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Terrorism

Ian Gilmour, 23 October 1986

Britain’s Civil Wars: Counter-Insurgency in the 20th Century 
by Charles Townshend.
Faber, 220 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 0 571 13802 0
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Terrorism and the Liberal State 
by Paul Wilkinson.
Macmillan, 322 pp., £25, May 1986, 0 333 39490 9
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Terrorism: How the West can win 
edited by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Weidenfeld, 254 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 79025 0
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Political Murder: From Tyrannicide to Terrorism 
by Franklin Ford.
Harvard, 440 pp., £24.95, November 1985, 0 674 68635 7
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The Financing of Terror 
by James Adams.
New English Library, 294 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 0 450 06086 1
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They dare to speak out: People and institutions confront Israel’s lobby 
by Paul Findley.
Lawrence Hill (Connecticut), 362 pp., $16.95, May 1985, 0 88208 179 9
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... pursuing. In this country sensible discussion of terrorism is still possible. Charles Townshend, Paul Wilkinson and James Adams are immune to the hysteria that has afflicted Reagan’s America. Performing a miracle of compression, Mr Townshend tells the story of British ‘counter-insurgency’ in Ireland, the Middle East, India, Malaya, South Africa and ...

Muldoon – A Mystery

Michael Hofmann, 20 December 1990

Madoc – A Mystery 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 261 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 571 14489 6
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... output at a stroke. But in another way, it does remarkably little to change the sense one has of Paul Muldoon. It is a book for initiates, more of the same. Each of his previous five volumes has ended with something a little longer, a relaxing gallop after the dressage – even ‘The Year of the Sloes, for Ishi’ in New Weather (1973) was four pages ...

Scalpers Inc.

John Lanchester: ‘Flash Boys’, 5 June 2014

Flash Boys: Cracking the Money Code 
by Michael Lewis.
Allen Lane, 274 pp., £20, March 2014, 978 0 241 00363 3
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... had arrived at a point where most of their activity was secret and mysterious. Enter Michael Lewis. Flash Boys is a number of things, one of the most important being an exposition of exactly what is going on in the stock market; it’s a one-stop shop for an explanation of high-frequency trading (hereafter, HFT). The book reads like a thriller, and ...

Diary

Max Hastings: Letters from the Front, 10 September 2015

... War in a fashion incomprehensible to those who view it only through the writings of the war poets. Lewis Hastings, born in 1880, had run away from Stonyhurst to South Africa aged 18, and roamed that country thereafter as hunter, policeman, prospector, star rugby player and not unsuccessful part-time politician. In 1914 he led a national recruiting campaign for ...

At Dulwich Picture Gallery

Eleanor Birne: ‘A Crisis of Brilliance’, 12 September 2013

... brilliance’ (following the one a decade earlier brought about by Augustus and Gwen John, Wyndham Lewis, Spencer Gore etc). Her fellow students included C.R.W. Nevinson, Mark Gertler, Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer. Together they are the subject of David Boyd Haycock’s compelling group biography, A Crisis of ...

Vitality

John Cannon, 10 May 1990

A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727-1783 
by Paul Langford.
Oxford, 803 pp., £25, September 1989, 0 19 822828 7
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Voters, Patrons and Parties: The Unreformed Electorate of Hanoverian England, 1734-1832 
by Frank O’Gorman.
Oxford, 445 pp., £40, August 1989, 0 19 820056 0
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... agreeable thought to the new authors that their books will be selling deep into the 21st century. Paul Langford’s volume invites comparison with Basil Williams’s The Whig Supremacy, which appeared exactly fifty years ago. In many respects the new volume has the edge. It is quite beautifully produced, with some excellent illustrations and charming little ...

The Word on the Street

Elaine Showalter, 7 March 1996

Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics 
by Anonymous.
Chatto, 366 pp., £15.99, February 1996, 0 7011 6584 7
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... best bookstore-café, there’s a menu of ‘Primary Colors Specials’, including Lasagne di Paul Begalanese and Pork Chop George Stephen-applesauce. There’s a copy prominently displayed in the new books section of the White House library, and 742,000 have been shipped to bookstores to meet the demand. It’s number one on the New York Times bestseller ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Da 5 Bloods’, 2 July 2020

... that it always does?The film’s best scene manages to get the landmines in too. The warriors are Paul (Delroy Lindo), Eddie (Norm Lewis), Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr) and Otis (Clarke Peters). Paul’s son David (Jonathan Majors) has belatedly joined them. They have been trekking through ...

