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Tell me everything

Joanna Biggs: Facebook Feminism, 11 April 2013

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead 
by Sheryl Sandberg.
W.H. Allen, 230 pp., £14.99, March 2013, 978 0 7535 4162 3
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The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network 
by Katherine Losse.
Free Press, 256 pp., £18.99, July 2012, 978 1 4516 6825 4
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... of a new component – she would occupy herself marvelling at the Wild West theme of the Palo Alto branch. One Sunday morning she found a statue of a gun-toting Annie Oakley with her knee up on a bale of Linux manuals. Though her salary was a great deal lower than those of the boy engineers she hung out with, they would give her a weekend pass for the ...

Kill your own business

Deborah Friedell: Amazon’s Irresistible Rise, 5 December 2013

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon 
by Brad Stone.
Bantam, 384 pp., £18.99, October 2013, 978 0 593 07047 5
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... enough to offer all the three million-plus books in print. Two distributors, Ingram and Baker & Taylor, handled distribution for most American publishers: Bezos wouldn’t have to make separate deals with each publishing house. Books also came assigned with International Standard Book Numbers and were catalogued on CD-ROM: that would save time, and Bezos ...

Still it goes on

Paul Foot, 4 November 1993

Ambushed: My Story 
by Judith Ward.
Vermilion, 177 pp., £9.99, September 1993, 0 09 177820 4
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... own. Yet more crucial material was kept hidden from the jury. Ward’s interview with Special Branch in which she denied any connection with bombings or the IRA was kept under lock and key. So were the statements of the three friends she denounced as terrorists, Joseph Mooney, Brendan Magill and Alexander Rowntree. In long interviews, all three men had ...

Bernard Levin: Book Two

Clive James, 6 December 1979

Taking Sides 
by Bernard Levin.
Cape, 281 pp., £6.50, September 1979, 0 330 26203 3
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... they are there. Similarly he is good on unions. Levin has been personally active in the freelance branch of the journalists’ union, the NUJ, where by his energies he has done a lot to frustrate the plans of those giftless radicals who wait around at meetings until there is no one left to interfere with a unanimous vote. Levin published lists which helped ...

Utopia in Texas

Glen Newey: Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’, 19 January 2017

by Thomas More, edited by George M. Logan, translated by Robert M. Adams.
Cambridge, 141 pp., £9.99, August 2016, 978 1 107 56873 0
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by Thomas More, translated by Gilbert Burnet.
Verso, 216 pp., £8.99, November 2016, 978 1 78478 760 8
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... The late Jack Hexter saw the book as an immanent critique of Christian humanism, a root and branch rebuke to intellectuals who thought church and society susceptible of piecemeal rather than revolutionary reform. Hythloday’s ‘dialogue of counsel’ with Cardinal Morton in the first part of Utopia casts an eye over rural England and finds it ...

Torch the Getaway Car

Christian Lorentzen, 13 September 2018

Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime 
by Ben Blum.
Fourth Estate, 414 pp., £16.99, September 2017, 978 0 00 755458 4
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... very saintly family he’d long since been redeemed. On a summer afternoon in 2006 a gang robbed a branch of Bank of America in Tacoma, Washington. Four men, in hoodies and ski masks, entered carrying military-grade assault rifles and pistols. One of them, with a canvas bag on his shoulder and a 9mm Glock 19 pistol with a red laser sight in his hand, leaped ...

Votes for Women, Chastity for Men

Brian Harrison, 21 January 1988

Troublesome People: Enemies of War, 1916-1986 
by Caroline Moorehead.
Hamish Hamilton, 344 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 241 12105 1
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Sex and Suffrage in Britain, 1860-1914 
by Susan Kingsley Kent.
Princeton, 295 pp., £22, June 1987, 0 691 05497 5
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Women, Marriage and Politics, 1860-1914 
by Pat Jalland.
Oxford, 366 pp., £19.50, November 1986, 0 19 822668 3
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An Edwardian Mixed Doubles: The Bosanquets versus the Webbs. A Study in British Social Policy, 1890-1929 
by A.M. McBriar.
Oxford, 407 pp., £35, July 1987, 0 19 820111 7
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... callous and even (through its agents) brutal. Take Moorehead’s approach to A.J.P Taylor’s breathtakingly naive rhetorical question at a CND meeting in 1958: ‘ “Is there anyone here who would do this to another human being?” Silence. “Then why are we making the damned thing?” Thunderous applause.’ Whatever happened at the ...

Adrenaline Junkie

Jonathan Parry: John Tyndall’s Ascent, 21 March 2019

The Ascent of John Tyndall: Victorian Scientist, Mountaineer and Public Intellectual 
by Roland Jackson.
Oxford, 556 pp., £25, March 2018, 978 0 19 878895 9
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... and journalism, particularly for the Philosophical Magazine, edited by William Francis (later of Taylor and Francis, the popular scientific publisher). Tyndall had been writing essays and poems for publication for years, but now discovered he had a great gift for clearly explaining new approaches to science. Francis liked him because he spoke his mind and ...

