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With a Da bin ich!

Seamus Perry: Properly Lawrentian, 9 September 2021

Burning Man: The Ascent of D.H. Lawrence 
by Frances Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 488 pp., £25, May, 978 1 4088 9362 3
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... itself,’ he says in his Study of Thomas Hardy, a sentiment which might have been uttered by John Stuart Mill himself. But what Lawrence meant by ‘self’ was not to be confused with the ‘cheap egotism’ of the ‘self-conscious little ego’ described by modern individualism. ‘I know that life, and life only, is the clue to the universe,’ Lawrence ...

What are they after?

William Davies: How Could the Tories?, 8 March 2018

... necessary, as Churchill once said, very well then, alone.’ This is the sort of nostalgia Stuart Hall warned against as early as the 1970s, and which Peter Ammon, the outgoing German ambassador in London, identified recently when he complained that Britain was investing in a vision of national isolation that Churchill had played up (and vastly ...

Just Had To

R.W. Johnson: LBJ, 20 March 2003

The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Vol III: Master of the Senate 
by Robert A. Caro.
Cape, 1102 pp., £30, August 2002, 0 394 52836 0
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... by 1952 he was helping to finance the campaigns of Democratic senators all round the country: Stuart Symington (Missouri) seems to have been particularly dependent on his largesse. Had the press known what was going on they would doubtless have said, not quite openly, that LBJ was bribing and buying the Senate but no one had a greater interest in keeping ...

Georgian eyes are smiling

Frank Kermode, 15 September 1988

Bernard Shaw. Vol. I: The Search for Love, 1856-1898 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 486 pp., £16, September 1988, 0 7011 3332 5
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Bernard Shaw: Collected Letters. Vol. IV 
edited by Dan Laurence.
Bodley Head, 946 pp., £30, June 1988, 0 370 31130 2
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Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies. Vol. VIII 
edited by Stanley Weintraub.
Pennsylvania State, 175 pp., $25, April 1988, 0 271 00613 7
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Shaw’s Sense of History 
by J.L. Wisenthal.
Oxford, 186 pp., £22.50, April 1988, 0 19 812892 4
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Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Vol. III: 1903-1907 
edited by Frederick Karl and Laurence Davies.
Cambridge, 532 pp., £35, April 1988, 0 521 32387 8
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Joseph Conrad: ‘Nostromo’ 
by Ian Watt.
Cambridge, 98 pp., £12.50, April 1988, 0 521 32821 7
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... and censorious, with Mrs Patrick Campbell, and kept a kindness for scapegraces such as Lord Alfred Douglas and Frank Harris, in whose biography of Shaw the subject had interfered so heavily and helpfully. Being rationally opposed to the entire political, social and sexual order of the times, Shaw was professionally candid on subjects such as sex and ...

In Praise of Middle Government

Ian Gilmour, 12 July 1990

Liberalisms. Essays in Political Philosophy 
by John Gray.
Routledge, 273 pp., £35, August 1989, 0 415 00744 5
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The Voice of Liberal Learning: Michael Oakeshott on Education 
edited by Timothy Fuller.
Yale, 169 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04344 9
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The Political Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott 
by Paul Franco.
Yale, 277 pp., £20, April 1990, 0 300 04686 3
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by Ted Honderich.
Hamish Hamilton, 255 pp., £16.99, June 1990, 0 241 12999 0
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... In Liberalisms, which examines the thought of a collection of liberal philosophers from John Stuart Mill onwards, Gray sets each of his thinkers up in turn and then knocks them down like ninepins. His verdict on Hayek is that ‘quite apart from the inadequacies of his conception of liberty, none of his arguments for its value secure the inevitability ...


Alan Bennett: Fresh Revelations, 20 October 1994

... to function in the Thirties; it was in Garrick Yard and had been Chippendale’s workshop and when Douglas Byng first used the stable for a night-club in the Twenties Chippendale’s lathe was still hanging from a beam. All Motley’s costumes were stored there and when it was blitzed early in the war John G. came down the morning after and found nothing ...

Much like the 1950s

David Edgar: The Sixties, 7 June 2007

White Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties 
by Dominic Sandbrook.
Little, Brown, 878 pp., £22.50, August 2006, 0 316 72452 1
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Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles 
by Dominic Sandbrook.
Abacus, 892 pp., £19.99, May 2006, 0 349 11530 3
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... Wilson’s delay in devaluing the pound. His sense of social detail is acute, as he reports Alec Douglas-Home’s doomed attempts to be trendy (he announced in a 1964 election speech that his party ‘is delivering the goods and it goes places and it will never, I promise you, get stuck in the mud’) and reveals that Edward Heath was probably the first ...

