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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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... are discussed in detail in a book which should be required reading for anyone seriously interested in Soviet affairs and in the problems confronting Andropov. Soviet Policy for the 1980s, edited by ArchieBrown 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 ...
6 December 1984
Agatha Christie 
by Janet Morgan.
Collins, 393 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 0 00 216330 6
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... your daughter. She has learnt to dance, in fact she dances beautifully. You had better try and teach 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 ...

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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... personal being with an almost naive economy. A body’s given me – what shall I do with it, So one 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 ...

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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... emblematise that act to such an extent that their lives as well as their poetry and their place acquire 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 ...

Brown​ v. Salmond

Colin Kidd: The Scottish Elections

26 April 2007
... wing intellectuals. Printed in blindingly small type, The Red Paper was published on the cheap for 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 ...

Diary

Andrew O’Hagan: Hating Football

27 June 2002
... in several sorties of kiss, cuddle or torture before losing my temper and marching to the top of the 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 ...

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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... a little basic training at night from the New School of Design. Later he would promulgate more 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 ...

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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... adolescent. Even when he became a guerrilla late in the war, he remained a minor figure. During this 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 ...
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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... a Liberal MP, in his case between 1880 and 1885. She was the cousin of Clementine Churchill; before Clementine 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 ...

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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... event’, John Hollander said, and John Ashbery – in his first piece for the New York Review of Books – 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 ...

Diary

Kathleen Jamie: In the West Highlands

14 July 2011
... describes what he could see: ‘predominantly pale blues, russet browns and purples, each with the 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 ...
9 March 1995
... with salmonella’). Then there is the long line of sex-scandal casualties: Cecil Parkinson, Tim Yeo, 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 ...

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