I liked the extensive utilization of relevant tables, lists, glossaries, diagrams, and notations. The empirical tabulations were crucial, informative and made delving into the data a cinch. I was impressed by the clarity of the prose as well as the meticulous research and citations. Due to the author’s skill in writing, the manuscript was a far more peasant read than I had at first expected. Although finance can be a terribly droll read for the ‘layman’ the writer managed to deliver an intelligent, well-paced, and informed text. I was equally impressed by the brevity of the work, only 120 pages and yet the subject was focused throughout. The graphics and the illustrations were used where they best suited the conversation. I did find the information interesting and informative but not as timely as I would have expected.  


Whilst I enjoyed the time and effort utilized in the preparation and illustration of this thesis, I found the dated information in many of the tabulations to be of concern. In a period of electronic economic timescales that can be counted in milliseconds, having charts and tables that are 5 years old to prove an opinion in the present is questionable. Another issue when using such old economic data as a predictor of future performance in support of a thesis is that past performance is not an accurate predictor of future performance. 

I was disappointed that several factors capable of affecting the outcome of BRITEX were absent; for example, the lack of International Banking Bloc activities and responses were missing. There was a lack of speculation on the rapidly deteriorating position of Deutsche Bank and its potential for collapse. Nor did the thesis include the affect arising out of the global market from other Monetary Blocs such as Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS). Nor were politically motivated factors influenced by the nations disappointment that democracy had ended as a result of the government defying the will of the electorate included. One alternative BRITEX pathway that was ignored is the establishment of the population to declare a republic as a means of re-establishing the status quo. A good analyst will try to identify the probable outcomes of any given situation, but a great one will consider all potential outcomes and consider strategies for each. I was equally disappointed that there wasn’t more discussion on the titanic forces dragging the world towards a Globalist Financial System; regardless of the wishes of the global population. Globalization represents a genuine missed opportunity and its inclusion I believe would have had the potential to alter the conclusion. I didn’t feel that the key factor, the Customs Union, was explored enough and that conversation should have been examined in more meticulous detail. 


My sincere thanks go to: The Author, NetGalley, and the Publisher, for affording me the opportunity to review BREXIT: The Benefit of Hindsight: King vs Rich Trade-off.


Litercurious Book Review

Title Vicksburg
Author Donald L. Miller
Publisher Simon & Schuster (October 29, 2019)
Format Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook     
Page 688     
Language English     
ISBN # 1451641370 ISBN -13   (978-1451641370)     

Author’s Bio

Professor Donald L. Miller is an established author of history related books since 2006. His earlier work: City of the Century: The Epic of Chicago and the Making of America is an award-winning publication. I am familiar with City of the Century, and Vicksburg is at least equal to or better than that book.

Who is the Target Audience?

This masterly study is an important read for those students of United States Civil War, those who enjoy Military Strategy and US Local History of the Civil War period. 


This book is written by Professor Emeritus Donald L. Miller and is already heralded as a potential best seller. Vicksburg possibly being a best seller doesn’t surprise me, because having read this rare gem I also hold that opinion. Miller guides us through the evolution of strategies used by Grant, Porter, and Sherman. The campaign at Vicksburg was the singular pivotal event leading to the final minutes of the South at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 

Vicksburg was thought to be completely impregnable due in part to: environment, geographic, natural and geological factors. Grant together with both of his cohorts Porter and Sherman managed to solve a seemingly impossible puzzle in breaching the unreachable. It wasn’t without losses, however, and illness and disease took their toll.

The retelling of the events leading to the conquest of Vicksburg is a compelling tale fixed in history, but now brought to life for a new audience. It is well paced, easy to understand and contains a plethora of facts. It is so well written that many people who usually don’t enjoy these subjects may find they do enjoy Miller’s style of writing.


I have no reluctance in highly recommending this book. It is likely to be an award-winning book in my opinion. I received this as a reviewer for NeGalley but I will be purchasing a copy because I like to support great writers. Don’t wait till it sells out, get your copy as soon as you can. 


My sincere thanks go to: The Author, NetGalley, and the Publisher Simon & Schuster for affording me the opportunity to review Vicksburg.