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Revolutionary Economics

Norman Hampson, 20 August 1981

The French Revolution and the Poor 
by Alan Forrest.
Blackwell, 198 pp., £12.50, May 1981, 0 631 10371 6
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... marchandises and to sacrifice the present for a glorious future, at least for the survivors. Alan Forrest’s study of how the French Revolution actually affected the poor allows us to study one case in some detail. There are two ways of defining the ‘poor’: those whom their contemporaries regarded as having an exceptionally low standard of ...

Napoleon’s Near Miss

Linda Colley, 18 April 1985

Napoleon: The Myth of the Saviour 
by Jean Tulard, translated by Teresa Waugh.
Weidenfeld, 470 pp., £14.95, June 1984, 0 297 78439 0
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Alexis: Tsar of All the Russias 
by Philip Longworth.
Secker, 319 pp., £15, June 1984, 0 436 25688 6
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... Empire is either to leave it strictly alone, or turn it upside down. Thus Louis Bergeron and Alan Forrest look at the Grande Armée only incidentally, and only to point out the injustices of conscription and the high rates of desertion. Jean Tulard is less alienated – predictably so, since his appeal spans the Sorbonne where he teaches, the French ...

Megalomaniac and Loser

Norman Hampson, 21 March 1985

Beyond the Terror: Essays in French Regional and Social History 1794-1815 
edited by Gwynne Lewis and Colin Lucas.
Cambridge, 276 pp., £22.50, October 1983, 0 521 25114 1
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Chouannerie and Counter-Revolution: Puisaye, the Princes and the British Government in the 1790s 
by Maurice Hutt.
Cambridge, 630 pp., £60, December 1983, 0 521 22603 1
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Britain and Revolutionary France: Conflict, Subversion and Propaganda 
edited by Colin Jones.
Exeter, 96 pp., £1.75, June 1983, 0 85989 179 8
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... of expropriating the Church and the insatiable demands of total war. This confirms the findings of Alan Forrest in his recent book, The French Revolution and the Poor. Forrest’s contribution to the present collection of essays looks at the war from the viewpoint of those who would have preferred not to take part in ...

Diary

Stephen Frears: That's Hollywood, 20 December 1990

... The producers were Barry Levinson and his partner, Mark Johnson. We had first met when Levinson, Alan Parker and I had dinner in London. It was a wonderfully smug affair: the last three films we had directed, Rain Man, Mississippi Burning and Dangerous Liaisons, had between them received 23 Oscar nominations. Levinson himself was to have made Donnie Brasco ...

Diary

Christopher Hitchens: On the Original Non-Event , 20 April 1995

... There. Even Dumb and Dumber managed to take lavatory comedy to a height so far unattained. But Forrest Gump, or perhaps better say the reception accorded to Forrest Gump, is a departure of a different kind. Here is stupidity being, not mocked or even exploited, but positively and wholesomely and simply and touchingly ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2010, 16 December 2010

... the world since Mrs Thatcher in that gritty hard little word. 2 May. Several of the obituaries of Alan Sillitoe who died last week mention how, when as a child he was being hit by his father, his mother would beg ‘Not on his head. Not on his head.’ My father was a mild man and seldom hit my brother or me but when he did my mother would make the same ...

Elective Outsiders

Jeremy Harding, 3 July 1997

Conductors of Chaos: A Poetry Anthology 
edited by Iain Sinclair.
Picador, 488 pp., £9.99, June 1996, 0 330 33135 3
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Nearly Too Much: The Poetry of J.H. Prynne 
by N.H. Reeve and Richard Kerridge.
Liverpool, 196 pp., £25, April 1996, 0 85323 840 5
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Carl Rakosi: Poems 1923-41 
edited by Andrew Crozier.
Sun & Moon, 209 pp., $12.99, August 1995, 1 55713 185 6
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The Objectivists 
edited by Andrew McAllister.
Bloodaxe, 156 pp., £8.95, May 1996, 1 85224 341 4
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... the world in ways that Sinclair approves are named in the Introduction: Mark Hyatt and Veronica Forrest-Thompson, both engaged until their deaths in the Seventies in wringing that impersonal madness from very disconcerting forms of solitude – Hyatt’s poems raw and visionary, Forrest-Thompson’s more in the nature of ...

Cinematically Challenged

Adam Mars-Jones, 19 September 1996

The Cinema of Isolation 
by Martin Norden.
Rutgers, 385 pp., $48, September 1994, 0 8135 2103 3
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... beautiful and I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole’), and the decisive contribution made by Alan Arkin, who had long coveted the role of John Singer, and told the screenwriter: ‘You gotta give me the part now ... I’ve gone to all the trouble of becoming a star just so I could play it.’ Arkin is clearly more fluent in Hollywood hyperbole than in ...

‘What a man this is, with his crowd of women around him!’

Hilary Mantel: Springtime for Robespierre, 30 March 2000

Robespierre 
edited by Colin Haydon and William Doyle.
Cambridge, 292 pp., £35, July 1999, 0 521 59116 3
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... fulfil your mission, you must do exactly the contrary of what existed before you.’ Alan Forrest’s essay on his part in war organisation shows him confronting the generals with unblinking radicalism. He had opposed a declaration of war by the French, which made him temporarily unpopular. But he knew that, in times of war, public liberty ...

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