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I need money

Christian Lorentzen: Biden Tries Again, 10 September 2020

Yesterday’s Man: The Case against Joe Biden 
by Branko Marcetic.
Verso, 288 pp., £12.99, March 2020, 978 1 83976 028 0
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... argue local politics, state politics, world events, Truman against MacArthur, Truman against the steel companies. They were Truman Democrats, working men, or sons of working men, but they had to admit Truman might have gone too far when he tried to take over Youngstown Steel. Probably the Supreme Court was right when they ...

May ’88

Douglas Johnson, 21 April 1988

Les Sept Mitterrand 
by Catherine Nay.
Grasset, 286 pp., frs 96, September 1988, 2 246 36291 1
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France Today 
by John Ardagh.
Secker, 647 pp., £22.50, October 1987, 0 436 01746 6
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Jacques Chirac 
by Franz-Oliver Giesbert.
Seuil, 455 pp., frs 125, April 1987, 2 02 009771 0
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Monsieur Barre 
by Henri Amouroux.
Laffont, 584 pp., frs 125, June 1986, 2 221 04954 3
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The Workers’ Movement 
by Alain Touraine, Michel Wieviorka and François Dubet, translated by Ian Patterson.
Cambridge/Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 322 pp., £35, October 1987, 0 521 30852 6
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The State and the Market Economy: Industrial Patriotism and Economic Intervention in France 
by Jack Hayward.
Wheatsheaf, 267 pp., £32.50, December 1985, 0 7450 0012 6
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France under Recession 1981-86 
by John Tuppen.
Macmillan, 280 pp., £29.50, February 1988, 0 333 39889 0
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... but now he spoke of profit and success. He spoke of the need to replace old industries like steel and coal, to cease to support failing enterprises, to face up to the realities of competition, to make France an assertive and efficient economic power rather than one which was liable to decline in a world where the economically feeble were condemned. The ...

But she read Freud

Alice Spawls: Flora Thompson, 19 February 2015

Dreams of the Good Life: The Life of Flora Thompson and the Creation of ‘Lark Rise to Candleford’ 
by Richard Mabey.
Allen Lane, 208 pp., £9.99, March 2015, 978 0 14 104481 1
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... like Austen (and perhaps equally falsely), had to write in secret because of family disapproval. Ronald Blythe, reviewing Lark Rise to Candleford in the TLS in 1979, accused John of being ‘crushing in his attitude towards her’ and ‘embarrassed by her writing’. John is a disappointment to biographers. He wasn’t literary, cultured or sensitive ...

Whisky and Soda Man

Thomas Jones: J.G. Ballard, 10 April 2008

Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton – An Autobiography 
by J.G. Ballard.
Fourth Estate, 278 pp., £14.99, February 2008, 978 0 00 727072 9
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... is to overlook not only the work of such writers as William Gibson and Jonathan Lethem, but also Ronald Moore’s remake of Battlestar Galactica, a TV series that’s as intelligent, nuanced and unflinching an examination of the United States’ post-9/11 militarism, foreign policy and relation to the un-American other as you are likely to find. Having had ...

The Earnestness of Being Important

P.N. Furbank, 19 August 1982

John Buchan: A Memoir 
by William Buchan.
Buchan and Enright, 272 pp., £9.95, May 1982, 0 907675 03 4
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The Best Short Stories of John Buchan. Vol. II 
edited by David Daniell.
Joseph, 240 pp., £8.50, June 1982, 9780718121211
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... standard being set up to enhance one’s actual achievements. The principle is immortalised in Ronald Storrs’s celebration of Harry Cust in Orientations: Cust, ‘the most brilliant of us all’, reading the Georgics while driving in his dog-cart to the Meet. We can detect the same structure of thought, perhaps, under certain transformations. There seems ...

Kindergarten Governor

Gary Indiana: It’s Schwarzenegger!, 6 November 2003

... bonanza for property owners – see over page), and the outgoing state Republican chairman, Shawn Steel. In accordance with Article 2, Section 14 of the California Constitution, Gann and Co were obliged to collect signatures equal in number to 12 per cent of the last vote for the governor’s office, an effort that initially floundered. But in May ...
Secret Affairs: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and Sumner Welles 
by Irwin Gellman.
Johns Hopkins, 499 pp., $29.95, April 1995, 0 8018 5083 5
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Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley 
edited by Geoffrey Ward.
Houghton Mifflin, 444 pp., $24.95, April 1995, 0 395 66080 7
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No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War Two 
by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Simon and Schuster, 759 pp., £18, June 1995, 0 671 64240 5
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The End of Reform 
by Alan Brinkley.
Knopf, 371 pp., $27.50, March 1995, 0 394 53573 1
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... personal vendetta against FDR. Brinkley emphasises rank-and-file protest against the ‘Little Steel’ formula that would have denied the lowest-paid and most dangerously employed industrial workers any wage increases during the war (as mining profits and the miners’ cost of living rose). She sees FDR’s veto of the anti-labour Smith-Connolly Act as ...


