Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism – Bertrand Russell

Not Russelling SheepI love reading Bertrand Russell’s works, his being a historian, political activist, philosopher, logician, mathematician and Nobel Prize for Literature winner 1950 amongst other things, he manages to combine dry wit and convey big ideas with simple language that allows the lay person to understand his arguments succinctly.

My tastefully tatty old 1919 edition is from St Anne’s College Library Oxford and sadly has no dust jacket (of which more in a later post) and there seems to be a general lack of a decent blurb available online so here are some quotes from the great man to get you in the mood:

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

Patriots always talk of dying for their country but never of killing for their country.

Hunting for a suitable cover image, I was perplexed to find that most of the modern editions are titled ‘Proposed Roads to Freedom’. I can only assume this is to differentiate it from John-Paul Sartre’s later series The Roads to Freedom which was a response to events in World War Two as Russell’s is, albeit for different reasons to World War One.

The book came about at a time of European reconstruction from the ashes of war, it was the perfect time to debate the relative strengths and deficiencies of three political systems for the good of nations.  It’s an excellent overview and accessible read that despite being out of date still retains some pertinent ideas, especially with today’s global political unrest.

Part one gives the reader a history of socialism, anarchism, and syndicalism, looking at the catalysts for each philosophy and the key players in turning each into the movement that it what at the time.  It acts both as a grounding for the casual reader in the pros and cons of each system (that is backed up by the history) and a handy reminder for the keener students. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 25/08/2015 in Philosophy, Politics


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Simply CD

1I see you admiring my artistic handiwork, well believe it or not, it only took me five minutes to knock this masterpiece up in Paint.  It’s not for sale though so no amount of money would persuade me to part with the original file.

Eagle eyed readers will have noticed that I published posts 401 and 402 before the big 400 which is this one.  So if you forgive my out-of-order posting style, I will begin this with an apology.  After so many great ideas you guys put forward in the post Planning Ahead (For A Change) and a lack of time of late means I have not been able to finish writing the half a dozen ideas out properly so rather than a hotchpotch of messy half realised ideas I shall be mixing it up a bit.

Throughout the coming months I will be finishing all these wonderful ideas and posting them with a link to your sites and make the 400th post and make it a longer celebration with hopefully some more traffic to your sites in the process.

Meanwhile I have already decided what post 500 will be.  This has been rolling around my head for over a year now but it will definitely happen and is set to be an interesting venture.  Closer to the time I will invite you wonderful people to submit your names to the ‘prize draw’ and then on a certain day and time yet to be sorted out, I will turn up on someone’s doorstep for a natter, a photo and to take said person out for a meal to boot.

What better way to celebrate the next milestone (if you exclude reaching 50,000 views and over 1000 WP followers which I achieved recently also) than to include the people who have helped and encouraged me throughout my years.  Perhaps their will be something else for a second prize as well but I will keep that to myself as I like to cultivate a bit of mystery which is why I only show a bit of ankle when out in public.




Posted by on 22/08/2015 in Blogging, Life


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Author Interview – Sandra Bellamy (Part 2)

777  – What inspired you to reach out and help people who were struggling with getting/getting back into work?

I have been made redundant twice and each time managed to successfully work my way back up the career ladder. When I was made redundant for the second time in my career in 2009, after dealing with the initial grief, I discovered I had a talent for writing outstanding cover letters to accompany my CVs that got me almost one hundred percent response to my job applications. That seemed unheard of, particularly in a recession. Upon reflection, I realised I had great insight into what an employer was looking for in a CV and cover letter, because I had recruited as part of my management roles. It was then that I decided I could help others who have been made redundant to get back into work and I could use my passion of writing, to enable me to do this. I also noticed how frustrating it was to have to trawl through website after website, trying to search for jobs, recruitment agencies, and courses, as well as information about the various aspects of redundancy, such as dealing with the grief of it. I wanted just one website to go to, that would give me access to all of these and that’s when I had the idea of and These websites are your one-stop resources for redundancy, with access to job sites, recruitment sites and course sites, from within the one site. Just like the book, they tackle numerous other redundancy problems such as time management and preparing for an interview.

I was in management roles for seven years. Part of my management duties entailed interviewing, recruiting, training and coaching staff and I took part in every aspect of the recruitment process from placing the advert to completing staff inductions and training. I have also experienced the other side of the recruitment process, when I was applying for work and being interviewed for jobs whilst redundant. It is from experience that I have gained insight into both points of view and feel uniquely positioned to help others.

 – How long did it take you to refine your concept down to something manageable that you could focus on exploring and writing?

Interesting question. In fact, my process wasn’t like that, that’s not how I work. Especially with a ‘how to’ style non-fiction book, I didn’t refine my concept down, I rather build it up. So I got all of the A-Z chapter titles first, with a brief outline of what I wanted to say in each chapter, and then I began to write and fill out the concept of that whole chapter with relevant content. Later, I came up with their sub headings based on how the content best flowed and what I needed to highlight. My manuscript was edited a humongous amount of times and was originally 134 A4 typed pages, now it’s 175, and the cover for my printed version needs to be re-done as my book currently works out at 333 pages in a 6×9 format. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 17/08/2015 in Blogging, Interviews


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Author Interview – Sandra Bellamy (Part 1)

Break cover copy1Having followed Sandra over at Quirkybooks for quite a while, I was delighted to make her my first in-depth interviewee.  Experiencing unemployment last year, it’s nice to see a book that helps people get out of the benefits cycle…unlike the job centre.

