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Diarmaid MacCulloch: Anti-Semitism, 10 June 2010

Trials of the Diaspora: A History of Anti-Semitism in England 
by Anthony Julius.
Oxford, 811 pp., £25, February 2010, 978 0 19 929705 4
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... It is just one fragment among a torrent of primary-source material relentlessly amassed by Anthony Julius in his history of English anti-semitism, gathered both from England and from the wider background of Christian culture in Europe, to which he adds streams of secularism and Islam when his story approaches modern times. The maelstrom of original ...

The Koreans and their Enemies

Jon Halliday, 17 December 1992

Korea Old and New: A History 
by Carter Eckert, Ki-baik Lee, Young Ick Lew, Michael Robinson and Edward Wagner.
Harvard, 454 pp., £11.95, September 1991, 0 9627713 0 9
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The Wilder Shores of Marx: Journeys in a Vanishing World 
by Anthony Daniels.
Hutchinson, 202 pp., £16.99, April 1991, 9780091741532
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... close, it is important to know about the 22 million people who live there in hermetic isolation. Anthony Daniels’s The Wilder Shores of Marx describes journeys to North Korea, Albania, Romania, Vietnam and Cuba around the time of the collapse of Communism in 1989. Daniels chose his redoubts well: two were the last European dictatorships to fall; the other ...

Best at Imitation

Anthony Pagden: Spain v. England, 2 November 2006

Empires of the Atlantic World: Britain and Spain in America 1492-1830 
by J.H. Elliott.
Yale, 546 pp., £25, May 2006, 0 300 11431 1
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... parts of southern France, the whole of America from California to Tierra del Fuego, the shores of West Africa, the Philippines, and regions of India and Japan. It was the most powerful and by far the richest empire the world had ever seen. ‘How strange a thing it is,’ one English observer reflected in 1609, ‘that all the states of Europe have been ...

Whatever you do, buy

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare’s First Folio, 15 November 2001

The Shakespeare First Folio: The History of the Book Vol. I: An Account of the First Folio Based on Its Sales and Prices, 1623-2000 
by Anthony James West.
Oxford, 215 pp., £70, April 2001, 0 19 818769 6
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... awkwardly assembled and unevenly printed volume has commanded which preoccupy the first volume of Anthony James West’s The Shakespeare First Folio: The History of the Book, and they provide a very remarkable instance of the interplay between literature and the market, prompting all sorts of reflections on the curious ...

Meltdown

Anthony Thwaite, 26 October 1989

Bitter Fame: A Life of Sylvia Plath 
by Anne Stevenson.
Viking, 413 pp., £15.95, October 1989, 0 670 81854 2
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... a much more straightforward, much less partisan memoir of a visit Plath and Hughes made to the West of Ireland in the autumn of 1962, and of what followed. But even here I had a strong feeling that he, too, had been recruited – not by Anne Stevenson – to redress the balance. Again, I don’t at all question the truth of Murphy’s account: for what ...

Wallflower

Anthony Quinn, 29 August 1991

Varying Degrees of Hopelessness 
by Lucy Ellmann.
Hamish Hamilton, 184 pp., £13.99, July 1991, 0 241 13153 7
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Slide 
by James Buchan.
Heinemann, 135 pp., £12.99, June 1991, 0 434 07499 3
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Alma Cogan 
by Gordon Burn.
Secker, 210 pp., £13.99, August 1991, 0 436 20009 0
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... manner, where farce reigns, academia abuts. The Catafalque is a fusty art institute in London’s West End, a Dickensian pile which houses the varying degrees of ‘wisdom and foolishness, belief and incredulity, light and darkness, hope and despair ... and just as one tolerates a lot of nonsense in Dickens, a lot of it was tolerated here.’ Around this core ...

Journos de nos jours

Anthony Howard, 8 March 1990

Alan Moorehead 
by Tom Pocock.
Bodley Head, 311 pp., £16.95, February 1990, 0 370 31261 9
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Loyalties: A Son’s Memoir 
by Carl Bernstein.
Macmillan, 254 pp., £15.95, January 1990, 0 333 52135 8
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Downstart 
by Brian Inglis.
Chatto, 298 pp., £15.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3390 2
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... academic (though some of this material has been published before in his earlier autobiography West Briton). But the heart of his book is probably his account of the nine years he spent on the Spectator. Even in those days – the paper, by my count, has been through five successive owners since – the Spectator was very much a rich man’s plaything. In ...

Diary

Anthony Grafton: Warburg, 1 April 1999

... on the Hopi serpent ritual – the long-delayed result of the expedition to the American South-West which proved vital to Warburg’s understanding of religion, magic and much else. The Warburg revival resulted, in fact, from a complex – and sometimes contentious – collaboration among professional scholars, specialised publishers and journalists, of a ...

