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Serried Yuppiedromes

Owen Hatherley: What happened to London?, 21 August 2014

Guide to the Architecture of London 
by Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward.
Phoenix, 511 pp., £16.99, July 2013, 978 1 78022 493 0
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... years is to compare the introductions to the first and most recent editions of Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward’s Guide to the Architecture of London. In 1983, they wrote of a city in decline, its population down by about a sixth from its postwar height. ‘London is cleaner and uglier than it was at the beginning of the century; but it is still ...

Poor Toms

Karl Miller, 3 September 1987

Chatterton 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 234 pp., £10.95, September 1987, 0 241 12348 8
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... secret temples of Moloch. The experiments, proofs and improvements espoused by such scientists as Christopher Wren, Dyer’s patron in the building trade, Dyer pisses on. The homicides and post-mortems in the book permit the new religion of science to exercise its power: but they also occasion the necrophile broodings which exude from Dyer. Much of this ...

Burke and Smith

Karl Miller, 16 October 1980

Sydney Smith 
by Alan Bell.
Oxford, 250 pp., £9.95, October 1980, 0 19 812050 8
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Burke and Hare 
by Owen Dudley Edwards.
Polygon, 300 pp., £7.95, August 1980, 0 904919 27 7
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... in one of their series of imaginary conversations, the Noctes Ambrosianae. John Wilson (‘Christopher North’) appears to have been responsible for the horribly inflammatory discussion of the subject there, and to have scripted the contributions assigned to the Ettrick Shepherd, James Hogg. One scholar has asserted that the imaginary Hogg was an ...

Lawful Resistance

Blair Worden, 24 November 1988

Algernon Sidney and the English Republic 1623-1677 
by Jonathan Scott.
Cambridge, 258 pp., £27.50, August 1988, 0 521 35290 8
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Seeds of Liberty: 1688 and the Shaping of Modern Britain 
by John Miller.
Souvenir, 128 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 285 62839 9
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Reluctant Revolutionaries: Englishmen and the Revolution of 1688 
by W.A. Speck.
Oxford, 267 pp., £17.50, July 1988, 9780198227687
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War and Economy in the Age of William III and Marlborough 
by D.W. Jones.
Blackwell, 351 pp., £35, September 1988, 0 631 16069 8
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Robert Harley: Speaker, Secretary of State and Premier Minister 
by Brian Hill.
Yale, 259 pp., £25, June 1988, 0 300 04284 1
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A Kingdom without a King: The Journal of the Provisional Government in the Revolution of 1688 
by Robert Beddard.
Phaidon, 192 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780714825007
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... describe 17th-century England as a country ridden with class hatred, but 1688 bore it out. John Miller’s Seeds of Liberty, although emphasising the dependence of the Revolution on its acceptance by a broad and well-informed political nation, concedes that the nobles led and the people followed. A hundred years later the principle of deference looked ...

‘No Bullshit’ Bullshit

Stefan Collini: Christopher Hitchens, Englishman, 23 January 2003

Orwell's Victory 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Allen Lane, 150 pp., £9.99, June 2002, 9780713995848
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... Winning is very important to Christopher Hitchens. Dr Johnson was said to ‘talk for victory’, and by all accounts it seems the same might be said of Hitchens. He certainly writes for victory. His preferred genre is the polemic; his favoured tone mixes forensic argument with high-octane contempt. And no one can accuse him of only picking on boys his own size: he is happy to take the ring against tubby, bespectacled former diplomats and little, shrivelled old ladies as well as (special contempt here) relatively fit joggers ...

Fools

P.N. Furbank, 15 October 1981

Ford Madox Ford: Prose and Politics 
by Robert Green.
Cambridge, 218 pp., £16.50, July 1981, 9780521236102
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... has finally collapsed. Secondly, the war democratised Ford, and thereby democratised Tietjens. Christopher Tietjens, as a result of his love for Valentine Wannop and his experience of trench warfare, is prised out of his class prejudices. Such a humanist and sentimental theme would not have been admissible in a ‘French-style’ novel, and we are to see ...

Diary

Inigo Thomas: Michael Wolff’s Book Party, 8 February 2018

... and highly verbal Bannon, who did not really do any actual writing himself; there was Stephen Miller, who did little more than produce bullet points. Beyond that, it was pretty much just catch as catch can. There was a lack of coherent message because there was nobody to write a coherent message.’ I got an invitation to Michael Wolff’s book party. It ...

