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All Together Now

John Lloyd: The British Trade Union, 19 October 2000

British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. I: The Postwar Compromise, 1945-64 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 335 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. II: The High Tide of Trade Unionism, 1964-79 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 389 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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The TUC: From the General Strike to New Unionism 
by Robert Taylor.
Palgrave, 299 pp., £45, September 2000, 0 333 93066 5
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... to’, browbeating, placating and schmoozing with union leaders than with any other group. Robert Taylor’s close account of the TUC has in it some wonderfully revealing passages on these (and other) periods: none so rich as the gathering of 1 June 1969 at Chequers which brought together Wilson, his First (and Employment) Secretary Barbara Castle, Jack Jones ...

Falling Stars

Alan Coren, 5 November 1981

Richard Burton 
by Paul Ferris.
Weidenfeld, 212 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 297 77966 4
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Peter Sellers 
by Alexander Walker.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 297 77965 6
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... Rachel Roberts, Daphne Rye, Jean Simmons, and three of his wives, Sybil Christopher, Elizabeth Taylor and Susan Hunt. I particularly enjoyed the parenthesis Mr Ferris appended to Hugh Griffith’s name in the list of non-runners – ‘Hugh Griffith (who said no before he died)’ – clearing up, as it did, any confusion in the minds of those of us who ...

Gentlemen and ladies came to see the poet’s cottage

Tom Paulin: Clare’s anti-pastoral, 19 February 2004

John Clare: A Biography 
by Jonathan Bate.
Picador, 650 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 330 37106 1
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‘I Am’: The Selected Poetry of John Clare 
edited by Jonathan Bate.
Farrar, Straus, 318 pp., $17, November 2003, 0 374 52869 1
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John Clare, Politics and Poetry 
by Alan Vardy.
Palgrave, 221 pp., £45, October 2003, 0 333 96617 1
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John Clare Vol. V: Poems of the Middle Period 1822-37 
edited by Eric Robinson, David Powell and P.M.S. Dawson.
Oxford, 822 pp., £105, January 2003, 0 19 812386 8
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... was discovered in 1819, when Edward Drury, a young Stamford bookseller, wrote to his cousin John Taylor, who was also a bookseller – what we would now call a publisher – and told him that he had discovered a wholly untutored genius: Your hopes of good grammar and correct verse, depend on the inspiration of the mind; for Clare cannot reason; he writes ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2014, 8 January 2015

... en gâteaux might be – the late Freddie Trueman I would guess, Michael Parkinson possibly and Alan Titchmarsh (who’s so amiable he might even do it). A candidate for pâtisserie posterity would once have been that son of Yorkshire Jimmy Savile who seemed made from marzipan. But not now. No cake for James.7 August, Oxford. To Oxford and the Holywell ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: Judgment Day, 16 June 1983

... honorary degrees are now showered upon me. It gives me more pleasure that taxi-drivers call me ‘Alan’. What shall I be able to quote at the imaginary Day of Judgment? I drove a car for Preston Strike Committee during the General Strike of 1926. I spoke against the Hoare-Laval plan in 1935 and against the Munich conference in 1938. I also applauded the ...

Diary

Tobias Jones: The Politics of Football, 7 May 1998

... which became coffins’, Colin Ward writes in All Quiet on the Hooligan Front (1996). Lord Justice Taylor produced his interim report on the tragedy on 1 August that year. The chief superintendent in charge, Taylor decided, ‘could not face the enormity of the decision to open the gates and all that flowed there from’. He ...
... Chatterley for a reference for a gamekeeper. The magazine sort of launched me on a career, because Alan Pryce-Jones, who was then the editor of the TLS, gave me a lot of reviewing work. AH: How did you see your future then? FW: I suppose I feebly wanted to be a writer, but, apart from those stories, I couldn’t think what on earth I was going to do. I got my ...

Irving, Terry, Gary and Graham

Ian Hamilton, 22 April 1993

Behind Closed Doors 
by Irving Scholar and Mihir Bose.
Deutsch, 367 pp., £14.99, November 1992, 0 233 98824 6
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Sick as a Parrot: The Inside Story of the Spurs Fiasco 
by Chris Horrie.
Virgin, 293 pp., £4.99, August 1992, 0 86369 620 1
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Gary Lineker: Strikingly Different 
by Colin Malam.
Stanley Paul, 147 pp., £12.99, January 1993, 0 09 175424 0
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... is this tenacity, if that’s the word, that also makes it easy for Spurs fans to forget that when Alan Sugar saved the club from bankruptcy, he surely had other scenarios in mind. Sugar’s Amstrad company manufactures the satellite dishes used by Sky subscribers and, as it turned out, Spurs’ pro-Sky vote was crucial in the Premier League deal. But we fans ...

