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Central Bankism

Edward Luttwak, 14 November 1996

... is disastrous. In economic theory deflation should have no consequences at all, because any upward movement in the value of money can be nullified by a compensating reduction in prices and wages. In practice, however, prices are downwardly sticky while very few employees anywhere at any time accept wage cuts without the most bitter resistance – even ...

Doing something

Barry Supple, 3 June 1982

Getting and Spending: Public Expenditure, Employment and Inflation 
by Leo Pliatzky.
Blackwell, 232 pp., £12, March 1982, 0 631 12907 3
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Inside the Treasury 
by Joel Barnett.
Deutsch, 200 pp., £8.95, February 1982, 9780233973944
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Public Expenditure and Social Policy: An Examination of Social Spending and Social Priorities 
edited by Alan Walker.
Heinemann, 212 pp., £7.50, March 1982, 0 435 82906 8
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... As the brave new world of the 1980s unfolded, although the 1970s seemed to mark a break in the upward trend, the proportion almost touched 45 per cent again – now fuelled by the unemployment and social security benefits of a profoundly depressed economy. Once more the compassionate proponents of increased expenditure and new ‘industrial ...


Richard Usborne: On Cutting P.G. Wodehouse, 4 October 1984

... if it has been removed from the very head of the officer – the forward push followed by the upward lift. Bertie would not have left the queue and gone to the shrubbery to pinch the cop’s lid. Unsporting. I hope the cop, having got his man, retrieved his helmet safely from the shrubbery. For the Wodehouse archive he is assembling, ...

Schools of History

Walter Laqueur, 26 September 1991

Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives 
by Alan Bullock.
HarperCollins, 1187 pp., £20, June 1991, 0 00 215494 3
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Stalin: Breaker of Nations 
by Robert Conquest.
Weidenfeld, 346 pp., £18.99, September 1991, 0 297 81194 0
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... had been instrumental in causing a social revolution: in Germany as in Russia, there was greater upward mobility than before. Then glasnost came, Conquest’s writings were published in the Soviet Union; alone perhaps among Western writers, he became a cultural hero both to the Russian liberals and to the conservatives, to both Russian and Ukrainian ...

What happened in Havering

Conrad Russell, 12 March 1992

Community Transformed: The Manor and Liberty of Havering 1500-1620 
by Marjorie Keniston McIntosh.
Cambridge, 489 pp., £50, September 1991, 0 521 38142 8
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... It is now clear that the two biggest engines of social change between 1500 and 1640 were the long upward trends in population and prices. The inflation which tended to be the immediate engine of social change was first and foremost an inflation of food prices, not of manufactured goods. One would therefore expect that its beneficiaries would tend to be, not ...

Members Only

R.B. Dobson, 24 February 1994

The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1386-1421 
edited by J.S. Roskell, Linda Clark and Carole Rawcliffe.
Alan Sutton, 3500 pp., £275, February 1993, 9780862999438
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... with poverty because of his devotion to duty to the Crown’. Comparatively few of Edward III’s or Henry V’s war captains seem to have aspired to a place in the Commons. All in all, lawyers were the most numerous and obvious exemplars of upward mobility. They, too, could lead precarious lives: the wealth ...

What are we at war about?

Isaac Land: Nelson the Populist, 1 December 2005

The Pursuit of Victory: The Life and Achievement of Horatio Nelson 
by Roger Knight.
Allen Lane, 874 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 7139 9619 6
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Admiral Lord Nelson: Context and Legacy 
edited by David Cannadine.
Palgrave, 201 pp., £19.99, June 2005, 1 4039 3906 3
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... Nicaragua, the young Captain Nelson shared a tent – and the rigours of jungle warfare – with Edward Despard, an Irish-born army engineer. Despard’s encounter with maroons and Mosquito Indians transformed his political outlook. Back in London with his black wife, Catherine, Despard joined a crowd that broke the prime minister’s windows. He was later ...

Golden Dolly

John Pemble: Rich Britons, 24 September 2009

Who Were the Rich? A Biographical Directory of British Wealth-Holders. Vol. I: 1809-39 
by William Rubinstein.
Social Affairs Unit, 516 pp., £20, May 2009, 978 1 904863 39 7
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... This one was his banker. Phenomenal – but not altogether exceptional. New money, fuelling upward social mobility, abounds in Rubinstein’s pages. Some was profits of war, garnered by government contractors during the 23 years of conflict with France. But most of it came from East India and West India trade, shipping, the law and medicine, the ...

To the Great God Pan

Laura Jacobs: Goddess Isadora, 24 October 2013

My Life: The Restored Edition 
by Isadora Duncan.
Norton, 322 pp., £12.99, June 2013, 978 0 87140 318 6
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... so much of the painting of the day. Duncan enters the frame turning, her arms positioned in an upward reach not unlike ballet’s codified fourth position, but more naturally placed. She wears a loose gown draped crosswise with a white veil, a floating X over her heart. Coming out of the turn and moving in the direction of the camera, her arms melt open as ...

