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John Wright is a passionate natural historian and the author of the River Cottage Handbooks Mushrooms, Edible Seashore, Hedgerow and Booze. As well as writing for national publications, he often appears on the River Cottage series for Channel 4. He gives lectures on natural history and every year he takes around fifty 'forays' showing people how to collect food - plants from the hedgerow, seaweeds and shellfish from the shore and mushrooms from pasture and wood. Over a period of twenty years he has taken around five hundred such forays. Fungi are his greatest passion and he has thirty-five years' experience in studying them. John Wright is a member of the British Mycological Society and a Fellow of the Linnaean Society. He lives in rural West Dorset with his wife and two teenage daughters. @johnmushroom / www.wild-food.net
Latin names - frequently unpronounceable, all too often wrong and always a tiny puzzle to unravel - have been annoying the layman since they first became formalised as scientific terms in the eighteenth century. Why on earth has the entirely land-loving Eastern Mole been named Scalopus aquaticus, or the Oxford Ragwort been called Senecio squalidus - 'dirty old man'? What were naturalists thinking when they called a beetle Agra katewinsletae, a genus of fish Batman, and a Trilobite Han solo? Why is zoology replete with names such as Chloris chloris chloris (the greenfinch), and Gorilla gorilla gorilla (a species of, well gorilla)? The Naming of the Shrew will unveil these mysteries, exploring the history, celebrating their poetic nature and revealing how naturalists sometimes get things so terribly wrong. With wonderfully witty style and captivating narrative, this book will make you see Latin names in a whole new light.
What could possibly beat a cool pint of beer down the pub or a lazy glass of wine at your favourite bar? The answer is: home-brewed beer or your very own brand of wine. With this, the twelfth in the River Cottage Handbook series, the inimitable John Wright shows exactly how easy it is to get started. You don't need masses of space to make alcohol at home, and if you follow the simple instructions, you won't be faced with exploding bottles in the cellar. But don't forget, it's all about experimentation and finding out what works for you. Booze is divided up by alcohol type, from beer, cider and wine to herbal spirits and fruit liqueurs. Each section starts with an introduction to the basic techniques, methods and other useful information, before giving recipes for delicious tipples like rhubarb wine, sparkling elderflower wine, mead, cherry plum wine, orange beer, lager, real ginger beer, sweet cider, zubrovka vodka, amber spirits, rose infusions, blackberry whiskey, pomegranate rum, chestnut liqueur, mulled cider and there's even a hangover cure thrown in for good measure. With an introduction from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and full-colour photographs as well as illustrations, Booze is a home-brewer's book with a kick and features a directory at the back of the book where you can find instructions on purchasing the best home-brewing kits.
Paul Feyeraband famously asked, what's so great about science? One answer is that it has been surprisingly successful in getting things right about the natural world, more successful than non-scientific or pre-scientific systems, religion or philosophy. Science has been able to formulate theories that have successfully predicted novel observations. It has produced theories about parts of reality that were not observable or accessible at the time those theories were first advanced, but the claims about those inaccessible areas have since turned out to be true. And science has, on occasion, advanced on more or less a priori grounds theories that subsequently turned out to be highly empirically successful. In this book the philosopher of science, John Wright delves deep into science's methodology to offer an explanation for this remarkable success story.
Undaunted is a collection of true stories about Irish men and women who travelled to Australia in search of a better life and battled against the odds in a remote and harsh world. From 1788 when the first convict ships landed to the mid-20th century, these true stories about settlers, convicts and their descendants highlight the best and worst of human behaviour in the kinds of dilemma that faced newcomers. This book tells the story of the Irish contribution to this struggle.
