In the 1930s, the Italian Fascist regime profoundly changed the landscape of Rome's historic centre, demolishing buildings and displacing thousands of Romans in order to display the ruins of the pre-Christian Roman Empire. This transformation is commonly interpreted as a failed attempt to harmonize urban planning with Fascism's ideological exaltation of the Roman Empire. Roads and Ruins argues that the chaotic Fascist cityscape, filled with traffic and crumbling ruins, was in fact a reflection of the landscape of the First World War. In the radical interwar transformation of Roman space, Paul Baxa finds the embodiment of the Fascist exaltation of speed and destruction, with both roads and ruins defining the cultural impulses at the heart of the movement. Drawing on a wide variety of sources, including war diaries, memoirs, paintings, films, and government archives, Roads and Ruins is a richly textured study that offers an original perspective on a well known story.
In September 2008 the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy ignited panic throughout the financial system, sparking a chain reaction that led to the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression. Amid the carnage of bankruptcies, soaring unemployment, and millions of families losing their homes, lay the bloody corpse of a set of ideas that had underpinned the economics of the previous 30 years. Capitalism based on markets, especially financial markets, was believed to be delivering unprecedented prosperity, creating a general increase in wealth, including among the poorest people on the planet. But that system is dead. So what to do now? Scrap the system? In this revised UK edition of The Road from Ruin, Matthew Bishop and Michael Green have examined each financial crisis since the Great Depression, including the 1970s oil shock; Black Monday, the 1987 stock market crash; Japan's great deflation; the Asian financial crisis; and the collapse of long term capital management. They draw out the right and wrong lessons learned and explain how they can be used as the basis for meaningful reform that will enable capitalism to keep its ability to create wealth but on a more even and responsible keel.
Part graphic novel travelogue, part tongue-in-cheek travel guide, this collection gathers the adventures of caustic cartoonist Ted Rall in the wild and woolly central Asian countries, a veritable powder keg sitting atop the oil the world will need tomorrow. The book combines articles with comics in chapters that relate Rall’s experiences retracing the legendary Silk Road, from the sublime history of China to the absurdity of the present-day petty dictatorships of the “The ’Stans,” to which the author had the temerity—or perhaps stupidity—to return, including once with a group of listeners on his radio show, on a dare. This always-lively compendium offers readers an exotic adventure, satire, and a fun way to find out more about an often overlooked part of the world that looms in importance with its immense, and immensely coveted, reserves of oil.
'It is a salutary thing to look back at some of the reforms which have long been an accepted part of our life, and to examine the opposition, usually bitter and often bizarre, sometimes dishonest but all too often honest, which had to be countered by the restless advocates of 'grandmotherly' legislation...' Contemporary readers of a progressive bent may like to think it elementary that certain inhumane practices in which Britons indulged pre-1800 came to be abolished. But as E.S. Turner reveals, our history is littered with Colonel Blimp figures, of a mind that 'reforms are all right as long as they don't change anything.' 'Roads to Ruin still entertains and appals. It chronicles the disgraceful rearguard action of the upper classes against the introduction of the Plimsoll line, the abolition of child chimney sweeps and the repeal of laws under which convicted criminals could be hung, drawn and quartered...' Jonathan Sale, Guardian