Walking in high places

Michael Neve, 21 October 1982

The Ferment of Knowledge: Studies in the Historiography of 18th-Century Science 
edited by G.S. Rousseau and R.S. Porter.
Cambridge, 500 pp., £25, November 1980, 9780521225991
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Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin 
by Thomas McFarland.
Princeton, 432 pp., £24.60, February 1981, 0 691 06437 7
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Poetry realised in Nature: Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Early 19th-Century Science 
by Trevor Levere.
Cambridge, 271 pp., £22.50, October 1981, 0 521 23920 6
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by Richard Holmes.
Oxford, 102 pp., £1.25, March 1982, 0 19 287591 4
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Young Charles Lamb 1775-1802 
by Winifred Courtney.
Macmillan, 411 pp., £25, July 1982, 0 333 31534 0
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... of adolescent males talking balls, the careers of Novalis, Oken and their English version, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, give reasons for contentment. For those interested in other things (of which failure and confusion may form part), one important focus is the scientific centre of much Romantic thought. For Romanticism may one day be seen, not as the refutation ...

He knew he was right

John Lloyd, 10 March 1994

Scargill: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Paul Routledge.
HarperCollins, 296 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 300 05365 7
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... buckled to at the age of 17 and went underground, spending much of his spare time in the Barnsley branch of the Young Communist League. Some of the witnesses of his earliest political stirrings were impressed. Monty Meth, then a correspondent for the Daily Worker, remembers him as ‘very bright, always articulate’. Others, like Jimmy Reid, the Clydeside ...

Gesture as Language

David Trotter, 30 January 1992

A Cultural History of Gestures: From Antiquity to the Present 
edited by Jan Bremmer and Herman Roodenburg.
Polity, 220 pp., £35, December 1991, 0 7456 0786 1
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The New Oxford Book of 17th-Century Verse 
by Alastair Fowler.
Oxford, 830 pp., £25, November 1991, 0 19 214164 3
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... sentiment’. Their successor, Alistair Fowler, prefers not to think in terms of a root-and-branch reform of poetic tradition. He points, instead, to a recovery of Classical genres such as elegy, satire, epigram and georgic, and to a new freedom in the choice of subject-matter. And although his selection does reflect these developments, it is perhaps ...


Gary Indiana: The Brothers Tsarnaev, 10 September 2015

The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy 
by Masha Gessen.
Riverhead, 273 pp., £18.45, April 2015, 978 1 59463 264 8
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... book. It’s worth noting here that Zubeidat was arrested for shoplifting from the Cambridge branch of the department store Lord & Taylor in 2012; she then took off for Dagestan, two weeks after Tamerlan returned from a seven-month visit. With both parents gone, Tamerlan was, by custom, now the head of the family in ...

A Misreading of the Law

Conor Gearty: Why didn’t Campbell sue?, 19 February 2004

Report of the Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Death of Dr David Kelly CMG 
by Lord Hutton.
Stationery Office, 740 pp., £70, January 2004, 0 10 292715 4
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... malevolent recluses. Things began to change with the arrival of a new lord chief justice, Lord Taylor of Gosforth, and the appointment to the bench of intelligent and progressive voices like those of Harry Woolf, Thomas Bingham and Stephen Sedley. By the mid-1990s, the senior judiciary were conducting a spirited campaign of defiance against successive Tory ...

Rise and Fall of Radio Features

Marilyn Butler, 7 August 1980

Louis MacNeice in the BBC 
by Barbara Coulton.
Faber, 215 pp., £12.50, May 1980, 0 571 11537 3
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Best Radio Plays of 1979 
Eyre Methuen/BBC, 192 pp., £6.95, June 1980, 0 413 47130 6Show More
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... radio critic, quickly spotted, creative, innovatory, the most significant and exciting branch of radio. But Grace Wyndham Goldie, who had antennae for power and for politics, put her finger on the point about the ‘vox pop’ feature: that it was or might easily become a public statement, an intervention in the nation’s life. It’s no ...

Mixed Feelings

James Wood: Italo Svevo’s Last Cigarette, 3 January 2002

Zeno's Conscience 
by Italo Svevo, edited by William Weaver.
Everyman, 437 pp., £12.99, November 2001, 1 85715 249 2
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Memoir of Italo Svevo 
by Livia Veneziani Svevo, translated by Isabel Quigly.
Northwestern, 178 pp., $15.95, June 2001, 0 8101 6084 6
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Emilio's Carnival 
by Italo Svevo, translated by Beth Archer Brombert.
Yale, 233 pp., £22.50, October 2001, 0 300 09049 8
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... was forced, for the family’s sake, to take a job in the correspondence department of the Trieste branch of the Union Bank of Vienna. He stayed there for 18 years, until he was rescued by his wife’s family firm, manufacturers of an anti-corrosive marine paint. In her delightful memoir of their life together, Svevo’s wife, Livia Veneziani Svevo, recalls a ...

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