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The Push for War

Anatol Lieven: The Threat from America, 3 October 2002

... war with Iraq), has advocated the ethnic cleansing (‘transfer’) of the Palestinians across the Jordan; and in 1996 Richard Perle and Douglas Feith (now a senior official at the Pentagon) advised Binyamin Netanyahu to abandon the Oslo Peace Process and return to military repression of the Palestinians. It’s far more probable, therefore, that most members ...


Stephen Wall, 26 March 1992

Surviving: The Uncollected Writings of Henry Green 
edited by Matthew Yorke.
Chatto, 302 pp., £18, February 1992, 0 7011 3900 5
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Pack my bag 
by Henry Green.
Hogarth, 242 pp., £9.99, February 1992, 0 7012 0988 7
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by Henry Green.
Harvill, 225 pp., £6.99, February 1992, 0 00 271185 0
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... Shakespearean, like the carters in Henry IV fed up with the fleas in the inn which breed because a jordan isn’t provided and they have to leak in the chimney. In his memoirs Anthony Powell – Henry Yorke’s friend both at school and Oxford – comments on his ‘deep interest in the eternal contrast between everyday life’s flatness and its ...


Joanna Biggs: Keith Gessen, 22 May 2008

All the Sad Young Literary Men 
by Keith Gessen.
Heinemann, 242 pp., £11.99, May 2008, 978 0 434 01848 2
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... toward disaster. Al-naqba.’ But perhaps there is a solution: ‘He felt the need to expand. Into Jordan, Lebanon, the Sinai . . . He had two women, he loved them both, and he could not, would not, imagine it otherwise.’ All Sam needs is to persuade his ex of this. He phones her: ‘Look at Israel. I mean, we’re supposed to be with one ...

Blame It on Mussolini

R.W. Johnson: The Turning Points of the Second World War, 29 November 2007

Fateful Choices: Ten Decisions that Changed the World 1940-41 
by Ian Kershaw.
Allen Lane, 624 pp., £30, June 2007, 978 0 7139 9712 5
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... casualties. Meanwhile, he prepared his demands from a defeated Britain: Malta, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, British Somaliland. Increasingly, however, he came to feel that the only thing that would get Italy taken seriously – would, indeed, confirm its (and his) virility – was a bold stroke: a declaration of war and a lightning invasion which, with ...

Responses to the War in Gaza

LRB Contributors, 29 January 2009

... Islamists in Egypt and other pro-Western ‘moderate’ alliance states such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan have noted Israel’s wanton disregard for the deaths of civilians in its desire to crush Hamas. They have seen the barely concealed pleasure of the regimes that run those states. The message is clear: the struggle for the future of this region is going to ...

Phantom Bids

Nicholas Blincoe, 21 August 2014

... on its head. Arafat’s cohort of ageing PLO leaders, men-of-action who had been pushed from Jordan to Lebanon to Tunisia, were slow to understand how deeply this reversal would be resented by Palestinians outside the territories, just as they were slow to recognise how independent and self-reliant the population of ‘endurers’ had become in the ...

Jeremy Harding goes to Beirut to meet the novelist Elias Khoury

Jeremy Harding: ‘Before everything else, a writer of stories’, 16 November 2006

... activists of his age could have conceived, having watched his PLO comrades being driven out of Jordan after the events of Black September, to regroup for the most part in Lebanon. At the Sorbonne Khoury wrote his dissertation on the Lebanese civil strife of 1840-60, a period of Druze/Maronite rivalry inflamed by Ottoman rule. It struck him how little had ...

Boxing the City

Gaby Wood, 31 July 1997

Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell 
by Deborah Solomon.
Cape, 426 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 224 04242 4
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... played with, as you would with a slot machine. A marble could be dropped in one corner and would ring bells until it zigzagged to the bottom. Others are conceptual playthings, based on the idea of the remains of a toy; Forgotten Game is the title of one box made to look ruined. Even those which have no apparent mechanisms for play, past or present, can be ...

