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My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... out to be McCarthy’s last crusade; in a formal and spectacular sense, his career ended when Joseph Welch, a Boston lawyer and counsel for the army, replied to the ascription of Communist connections to a young lawyer on his staff: ‘Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.’ McCarthyism had been ...

Japan goes Dutch

Murray Sayle: Japan’s economic troubles, 5 April 2001

... the current business customs of English-speakers, is a cloudy concept; but most authorities follow Joseph Schumpeter in seeing credit creation by, or through, a banking system as its distinctive feature. Historical experience suggests that pioneering, credit-based capitalism is effective on frontiers, before competitors have arrived and whittled profits below ...

The Future of the Labour Party

Barbara Wootton, 18 December 1980

Healey’s Eye 
by Denis Healey.
Cape, 191 pp., £7.95, September 1980, 0 224 01793 4
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The Role of the Trade Unions: The Granada Guildhall Lectures 
by James Prior, Tony Benn and Lionel Murray.
Granada, 96 pp., £1, August 1980, 0 586 05386 7
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Rank and File 
by Hugh Jenkins.
Croom Helm, 179 pp., £9.95, September 1980, 0 7099 0331 6
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The Tragedy of Labour 
by Stephen Haseler.
Blackwell, 249 pp., £7.95, September 1980, 9780631113416
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Labour into the Eighties 
edited by David Bell.
Croom Helm, 168 pp., £9.95, September 1980, 0 7099 0443 6
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... In the Granada Lectures each contributor says just what one would expect him to say. Len Murray reviews the relations between the unions and governments (of either colour) and offers moderate but constructive proposals for the future, while James Prior, also in moderate terms, outlines his view of the role of the unions and describes those changes in ...
Stalin’s Spy: Richard Sorge and the Tokyo Espionage Ring 
by Robert Whymant.
Tauris, 368 pp., £25, October 1996, 1 86064 044 3
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... disbelieved, Sorge slipped his story to a drinking acquaintance at the bar of the Imperial – Joseph Needham of the New York Herald Tribune. Needham’s pusillanimous editors covered their rears by running it, but buried deep among the baseball scores. Sorge, however, had earned credibility with his Moscow controllers, who were soon desperate to have his ...

Menagerie of Live Authors

Francesca Wade: Marys Shelley and Wollstonecraft, 8 October 2015

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley 
by Charlotte Gordon.
Hutchinson, 649 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 0 09 195894 7
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... school, but was determined to support herself by writing. In this she was helped by the publisher Joseph Johnson, whose three o’clock salons – known as ‘a Menagerie of Live Authors’ – introduced her to the work of Thomas Paine, William Blake, Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Priestley. Johnson taught her to ...


Rosemary Ashton, 17 October 1985

Troubled Lives: John and Sarah Austin 
by Lotte Hamburger and Joseph Hamburger.
Toronto, 288 pp., £19.50, May 1985, 0 8020 2521 8
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... John Austin. Needless to say, Austin achieved nothing in his lifetime. He refused offers from John Murray to republish his London University lectures, not entirely, as the Hamburgers fairly suggest, out of indolence, but also because his ideas on the law and related political questions had changed. From Benthamite radical in favour of democracy, law reform and ...

The money’s still out there

Neal Ascherson: The Scottish Empire, 6 October 2011

To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland’s Global Diaspora, 1750-2010 
by T.M. Devine.
Allen Lane, 397 pp., £25, August 2011, 978 0 7139 9744 6
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The Inner Life of Empires: An 18th-Century History 
by Emma Rothschild.
Princeton, 483 pp., £24.95, June 2011, 978 0 691 14895 3
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... because of his Highland ancestry. It wasn’t until the 1960s that radicals like Tom Nairn and Murray Grigor began to satirise ‘the Tartan Monster’ as the product of a false consciousness which excused Scots from contemplating their real past and possible future. Highlandism’s most powerful vehicle was the British Army. Within a few years of the 1745 ...

