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Andropov’s Turn

Philip Short, 19 May 1983

Khrushchev 
by Roy Medvedev, translated by Brian Pearce.
Blackwell, 292 pp., £9.50, November 1982, 0 631 12993 6
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Soviet Policy for the 1980s 
edited by Archie Brown and Michael Kaser.
Macmillan/St Antony’s College, Oxford, 282 pp., £20, December 1982, 0 333 33139 7
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... in Soviet affairs and in the problems confronting Andropov. Soviet Policy for the 1980s, edited by Archie Brown and Michael Kaser, both of St Antony’s College, Oxford, is a collection of nine essays on different aspects of the Soviet system completed six months before Brezhnev’s death. There is one complete dud: John Hazard’s contribution on Soviet ...

At the Hydropathic

T.J. Binyon, 6 December 1984

Agatha Christie 
by Janet Morgan.
Collins, 393 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 0 00 216330 6
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... her to talk now.’ She came back to England without a young man in tow, but in October 1912 met Archie Christie, then a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, at a ball at Chudleigh. In August 1914 Archie, who had transferred to the RFC, was posted to France with his squadron. He returned to England on leave in December, and ...

Nightingales

John Bayley, 15 April 1982

Nightingale Fever: Russian Poets in Revolution 
by Ronald Hingley.
Weidenfeld, 269 pp., £12.95, January 1982, 0 297 77902 8
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Russian Writers and Soviet Society 1917-1978 
by Ronald Hingley.
Methuen, 296 pp., £4.95, June 1981, 0 416 31390 6
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The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Russia and the Soviet Union 
edited by Archie Brown.
Cambridge, 492 pp., £18.50, February 1982, 0 521 23169 8
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‘Novy Mir’: A Case-Study in the Politics of Literature 1952-1958 
by Edith Frankel.
Cambridge, 206 pp., £19.50, November 1981, 0 521 23438 7
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... and so my own? For the quiet joy of breathing and living Tells me whom I am to thank? Clarence Brown, whose translation that is, observes in his excellent book on Mandelstam’s poetry that ‘so one and so my own’ (Takim edinim i takim moim) trembles, both in Russian and English, on the verge of the comic. That is indeed the point – in a little verse ...

Brown v. Salmond

Colin Kidd: The Scottish Elections, 26 April 2007

... Edinburgh University Student Publications and edited by the university’s student rector, Gordon Brown. Brown did not succumb to nationalism, of course, but he attempted to reformulate the Labour agenda to take account of Scotland’s national peculiarities. The Red Paper had an immediate impact on party politics. In 1976 ...

In Bloody Orkney

Robert Crawford: George Mackay Brown, 22 February 2007

George Mackay BrownThe Life 
by Maggie Fergusson.
Murray, 363 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 7195 5659 7
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The Collected Poems of George Mackay Brown 
edited by Brian Murray.
Murray, 547 pp., £18.99, October 2006, 0 7195 6884 6
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... an undeflectable fascination. This is as true of Cavafy in Alexandria as it is of George Mackay Brown in Orkney. Born in the Orcadian harbour town of Stromness in 1921, Brown was the youngest of six children. His father was a local postman, his mother an incomer from mainland Scotland. He came to be associated with the ...

Diary

Andrew O’Hagan: Hating Football, 27 June 2002

... stairs. From there, looking through the bars, I could see the television and my father’s face. Archie Gemmill, at 6.08, wearing a Scotland shirt with the number 15 on the back, puffed past three Dutch defenders and chipped the ball right over the goalie’s head. The television was so surprised it nearly paid its own licence fee, and my ...

Guerrilla into Criminal

Richard White: Jesse James, 5 June 2003

Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War 
by T.J. Stiles.
Cape, 510 pp., £20, January 2003, 9780224069250
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... long opening section, the Confederate guerrillas William Quantrill, Bloody Bill Anderson and even Archie Clement, James’s companion during the Civil War, overshadow him. Still, the account is often smart and engaging. In the 1850s and 1860s, western Missouri and eastern Kansas produced Border Ruffians, Jayhawkers, guerrillas and John ...

His Own Private Armenia

Anne Hollander: Arshile Gorky, 1 April 2004

Arshile Gorky: His Life and Work 
by Hayden Herrera.
Bloomsbury, 767 pp., £35, October 2003, 9780747566472
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Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective of Drawings 
edited by Janie Lee and Melvin Lader.
Abrams, 272 pp., £30, December 2003, 0 87427 135 5
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... lies about having studied at the more prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, or graduated from Brown University. Daily life remained cramped, poor and family-ridden. He was eager to break free, but he was working hard only at drawing, painting and looking at pictures. His family berated him for wasting time. Herrera more sympathetically suggests that ...

A Little Talk in Downing St

Bee Wilson, 17 November 2016

My Darling Mr Asquith: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Venetia Stanley 
by Stefan Buczacki.
Cato and Clarke, 464 pp., £28.99, April 2016, 978 0 9934186 0 0
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... married Churchill some thought that Venetia and Winston might make a match. She had long brown hair, a deep plummy voice, and was later said by Isaiah Berlin, who met her in Cambridge in the 1930s, to be a ‘handsome, smart, awful woman’. Whatever Venetia’s other callings – in middle age she took up aviation, and she had a passion for keeping ...

Diary

Kathleen Jamie: In the West Highlands, 14 July 2011

... clarity of fine enamel; pale blue of sea and sky, the russet of dead bracken and fern, deep purple brown of unbudded birch, and the paler violets of the Skye hills and the peaks of Rum’. Already, the book was sending me to the window, to the cottage door, to see these West Highland colours for myself, see them better. But then there comes a passage in ...

Gravity’s Smoothest Dream

Matthew Bevis: A.R. Ammons, 7 March 2019

The Complete Poems 
by A.R. Ammons.
Norton, two vols, 2133 pp., £74, December 2017, 978 0 393 25489 1
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... hailed Ammons as an ‘American original’. ‘I was born big and jaundiced (and ugly),’ Archie Randolph Ammons wrote, ‘on February 18, 1926, in a farmhouse south-west of Whiteville, North Carolina.’ This was the farm on which his grandfather had raised 13 children, and on which Ammons would grow up during the Depression. The house had neither ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... David Mellor (greatly exaggerated, but not his only alleged misdemeanour), Hartley Booth, Michael Brown (though he is a borderline case, since he resigned from office while denying allegations that he had had a homosexual relationship). We should also not forget David Trevinnick and Graham Riddick, suspended from their jobs as Parliamentary Private ...

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