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White Power

Thomas Meaney, 1 August 2019

Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America 
by Kathleen Belew.
Harvard, 330 pp., £23.95, April 2018, 978 0 674 28607 8
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Revolutionaries for the Right Anti-Communist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War 
by Kyle Burke.
North Carolina, 337 pp., June 2018, 978 1 4696 4073 0
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... was, however, a third option for white power activists, originating with Louis Beam and William Pierce, a.k.a. Andrew Macdonald, the movement’s bard. Together they concocted the most influential and enduring of the white power projects. In Essays of a Klansman, published in 1983, Beam advocated an all-out race war. The civil rights battles, he argued, had ...

Despairing Radicals

Blair Worden, 25 June 1992

Sir Philip Sidney: Courtier Poet 
by Katherine Duncan-Jones.
Hamish Hamilton, 350 pp., £20, September 1991, 0 241 12650 9
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Algernon Sidney and the Restoration Crisis 
by Jonathan Scott.
Cambridge, 406 pp., £40, October 1991, 0 521 35291 6
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Algernon Sidney and the Republican Heritage 
by Alan Craig Houston.
Princeton, 335 pp., £22.50, November 1991, 0 691 07860 2
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Milton’s ‘History of Britain’: Republican Historiography in the English Revolution 
by Nicholas von Maltzahn.
Oxford, 244 pp., £32.50, November 1991, 0 19 812897 5
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... is more drawn to an earlier episode in Paris two months earlier. The proclivities of King Charles IX were gratified at a great feast marked by ‘an exceptionally vile pièce de resistance in which a bag full of live cats and a fox was suspended thirty feet up over a huge bonfire, until the flames pulled the screaming mass down’. To that episode, in ...


John Sutherland, 9 January 1992

The Chronicler of Barsetshire: A Life of Anthony Trollope 
by R.H. Super.
Manchester, 528 pp., £29.95, July 1990, 0 472 10102 1
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Anthony Trollope: A Victorian in his World 
by Richard Mullen.
Duckworth, 767 pp., £25, July 1990, 0 7156 2293 5
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Trollope: A Biography 
by N. John Hall.
Oxford, 581 pp., £25, October 1991, 0 19 812627 1
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... lock his wife in a lunatic asylum. He did not die tragically young like the Brontës or poor, like Charles Lever. He did not become Prime Minister of England, like Disraeli. Unlike the barren Hardy, he was happily married and left two respectable sons to carry on his name. Trollope wrote more fiction than most and must also have written a lot of ...

Mysteries of the City

Mark Ford: Baudelaire and Modernity, 21 February 2013

Baudelaire: The Complete Verse 
edited and translated by Francis Scarfe.
Anvil, 470 pp., £10.95, January 2012, 978 0 85646 427 0
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Baudelaire: Paris Blues/Le Spleen de Paris 
edited and translated by Francis Scarfe.
Anvil, 332 pp., £10.95, January 2012, 978 0 85646 429 4
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Seeing Double: Baudelaire’s Modernity 
by Françoise Meltzer.
Chicago, 264 pp., £29, May 2011, 978 0 226 51988 3
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... handing back Yorick’s skull to the gravedigger, an inspired prankster yells out: ‘Wai-ter.’ Charles Baudelaire had, it might be argued, a more authentic claim to the inky cloak and cosmic melancholy of the troubled prince than any other writer of the era. His much loved father, Joseph-François Baudelaire, died when he was only five, and for a blissful ...

We simply do not know!

John Gray: Keynes, 19 November 2009

Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism 
by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller.
Princeton, 230 pp., £16.95, February 2009, 978 0 691 14233 3
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... recurrent illusions and powerful stories is a piece of perennial wisdom that was summarised in Charles Mackay’s Memories of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, published in 1841. More recently, George Soros has insisted that market behaviour is a reflexive process intrinsically liable to lead to cycles of boom and bust, as the ...

American Manscapes

Richard Poirier, 12 October 1989

Manhood and the American Renaissance 
by David Leverenz.
Cornell, 372 pp., $35.75, April 1989, 0 8014 2281 7
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... of a cluster of male supporters. These include his old college buddies Longfellow and Franklin Pierce, who became the subject of a campaign biography written by Hawthorne and who also became a President of the United States. This critic points to their influential descendents in order to explain how the canonisation continues into the present century. From ...

Buffed-Up Scholar

Stefan Collini: Eliot and the Dons, 30 August 2012

Letters of T.S. Eliot, Vol. III: 1926-27 
edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden.
Faber, 954 pp., £40, July 2012, 978 0 571 14085 5
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... of his intended research, and testimonials from Bruce Richmond, the editor of the TLS, and Charles Whibley, a conservative literary journalist, stalwart of Blackwood’s Magazine and fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge. In his research proposal, Eliot explained how he would extend and, with an eye to the college’s reputation in history, substantiate ...

After the Vote

James Meek, 17 December 2015

... energy firms: smooth, friendly, confident, reassuring, making simple, slogan-like promises that pierce the delicate middle ground between what might plausibly be real and what can only be aspiration. ‘Our pilots can strike the most difficult targets at rapid pace and with extraordinary precision, and provide vital battle-winning close air support to local ...

The Magic Bloomschtick

Colin Burrow: Harold Bloom, 21 November 2019

The American Canon: Literary Genius from Emerson to Pynchon 
by Harold Bloom, edited by David Mikics.
Library of America, 426 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 1 59853 640 9
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... to suffer and to work, taught by an instinct that so shall the dumb abyss be vocal with speech. I pierce its order; I dissipate its fear; I dispose of it within the circuit of my expanding life. So much only of life as I know by experience, so much of the wilderness have I vanquished and planted, or so far have I extended my being, my dominion.This shows what ...


Alan Bennett: My 2006, 4 January 2007

... round the much larger antique centre in Philip Webb’s parish hall. 6 January. Papers full of Charles Kennedy being, or having been, an alcoholic. I’d have thought Churchill came close and Asquith, too, and when it comes to politics it’s hardly a disabling disease. Except to the press. But less perilous, I would have thought, to have a leader ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... as is suggested by the above-cited cases of Mary Toft (1703-63, ‘the rabbit-breeder’) and Sir Charles Isham (1819-1903, ‘rural improver and gardener’). The ODNB’s greater inclusiveness is one of the ways it differs not just from its predecessor but also from Who’s Who, often regarded in the 20th century as the ante-chamber to the DNB. In that ...

Where Life Is Seized

Adam Shatz: Frantz Fanon’s Revolution, 19 January 2017

Écrits sur l’aliénation et la liberté 
by Frantz Fanon, edited by Robert Young and Jean Khalfa.
La Découverte, 688 pp., £22, October 2015, 978 2 7071 8638 6
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... to avoid the essentialism of the Algiers School. Like the characters in his plays, he wanted to pierce the frozen, apparently ‘natural’ surface of reality, and uncover the ferment beneath it. He was fascinated, for example, by the refusal of Algerian suspects to confess to crimes when presented with overwhelming evidence of their guilt. French ...

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