Robert Darby

Robert Darby

Dr Robert Darby is an independent scholar and author of 'A Surgical Temptation: The Demonization of the Foreskin and the Rise of Circumcision in Britain' (University of Chicago Press). He lives in Ca

Man of Yesterday: Karl Marx and His Place in History

Man of Yesterday: Karl Marx and His Place in History

A review of Jonathan Sperber, Karl Marx: A Nineteenth Century Life (New York: Liveright Publishers, 2013). The great achievement of Jonathan Sperber’s absorbing biography of Karl Marx is to debunk the complementary images of Marx as a bogyman of the Right whose ideas are responsible for the horrors of

Robert Darby
Robert Darby
“What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?” A Discussion of Helen Dale’s Kingdom of the Wicked

“What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?” A Discussion of Helen Dale’s Kingdom of the Wicked

It’s 31 AD or 784 AUC (ab urbe condita) in the Roman calendar. Jerusalem is packed with visitors for the Passover, and Pontius Pilate returns home from the office with a thick dossier on the recent riot at the Temple, caused by Yeshua Ben Yusuf and his rowdy followers.

Robert Darby
Robert Darby
History
Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle: Science, Commerce, Freedom, and the Origins of Modernity

Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle: Science, Commerce, Freedom, and the Origins of Modernity

They are [letters] from brothers of mine in Europe. They tell a story – albeit in a fragmentary and patchwork way – of a sea-change that is spreading across Christendom, in large part because of men like Leibniz, Newton and Descartes. It is a change in the way men think, and it

Robert Darby
Robert Darby
Art and Culture
Female Genital Cutting: Harm, Human Rights and the Possibility of a Sex-Neutral Approach

Female Genital Cutting: Harm, Human Rights and the Possibility of a Sex-Neutral Approach

Two very different views on female genital cutting (FGC) have been aired in recent weeks. Writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics, a pair of American obstetricians, Kavita Arora and Allan Jacobs, recently suggested that Western societies should tolerate – and doctors should perform – what they regard as “mild” forms of

Robert Darby
Robert Darby
Art and Culture