Sunday, 10 January 2016

Bring A Book!

At the Stockport December meeting members brought with them a selection of books and films to introduce to the others. Considered or mentioned were:

  • Dreams of Empire: Napoleon and the First World War 1792-1815 by Paul Fregosi. An account of a truly global conflict more than a hundred years before the 1914-18 war. 
  • Battle for Empire: The Very First World War1756-63 by Tom Pocock. An account of the Seven Years War which is considered by many as the very first global conflict.
  • Flight to Afar by Alfred Andersch (1957) a novel which was made into a film in 1986. An encounter between a Pastor, protecting an icon; a communist; and a young Jewess attempting to escape Germany in the late 1930’s.
  • Alone in Berlin  by Geoff Wilkes. An ordinary man’s determination to defy the tyranny of Nazi rule, based on a Gestapo file.
  • Annie Besant 
  • Catch Me Daddy A film about honour killings.
  • Islam and the Future of Tolerance   by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz. A dialogue between the two authors, considering: The roots of Extremism, the Scope of the Problem, the Power of Belief, The Betrayal of Liberalism, the Nature of Islam, and Finding the Way Forward.
  • Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-evolutionist Front Line by Jason Rosenhouse. A personal memoir of a scientist’s attempt to come to grips with the evolutionist/creationist controversy by immersing himself in the culture of the anti-evolutionists.
  • The God Argument: The Case Against Religion by A.C.Grayling (2013). Counters the arguments for the existence of god and puts forward humanism as an alternative to religion.
  • The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Isis by Robert Spencer ( 2015). Reveals the inner workings of Islamic State – its recruitment program, financing its expansion, and the ideology driving its success.
  • Hitch 22 – A Memoir By Christopher Hitchens. A citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom, he has been a foreign correspondent in some very dangerous places. He was a fervent atheist, raise as a Christian by a Jewish mother.
  • Blackham’s Best. Excerpts from H.J. Blackham selected by Barbara Smoker
  • Death of a Prophet, The End of Muhammad’s Life and the Beginnings of Islam by Stephen J.  Shoemaker. This raises Questions about the way Islamic origins should be studied and emphasises the potential of non-Islamic sources for reconstructing the history of formative Islam.
  • In the Shadow of the Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World by Tom Hollander. Another book on the origins of Islam
  • The First Dynasty of Islam: The Umayyad Caliphate  AD 661-750 by G. R. Hawting.  An introductory survey of the period
  • Confessions by St Augustine (trans. R.S.Pine-Coffin) Penguin Classics Edition.  An account of how St. Augustine (354-430 CE) turned away from youthful ideas to become a staunch advocate of Christianity and one of its most influential thinkers.

Members brought an ample supply of food to share.

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