John Wright's concise history of Libya begins in the prehistoric Sahara and concludes with the bloody overthrow of the Gadafi regime and the emergence of a 'new' Libya in 2011. After surveying the story of the central Sahara's early hunter-gatherers and its Garamantian civilization, Wright briskly recounts the land's succession of foreign invaders, followed by the semi-independent Karamanli regime in 1711 and the return of the Turks in 1835. He discusses the workings of the historic trans-Saharan slave trade to Tripoli, Benghazi and other ports for local sale or export to the Eastern Mediterranean, and highlights Tripoli's nineteenth-century role as a base for European penetration of the Sahara and the lands beyond it. Wright's modern history assesses the controversial Italian era (1911-43), describing in detail the long, harsh conquest while giving due credit to the material achievements of the colonial regime. This fair and comprehensive overview provides a clearer understanding of Libya's subsequent history, covered in four final chapters. These start with the World War Two campaigns that ended Italian rule; the fairly easy ride to an early UN-supervised independence under the Sanussi monarchy in 1951; the discovery and exploitation of oil in the 1950s and 1960; and Moammar Gadafi's 1969 coup bringing to power a bizarre revolutionary regime that was to last for forty-two years. Wright's final chapter summarises the main events of 2011 - the successful popular uprising; the NATO air intervention; the end of Gadafi and his regime; and the emergence of a 'new' and perhaps rather different Libya.
Non-fiction;Gypsy/Romani travel in Australia.The Gypsy Storyteller and her Shadow with two traditional Gypsy Wagons.A five -year journey of more than 45,000 klms.Blending culture with multiculture.
From Tripoli to the ancient ruins of Leptis Magna, from the slave markets to the farthest reaches of the Sahara: here is a mosaic of unknown places, handed down to us by the foreign visitors and travellers who experienced them first hand over four centuries (1550-1911). European consuls (and their sisters and wives), archaeologists, explorers, sailors and colonisers have all left colourful accounts of their Libyan experiences: the bustle of the suqs and gossip of the harem, the terrors of slavery, the endless, parched caravan marches across the desert and the characters they met along the way. Almost fifty contributors bring a fresh perspective to a country that has fascinated foreigners for millenia.
On November 4, 2008, the election of Barack Hussein Obama as the forty-fourth president of the United States showed that the country had finally overcome its most hurtful, shameful, and enduring legacy-slavery. Though Obama's election showed progress, the John McCain-Sarah Palin campaign and the Republican Party used age-old smear campaign tactics. Their operators pulled out all the stops in an attempt to win and spread falsehoods about Obama that have only multiplied after the election. The Obama Haters seeks to answer the following questions: Who are these Obama haters? Why do they despise him? Why do various news organizations, commentators, and political entities treat the same facts differently? Why are these pundits so powerful? In order to do so, Wright first lays out the democratic principles and civility toward which Americans should strive. Next, he investigates the persistent expressions of hatred for President Obama, connecting historic antecedents of political mudslinging along with the background of virulent right-wing smear tactics over the past two decades. And finally, he shines a harsh spotlight on the haters and fearmongers and their tactics. While Americans have the right to criticize their political leadership, their reasons for disapproval should be based on facts. Those who invent and repeat lies to hurt the reputation of leaders weaken the democratic ideal. This book is for anyone who wishes to learn how to cut through the hypocrisy and propaganda to make informed decisions based on truth.
Hedgerows, moors, meadows and woods - these hold a veritable feast for the forager. In this hugely informative and witty handbook, John Wright reveals how to spot the free and delicious pickings to be found in the British countryside, and how to prepare and cook them. First John touches on the basics for the hedgerow forager, with an introduction to conservation, safety, the law, and all the equipment that you may need. Next he guides you through the tasty edible species to be found. Each one is accompanied by photographs for identification, along with their conservation status, habitat, distribution, season, taste, texture and cooking methods - not forgetting, of course, some fascinating asides and diversions about their taxonomy and history. Fifty species are covered, including bilberries, blackberries, raspberries, common mallow, dandelions, hedge garlic, horseradish, pignuts, nettles, sloes, sweet chestnuts, water mint, bulrushes and wild cherries. After this there is a section describing the poisonous species to steer clear of, with identifying photographs as well as warnings about nasty 'lookalikes'. Finally, there are thirty delicious recipes to show how you can make the most of your (edible) findings. Introduced by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Hedgerow is an indispensable household reference, and an essential book to have by your side for every trip into the countryside.
This compelling text sheds light on the important but under studied trans-Saharan slave trade. The author uncovers and surveys this, the least-noticed of the slave trades out of Africa, which from the seventh to the twentieth centuries quielty delievered almost as many black Africans into foreign servitude as did the far busier, but much briefer Atlantic and East African trades. Illuminating for the first time a significant, but ignored subject, the book supports and widens current scholarly examination of Africans' essential role in the enslavement of fellow-Africans and their delivery to internal, Atlantic or trans-Saharan markets.