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Karl Miller Remembered

Neal Ascherson, John Lanchester and Andrew O’Hagan, 23 October 2014

... His talents took him to the Royal High School, where William Drummond, Henry Mackenzie and Walter Scott had been before him. There Karl became favourite pupil and close friend of Hector MacIver, that incomparable teacher of literature, who recognised his gifts and took him with his other clever boys down the Calton Hill to Rose Street. In those days, a sort ...

Magic Beans, Baby

David Runciman, 7 January 2021

A Promised Land 
by Barack Obama.
Viking, 768 pp., £35, November 2020, 978 0 241 49151 5
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... been a different sort of politician, but that he might not really be a politician at all. When Jonathan Freedland interviewed him recently for the Guardian, he started by asking: ‘Are you a writer who became a politician, rather than a politician who’s done some writing?’ ‘Great question,’ Obama replied.What else might he have been? A law ...

Peace without Empire

Perry Anderson, 2 December 2021

Conquering Peace: From the Enlightenment to the European Union 
by Stella Ghervas.
Harvard, 528 pp., £31.95, March, 978 0 674 97526 2
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... between the rival realms of Europe, an idea developed in England by Charles Davenant and Jonathan Swift; on the other, in the ideal of a federation of states to secure the peaceful unity of the continent, as proposed by the Abbé de Saint-Pierre in France. The first became canonical in the diplomatic chancelleries of the time. The second inspired ...

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