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Flailing States

Pankaj Mishra: Anglo-America Loses its Grip, 16 July 2020

... people to seek new forms of governance. Such a modernisation has never been accomplished; as Samuel Huntington once argued, the American republic continues to resemble a Tudor monarchy more closely even than Britain’s constitutional monarchy.Outdated institutions and ideologies endured partly because collective action by workers never matched the ...

11 September

LRB Contributors, 4 October 2001

... Islam as the last great adversary. This was a good splashy topic for grand cultural seminars. Samuel Huntington in The Clash of Civilisations (1996) wrote at length about the West’s confrontation with Islam, ‘a different civilisation whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and obsessed by the inferiority of their ...

Cultivating Cultivation

John Mullan: English culture, 18 June 1998

The Pleasures of the Imagination: English Culture in the 18th Century 
by John Brewer.
HarperCollins, 448 pp., £19.99, January 1997, 0 00 255537 9
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... of oil paintings in Pall Mall), her theatre-going, her attendance at concerts and operas. The Huntington Library in California now houses the 17-volume chronicle of Larpent’s tireless quest for what she called ‘a refinement which can only be felt in the pure pleasure of intellectual pursuits’. Her journal contains, Brewer writes, ‘a carefully and ...

Top Brands Today

Nicholas Penny: The Art World, 14 December 2017

The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... Joseph Duveen, who ensured that some of the richest men in the US – Henry Clay Frick, Henry Huntington, Joseph Widener and Andrew Mellon among them – employed only two types of contemporary artist (often recommended by Duveen himself): the conservative decorator and the conservative architect. They provided appropriate settings for Bellini and ...


John Mullan: Fanny Burney, 23 August 2001

Fanny Burney: A Biography 
by Claire Harman.
Flamingo, 464 pp., £8.99, October 2001, 0 00 655036 3
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Fanny Burney: Her Life 
by Kate Chisholm.
Vintage, 347 pp., £7.99, June 1999, 0 09 959021 2
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Faithful Handmaid: Fanny Burney at the Court of King George III 
by Hester Davenport.
Sutton, 224 pp., £25, June 2000, 0 7509 1881 0
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... sociability, she meets and describes many of the characters of the age. She is befriended by Samuel Johnson and passes the days in Mrs Thrale’s coterie at Streatham. She records the bluestocking salons of Elizabeth Montagu (material for some savage vignettes in The Witlings). Garrick frequently turns up at the Burney home in Leicester Fields to ...

Ready to Go Off

Jenny Turner, 18 February 2021

A Handful of Earth, a Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia Butler 
by Lynell George.
Angel City, 176 pp., $30, November 2020, 978 1 62640 063 4
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‘Kindred’, Fledgling’, Collected Stories’ 
by Octavia E. Butler, edited by Gerry Canavan and Nisi Shawl.
Library of America, 790 pp., $31.50, January 2021, 978 1 59853 675 1
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... which survives as ‘dozens upon dozens of false starts’ in a pile of archive boxes at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, ‘some petering out after twenty or thirty pages, others after just two or three’, in the words of Gerry Canavan, who in 2013 became the first scholar to open them. Butler had been reading James Lovelock and ...

Hillside Men

Roy Foster: Ernie O’Malley, 16 July 1998

Ernie O’Malley: IRA Intellectual 
by Richard English.
Oxford, 284 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 01 982059 3
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... he had envisaged would have revered the writings of uncompromising Modernists like his friend Samuel Beckett, or the avant-garde painters and sculptors whose work O’Malley collected and wrote about. In the Thirties and Forties, ‘Eire’ was unlikely to do this, and it is significant that some of O’Malley’s most substantial writing in his latter ...

Watch this man

Pankaj Mishra: Niall Ferguson’s Burden, 3 November 2011

Civilisation: The West and the Rest 
by Niall Ferguson.
Allen Lane, 402 pp., £25, March 2011, 978 1 84614 273 4
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... tracts about the inferiority of certain races as The Bell Curve, or in big alarmist theories like Samuel Huntington’s ‘clash of civilisations’. It’s not at all surprising that in his last book Huntington fretted about the destruction by Latino immigration of America’s national identity, which is apparently a ...

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