PositiveThe Financial Times (UK)(UK)Morris succeeds in condensing 10,000 years into a persuasive and highly readable volume, even if there are moments that risk a descent into what he seeks to avoid: \'a catalogue of men with strange names killing each other\', as historian Alex Woolf put it ... ends not in 2016, however, but 2103: the year in which Morris estimates eastern development indices will overtake western (a tongue-in-cheek prediction, by his own admission). His conclusion that China, not Europe, will dominate Britain’s future is striking, if rather abrupt. Still, in an account as ambitious as this, and with the country’s post-Brexit story still to be fully written, it is perhaps fitting that this history should end in the future.
MixedFinancial Times (UK)Fox’s fondness for...miscellany leads down some wonderful rabbit holes ... Just like a real rainbow, though, an abundance of colour masks something of a lack of substance. The overarching narratives of each chapter...end up overshadowed by diversions and insufficiently explored, while specific reflections...can be unconvincing ... the art historian asks: \'How many meanings can a colour have before it ceases to have meaning?\' It is not an unfair question, given the kaleidoscopic complexity of a phenomenon that we often take for granted. But in a book itself inclined towards the multiplicity of our interpretations of colour, it is perhaps a dangerous one to pose.
PositiveFinancial Times (UK)\"Criss-crossing four periods of profound historical change, the book challenges the prevailing Eurocentric scientific narrative and emphasises the idea of sustained arcs of progress elsewhere in the world instead of fleeting \'golden ages\' ... Poskett deftly blends the achievements of little-known figures into the wider history of science. Chapter summaries and introductions can feel overly signposted, veering at times towards a lecturing style for sleepy undergraduates, but the book brims with clarity as a result. This is crucial in such a fundamental retelling of the story of science—especially one in which political context is always pertinent.
RaveFinancial Times (UK)Each selection is treated with a laser-like focus — and at times an overeagerness to point out rhetorics — as Dillon allows his thoughts to spiral into wider speculation. A single sentence, he argues, can evoke an entire text ... Elsewhere, though, Dillon loosens his belt to include excerpts that are a good deal more sprawling ... If for Orwell good prose is like a windowpane, then much in Suppose a Sentence would presumably have him reaching for a duster. Dillon is thankfully more tolerant of these smudges of ambiguity ... Reducing great writers and works to a single sentence is a provocative act, but one that in an age of 280-character opinions does not feel inappropriate ... an absorbing defence of literary originality and interpretation.