Daisy packs her bags

Zachary Leader: The Road to West Egg, 21 September 2000

Trimalchio: An Early Version of ‘The Great Gatsby’ 
by F. Scott Fitzgerald, edited by James L.W. West III.
Cambridge, 192 pp., £30, April 2000, 0 521 40237 9
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... partly to escape the dissipations of Great Neck (the model for Gatsby’s West Egg), described by Ring Lardner as ‘a continuous round of parties … covering pretty nearly 24 hours a day’. From their villa in San Raphaël, Fitzgerald wrote to Perkins: ‘I feel an enormous power in me now, more than I’ve ever had.’ The novel was finished in August but ...

Waiting for the Poetry

Ange Mlinko: Was Adrienne Rich a poet?, 15 July 2021

The Power of Adrienne Rich: A Biography 
by Hilary Holladay.
Doubleday, 416 pp., £25, November 2020, 978 0 385 54150 3
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Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution 
by Adrienne Rich.
Norton, 345 pp., £13.99, May, 978 0 393 54142 7
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... as schematic as it gets: here is the put-upon wife, the autocratic husband, the tiger and wedding ring and ‘feminine art’ of needlework encumbered with symbolism. True, Rich wasn’t the only poet parroting Frost and Yeats and Auden in those days. Nearly all the young poets of the age strove for formal competence: Lowell, Merwin, Plath and even Frank ...

We Are All Victims Now

Thomas Laqueur: Trauma, 8 July 2010

The Empire of Trauma: An Inquiry into the Condition of Victimhood 
by Didier Fassin and Richard Rechtman, translated by Rachel Gomme.
Princeton, 305 pp., £44.95, July 2009, 978 0 691 13752 0
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... cause. A play on ‘criminology’, it sounds like a joke in English and has the same semi-serious ring in French. But in 1995 it gained semi-official recognition when Jacques Chirac, responding to that year’s terrorist attacks, came up with the notion of a psychological emergency as something the state had to be ready for. By the time of the Toulouse ...

Lost between War and Peace

Edward Said, 5 September 1996

... in currency. It signified Arafat’s unilateral appointment of favourite supporters from Tunisia, Jordan or the Gulf to positions in ministries, security groups and other similar jobs without regard for merit or for the sacrifices made by many competent West Bankers during the intifada. ‘Don’t forget the army of one million colonels,’ Wadie added with a ...

England’s Isaiah

Perry Anderson, 20 December 1990

The Crooked Timber of Humanity: Chapters in the History of Ideas 
by Isaiah Berlin, edited by Henry Hardy.
Murray, 276 pp., £18.95, October 1990, 9780719547898
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... anyone who rejects it ceases to belong to the species. The claim has a Habermasian ring. But it confuses sharing with comprehending: the Allies and the Axis had no difficulty following each other’s communiqués. The facts of language will not yield the morals of the race, however minimally conceived. More historically, Berlin speaks of ...

The Revolution That Wasn’t

Hugh Roberts, 12 September 2013

The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life 
by Roger Owen.
Harvard, 248 pp., £18.95, May 2012, 978 0 674 06583 3
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Adaptable Autocrats: Regime Power in Egypt and Syria 
by Joshua Stacher.
Stanford, 221 pp., £22.50, April 2012, 978 0 8047 8063 6
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Raging against the Machine: Political Opposition under Authoritarianism in Egypt 
by Holger Albrecht.
Syracuse, 248 pp., £25, October 2012, 978 0 8156 3320 4
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Soldiers, Spies and Statesmen: Egypt’s Road to Revolt 
by Hazem Kandil.
Verso, 303 pp., £16.99, November 2012, 978 1 84467 961 4
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... and the Brothers? And so Morsi and the FJP rolled with the killer punch and gamely stayed in the ring, perhaps secretly hoping that the Scaf would make Shafiq the winner and almost certainly knowing, the moment they were awarded the poisoned chalice, that the fight was irretrievably lost and all they could do was prolong it in a gruelling last round that ...

Issues of Truth and Invention

Colm Tóibín: Francis Stuart’s wartime broadcasts, 4 January 2001

The Wartime Broadcasts of Francis Stuart 
edited by Brendan Barrington.
Lilliput, 192 pp., £25, September 2000, 1 901866 54 8
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... as a novelist, he became a respected figure in literary Dublin. For example, in 1980, when Neil Jordan, at that time the most promising young writer in the country, published his first novel, it seemed natural that Stuart would launch the book. In the early 1980s Penguin reissued Black List, Section H. For me and many others who visited the Stuarts in these ...

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