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Hidden Privilege

Michael Irwin, 16 September 1982

Russian Journal 
by Andrea Lee.
Faber, 239 pp., £8.95, May 1982, 0 571 11904 2
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... Andrea Lee spent ten months in Russia in 1978-9, together with her husband, on an academic exchange – eight months at Moscow State University and two at Leningrad State. Her Russian Journal, some of it written during her stay, some of it worked up subsequently, consists of thirty or forty fragments, each encapsulating an incident, an experience or a character ...

So Many Handbags, So Little Time

Andrew O’Hagan: The Bling Ring, 20 June 2013

The Bling Ring 
by Nancy Jo Sales.
HarperCollins, 288 pp., £7.99, May 2013, 978 0 00 751822 7
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... and crave in an atmosphere of dieting and reality TV. Alexis Neiers was 17 in 2008. Her mother, Andrea, was a former Playboy model and her father a director of photography on Friends. Thousand Oaks isn’t super-rich but it’s the sort of place where people care a lot about money. Alexis and her friend Tess, who lived with her, behaved as if shopping (and ...

At the National Gallery

Peter Campbell: Fakes, 22 July 2010

... of the Veil’, 1920-29 Then there is the Madonna of the Veil, bought expensively by Lord Lee of Fareham in 1930 and bequeathed to the Courtauld Institute in 1947. It was accepted by London experts in the 1930s as a masterpiece by Botticelli, but the feeling that something was wrong about it grew. Kenneth Clark said the Madonna had ‘something of the ...

California Noir

Michael Rogin: Destroying Los Angeles, 19 August 1999

Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster 
by Mike Davis.
Picador, 484 pp., £18.99, June 1999, 9780330372190
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... are not by the author of Ecology of Fear, Mike Davis, but the Southern California congresswoman Andrea Seastrand, speaking on behalf of Jehovah. Although the Los Angeles Times reassured its readers that ‘as far as can be determined’, the dozens of large snakes deposited on Southern Californian beaches during the winter of 1995 ‘are not some Biblical ...

Giorgio Mio

Nicholas Penny, 16 November 1995

Giorgio Vasari: Art and History 
by Patricia Lee Rubin.
Yale, 449 pp., £35, April 1995, 0 300 04909 9
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... in Rome, where he worked a good deal both before and after he entered Cosimo’s service. Patricia Lee Rubin’s study of Vasari’s writings incorporates much biography; it is delicate in its perception of the author’s debts to his own circumstances and aspirations as an artist, and meticulous in its assessment of the conventions which shaped both his ...

The Angry Men

Jean McNicol: Harriet Harman, 14 December 2017

A Woman’s Work 
by Harriet Harman.
Allen Lane, 405 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 0 241 27494 1
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The Women Who Shaped Politics 
by Sophy Ridge.
Coronet, 295 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 4736 3876 1
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... except in the form of fake jocular, know-your-place remarks of the sort made by Michael Fallon to Andrea Leadsom, or by David Davis of Diane Abbott. In the 1979 general election, which brought the Conservatives to power under Margaret Thatcher – something Harman describes as an ‘excruciating blow’ – 19 women were elected, the lowest postwar figure ...

I Could Sleep with All of Them

Colm Tóibín: The Mann Family, 6 November 2008

In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain: The Erika and Klaus Mann Story 
by Andrea Weiss.
Chicago, 302 pp., £14.50, May 2008, 978 0 226 88672 5
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... In her useful and sympathetic book about the Mann family, In the Shadow of the Magic Mountain, Andrea Weiss writes: ‘Just how much Katia and Klaus Pringsheim loved each other was the subject of public gossip and private distress, especially when Thomas Mann, married to Katia for only a few months, used his wife’s relationship with her brother as the ...

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