Through the Grinder

Graham Coster, 8 February 1996

The Pillars of Hercules: A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 523 pp., £17.50, November 1995, 0 241 13504 4
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... Are you making a trip here to write a book?’ inquires the manager as Paul Theroux books into a hotel in Corsica, 136 pages into his latest travel narrative. ‘I don’t know,’ replies the author. ‘It was the truth,’ he adds as an aside. ‘It was too early in my Mediterranean journey for me to tell whether it might be a book ...

Wolfish

John Sutherland: The pushiness of young men in a hurry, 5 May 2005

Publisher 
by Tom Maschler.
Picador, 294 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 330 48420 6
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British Book Publishing as a Business since the 1960s 
by Eric de Bellaigue.
British Library, 238 pp., £19.95, January 2004, 0 7123 4836 0
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Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Viking, 484 pp., £25, May 2005, 0 670 91485 1
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... taken on as a fiction editor, aged 24, by the boss of Penguin, Allen Lane. ‘It seemed,’ Jeremy Lewis records in Penguin Special, ‘as if he was interviewing Lane for a job, rather than vice versa.’ At one editorial meeting Lewis describes, the phone rang. ‘I thought I said I wasn’t taking any calls,’ Lane ...

Among the Picts

John Sutherland, 18 August 1994

Stained Radiance: A Fictionist’s Prelude 
by J. Leslie Mitchell.
Polygon, 219 pp., £7.95, July 1993, 0 7486 6141 7
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The Speak of the Mearns 
by Lewis Grassic Gibbon.
Polygon, 268 pp., £8.95, June 1994, 0 7486 6167 0
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... Lewis Grassic Gibbon (the pen-name of James Leslie Mitchell) is put forward as his country’s great 20th-century novelist: the Scottish D.H. Lawrence. Gibbon’s reputation substantially rests on A Scots Quair (‘quire’ – or ‘gathering of sheets’), also called ‘The Mearns Trilogy’, Mearns being an ancient name for Kincardineshire, now itself an ancient name after the county reorganisation of 1975 ...

A Broken Teacup

Amanda Claybaugh: The ambition of William Dean Howells, 6 October 2005

William Dean Howells: A Writer’s Life 
by Susan Goodman and Carl Dawson.
California, 519 pp., £22.95, May 2005, 0 520 23896 6
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... Orne Jewett, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Edith Wharton), African-Americans (Charles Chesnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar) and immigrants (Abraham Cahan). He also introduced US readers to foreign literature. British literature was already widely read in the cheap reprints that proliferated before the passage of an international copyright law, but Howells’s ...

Unreal Food Uneaten

Julian Bell: Sitting for Vanessa, 13 April 2000

The Art of Bloomsbury 
edited by Richard Shone.
Tate Gallery, 388 pp., £35, November 1999, 1 85437 296 3
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First Friends 
by Ronald Blythe.
Viking, 157 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 670 88613 0
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Bloomsbury in France 
by Mary Ann Caws and Sarah Bird Wright.
Oxford, 430 pp., £25, December 1999, 0 19 511752 2
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... close you pull your coat, you know you’re going to get soaked. In England, ever since Wyndham Lewis fell out with Roger Fry in 1914, ‘Bloomsbury’ has been a word that raises more hackles than hopes. To suppose that 85 years later the derisive clichés it provokes might make way for a rethink is to underestimate the tenacity of cultural stereotypes and ...

Someone Else

Adam Phillips: Paul Muldoon, 4 January 2007

The End of the Poem: Oxford Lectures on Poetry 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 406 pp., £25, October 2006, 0 571 22740 6
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Horse Latitudes 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 107 pp., £14.99, October 2006, 0 571 23234 5
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... Paul Muldoon excluded himself from Contemporary Irish Poetry, his 1986 Faber anthology, but he included a poem by Seamus Heaney that was dedicated to him. We don’t of course know why the poem was dedicated to him, or indeed whether it is in any sense about him. It is a suggestive poem about what the living can get from the dead: Widgeon For Paul Muldoon It had been badly shot ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Phantom Thread’, 22 February 2018

Phantom Thread 
directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
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... in which this scene occurs, and in which a whole series of versions of it are offered to us, is Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, hailed as a masterpiece by some critics and viewers and deemed an annoying waste of time by others. I would say it’s a staring contest we can’t win. But we can’t lose either. The film is too wandering and awkward to ...

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