Wild, Fierce Yale

Geoffrey Hartman, 21 October 1982

Deconstruction: Theory and Practice 
by Christopher Norris.
Methuen, 157 pp., £6.50, April 1982, 0 416 32060 0
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... to mistake but even to betray its nature. Criticism, in any case, is no longer what it was; and Christopher Norris’s compact book on deconstruction is more useful, in its open-minded descriptive acuity, than other, more complex and defensive, treatments. Occasionally Norris falls into distancing gestures about ‘going too far’ or ‘rhapsodic ...

Hitting the buffers

Peter Wollen, 8 September 1994

Early Modernism: Literature, Music and Painting in Europe 1900-1916 
by Christopher Butler.
Oxford, 318 pp., £27.50, April 1994, 0 19 811746 9
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... It was an unprecedented achievement. In his exciting but frustrating book on early Modernism, Christopher Butler discusses the Delaunay-Cendrars work in some detail, with-in the context of simultaneism, but does not mention either Duncan Grant or Vanessa Bell at any point (although her husband Clive, a critic rather than an artist, is respectfully ...

The Dirty Dozens

Terence Hawkes, 21 July 1994

Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars 
by Henry Louis Gates.
Oxford, 199 pp., £15, October 1993, 0 19 507519 6
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The Alchemy of Race and Rights 
by Patricia Williams.
Virago, 263 pp., £7.99, September 1993, 1 85381 674 4
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... entry into the war in Europe was that the British should give up their empire. In consequence, as Christopher Hitchens has pointed out in his matchless Blood, Class and Nostalgia (1990), the British underwent a massive and soul-gelding relegation. Harold Macmillan’s remark that ‘these Americans represent the new Roman Empire and we Britons, like the ...

Mendacious Flowers

Martin Jay: Clinton Baiting, 29 July 1999

All too Human: A Political Education 
by George Stephanopoulos.
Hutchinson, 456 pp., £17.99, March 1999, 0 09 180063 3
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No One Left to Lie to: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Verso, 122 pp., £12, May 1999, 1 85984 736 6
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... he’s lied under oath to the Congress of the United States. There’s no one left to lie to.’ Christopher Hitchens borrows Schippers’s scornful punch line for the title of his own screed against the President. Unperturbed by his proximity to right-wing Clinton-bashers like Schippers, Hitchens mounts a relentless and often compelling attack from the left ...

Leases of Lifelessness

Denis Donoghue, 7 October 1993

Beckett’s Dying Words 
by Christopher Ricks.
Oxford, 218 pp., £17.50, July 1993, 0 19 812358 2
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... The adepts of Deconstruction in highest standing with the profession – Derrida, de Man, Hillis Miller – bring in gloomy reports on their reading, and the gloom is self-perpetuating, I agree, but I can’t see that a close reading of their books would find evidence of the glib levitation that Smith represents. There is, too, an ideological ...
London Reviews 
edited by Nicholas Spice.
Chatto, 222 pp., £5.95, October 1985, 0 7011 2988 3
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The New Review Anthology 
edited by Ian Hamilton.
Heinemann, 320 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 434 31330 0
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Night and Day 
edited by Christopher Hawtree, by Graham Greene.
Chatto, 277 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 07 011296 7
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Lilliput goes to war 
edited by Kaye Webb.
Hutchinson, 288 pp., £10.95, September 1985, 9780091617608
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Penguin New Writing: 1940-1950 
edited by John Lehmann and Roy Fuller.
Penguin, 496 pp., September 1985, 0 14 007484 8
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... from the editor as part-payment. Perhaps contributors to the LRB could work the same trick on Karl Miller, who for this anthology hands over to Nicholas Spice, who in turn sensibly makes sure that Karl Miller’s long essay about the LRB heads the list of contents. This essay is to be relished, not least when it is most ...

The Excursions

Andrew O’Hagan, 16 June 2011

... version of MacDiarmid’s pastures to work at the London Review of Books, the editor, Karl Miller, had a powerful sense of what connected literature to the land, and even the urban writers he liked – Kingsley Amis, for instance – were filled with a sense of hinterland, or winterland, of childhood places and beginnings. Many powerful writers, in ...

Bristling Ermine

Jeremy Harding: R.W. Johnson, 4 May 2017

Look Back in Laughter: Oxford’s Postwar Golden Age 
by R.W. Johnson.
Threshold, 272 pp., £14.50, May 2015, 978 1 903152 35 5
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How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming Crisis 
by R.W. Johnson.
Hurst, 288 pp., £12.99, July 2016, 978 1 84904 723 4
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... pieces for the LRB, as an Oxford scholar whose politics were to the left of the editor’s (Karl Miller favoured the SDP, while Johnson favoured Labour). Nowadays I think he’d still say he was on the left but it isn’t obvious what that would mean, in his case especially. Like many people, he prides himself on describing things as they really are.As the ...

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