Uncle Max

Patricia Craig, 20 December 1984

The man who was M: The Life of Maxwell Knight 
by Anthony Masters.
Blackwell, 205 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 631 13392 5
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Unreliable Witness: Espionage Myths of the Second World War 
by Nigel West.
Weidenfeld, 166 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 297 78481 1
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The Great Betrayal: The Untold Story of Kim Philby’s Biggest Coup 
by Nicholas Bethell.
Hodder, 214 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 340 35701 0
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... Like most biographers, Anthony Masters starts by announcing his subject’s date of birth; unlike most biographers, he gets it wrong. Charles Henry Maxwell Knight was born on 9 July 1900, not 4 September, under the sign of Cancer, not Virgo, however tempting it may be, for reasons which become clear in the course of the story, to assign him to the latter ...

Clueless

Adam Kuper: Police rituals, 21 April 2005

... London which they claimed were importing ‘bush meat’, including chimpanzee and bush rat, from West Africa. They also announced that some dealers were trading in substances used in witchcraft, which might include body parts. Heathrow’s meat transport director, Clive Lawrence, was sure of it. ‘The intelligence we are receiving suggests human flesh is ...

A Platter of Turnips

Esther Chadwick: Rembrandt’s Neighbours, 7 January 2021

Black in Rembrandt’s Time 
edited by Elmer Kolfin and Epco Runia.
WBooks, 135 pp., £20, April 2020, 978 94 6258 372 6
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... of a Spanish interpreter, Josias Doria, they appointed three men – Christoffel Capitano, Anthony and Francisco – as their heirs. Diogo and the three witnesses were familiar with the location. They had been to the notary’s office before, to authorise Josias Doria to collect wages owed to them by a shipmaster – perhaps these were among the assets ...

Ruined by men

Anthony Thwaite, 1 September 1988

The Truth about Lorin Jones 
by Alison Lurie.
Joseph, 294 pp., £11.95, July 1988, 0 7181 3095 2
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Latecomers 
by Anita Brookner.
Cape, 248 pp., £10.95, August 1988, 0 224 02554 6
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Where the rivers meet 
by John Wain.
Hutchinson, 563 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 9780091736170
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About the Body 
by Christopher Burns.
Secker, 193 pp., £10.95, August 1988, 0 436 09784 2
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Stories 
by Elizabeth Jolley.
Viking, 312 pp., £11.95, July 1988, 0 670 82113 6
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... Hugh Cameron, a poet of little reputation, with whom Lorin had some sort of affair down in Key West before her premature death. Polly is quite sure that Jones is ‘an old-fashioned male chauvinist’, and almost equally sure that Cameron is an exploiter, a slob. Indeed, Jones, after answering all her questions in a way she didn’t expect and doesn’t ...

Madmen and Specialists

Anthony Appiah, 7 September 1995

Colonial Psychiatry and the ‘African Mind’ 
by Jock McCulloch.
Cambridge, 185 pp., £35, January 1995, 0 521 45330 5
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... The first mental health clinic in Senegal – perhaps the most Westernised region of French West Africa – was not built until 1956. And in any of these colonies there were places for hundreds, at most, of the mentally-ill in populations of many millions. Only where there were significant European settler populations – in Algeria, Southern ...

C is for Colonies

Anthony Pagden: A New History of Empire, 11 May 2006

Edge of Empire: Conquest and Collecting in the East 1750-1850 
by Maya Jasanoff.
Fourth Estate, 405 pp., £25, August 2005, 0 00 718009 8
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... to persuade the Egyptians that he was, as Victor Hugo later phrased it, ‘the Mohammad of the West’, and that Islam and the Rights of Man could be made compatible, was a tragi-comic disaster. But its cultural impact on Europe was considerable. A form of ‘Egyptomania’ gripped Britain and France, spawning an entire decorative and architectural style ...

Initiatives

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 15 November 1984

Social Scientist as Innovator 
by Michael Young.
Abt Books, 265 pp., $28, April 1984, 0 89011 593 1
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Revolution from Within: Co-operatives and Co-operation in British Industry 
by Michael Young and Marianne Rigge.
Weidenfeld, 188 pp., £12.95, July 1983, 0 297 78234 7
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Dilemmas of Liberal Democracies: Studies in Fred Hirsch’s ‘Social Limits to Growth’ 
edited by Adrian Ellis and Krishan Kumar.
Tavistock, 212 pp., £12.95, September 1983, 0 422 78460 5
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... college in 1981. There is the frequently flaunted economic fact that there is no future in Anthony Crosland’s sort of socialism because there is no firm future for the growth which – although less unequivocally than subsequent commentators have assumed – Crosland supposed adequate public spending to require. There have even been a few ...

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