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A Generous Quantity of Fat

Paul Henley: Yes, People Were Cooked, 2 September 1999

Man Corn: Cannibalism and Violence in the Prehistoric American South-West 
by Christy Turner and Jacqueline Turner.
Utah, 512 pp., $60, January 1999, 9780874805666
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Cannibalism and the Colonial World 
edited by Francis Barker and Peter Hulme.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £13.95, August 1998, 0 521 62118 6
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Cannibals: The Discovery and Representation of the Cannibal from Columbus to Jules Verne 
by Frank Lestringant, translated by Rosemary Morris.
Polity, 256 pp., £39.50, April 1997, 0 7456 1697 6
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Chronicles of the Guayakí Indians 
by Pierre Clastres, translated by Paul Auster.
Faber, 256 pp., £9.99, June 1998, 0 571 19398 6
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... vein, Gananath Obeyesekere argues that certain 19th-century texts which have been considered prime evidence for Fijian cannibalism should be read not as unimpeachable eye-witness testimony but rather as adventure stories or seamen’s yarns in which incidents of anthropophagy are no more than genre conventions. Neither Hulme nor Obeyesekere is as ...

The President and the Bomb

Adam Shatz, 16 November 2017

... had just carried out a ballistic missile test, interrupting Trump’s dinner with the Japanese prime minister. ‘Rick is the Man,’ DeAgazio wrote on Facebook after the meal. The football post reflected the culture of unbridled exhibitionism in Trumpworld, the simultaneous embrace of presidential power and indifference to presidential decorum, but ...

Indecision as Strategy

Adam Shatz: After the Six Day War, 11 October 2012

The Bride and the Dowry: Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians in the Aftermath of the June 1967 War 
by Avi Raz.
Yale, 288 pp., £25, July 2012, 978 0 300 17194 5
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... hundreds of thousands of them refugees who had been displaced during the 1948 war. As Levi Eshkol, who was prime minister at the time, put it: ‘We won the war and received a nice dowry of territory, but along with a bride whom we don’t like.’ Israel had to decide what to do with the bride, and what to do ...

Frameworks of Comparison

Benedict Anderson, 21 January 2016

... in 2001, it was rare to find a student who could name either the president of the former or the prime minister of the latter. One of the central myths of American nationalism has long been ‘exceptionalism’ – the idea that US history, culture and political life are by definition incomparable. Needless to say, this is absurd. In different ...

Still Superior

Mark Greif: Sex and Susan Sontag, 12 February 2009

Reborn: Early Diaries, 1947-64 
by Susan Sontag, edited by David Rieff.
Hamish Hamilton, 318 pp., £16.99, January 2009, 978 0 241 14431 2
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... to die or leave. There isn’t much room for the complex, human Philip Rieff. He was famous in his prime first for his intellectual biography Freud: The Mind of the Moralist, later for The Triumph of the Therapeutic. In a note to Reborn, however, David Rieff declares that his mother essentially co-wrote Freud: The Mind of the Moralist but that it ‘appeared ...

The Game of Death

A.D. Nuttall, 11 June 1992

... tragedy in particular were permeated by religion, and on the other hand we have Aristotle. The prime peculiarity for 20th-century readers (though not for any previous century) is this: Aristotle, who was there, appears not to know that Greek tragedy was religious. In curiously uncritical fashion, we carry in our heads two perhaps incompatible pictures of ...

Outcasts and Desperados

Adam Shatz: Richard Wright’s Double Vision, 7 October 2021

The Man Who Lived Underground 
by Richard Wright.
Library of America, 250 pp., £19.99, April, 978 1 59853 676 8
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... confessional account of the inner drama of decolonisation. He dedicated it to Eric Williams, the prime minister of Trinidad and author of Capitalism and Slavery, and to the ‘Westernised and tragic elite of Africa, Asia and the West Indians, the lonely outsiders who exist precariously on the cliff-like margins of many cultures’. The ‘“whiteness” of ...

Time Unfolded

Perry Anderson: Powell v. the World, 2 August 2018

... of sophistication to grasp, answering to standard expectations of what an aristocracy past its prime would be like – pretension, snobbery, egoism, hypocrisy. Behind this local diorama of frivolity and falsehood, however, lie ostensible truths of universal scope: laws of the heart and mind operative everywhere, abstract and absolute, secrets brought at ...
Rationalism in Politics, and Other Essays 
by Michael Oakeshott, edited by Timothy Fuller.
Liberty, 556 pp., $24, October 1991, 0 86597 094 7
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... in due course. Schmitt, on the other hand, was never far from Hayek’s mind – standing as the prime example of a skilled jurist whose sophistry helped to destroy the rule of law in Germany, yet a political theorist whose stark definitions of the nature of sovereignty and the logic of party, at any rate, had to be accepted. But it is Hayek’s relationship ...

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