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Diary

David Thomson: ‘Vertigo’ after Weinstein, 21 June 2018

... is a classmate who has far excelled Scottie in life. He’s American, but the actor playing him, Tom Helmore, is English and makes no attempt to hide it. In a tweed jacket, with a moustache and cool good manners, he could be a stand-in for Ronald Colman. He’s made it, he’s settled; he has a wife, Madeleine, who lives down the peninsula. But she’s a ...

Riot, Revolt, Revolution

Mike Jay: The Despards, 18 July 2019

Red Round Globe Hot Burning: A Tale at the Crossroads of Commons and Culture, of Love and Terror, of Race and Class and of Kate and Ned Despard 
by Peter Linebaugh.
California, 408 pp., £27, March 2019, 978 0 520 29946 7
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... an anomaly: a curious postscript to the 1790s radicalism inspired by the French revolution and Tom Paine, or an early harbinger of the next generation’s struggle for political reform. Despard’s cause was illuminated from a new direction by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker in The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of ...

Gotcha, Pat!

Terry Castle: Highsmith in My Head, 4 March 2021

Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires: The Life of Patricia Highsmith 
by Richard Bradford.
Bloomsbury, 258 pp., £20, January 2021, 978 1 4482 1790 8
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... used by her murderous anti-heroes to kill the clueless people they are in love with: witness Tom Ripley’s brain-splatter of an assault – with an oar – on the pate of pretty Dickie Greenleaf in The Talented Mr Ripley. In Jill Dawson’s vastly entertaining novelistic riff on Highsmith, The Crime Writer (2016), set in the early 1960s, when Highsmith ...

Humans

Richard Poirier, 24 January 1985

Slow Learner 
by Thomas Pynchon.
Cape, 204 pp., £8.50, January 1985, 0 224 02283 0
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... There he introduces army specialist third class Nathan ‘Lardass’ Levine lying in his bunk in Fort Roach, Louisiana. Like Callisto in ‘Entropy’, Levine is ‘drowsy’, ‘motionless’, ‘inert’. He is then moved as part of his unit to a college campus, the staging area for an operation in a nearby town all of whose inhabitants have been killed in ...

Wrath of the Centurions

Max Hastings: My Lai, 25 January 2018

My Lai: Vietnam, 1968 and the Descent into Darkness 
by Howard Jones.
Oxford, 504 pp., £22.99, June 2017, 978 0 19 539360 6
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... that he had heard described in vivid detail by those who had participated in them. Private Tom Glen, a 21-year-old from Tucson, who served in another brigade of the Americal, wrote a brave letter to the US army’s commander-in-chief, Creighton Abrams, describing the dreadful deeds that he had been told other units in his division had committed. In ...

Not Rocket Science

Alexander Nehamas, 22 June 2000

On Beauty and Being Just 
by Elaine Scarry.
Princeton, 134 pp., $15.95, September 1999, 0 691 04875 4
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Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy 
by Dave Hickey.
Art Issues, 216 pp., £15.95, September 1998, 0 9637264 5 5
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... Village Voice. He has written songs for a company in Nashville, art criticism for a newspaper in Fort Worth and has published a collection of short stories. He contributes a regular column to Art issues, but also, in order to get health insurance, he recently joined the faculty of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, an institution he loathes in a city he ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Bennett’s Dissection, 1 January 2009

... Feldene I had to be put on the acid-suppressant pills that I’ve been on ever since. 14 January. Tom Stoppard rings my agent Rosalind Chatto to tell her that when in last year’s LRB diary I quote an old lady in New York as saying ‘I zigged when I should have zagged’ the original remark came from the American sports reporter Red Butler, who reported it ...

What are you willing to do?

James Meek: On the case for civil war, 26 May 2022

How Civil Wars Start – And How to Stop Them 
by Barbara F. Walter.
Viking, 289 pp., £18.99, January, 978 0 241 42975 4
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... seems reluctant to enter, where Albany or Sacramento audition as the future Richmond, and a future Fort Sumter must be triggered by liberals, or not at all. It’s not unreasonable for Walter and many others to see a future civil war in America taking the form of a smouldering, uncoordinated insurgency by pro-Trump conspiracists against a liberal reigning ...

Women on the Brink

Azadeh Moaveni, 12 May 2022

... for it’. Many profiles used the same line: ‘You will be safe with me.’ A man calling himself Tom posted that he was ‘sleeping in a warehouse full of supplies but would much rather spend the night in your bed’. Sean from Maine said he had travelled to volunteer in Poland but had contracted Covid and was ‘looking for a lady to spend time with who has ...

Putting Religion in Its Place

Colm Tóibín: Marilynne Robinson, 23 October 2014

Lila 
by Marilynne Robinson.
Virago, 261 pp., £16.99, October 2014, 978 1 84408 880 5
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... conversion to Christianity: I have had a most shameful and distressing interview with poor dear Tom Eliot, who may be called dead to us all from this day forward. He has become an Anglo-Catholic, believes in God and immortality, and goes to church. I was really shocked. A corpse would seem to me more credible than he is. I mean, there’s something obscene ...

The Atmosphere of the Clyde

Jean McNicol: Red Clydeside, 2 January 2020

When the Clyde Ran Red: A Social History of Red Clydeside 
by Maggie Craig.
Birlinn, 313 pp., £9.99, March 2018, 978 1 78027 506 2
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Glasgow 1919: The Rise of Red Clydeside 
by Kenny MacAskill.
Biteback, 310 pp., £20, January 2019, 978 1 78590 454 7
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John Maclean: Hero of Red Clydeside 
by Henry Bell.
Pluto, 242 pp., £14.99, October 2018, 978 0 7453 3838 5
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... for example, had been ‘swept out’ from the Isle of Mull, and his mother from Corpach, near Fort William. As a young child she’d walked with her own mother all the way to Glasgow, around a hundred miles of rough mountainous country. Tom Johnston, founder and editor of Forward, which became the mouthpiece of the ...

Courage, mon amie

Terry Castle: Disquiet on the Western Front, 4 April 2002

... to walk just so: Feehan’s men – Guidetti, Goldbach and two other deputy commissioners, Tom McDonald and Tom Fitzpatrick – began rushing to the elevator. ‘Now, hold it, guys,’ said Feehan, wearing a wry smile, holding his arms to the side and waving his palms down, like a teacher calming rambunctious ...

One Summer in America

Eliot Weinberger, 26 September 2019

... purpose, which is to provide travellers with a welcoming hotel room.’It is planned to turn Fort Sill, Oklahoma, a Japanese American internment camp during the Second World War, into a concentration camp for 1400 children.*Total US student debt is $1.52 trillion and is owed by 44.2 million people. Total credit card debt is more than $1 trillion and is ...

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