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Mankind's Great Divides


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Mankind's Great Divides: Amazon.co.uk: George R Mitchell: 9781910745779: Books

 

George R Mitchell writes for DC Thomson and I believe the Telegraph. In this book he pulls together writings about his travels to countries where there is division. Physical, mental, emotional or all three. Among the countries he visits are Israel and Palestine, Belfast and unrecognised and invalidated Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus


I found a lot of what he had to say was superficial and clichéd, revealing his 'amateur' regard to research. Each chapter felt like an introduction to a full book on the area, the people and the politics. The chapters lacked depth, due of course to the lack of space within a book of this nature and that left me feeling a bit short changed.

 

That said, I did find the book interesting and informative about places or conflicts I wasn't aware of and I'm glad I read it. But as previously said, I wish it went into more depth and backed up his assertions with quotes and references to government publications. Too much of it felt like hearsay rather than verifiable fact.

I think if I had read the chapters on Schengen and Russia, which showed his political beliefs, first, I would have had a different understanding of the other chapters.  

 

I found the chapter on Russia interesting and I can see a comparison with the UK in recent years.  The collectivism, the nationalism being spouted and used to stir up xenophobia, to cauterise the wound that is brexit seems all too similar to the reinvention of Russia. The, blame everything on The West/EU, the rewriting of history, the control of media (in Russia by the government in UK by nom dom billionaire Tory Party donors) all seems to be on a self-fulfilling prophecy path. In a 'we told you the EU/the West was bad now we'll blame all our mistakes on them and re-enforce your blind obedience to us' way.

And so we end up with a sleepwalking populace understanding nothing and caring only for their prejudices, never looking up from their hypnotic and self-induced lack of awareness screens. 1984, the novel, now a prescient mirror on the act of the successful brainwashing happening right in front of us.

 

If you’re interested in world politics and why some countries never seem to be at peace then this book may be a good jumping off point but whichever country interests you, further reading would definitely be required.

 

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