Clive James, 21 October 1982

... their nights Composing articles that make you whistle, Since even Leavis’s worst panegyrics For Ronald Bottrall didn’t sound like lyrics? The dons are punished for their dereliction With dour gibes from the joyless Donald Davie Who demonstrates at length Sue’s vaunted diction Tastes thin compared with dehydrated gravy, While as for her alleged powers of ...

Nanny knows best

Michael Stewart, 4 June 1987

by Michael Leapman.
Unwin Hyman, 217 pp., £11.95, May 1987, 0 04 440006 3
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The Thatcher Years: A Decade of Revolution in British Politics 
by John Cole.
BBC, 216 pp., £12.95, April 1987, 0 563 20572 5
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Thatcherism and British Politics: The End of Consensus? 
by Dennis Kavanagh.
Oxford, 334 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 19 827522 6
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The New Right: The Counter-Revolution in Political, Social and Economic Thought 
by David Green.
Wheatsheaf, 238 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 7450 0127 0
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... script for good. He is a young man – at 45, four years younger even than David Owen and David Steel; and the electoral college system, with its 40 per cent trade-union weighting, makes him reasonably invulnerable to coups from left or right. As long as he wants to go on leading the Labour Party – and politics, together with his family, has always been ...

Good Books

Marghanita Laski, 1 October 1981

The Promise of Happiness 
by Fred Inglis.
Cambridge, 333 pp., £17.50, March 1981, 0 521 23142 6
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The Child and the Book 
by Nicholas Tucker.
Cambridge, 259 pp., £15, March 1981, 0 521 23251 1
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The Impact of Victorian Children’s Fiction 
by J.S. Bratton.
Croom Helm, 230 pp., £11.95, July 1981, 0 07 099777 2
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Children’s Literature. Vol. IX 
edited by Francelia Butler, Samuel Pickering, Milla Riggio and Barbara Rosen.
Yale, 241 pp., £17.35, March 1981, 0 300 02623 4
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The ‘Signal’ Approach to Children’s Books 
edited by Nancy Chambers.
Kestrel, 352 pp., £12.50, September 1980, 0 7226 5641 6
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... of Amy March as holding the right attitudes to art and to life – this by Anne Hollander; by Ronald Berman a perfectly ridiculous analysis of the child’s eye as used by Dickens and by Charlotte Brontë, in which Miss Murdstone’s ‘hard steel purse’ is interpreted as a threat of vagina dentata – but which is ...


Harry Strawson: D, L, O, R, W, 5 October 2017

... the response of patients with left-hemisphere and right-hemisphere damage to a speech given by Ronald Reagan. Most of the aphasic patients burst out laughing. Their left hemispheres were damaged; for them, Reagan’s words collapsed in a meaningless heap. What made them laugh? Sacks says that as a way of compensating for their inability to understand ...

Licence to kill

Paul Foot, 10 February 1994

Spider’s Web: Bush, Saddam, Thatcher and the Decade of Deceit 
by Alan Friedman.
Faber, 455 pp., £17.50, November 1993, 0 571 17002 1
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The Unlikely Spy 
by Paul Henderson.
Bloomsbury, 294 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 7475 1597 2
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... more than that. As luck would have it, the Iran-Iraq war coincided with the election of President Ronald Reagan and his wild bunch, in particular his special friend and constant adviser, the former advertising mogul he made director of the CIA, William Casey. Casey and the gang of right-wing fanatics he quickly promoted to the White House were obsessed with ...

Starting over

Malise Ruthven, 9 July 1987

Cities on a Hill 
by Frances FitzGerald.
Picador, 414 pp., £4.50, March 1987, 0 330 29845 3
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... the first of these shifts to the 1980 election campaign, when Falwell’s Moral Majority backed Ronald Reagan. This decision to enter the politics of ‘the world’ represented a break with the Southern Baptist tradition of separatism to which Falwell originally laid claim. In 1965 he was preaching the traditional doctrine that there is no political agenda ...

The Unmaking of the President

Benjamin Barber, 7 October 1982

The Kennedy Imprisonment: A Meditation on Power 
by Garry Wills.
Atlantic/Little, Brown, 310 pp., $14.95, February 1982, 0 316 94385 1
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... style was central to the Kennedy vision of power: the President had to take on Nixon, take on Big Steel, take on Castro, and take on Khrushchev, as personal adversaries to be vanquished in a contest of manhood. ‘Power was one,’ writes Wills, ‘power over women, power over Khrushchev.’ The case in which Kennedy’s philosophy of daring is most clearly ...

Change at MoMA

Hal Foster, 7 November 2019

... Water Lillies (1914-26) float exactly three floors above Equal (2015), four great stacks of two steel blocks each by Richard Serra (for obvious reasons neither will be moved anytime soon).Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic at the New York Times, calls the new design ‘smart, surgical, sprawling and slightly soulless’. I would take ‘slightly ...

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