  •  – First off, congratulations on your getting your book published, how are you feeling now it’s out there?

Hi Ste. Thank you so much for having me on your blog. It feels amazing to finally have my book published and available on Amazon, especially as it’s taken me a little over two and a half years to write it. It feels like I am finally doing what I was born to do with my life and that is to write and to help others; particularly those who have been made redundant to get back into work. I also feel like the hard work has just begun, and there is so much more that I want to do and need to do, to get my book to reach a wider audience.

  •  – Can you give a brief overview of the contents and aims of the book?

My Break Through The Barriers Of Redundancy book is a complete A-Z system for getting back into work, and a comprehensive guide about how you can recover from the devastating effects of redundancy to live the life of your dreams. Although this book is predominantly aimed at redundant workers, the content will prove equally useful to job seekers or anyone looking to change careers for whatever reason. It uniquely provides 80 benefits and covers 26 aspects of redundancy. It’s a system because each of its chapters is broken down into ‘5 components of redundancy’. You need to master all components in order to give you the best chance of success at getting back into work. Because this book takes a holistic view of redundancy, it will revolutionise the way you think about redundancy, job-seeking and life in general. One of the key components to master first of all is wellbeing skills, before exploring what options are available to you and learning the practical job skills. Although they are interwoven throughout the book, because what we feel and think about on the inside (our internal environment), reflects on what actions we take to change our external environment. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 16/08/2015 in Blogging, Interviews


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Field (Mill) of Dreams

I decided to renew my solitary quest to ‘do things’ at the weekend and this time I went to the first football match of the season.  Naturally as any football fan will tell you, it’s a time of hope, new players in, youngsters brought through to the squad and all is good.  It’s a time of confidence where a positive spin can be put on most things and thoughts of a good season seem realistic, in short it’s a window in which to hope before the inevitable disappointments.

The Saturday weather was glorious helping make it the perfect way to kick off he season and coupled with the sexy new passing style that we have adopted gave the day an added anticipation, I savoured that group feeling like the smell of freshly cut grass or the scent of the first barbecue of the summer.  I started making copious notes on my phone as I have forgotten my notebook and I sadly found that I had lost everything between the stadium and home, another reason why books are better, strangely all my poor attempts at photography came back home unscathed.


Thumb bombing on the festivities as fans slowly start to arrive in replica shirts that mirror the Summer’s day.

Topically for this post, it was announced last week that Field Mill (to give the stadium its proper name not the name of a sponsor One Call we now have) is the oldest professional football ground in the world, being used since 1861 and is second only to Sandy Gate Road (in Sheffield) as the oldest football ground on the planet by a year.  With such heritage coupled with the traditional feeling of hope, it would have been rude not to come and experience the atmosphere again, something I haven’t done for a few years. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 12/08/2015 in Sport, Travel


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In The Lime Light – Ste J / Book to the Future

Ste J:

Apologies for not being around of late, I plan to come back and be on form in a few days or so, possibly with a free drink for every visitor in the meantime but don’t hold me to that.

Thanks to Morgan for sharing the blog love, if you haven’t checked out her place then you should do so.

Originally posted on Booknvolume:

Featured Image -- 8617

Please Allow me to introduce Ste J of Book to the Future Blog, a blog all about books, oddly enough. Not only books, however, but also a smattering of poetry, musings on the imponderables of life, and a cheeky wit that never fails to bring a smile. What impressed me early on is his achievement of reading 100 books in less than a year! (something I haven’t done yet in, my…well,… more than a few years!) I recently reposted a poem of his, The Love Affair, which expresses in exquisite language (that makes most of us reach for a dictionary!) his love of words. (found here: Read on and discover a bit more about Ste J for yourself…then be sure to pop over to his blog.

About Your Blog:

Tell us about your Blog.
Book to the Future is primarily a book blog with an eclectic smattering of my…

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Posted by on 08/08/2015 in Blogging, My Writings


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Childhood’s End – Arthur C. Clarke

AdulthoodBlotting out the light from the stars they have linked so effortlessly, the silent ships hang suspended over the great cities of Earth…

Armed with a staggering power and an infinite wisdom the invaders from outer space shock Earth into submission – but what is their purpose?

To mention any more of the story would be to give away key plot points and like film trailers, books are sadly not immune from giving things away before you even get to the main feature.  Even my 1956 Pan edition gave some important things away but the newer copies are even worse. It’s a risky business this book buying.

I love this cover, it’s wonderfully dramatic and of its time and being one of those annoying fault picking people I can’t help but imagine the cost of the repair bill from the sonic boom that that ship appears to be causing.

There is something quaint about this book, with a familiar Cold War beginning and then the imagined future in which people are starting to watch three hours of TV a day!  Clarke may be celebrated for preempting technological advances and such but he was pretty up on the social aspect as well. It doesn’t feel too archaic though, it’s a pleasant jaunt, a B-movie in a book or B-lit as I term it.

Once into the book, the familiar Clarke theme of our place in the universe, our journey through the stars and time if you will is explored.  The scale of the notion is impressive, for most of the book these bigger scale concepts are largely played down in favour of the more human side of things, unlike the Rama series and the Odyssey books where the big ideas were the major focus.  This difference in focussing makes for a more subtle approach to the stories of our civilisation and its adaptation to the new and the abstract.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 02/08/2015 in Sci Fi


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