David Bromwich

David Bromwich, Sterling Professor of English at Yale, is the author of many books, including Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic, Moral Imagination: The Intellectual Life of Edmund Burke and How Words Make Things Happen.

You are not Cruikshank: Gillray’s Mischief

David Bromwich, 21 September 2023

Tim Clayton’s​ book is a magisterial study of a great popular artist: a full-scale interpretation of James Gillray’s output of satirical prints, and a biography that warrants comparison with the best ever done on an 18th-century artist. It has been furnished with gorgeous reproductions, along with close-ups that illuminate Gillray’s care for visual detail and his...

Warthog Dynamism

David Bromwich, 19 November 2020

One​ of the undoubted advantages of a Trump rally is that you can get the experience of reality TV without having to stay at home. The star is right there on the podium, just a stone’s throw away, surrounded by a crowd of 20,000 who may claim the status of longtime fans or enthusiastic converts. It should have been predictable that Trump would make no concessions to the pandemic....

From The Blog
5 March 2020

Sanders won’t be quitting. A possibility remains, therefore, that the Democrats will conduct a ‘brokered convention’. Secondary candidates like Buttigieg and Warren had lately put themselves in the anti-popular posture of endorsing such a proceeding (though there’s been nothing like it since the 1950s): at a brokered convention, a candidate with a solid plurality can be denied the nomination on the first ballot and defeated later by a coalition. If Biden now runs far ahead of Sanders, he may sew it up in advance. On the other hand, his verbal gaffes (announcing himself a candidate for the Senate rather than the presidency; saying ‘I was a Democratic caucus’) and his fabricated or false memories (a non-existent arrest in South Africa for demonstrating against the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela) have exposed a cognitive fragility that some people fear could make him ridiculous by November.

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich, 20 February 2020

Watching​ Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on 4 February, I felt that we had crossed a line. This president was setting up as the benevolent ruler of – it wasn’t clear what. Not a constitutional democracy. A different kind of country. He had brought along, as guests, individuals who were given honourable mentions in his speech, people who looked up in gratitude as...

On​ 6 October, Donald Trump made a phone call to Recep Erdoğan signalling the withdrawal of around two hundred US troops who were protecting Kurdish soldiers in northern Syria. Trump announced that he would soon make room for Turkey to clear the area and create the buffer zone Erdoğan had long wanted to impose against a hostile political entity. This sudden declaration was doubtless...

No Theatricks: Burke

Ferdinand Mount, 21 August 2014

There were at least six great issues on which Burke defended the victims of mistreatment with a steely vigour and an unhesitating sympathy.

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David Lurie, the soured academic who is the protagonist of J.M. Coetzee’s novel Disgrace, earns his living as a professor of ‘communications’ in a Cape Town university (his...

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The centre fights back

Lynn Hunt, 22 July 1993

Thanks to David Mamet’s new play Oleanna, the distracted, bumbling and self-regarding male professor has now become the archetypal victim of political correctness. Mamet’s John is...

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Fiery Participles

D.A.N. Jones, 6 September 1984

Hazlitt is sometimes rather like Walt Whitman, democratic, containing multitudes, yet happy with solitary self-communion. In a pleasant essay called ‘A Sun-Bath – Nakedness’,...

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