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As Astonishing as Elvis

Jenny Turner: Ayn Rand, 1 December 2005

Ayn Rand 
by Jeff Britting.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £12.99, February 2005, 0 7156 3269 8
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... and offered free sessions of ‘Objectivist therapy’ to NBI volunteers. According to Jeff Walker, the author of a book called The Ayn Rand Cult (1998), Barbara Branden – herself in therapy with her husband – remembered the experience as a ‘moral flaying’. ‘On everything, absolutely everything, one was constantly being judged … It was a ...

At the White House’s Whim

Tom Bingham: The Power of Pardon, 26 March 2009

... Among the applicants, it is reported, were Conrad Black; Michael Milken, of junk bond fame; John Walker Lindh, the ‘American Taliban’; a former Republican congressman jailed for accepting bribes; and a former Democratic governor of Louisiana, convicted on racketeering charges. They were doomed to disappointment. But just before Christmas 2008, the ...

Does one flare or cling?

Alice Spawls, 5 May 2016

‘Vogue’ 100: A Century of Style 
by Robin Muir.
National Portrait Gallery, 304 pp., £40, February 2016, 978 1 85514 561 0
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‘Vogue’ 100: A Century of Style 
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... the old Penguin Classics cover for The Great Gatsby. The far end of this group is presided over by Alexander McQueen, in a huge image blown up to fill a 12 foot archway. The designer most closely associated with the resurgence of British fashion in the last twenty years broods with cigarette and skull like a troubled Hamlet to Vivienne Westwood’s fairy ...

Collected Works

Angus Calder, 5 January 1989

Men, Women and Work: Class, Gender and Protest in the New England Shoe Industry, 1780-1910 
by Mary Blewett.
Illinois, 444 pp., $29.95, July 1988, 0 252 01484 7
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Men’s Lives 
by Peter Matthiessen.
Collins Harvill, 335 pp., £15, August 1988, 0 00 272519 3
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On Work: Historical, Comparative and Theoretical Approaches 
edited by R.E. Pahl.
Blackwell, 752 pp., £39.95, July 1988, 9780631157625
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Slavery and Other Forms of Unfree Labour 
edited by Léonie Archer.
Routledge, 307 pp., £28, August 1988, 0 415 00203 6
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The Historical Meanings of Work 
edited by Patrick Joyce.
Cambridge, 320 pp., £27.50, September 1987, 0 521 30897 6
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Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland’s Century 1590-1710 
by David Stevenson.
Cambridge, 246 pp., £25, November 1988, 0 521 35326 2
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... brightest hours with labour; Rest comes sure and soon. The American author of the words, Anna Walker, is invoking the declaration of Christ himself (John 9:4): ‘I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.’ Good works in this general sense could be performed by an invalid Evangelical lady, flat on ...

Enemies For Ever

James Wolcott: ‘Making It’, 18 May 2017

Making It 
by Norman Podhoretz.
NYRB, 368 pp., £13.98, May 2017, 978 1 68137 080 4
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... would seem’, ‘which is to say’, ‘to be sure’), to rank with Alfred Kazin’s A Walker in the City, Willie Morris’s North toward Home, and other urban romances of the ardent outsider whose eyes are on the prize. Still, it’s handy to have it back in print after its long stay in limbo, for documentary purposes. It gives virgin readers an ...

The Man in the Clearing

Iain Sinclair: Meeting Gary Snyder, 24 May 2012

... cash poor and land rich,’ he said. ‘And who needs more second-growth pine and manzanita?’ Alexander Pope, in his upstream exile at Twickenham, laid out garden and grotto as a conceit, an extension of his work into the world, and a powerful attractor for patrons and lesser talents. To fund the Sierra reinhabitation, as Snyder saw it, he took on reading ...

After the Revolution

Neal Ascherson: In Georgia, 4 March 2004

... is the most touching of romantic shrines. In a grotto below an ancient church lies the tomb of Alexander Griboyedov, the author of Woe from Wit and the inventor of the original angry young man, the unhappy Chatsky. Beside him is his wife, the Georgian princess Nino Chavchavadze. Griboyedov married her in 1828, when she was 16. But only a few months later ...

Apartheid’s Last Stand

Jeremy Harding, 17 March 2016

Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola since the Civil War 
by Ricardo Soares de Oliveira.
Hurst, 291 pp., £25, March 2015, 978 1 84904 284 0
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A Short History of Modern Angola 
by David Birmingham.
Hurst, 256 pp., £17.99, December 2015, 978 1 84904 519 3
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Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa 
by Piero Gleijeses.
North Carolina, 655 pp., £27.95, February 2016, 978 1 4696 0968 3
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A General Theory of Oblivion 
by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated by Daniel Hahn.
Harvill, 245 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 1 84655 847 4
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In the Name of the People: Angola’s Forgotten Massacre 
by Lara Pawson.
I.B. Tauris, 271 pp., £20, April 2014, 978 1 78076 905 9
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Cuito Cuanavale: Frontline Accounts by Soviet Soldiers 
by G. Shubin, I. Zhdarkin et al, translated by Tamara Reilly.
Jacana, 222 pp., £12.95, May 2014, 978 1 4314 0963 1
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... structures, their Potemkin village statist economies, their hard-currency stores full of Johnnie Walker and Lithuanian pickles, and their ‘modernisation’ plans for peasant agriculture were not condemned out of hand by supporters in Europe. Nor was much said about repression. The MPLA moved hard on dissenters, including enthusiastic young leftists whose ...

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