All Together Now

John Lloyd: The British Trade Union, 19 October 2000

British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. I: The Postwar Compromise, 1945-64 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 335 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. II: The High Tide of Trade Unionism, 1964-79 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 389 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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The TUC: From the General Strike to New Unionism 
by Robert Taylor.
Palgrave, 299 pp., £45, September 2000, 0 333 93066 5
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... of the democratic forces which are at work in industry and in every other part of society,’ Len Murray, the General Secretary of the TUC from 1974 to 1984 and a harsh realist, argued one year into the Thatcher Administration. He lived (and lives still) to see himself proved wrong. ‘Democratic forces’ were not destroyed by Thatcher, but redefined. The ...

New Ground for the Book Trade

John Sutherland, 28 September 1989

... with non-publishing or foreign management at the highest level. Penguin, Hamish Hamilton, Michael Joseph, Frederick Warne and Longman – all once imprints with independent identities – now congregate within the Pearson group (best known for its ownership of the Financial Times). Random House UK (whose American parent was long since swallowed up by RCA) own ...

Thanks to the Fels-Naptha Soap King

Miles Taylor: George Lansbury, 22 May 2003

George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour 
by John Shepherd.
Oxford, 407 pp., £35, September 2002, 0 19 820164 8
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... election campaigns for a series of Liberal wannabes – Samuel Montagu, Jane Cobden and J.A. Murray Macdonald – before, like many of his generation, switching over in 1892 to Henry Hyndman’s Social Democratic Federation. A year later, he was elected to the Poplar Poor Law Board. Poplar now became the Lansbury family’s fiefdom. He himself was a ...

A Regular Bull

Christopher Hitchens, 31 July 1997

Whittaker Chambers: A Biography 
by Sam Tanenhaus.
Random House, 640 pp., $35, February 1997, 0 394 58559 3
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... time took the opposing view. Let’s see now. An unstable fantasy-merchant signs up as an agent of Joseph Stalin. He lives a series of lies for almost a decade, and cultivates the habits and practices of deception. He then tries to go straight, and denounces his former comrades. But he steadfastly denies that Communists and fellow-travellers were involved in ...

Good Things

Michael Hofmann, 20 April 1995

Heart’s Journey in Winter 
by James Buchan.
Harvill, 201 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 9780002730099
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... way of saying that he was for ten years a foreign correspondent of the FT; his authority (like Joseph Roth’s, say) is altogether deeper, more committed, more structural, than that of journalism. He reminds me of Washington DC in Lowell’s distich: ‘The stiff spokes of this wheel / touch the sore spots of the earth.’ It is a ...

Is his name Alwyn?

Michael Hofmann: Richard Flanagan’s Sticky Collage, 18 December 2014

The Narrow Road to the Deep North 
by Richard Flanagan.
Chatto, 448 pp., £16.99, July 2014, 978 0 7011 8905 1
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... perfectly well involve huge and catastrophic feelings, for the reader as well, as witness, say, Joseph Roth’s The Emperor’s Tomb. Amy’s marriage to the publican Keith is similarly trotted out in material terms, as a cheaper class of cushion-cover: ‘It felt like the Edwardian horsehair furniture he had refused her requests to replace after their ...

Like Cooking a Dumpling

Mike Jay: Victorian Science Writing, 20 November 2014

Visions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age 
by James Secord.
Oxford, 306 pp., £18.99, March 2014, 978 0 19 967526 5
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... mind between science and revolution. The great experimental chemist of the previous generation, Joseph Priestley, had believed it self-evident that the progress of reason and science would lead to a general reformation of religion and politics: ‘The English hierarchy (if there be anything unsound in its constitution) has equal reason to tremble even at an ...

Artovsky Millensky

Andrew O’Hagan: The Misfit, 1 January 2009

Arthur Miller, 1915-62 
by Christopher Bigsby.
Weidenfeld, 739 pp., £30, November 2008, 978 0 297 85441 8
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... the American state itself seemed fascistic, the shadow of Goebbels falling over the dark face of Joseph McCarthy, giving renewed vigour to Miller, and such as Miller, as they advocated resistance to the evil forces of their time. For Miller, The Crucible was not merely a searing objection to the McCarthy witch-hunt, but a potent denunciation of the Fascist ...

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