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Christoph Baumer’s four-book-series on Central Asia reveals the author to be a person whose skills encompass a wide range of exacting disciplines
It is the 1960s and David is about to embark upon his doctoral studies. A research trip to the Hebrides ensues, but David becomes distracted by a whale who regularly visits the local waters
For most people, any knowledge of Cambodian history stops around 1979 – the year the Khmer Rouge fell, bringing to an end almost four years of genocidal behaviour
‘We are so accustomed to numbers,’ Fioramonti asserts, ‘we do not realize their power anymore.’ And yet they increasingly rule our lives: the state of the economy, quality of life and myriad other conditions are all graded according to statistics
In 1990, on the brink of the fall of the Soviet Union, officials in present-day Transnistria declared the region as a Pridnestrovian Moldavian Region (PMR). In 1991, Moldova (including Transnistria) would become independent of the then dissolved USSR
The story of language in Europe, Dorren tells us, is like a game of Chinese whispers: once upon a time there was a single tongue – which linguists refer to it as PIE (Proto-Indo-European)
As Upton Sinclair wrote – and Naomi Klein quotes – ‘it is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’ This quote reaches the heart of global inaction on climate change
In 2010, herpetologist Robin Moore initiated a global frog search. He drew up a list of 100 species that hadn’t been seen in 15–140 years and mobilised more than 140 researchers in over 20 countries to try to find them

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