Sunday, March 7, 2010

Book Review: The Last Day

The Last Day by Nicholas Shandy is not worth reading -- it's barely worth reviewing but this sense of duty compels me. Actually, the history is fairly interesting and you learn a few things about Portugal and the All Saints' Day earthquake of 1755. However, Shandy is more interested in taking sides with the modern nation-state tyrant against the tyranny of the Inquisition and making long lists at inopportune times than he is in really telling the story of what went on and what changed 250 years ago. You'll get about at much useful information out of reading the Wikipedia entry on the Lisbon earthquake as you'll get from this book and without all the "state-good/church-bad" moralizing (or would that be secularizing?). This book may actually be instructive someday as an example of where idolatry of the nation-state system can get you, a study of the blinders of the historian rather than the history.

Just in case you're wondering, no, I don't like every book I read. Bleh.

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