I have been reading two hefty volumes in tandem (apart from boring EU and Parliamentary material and variable detective stories). One is Anne Applebaum's Iron Curtain, a highly informative account of the bloody aftermath of World War II in Eastern Europe and the equally bloody Soviet and Communist attempt to turn those countries into totalitarian states. The other one is Thomas Penn's Winter King, an equally informative account of how after a century of bloody civil war the first Tudor King attempted in a bloody fashion to impose the nearest to a totalitarian structure he could create given the technology of the period on England. Methinks there is a pattern here. Perhaps I should get out more.