RaveThe Financial Times (UK)... brilliantly provocative ... What makes The Meat Paradox so original — and, at moments, electrifying — is that instead of trying to argue this confusion away, Percival addresses it head-on, locating the hypocrisies of meat-eating within some of the deepest aspects of human psychology ... Some of the most fascinating passages of the book concern the ways in which hunter-gatherer societies come to terms with eating meat, through a complex series of rituals and beliefs designed to distinguish their actions from wanton murder ... not a straightforward polemic for veganism (although if you can eat meat straight after reading the passage describing a skip in a slaughterhouse filled with \'hundreds of pairs of eyes\', you have a stronger stomach than I). What makes this such an unusual book is its pragmatic sense of nuance. Percival refuses to pick sides in the strident debate between pro-meat lobbyists and vegan evangelicals ... does an extremely powerful — and sometimes humorous — job of laying bare the delusions and destruction of modern meat-eating ... if this fascinating book has a flaw, it’s that Percival is stronger on philosophy than on practical solutions. There is no proposal here for the policy levers that could reform a global meat industry that causes so much ethical and environmental harm. Nor does he explain how, as an entire population, we could ever find our way back to ethical meat-eating from where we stand, as he puts it, \'chicken nugget in hand, swaying over the precipice\'.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThis is Purdy’s first book, and he sometimes falls into journalistic clichés. His story teems with the occasional \'make-or-break\' moment or a light bulb going off in someone’s head. But the upside is that his writing is always punchy and readable, even when he is explaining the complex and gruesome biology of growing a new piece of flesh from an old one.
Kassia St. Clair
PositiveThe Sunday Times (UK)...[a] charming and informative history of textiles, which takes us on a journey from the silk roads to sportswear, from ruffs to spacesuits ... One of the themes of this absorbing book is the way that fabric has left traces on our language. I’d never realised before that \'text\' and \'textile\' share a common root in the Latin verb texere, to weave ... I devoured this book ... This is a quietly feminist book, that celebrates cloth-making as a form of art and craft that has not been given its due, maybe because it has almost always been done by women ... Like many before her, St Clair urges us to \'give a little more thought\' to the clothes we buy. It is hard to disagree. We should buy fewer items, and we should value our clothes — and the people who make them — more. But in a free-market economy it is hard to see how to effect a radical change towards more sustainable fashion.
PositiveThe Times (UK)Clever and original ... an eloquent plea to see the creation and consumption of good food as something more than an annoying interruption ... a quietly brilliant and original idea for a book. A thoughtful food writer who deserves to be better known ... [a] gentle book.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalThe story of sugar and slavery has been told many times ... But Mr. Walvin writes with fresh and righteous shock of the brutality and injustice of a system that enslaved and displaced millions of Africans for profit and to satisfy the sweet tooth of the West ... Mr. Walvin’s sobering final chapters suggest that by the time we noticed how much of a problem sugar was for our health, it was too late to do much about it ... But Mr. Walvin suggests that too much is at stake for the sugar industry to suffer a serious challenge.
RaveThe Guardian...superb, insightful ... Ackroyd’s deft and moving biography proves that there is a fresh story to be told, and that he is the person to do it.
PositiveThe Guardian...[a] fascinating and passionate diatribe ... Gopnik is not the first to have argued for a less instrumental and more playful view of childhood, but her book is still a welcome corrective to the results-driven approach to parenting.