This is a classic, and if you’re studying the book of Daniel, it’s a book you won’t be able to avoid. It’s a really thorough book calculating the timespans given in Daniel. Other scholars have differed from Mr Anderson’s conclusions, however. What makes the book particularly interesting for us is that it was published in 1894 – that’s before Israel returned to being a nation again. And what is significant is that Anderson repeatedly says that none of these things can come to pass until Israel is back in the land again – and who knows when that will be?! If only he had known that in a little over 50 years from his publishing his work that Israel would once again be found on the map – who knows what he would have written…
Reading this book in Europe rather than America means you take different things away from it. This book has helped me to understand the dynamics of demography and the implication of current trends. Really interesting, and, I think, the title doesn’t really help; I was expecting a Americentric rant about world politics, and was happily surprised to get a book on demography.
In some ways, this book is bitty – it looks at different aspects of female life such as childbirth, marriage, education, being accused of witchcraft (all in a day’s work), and uses real examples taken from records and letters. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep a track of who’s who, and who’s related to who – but then that’s not really the aim of the book. It’s a thorough work, and gives a good perspective of the challenges facing women in the seventeenth century (even though I’m definitely not a ‘feminist’). I really enjoyed it, it was informative and entertaining.
Common sense just isn’t that common. Mrs Phillips writes with a scary clarity of thought and her book is well-researched. In it she tells of the political wranglings behind the scenes, the plotting and scheming, and perhaps more worringly, the ignorance, that has resulted in the dumbing down of education and the now serious short-comings of the school system. It’s interesting reading, and begs personal reflection such as:
- If there really was no dumbing down, then how did I manage to get an A for English, despite the fact the only grammar I was taught was full-stops and capital letters?
- Having studied for two degrees, how was it possible in the space of six years to achieve two final classifications that were separated by about 30%?
- Why in my maths lessons did I get taught trigonometry but not long division?
There’s nothing for it but to accept that my education, like many other people’s, has been sporadic and sparse. This books explains some of the reasons why.