Most reviewed: Blood and Rage

<p>Michael Burleigh&#39;s &quot;cultural history of terrorism&quot;, <em>Blood and Rage </em>(HarperPress), was the most reviewed book on last weekend&#39;s literary pages (22nd to 24th February), with the likes of Simon Jenkins, the <em>Observer</em>&#39;s chief foreign correspondent Jason Burke and Dominic Lawson all weighing in with their critical appraisals.</p><p>Lawson, reviewing in the <em>Mail on Sunday</em>, found that &quot;in this volume, the handiwork of terrorists over the course of a century and a half is described with remorseless, stomach-turning attention to detail&quot;. He added: &quot;Burleigh&#39;s greatest virtue as a chronicler of violence is that he always lets the facts speak for themselves. He understands that any form of embellishment would not just be gratuitous, it would reduce the clarity with which such evil must properly be viewed&quot;. </p><p>Christopher Silvester in the <em>Daily Express</em> wrote that &quot;to call this book a &#39;cultural history&#39; seems a little odd&quot;, but concluded that the author &quot;offers a witty, robust and self-confident guide to a subject that regrettably now affects all our lives to some degree&quot;. </p><p>Simon Jenkins, in the <em>Sunday Times</em>, said that much of <em>Blood and Rage</em> &quot;makes rollicking good reading&quot;, but was disappointed that Burleigh approaches his subject &quot;as a political rather than a military historian&quot;. <br /><br />The <em>Observer</em>&#39;s Burke applauded &quot;Burleigh&#39;s evident ability to assimilate and communicate incisively&quot;, but believed the author &quot;has written two books in one&quot;. </p><p>&quot;The first is a highly intelligent and comprehensive survey of recent terrorism,&quot; explained Burke. &quot;The second a choleric rant against all the <em>b&ecirc;tes noires</em> of the British right.&quot; According to Burke, &quot;the result is a bewildering incoherence in tone. You are never quite sure whether the next page will bring an assured and accurate historical account or a bilious, reactionary and very un-donnish polemic&quot;.</p><p><strong>Most reviewed (22nd to 24th February)</strong> </p><p><em>Blood and Rage</em> by Michael Burleigh <br />(HarperPress 9780007241279 &pound;25)<br />&quot;Caustic and forthright&quot;<em>&#8200;Daily Express</em> <br />&quot;[Burleigh] always lets the facts speak for themselves&quot; <em>Mail on Sunday </em><br />&quot;One major problem of the book is the scarceness of references&quot; <em>Observer</em><br />&quot;Rollicking good reading&quot; <em>Sunday Times</em></p><p><em>Queen of the Wits</em> by Norma Clarke<br />(Faber 9780571224289 &pound;20)<br />&quot;Absorbing&quot; <em>&#8200;Daily Mail</em> <br />&quot;Lively and engaging&quot; <em>Sunday Telegraph</em> <br />&quot;Does its subject and its readers a great service&quot; <em>Sunday Times</em></p><p><em>The Sacred Book of Werewolf</em> by Victor Pelevin<br />(Faber 9780571227983 &pound;12.99)<br />&quot;Strange and inventive&quot; <em>Daily Mail</em> <br />&quot;A fast-paced, post-modern mystery&quot;<em>&#8200;Financial Times</em><br />&quot;Satirical potrait of modern Russia&quot; <em>Sunday Express</em></p><p><em>The Irresistible Inheritance of Wilberforce </em>by Paul Torday<br />(Weidenfeld 9780297851592 &pound;12.99)<br />&quot;Torday has managed a near masterpiece&quot;<em>&#8200;Daily Express</em> <br />&quot;Well worth sampling&quot; <em>Independent on Sunday</em> </p>