James McDonald (writer)

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James McDonald
James McDonald

OccupationWriter, mathematician

James McDonald British is a mathematician and non-fiction writer.[1][2][3] He was educated at University College, Oxford. He holds an MA from Oxford University and an MSc from Sussex University in the UK, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London in 1990. He is a life member of Humanists UK.

He has travelled extensively in Central Asia and Southern Asia, researching Zoroastrianism and other religions. According to his publishers his book Beyond Belief took over 20 years of research, including an overland expedition from Europe to South and Central Asia, retracing journeys of Alexander the Great, Robert Byron and Eric Newby. This research took him to sites including Medjugorje in Herzegovina; traditional Bogomil sites in the Balkans, early Christian sites across Turkey, the Mountains of Ararat near the border with Iran, Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, Chak Chak and other Zoroastrian centres in Iran, Christian churches in Pakistan, Parsee temples in Mumbi, the Syrian Churches of Kerala, the Roza Bal shrine at Srinagar in Kashmir; Lumbini in the Rupandehi district of Nepal; early Buddhist sites along the Karakorum Highway, and historic religious sites of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

He writes extensively on a range of topics including Gnostic Dualism, the Cathars of the Languedoc, the Counts of Toulouse, Occitania, Medieval warfare and the Medieval Inquisition. His work is characterised by combining serious scholarship with an entertaining style.[4][5] For several years he wrote a weekly column on English word origins for the Sunday Express, a national newspaper in the UK.[6]

He is the châtelain of a late Medieval castle in the South of France, listed as a Monument Historique by the French Government.



  1. ^ Cappon, Elizabeth (16 May 1985). "Word-watchers Will Enjoy Wordly Wise". Daily News. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  2. ^ Donald, Graeme (October 2008). Fighting Talk. Osprey Publishing. pp. 155–. ISBN 9781846034558. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  3. ^ Safire, William (16 November 2011). Language maven strikes again. Random House Digital, Inc. pp. 134–. ISBN 9780307800589. Retrieved 23 May 2012.
  4. ^ "combines scholarship with entertaining writing", von Schon, Catherine V.; Fletcher, Janet; Fialkoff, Francine; Schwarzer, Anneliese; Sutton, Judith; Cameron, Janet // Library Journal; 4 January 1985, Vol. 110 Issue 6, p142 [1]
  5. ^ "lively and readable" Kingsley Amis, Literary Review, January 1985
  6. ^ Sunday Express, passim 1984, 1985, 1986
  7. ^ {http://www.collectingbooksandmagazines.com/ref.html}
  8. ^ cited by Oxford Journals, Humanities, Year's Work in English Studies, Volume 65, Issue 1Pp. 24–66.
  9. ^ cited by Journal of Reading, Vol. 29, No. 6 (Mar. 1986), pp. 562–567 {www.jstor.org/stable/40032761} retrieved 10 June 2012
  10. ^ National Library of Australia's online catalogue {http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/1557119} retrieved 10 June 2012
  11. ^ Reviewed by Fred F. Holley, Los Angeles Times {http://articles.latimes.com/1985-05-12/books/bk-18614_1_james-mcdonald}, retrieved 10 June 2012, Orlando sentinel {http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/1985-09-02/news/0320400152_1_tommyrot-codswallop-archaeopteryx} (retrieved 10 June 2012) & Chicago Tribune, 4 September 1985, New York Times News Service.
  12. ^ cited by Timothy Jay, The Utility and Ubiquity of Taboo Words, Perspectives on Psychological Science March 2009 vol. 4 no. 2 153–161
  13. ^ cited by Kerry Linfoot-Ham, The Linguistics of Euphemism: A Diachronic Study of Euphemism Formation, Journal of Language and Linguistics, Vol. 4 No. 2, 2005, ISSN 1475-8989. Kerry Linfoot-Ham University of Florida, USA
  14. ^ ACM Digital Library {http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=576026} retrieved 10 June 2012
  15. ^ cited by Ruth M. Davies , Robert M. O'Keefe , Huw T. O. Davies, Simplifying the modeling of multiple activities, multiple queuing, and interruptions: a new low-level data structure, ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS), v.3 n.4, p.332-346, Oct. 1993
  16. ^ cited by Mike Pidd, Model development and HCI, Proceedings of the 28th conference on Winter simulation, p.681-686, 8–11 December 1996, Coronado, California, United States
  17. ^ cited by Vlatko Čeric, Hierarchical abilities of diagrammatic representations of discrete event simulation models, Proceedings of the 26th conference on Winter simulation, p.589-594, 11–14 December 1994, Orlando, Florida, United States
  18. ^ cited by Michael Pidd, An introduction to computer simulation, Proceedings of the 26th conference on Winter simulation, p.7-14, 11–14 December 1994, Orlando, Florida, United States
  19. ^ cited by Yogesh L. Deshpande , Roger Jenkins , Simon Taylor, Use of simulation to test client-server models, Proceedings of the 28th conference on Winter simulation, p.1210-1217, 8–11 December 1996, Coronado, California, United States
  20. ^ cited by Stewart Robinson, Three sources of simulation inaccuracy (and how to overcome them), Proceedings of the 31st conference on Winter simulation: Simulation—a bridge to the future, p.1701-1708, 5–8 December 1999, Phoenix, Arizona, United States
  21. ^ {http://garnetpublishing.co.uk/book/beyond-belief}
  22. ^ {https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPokm-OcuHc} retrieved 10 June 2012
  23. ^ Eller, Jack David, Review of Beyond Belief. Anthropology Review Database 27 January 2012. {http://wings.buffalo.edu/ARD/cgi/showme.cgi?keycode=4345}, accessed 10 June 2012.
  24. ^ fr:Essai sur les mœurs et l'esprit des nations, retrieved 10 June 2012.[better source needed]
  25. ^ {https://www.amazon.com/James-McDonald/e/B001KE1DBU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1} retrieved 10 June 2012
  26. ^ {https://www.amazon.com/Crusade-Against-People-Languedoc-Languedociens-ebook/dp/B00P5AVUZO/} retrieved 4 December 2014