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When writing about happy cities, the first and most difficult task is to define happiness. Charles Montgomery, for all his forays into philosophy, economics and brain science, never really provides an adequate solution
Maps, in a sense, are what all wars are about. Disputing their accuracy, changing their colours, redrawing their boundaries: these are major causes and consequences of conflict
In 1553, Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor led an expedition in search of a northeastern passage to Asia. They never achieved their goal, of course, but their voyage still counts as ‘one of the boldest in English history’
How many books about Niger do you own? Like most of its fellow Sahelian states, although historically, geographically and culturally fascinating, Niger remains largely ignored by outsiders
Far removed from her previous works of feminist discourse, this is best read almost as a travelogue, a lyrical journey of discovery in the rainforests of southern Queensland, and a personal challenge to the supposed inevitability of environmental degradation

PIERDOM by Simon Roberts

This is a lovely publication: a pictorial record of Britain’s remaining pleasure piers; some no more than slumping ruins, others bright and gaudy – little time capsules that preserve sunny weekends from what might be the 1950s
There’s a certain irony in a vertigo sufferer, who moreover has had to overcome a strong dislike of cold weather, achieving record feats at the world’s highest altitude and in its most frigid climates
Paul Collier invites us to engage in an immigration debate that moves ‘beyond views that are theatrically polarized and stridently expressed’. A worthwhile goal and, although some of the underpinnings of Collier’s specific arguments are problematic, his calm, scholarly rigour warrants respect

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DOSSIERS

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