Trouble down there

Ferdinand Mount: Tea with Sassoon, 7 August 2003

Siegfried Sassoon: The Making of a War Poet 1886-1918 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Duckworth, 600 pp., £9.99, September 2002, 0 7156 2894 1
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Siegfried Sassoon: The Journey from the Trenches 1918-67 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Duckworth, 526 pp., £30, April 2003, 0 7156 2971 9
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Sassoon: The Worlds of Philip and Sybil 
by Peter Stansky.
Yale, 295 pp., £25, April 2003, 0 300 09547 3
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... includes a dozen of them, mostly in their entirety. Interest in his life is sharpening. After John Stuart Roberts’s compact and readable single volume of 1999, we now have Jean Moorcroft Wilson’s double-header, with Max Egremont’s somewhat shorter Life expected soon. Sassoon’s story has also reached a wider audience through television re-creations and ...

Plimsoll’s Story

Stephen Sedley, 28 April 2011

The Oxford History of the Laws of England 1820-1914: Vol. XI, English Legal System; Vol. XII, Private Law; Vol. XIII, Fields of Development 
edited by William Cornish et al.
Oxford, 3571 pp., £495, February 2010, 978 0 19 925883 3
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... How this came about is tracked law by law, institution by institution and judgment by judgment in Stuart Anderson’s impressive segment of the Oxford History. Why it came about is more elusive, but here, too, broad lines emerge. An increasingly complex industrial and mercantile state depended on unfettered enterprise for progress but on regulation for ...

Brown v. Salmond

Colin Kidd: The Scottish Elections, 26 April 2007

... politics since the second half of the 18th century.* The rise of George III’s favourite, John Stuart, Third Earl of Bute, to prime minister only 16 years after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 – when the invading Highland army got as far as Derby – provoked a torrent of outrage in the English media. At the forefront of the campaign against Bute was ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 14 July 2016

... David Runciman, Neal Ascherson, James Butler, T.J. Clark, Jonathan Coe, Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Daniel Finn, Dawn Foster, Jeremy Harding, Colin Kidd, Ross McKibbin, Philippe Marlière, James Meek, Pankaj Mishra, Jan-Werner Müller, Susan Pedersen, J.G.A. Pocock, Nick Richardson, Nicholas Spice, Wolfgang Streeck, Daniel TrillingDavid RuncimanSo who​ is to blame? Please don’t say the voters: 17,410,742 is an awful lot of people to be wrong on a question of this magnitude ...

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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... in whose capacity to read and write, and in her willingness to teach them both to a young slave, Douglas begins to discover the instrument both of freedom and revenge. Fear of domination for Hawthorne resides in the spectre of homosexual rape carried out by an older man – specifically, a domineering uncle-guardian named Robert Manning, whose bed and board ...

The Price

Dan Jacobson: The concluding part of Dan Jacobson’s interview with Ian Hamilton, 21 February 2002

... its finances, another idea came up. Some of those figures like Stephen Spender, Frank Kermode and Stuart Hampshire wanted to start a counter-magazine.I don’t think ‘Encounter’ had folded by then. No, it hadn’t but Spender had left. Spender was a big figure in the CIA controversy. So the projected magazine would be a counter-Encounter in the sense that ...

What’s It All About?

Tom Lubbock, 6 April 1995

Shark-Infested Waters: The Saatchi Collection of British Art in the Nineties 
by Sarah Kent.
Zwemmer, 270 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 302 00648 6
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The Reviews that Caused the Rumpus, and Other Pieces 
by Brian Sewell.
Bloomsbury, 365 pp., £12.99, November 1994, 0 7475 1872 6
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... the attempt. But it also points to a lack on the other side. America has had Rosalind Krauss, Douglas Crimp, Hal Foster and Craig Owens setting up positions, rationalising developments; in Britain there’s very little general pro-contemporary art theory. But then in New York the battle-lines and the historical stopping-off points were always far ...

Moderation or Death

Christopher Hitchens: Isaiah Berlin, 26 November 1998

Isaiah Berlin: A Life 
by Michael Ignatieff.
Chatto, 386 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 7011 6325 9
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The Guest from the Future: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin 
by György Dalos.
Murray, 250 pp., £17.95, September 2002, 0 7195 5476 4
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... that, with his sense of history, he means the Lloyd George who was the patron of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, and the guarded admirer of Hitler, just as much as he means the Lloyd George who was the father of Welsh Disestablishment. And one must suppose that he comprehends FDR the originator of the war economy, and FDR the prime mover of American ...

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