Peter Acton

Peter Acton reviews 'The Classical Debt: Greek antiquity in an Era of austerity' by Johanna Hanink

Peter Acton
30 November 2017

‘They rose from nothing and changed everything.’  This fantastic, fawning, fallacious guff introduced a 2016 PBS documentary on ancient Greece, and the biography of the sentiment beh More

Peter Acton reviews 'Money Changes Everything: How finance made civilization possible' by William N. Goetzmann

Peter Acton
23 August 2016

Given the damage done to the global economy by the finance industry this century, and the apparent determination of its major players to keep on doing it, this would ...

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Peter Acton reviews 'Capitalism' by John Plender

Peter Acton
28 October 2015

'Money is like poetry because both involve learning to communicate in a compressed language that packs a lot of meaning and consequence into the minimum semantic space.'  This comparison, coming from one of today's most strident critics of the capitalist system, British novelist More

Peter Acton reviews 'The Great Divide' by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Peter Acton
26 August 2015

Consider the following statements: unregulated markets achieve the best outcomes for society; ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’; government intervention, regulation, and redistribution damage economic growth; tax cuts for the rich are a reliable way to foster growth; financial market innovations create growth and benefit society. A ... More

Peter Acton reviews 'Pericles of Athens' by Vincent Azoulay translated by Janet Lloyd

Peter Acton
30 April 2015

Father of democracy or nepotic would-be tyrant, corrupting the citizens with flattery and handouts? Brilliant orator, fearlessly committed to the truth, or dangerous sophist saying whatever the mob wanted to hear? Effective administrator of a complex and benevolent empire or cruel curtailer of the allies’ liberties? A model of sobriety and chastity or a lecherous ... More

Glyn Davis reviews 'Poiesis' by Peter Acton

Glyn Davis
02 March 2015

On what terms should we interrogate the past? Ancient life can seem essentially unknowable, a place where everything is different, glimpsed only in the words of those who lived then and surviving traces of material culture.

The Cambridge classical scholar Sir Moses Finley argued for an interpretation of ancient life bounded by then current civic and religiou ... More

Peter Acton reviews 'The Invention of News' by Andrew Pettegree

Peter Acton
17 December 2014

When St Paul’s burned down in 1561, no one was in any doubt that it was the work of God. The debate – and it was a furious one in the press of the time – concerned what this said about His views on the abolition of the mass. Contemporary press reports of the Battle of Lepanto, the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and the Spanish Armada show how reporting of ev ... More