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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Jan-18 > Books in brief

Books in brief

Beneath Another Sky: A Global Journey into History

by Norman Davies (Allen Lane, £30)

You can write a history of anything, says Norman Davies, the acclaimed author of Europe and The Isles. The art of finding one’s way is no exception, nor is getting lost: “Both are essential features of the human condition.” In Beneath Another Sky Davies orientates and disorientates himself as he chases the sunrise, recounting an eastward-bound global tour that took him from Cornwall to Azerbaijan and on to Dubai, Singapore, Tasmania, Tahiti, Texas, Madeira and more besides. In every location he dives deep into the history and gives us a sense of what is going on now.

But it hardly matters where Davies takes us. This is not a conventional travelogue by any means and it should not be read as such. Every stop allows Davies’s curiosity and imagination to run riot. There can be few recent books packed with such a wealth of information and fascinating diversions. Davies weaves in navigation, map making, ships, flight and exploration among other aspects of “finding one’s way.” But humans more often than not get lost. The fate of Malaysian flight MH370, the plane that went missing in 2014, looms large as Davies flies eastward.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s January 2018 issue: Five writers attempt to plot the impending advances in shopping, politics, sex, food and computing through 2018. James Plunkett looks at shopping and explains how personalised prices will hand even more power to the big companies; Theo Bertram outlines why political volatility is here to stay and what it means for us; Kate Devlin argues that sex robots are only a part of the impending sexual revolution; Stephanie Boland outlines why we’ll all end up eating lab grown food; and Jay Elwes explains the next steps in our computing quantum leap. Elsewhere in the issue: Dani Rodrik uncovers the truth behind the great globalisation lie—there were always going to be losers, Iona Craig delves into the war in Yemen—the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, Chris Tilbury explains why Britain urgently needs a plan for its failing prisons