Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson, an Irishman who in June 1922 was assassinated on his doorstep in London by Irish republicans, was one of the most controversial British soldiers of the modern age. Before 1914 he did much to secure the Anglo-French alliance and was responsible for the planning which saw the British Expeditionary Force successfully despatched to France after the outbreak of war with Germany. A passionate Irish unionist, he gained a reputation as an intensely 'political' soldier, especially during the 'Curragh crisis' of 1914 when some officers resigned their commisssions rather than coerce Ulster unionists into a Home Rule Ireland. During the war he played a major role in Anglo-French liaison, and ended up as Chief of the Imperial General Staff, professional head of the army, a post he held until February 1922. After Wilson retired from the army, he became an MP and was chief security adviser to the new Northern Ireland government. As such, he became a target for nationalist Irish militants, being identified with the security policies of the Belfast regime, though wrongly with Protestant sectarian attacks on Catholics. He is remembered today in unionist Northern Ireland as a kind of founding martyr for the state. Wilson's reputation was ruined in 1927 with the publication of an official biography, which quoted extensively and injudiciously from his entertaining, indiscreet, and wildly opinionated diaries, giving the impression that he was some sort of Machiavellian monster. In this first modern biography, using a wide variety of official and private sources for the first time, Keith Jeffery reassesses Wilson's life and career and places him clearly in his social, national, and political context.
After a decade of major technical and theoretical advancements in the area, the scope for exploitation of database technology has never been greater. Neither has the challenge. This volume contains the proceedings of the 17th British National Conference on Databases (BNCOD 2000), held at the University of Exeter in July 2000. In selecting the quality papers presented here, the programme committee was p- ticularly interested in the demands being made on the technology by emerging application areas, including web applications, push technology, multimedia data, and data warehousing. The concern remains the same: satisfaction of user - quirements on quality and performance. However, with increasing demand for timely access to heterogeneous data distributed on an unregulated Internet, new challenges are presented. Our three invited speakers develop the theme for the conference, considering new dimensions concerning user requirements in accessing distributed, hete- geneous information sources. In the ?rst paper presented here, Gio Wiederhold re?ects on the tension between requirements for, on the one hand, precision and relevance and on the other completeness and recall in relating data from heterogeneous resources. In resolving this tension in favour of the former, he maintains that this will fundamentally a?ect future research directions. Sharma Chakravarthy adds another dimension to the requirement on inf- mation, namely timeliness. He shares a vision of just-in-time information de- vered by a push technology based on reactive capabilities. He maintains that this requires a paradigm shift to a user-centric view of information.
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