Robin Brown Cecil John Rhodes made a fortune from diamonds and gold, became prime minister of the Cape, and had a country named after him, but his ambitions were far greater than that. When he was still in his twenties, after a meeting with General Gordon of Khartoum, Rhodes set up a Secret Society with the aim of establishing a new world order. The society, disciplined on Jesuit-style rules, became Rhodes’s lifelong obsession, and after his death it lived on and grew under the leadership of his executor, Lord Alfred Milner.
The society played a key role in the governance of Britain during the Great War and the peace terms to end it, and it was linked to appeasement initiatives involving Hitler, the Duke of Windsor and Mrs Simpson before World War II. Echoes of the Secret Society survive in different guises to this day, including the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the Rhodes Scholarships.
In The Secret Society, Robin Brown unpacks this astonishing and largely unknown history. He brings Rhodes, his companions and his successors to life by drawing from diaries and letters, and sheds new light on Rhodes’s homosexuality. Ranging from the diamond mines of Kimberley to the halls of power in Westminster, and peopled with characters such as General Gordon, Leander Starr Jameson, W.T. Stead, Olive Schreiner, the Princess Radziwill, Joseph Chamberlain and David Lloyd George, this book is a page-turner that will make you see the world, both past and present, in a different light.
Robin Brown It is more than a thousand years since the exploitation of the elephant began. Alexander the Great used them, Hannibal took them over the Alps, and Kublai Khan encountered them in India. However, it is only the last hundred years that the existence of the African elephant has been threatened. Once the “Great White Hunters” with their special elephant guns arrived, elephants in the south of the continent were decimated. This study tells the story of how the professional hunting fraternity were the first to realize the threat to the elephant and how they kick-started the conservation movement. It is not a story with a happy ending as the history of the conservation movement is essentially a tale of war: colonialists at war with traditional customs; newly-independent African countries at war with one another; poachers and smugglers at war with any kind of constraint; and international bodies fighting for the suppression of damaging information. This history paints a vivid picture of the impact of hunting on Africa's elephant population and the powerful personalities of those involved on both sides of the massacre, from Cecil Rhodes to Dennis Fitch-Hatton and Edward, Prince of Wales to David Sheldrick.
Ben Fink & Robin Brown Education is in crisis—at least, so we hear. And at the center of this crisis is technology. New technologies like computer-based classroom instruction, online K–12 schools, MOOCs (massive open online courses), and automated essay scoring may be our last great hope—or the greatest threat we have ever faced.
In The Problem with Education Technology, Ben Fink and Robin Brown look behind the hype to explain the problems—and potential—of these technologies. Focusing on the case of automated essay scoring, they explain the technology, how it works, and what it does and doesn’t do. They explain its origins, its evolution (both in the classroom and in our culture), and the controversy that surrounds it. Most significantly, they expose the real problem—the complicity of teachers and curriculum-builders in creating an education system so mechanical that machines can in fact often replace humans—and how teachers, students, and other citizens can work together to solve it.
Offering a new perspective on the change that educators can hope, organize, and lobby for, The Problem with Education Technology challenges teachers and activists on “our side,” even as it provides new evidence to counter the profit-making, labor-saving logics that drive the current push for technology in the classroom.
Robin Brown The incredible story of Marco Polo's journey to the ends of the earth has for the last seven hundred years been beset by doubts as to its authenticity. Did this intrepid Venetian really trek across Asia minor as a teenager, explore the length and breadth of China as the ambassador of the ruthless dictator, Kublai Khan, and make his escape from almost certain death at the hands of Kublai Khan's successors? Robin Brown's book aims to get to the truth of Marco Polo's claims. Covering his early life, his extraordinary twenty-four-year Asian epic and his reception in Italy on his return, "Marco Polo" places the intrepid Venetian in context, historically and geographically. What emerges confirms the truth of Polo's account. Polo, scholars now agree, opened vistas to the medieval mind and stirred the interest in exploration that prompted the age of the European ocean voyages. All who now enjoy the fruits of Marco Polo's incredible journey through Asia - whether in the form of spectacles, fireworks, pasta or any of the many products of the Silk Road - will find in Robin Brown-Lowe's book a fascinating portrait of a man who made history happen by bringing about the meeting of East and West.