Daily archives: October 25, 2017

Edinburgh 2 November: A Day to Stretch the Intellect

There is a good double header of events in Edinburgh on 2 November, at venues 5 minutes walk from one another. At 2pm at the National Library of Scotland on George IV Bridge I shall be giving a talk on Alexander Burnes, followed by a book signing.

After retiring to Sandy Bell’s for a brief refreshment, at 6pm the W. M. Watt Annual Lecture is being delivered by Professor Nur Masalha at the Playfair Library, Old College, South Bridge. The Lecture is entitled Powerful Symbols and the British-Zionist Alliance: From Balfour to the Nakba . You need to book a place via the link.

This sounds very interesting and I hope gets a good turnout. It is excellent to see an official Edinburgh University function tackling this subject, when there have been so many attempts within other universities to repress free speech around it.

On a related note, I am delighted to say that I have received the first peer review of Sikunder Burnes, in Central Asian Survey, which is the accepted academic journal of note in this area. This is very important to me as, while Murder in Samarkand/Dirty Diplomacy is to my certain knowledge taught on university courses from Moscow to Rio De Janeiro and many points inbetween, it was shunned by British and US academia; an example of the systematic marginalisation of whistleblowers. Part of the plan of Sikunder Burnes was to produce such a volume of important original research it would be impossible for academia to ignore it.

Furthermore, Alexander Morrison of New College, Oxford is one of the few academics qualified in this precise area to pass judgement. Naturally his review is far from uncritical, but I would not have wished it to be. As stated in the preface, Alexander is one of the academics with whom I cooperated in the limited sense of swapping transcriptions, and I look forward to publishing a reply to some of the points in his review in a spirit of friendly discussion. I am sorry you can’t see the entire review unless you have access to academic library login credentials.

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