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We Are All to Blame - or Is It the Others?

by Theodore Dalrymple (May 2013)


When, many years ago, I started regularly to review books for profit and pleasure (my profit and pleasure, that is), I thought it would be fun to write destructive reviews of bad books. I was beguiled into this idea by having read Macaulay’s eviscerating essay-review, which I found delightful, of a three-volume biography of Lord Burleigh:

Compared with the labour of reading through these volumes, all other labour, the labour of thieves on the treadmill, of children in factories, of negroes in sugar plantations, is an agreeable recreation. There was, it is said, a criminal in Italy, who was suffered to make his choice between Guicciardini and the galleys. He chose the history. But the war of Pisa was too much for him. He changed his mind, and went to the oar. more>>>