I did a quick wander around some of Oxford new and second hand bookshops yesterday whilst there.
In the politics / global / international relations sections, there are some textbooks and various views on Russia and Vladimir Putin – including people who say they are his number one enemy or something similar.
I couldn’t find any alternative perspectives on Russia which may have been in the more general books or maybe not. So anyone’s first impression just by looking at the shelves – even in 2017 – will be a classic bad Russia, oligarchs and Marxist-Lenin thought. And that’s it. That is what is attracting people’s attention.
A couple came in, one of whom studying art history and politics and they looked at the shelves and said – well of course these are popular political books. They were looking for something very specific and prepared to go further.
There were also entire shelves of books which were anti EU.
The bookshops are a reflection of media and social media today. Do Oxford political students actually dig deeper (I know some Oxford lecturers think critically) or is it just rather convenient to display these ‘feathers’ to the outside world?
Is that what they want to impress on visitors because of Oxford’s reputation and just be a continual echo chamber?