Politics First

José Harris, 19 April 1984

The Chartists 
by Dorothy Thompson.
Temple Smith, 399 pp., £19.50, February 1984, 0 85117 229 6
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Languages of Class: Studies in English Working-Class History 1832-1982 
by Gareth Stedman Jones.
Cambridge, 260 pp., £22.50, January 1984, 0 521 25648 8
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Class Power and State Power 
by Ralph Miliband.
Verso, 310 pp., £18.50, March 1984, 0 86091 073 3
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... of Chartism as a movement greater than the sum of its parts has, however, never wholly died out. Edward Thompson concluded his The Making of the English Working Class in 1963 by nominating the Chartists as heirs of that new, nation-wide working-class identity which he believed had been forged by the exclusion of the propertyless from the Reform Act of ...

Father Bosco to Africa

Walter Nash, 5 February 1987

The Red Men 
by Patrick McGinley.
Cape, 304 pp., £10.95, January 1987, 0 224 02386 1
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Chat Show 
by Terence de Vere White.
Gollancz, 207 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 575 03910 8
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Leaden Wings 
by Zhang Jie, translated by Gladys Yang.
Virgo, 180 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 86068 759 7
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Russian Novel 
by Edward Kuznetsov, translated by Jennifer Bradshaw.
Quartet, 285 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 7043 2522 5
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Richard Robertovich 
by Mark Frankland.
Murray, 216 pp., £9.95, January 1987, 0 7195 4330 4
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... different pinstripe. At length, when it seems that the chancer’s luck has once more taken an upward turn, that he will sell his story to a national daily, find a new mistress, perhaps be reunited with his first wife, he goes for an enthusiastic trot down Fleet Street and runs into the path of a speeding van. The plot is intricate, perhaps a little ...

Draining the Think Tank

Martin Pugh, 24 November 1988

British Social Trends since 1900: A Guide to the Changing Social Structure of Britain 
edited by A.H. Halsey.
Macmillan, 650 pp., £45, October 1988, 0 333 34521 5
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Inside the Think Tank: Advising the Cabinet 1971-1983 
by Tessa Blackstone and William Plowden.
Heinemann, 258 pp., £14.95, September 1988, 9780434074907
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Lobbying: An Insider’s Guide to the Parliamentary Process 
by Alf Dubs.
Pluto, 228 pp., £12.50, October 1988, 0 7453 0137 1
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... Street which Lloyd George attempted to satisfy. It was not until after the 1970 Election, when Edward Heath assumed the premiership, that the Personal Secretariat returned to life in the form of the Central Policy Review Staff, popularly known as the Think Tank. What seems surprising is that Heath’s Think Tank, with a basic staff of only twenty, was not ...

Posthumous Gentleman

Michael Dobson: Kit Marlowe’s Schooldays, 19 August 2004

The World of Christopher Marlowe 
by David Riggs.
Faber, 411 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 571 22159 9
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Christopher Marlowe and Richard Baines: Journeys through the Elizabethan Underground 
by Roy Kendall.
Fairleigh Dickinson, 453 pp., $75, January 2004, 0 8386 3974 7
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Tamburlaine Must Die 
by Louise Welsh.
Canongate, 149 pp., £9.99, July 2004, 1 84195 532 9
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History Play: The Lives and Afterlife of Christopher Marlowe 
by Rodney Bolt.
HarperCollins, 388 pp., £17.99, July 2004, 0 00 712123 7
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... Boies were fooles.’ Marlowe seems to have died in a manner appropriate to the writer of Edward II and Dr Faustus. His perceived personal style appeals much more obviously than Shakespeare’s to an Anglo-American academy invested in the idea that Renaissance poets ought above all to have been subversive, and he is enjoying more scholarly attention ...

The Whole Orang

Paul Smith, 12 March 1992

by Adrian Desmond and James Moore.
Joseph, 808 pp., £20, October 1991, 0 7181 3430 3
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... the scope of man’s intellect’, and politely fending off horrifying tributes like Edward Aveling’s attempt to dedicate to him a collection of evolution articles from the National Reformer, destined to appear in the ‘International Library of Science and Free-thought’ under the lively editorship of Annie Besant and Charles Bradlaugh. The ...

When big was beautiful

Nicholas Wade, 20 August 1992

Big Science: The Growth of Large-Scale Research 
edited by Peter Galison and Bruce Helvy.
Stanford, 392 pp., $45, April 1992, 0 8047 1879 2
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The Code of Codes 
edited by Daniel Kevles and Leroy Hood.
Harvard, 397 pp., £23.95, June 1992, 0 674 13645 4
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... cure within a decade, met its political goal of pre-empting a similar initiative pushed by Senator Edward Kennedy, but as a technical achievement left much to be desired. It was simply premature in the Seventies to hold any realistic hope of addressing the fundamental nature of cancers, since the necessary biological methods were only just then being ...

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