The Fame Game

Alan Brien, 6 September 1984

Hype 
by Steven Aronson.
Hutchinson, 198 pp., £5.95, May 1984, 0 09 156251 1
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Automatic Vaudeville 
by John Lahr.
Heinemann, 241 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 434 40188 9
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Broadway Babies: The People who made the American Musical 
by Ethan Mordden.
Oxford, 244 pp., £19, August 1984, 0 19 503345 0
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... he with this empty trope that he rearranges it several times within the next four pages. Elizabeth Taylor sitting up late at night is presumed to be ‘watching the falling stars with a certain sense of sympathetic identification’, while other guests show contempt on discovering that ‘Jagger, despite the waves of women he had rolled through, could not swim ...

The Right Stuff

Alan Ryan, 24 November 1994

The Principle of Duty 
by David Selbourne.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 288 pp., £17.99, June 1994, 1 85619 474 4
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... though he has changed his positive allegiances a good deal; Michael Sandel, like Charles Taylor and Pope John Paul II, makes a great thing of ‘identity’. They stress the difference between the way we are ‘constituted’ by our membership in a variety of communities and the ‘abstract’ individuals that thinkers obsessed with rights write ...

State of the Art

John Lanchester, 1 June 1989

Manchester United: The Betrayal of a Legend 
by Michael Crick and David Smith.
Pelham, 246 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 7207 1783 3
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Football in its Place: An Environmental Psychology of Football Grounds 
by David Canter, Miriam Comber and David Uzzell.
Routledge, 173 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 0 415 01240 6
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... Seventies. Several of the players – Billy Bremner, Norman Hunter, Johnny Giles, Peter Lorimer, Alan ‘Sniffer’ Clarke – had a lot of ability, but they also tended to have Jekyll-and-Hyde natures, the Hyde component of which their manager, Don Revie, did nothing to suppress. The fact that the most successful team in English football was one of the ...

The Prisoner of Spandau

Alan Milward, 7 August 1986

My Father Rudolf Hess 
by Wolf Rüdiger Hess, translated by Fred Crowley.
W.H. Allen, 414 pp., £14.95, March 1986, 0 491 03772 4
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Long Knives and Short Memories: The Spandau Prison Story 
by Jack Fishman.
Souvenir, 474 pp., £15.95, June 1986, 0 285 62688 4
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Zwangssterilisation im Nationalsozialismus: Studien zur Rassenpolitik und Frauenpolitik 
by Gisela Bock.
Westdeutscher Verlag, 494 pp., April 1986, 3 531 11759 9
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Prelude to Genocide: Nazi Ideology and the Struggle for Power 
by Simon Taylor.
Duckworth, 228 pp., £19.50, October 1985, 0 7156 1872 5
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... indulged, our minds might become even clearer on the matter of his role and hence of his guilt. Taylor devotes 60 pages of his book to a translation of this propaganda. It is a pity he did not give up almost the whole of the space to this purpose, for most of his own text turns on the idea, fashionable in Prague in 1938 and now reaching Liverpool, that ...

Diary

Giles Gordon: Experimental Sideshows, 7 October 1993

... three evenings in September to his achievements as writer and film-maker. Surprisingly, D.J. Taylor doesn’t even mention him in his new survey of post-war fiction. In the late Fifties and after, Kingsley Amis, Johns Wain and Braine, Alan Sillitoe and Co struck a new, demotic note. The ‘traditional’ English novel ...

Audrey and Her Sisters

Wayne Koestenbaum, 18 September 1997

Audrey Hepburn 
by Barry Paris.
Weidenfeld, 454 pp., £20, February 1997, 0 297 81728 0
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... Colette, Edith Head, Deborah Kerr, Leslie Caron, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Judy Garland, Elizabeth Taylor, Marni Nixon, Julie Andrews, Mia Farrow, Jeanne Moreau, Merle Oberon, Capucine and Cher. I could advance a lesbian interpretation of Audrey Hepburn’s oeuvre, though that is not my present aim: instead, I wish to inquire into reverberations between ...
Dust-bowl Migrants in the American Imagination 
by Charles Shindo.
Kansas, 252 pp., £22.50, January 1997, 0 7006 0810 9
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In the Country of Country 
by Nicholas Dawidoff.
Faber, 365 pp., £12.99, June 1997, 0 571 19174 6
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... Lange and Arthur Rothstein, folklorists working for the Library of Congress, the economist Paul Taylor, the sociologist Carey McWilliams, and even Woodie Guthrie, who provided the words and music. The migrants were ‘plain-folks’, patriotic Americans, individualistic, distrustful of big government and big solutions to their problems, Shindo says, while ...

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