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Timo of Corinth

Julian Symons, 6 August 1992

A Choice of Murder 
by Peter Vansittart.
Peter Owen, 216 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 7206 0832 5
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Portrait of the Artist’s Wife 
by Barbara Anderson.
Secker, 309 pp., £13.99, June 1992, 9780436200977
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Turtle Moon 
by Alice Hoffman.
Macmillan, 255 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 333 57867 8
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Double Down 
by Tom Kakonis.
Macmillan, 308 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 333 57492 3
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... to be. Jack will write, Sarah will paint, Charles publish. Sure enough, that’s what they all do. Barbara Anderson’s last fiction led critics to mention Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf, and call her a ‘born writer’, whatever that may mean. This one makes such praise hard to understand. It is a competent family saga of a familiar kind. Jack is the ...

Starving the Ukraine

J. Arch Getty, 22 January 1987

The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivisation and the Terror-Famine 
by Robert Conquest.
Hutchinson, 347 pp., £16.95, September 1986, 0 09 163750 3
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... of the Ukrainian famine. Yet such respected economic and demographic experts as S.G. Wheatcroft, Barbara Anderson and Brian Silver have examined the same census data and have suggested that the numbers Conquest supports are much too high. Additionally, Conquest notes that the famine varied greatly from place to place in the Ukraine. According to ...

Memories of Lindsay Anderson

Alan Bennett, 20 July 2000

... deputed this to an underling.’ So I was happy to read in Gavin Lambert’s Mainly about Lindsay Anderson* that Lindsay harboured similar thoughts about such self-imposed menialities. On the eve of filming O Lucky Man Lindsay has his ailing mother to stay in his flat in Swiss Cottage. Before she arrives he cleans up the kitchen and bathroom and is just ...

How did they get away with it?

Bernard Porter: Britain’s Atrocities in Kenya, 3 March 2005

Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire 
by David Anderson.
Weidenfeld, 406 pp., £20, January 2005, 0 297 84719 8
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Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya 
by Caroline Elkins.
Cape, 475 pp., £20, January 2005, 9780224073639
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... according to official figures, killed around 12,000 in combat, though the real figure, in David Anderson’s view, is ‘likely to have been more than 20,000’. In addition, Caroline Elkins claims, up to 100,000 died in the detention camps. It is the scale of the British atrocities in Kenya that is the most startling revelation of these books. We always ...

Pound & Co.

August Kleinzahler: Davenport and Kenner, 26 September 2019

Questioning Minds: Vols I-II: The Letters of Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner 
edited by Edward Burns.
Counterpoint, 1817 pp., $95, October 2018, 978 1 61902 181 5
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... where he had been brought up, although he was teaching at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His chief motive in choosing Santa Barbara was to put some distance between himself and McLuhan. ‘I had the advantage of being exposed to Marshall when he was at his most creative,’ Kenner said later, ‘and then ...

Mailer’s Muddy Friend

Stephen Ambrose, 1 September 1988

Citizen Cohn 
by Nicholas von Hoffman.
Harrap, 483 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 0 245 54605 7
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... was cynicism. And yet his friends included Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Norman Mailer, Barbara Walters (they almost married), Cardinal Spellman, nearly all the top Mafia people, Richard Nixon, Si Newhouse, Rupert Murdoch, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, William F. Buckley, an endless list of Congressmen and judges and society swells, of the rich ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: On Trade-Unionism, 5 May 1988

... the same. I have been particularly struck by this on following up a reference to a paper by Alan Anderson published in the Bulletin of the Society of labour History in 1971 on the deliberations of the Legislative Committee set up by Baldwin’s Cabinet in the aftermath of the General Strike of 1926. Then, if ever, you might expect to have seen legislation ...

I myself detest all Modern Art

Anne Diebel: Scofield Thayer, 8 April 2015

The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer 
by James Dempsey.
Florida, 240 pp., £32.50, February 2014, 978 0 8130 4926 7
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... All​ Thayer has is money,’ Sherwood Anderson wrote to Waldo Frank in 1919 about the man who’d just become co-owner and editor of the Dial. Anderson advised Frank to demand a good price for his work: if Thayer ‘does not surrender the money, he is N.G. to anyone’. Scofield Thayer surrendered a lot of money, lavishing it on the artists he admired, and on many he didn’t, including his former friend T ...

Think Tiny

Mark Ford: Nancification, 17 July 2008

The Nancy Book 
by Joe Brainard.
Siglio, 144 pp., $39.50, April 2008, 978 0 9799562 0 1
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... Bill Berkson in 1971 enjoying congress with another comic character called Henry (created by Carl Anderson in 1932) in a pretty comprehensive range of sexual positions. As in his pseudo-Christian assemblages, his many collages which make liberal use of male pornography and the more explicit bits of I Remember, Brainard manages to fuse the innocent and the ...

Sino-Americana

Perry Anderson, 9 February 2012

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China 
by Ezra Vogel.
Harvard, 876 pp., £29.95, September 2011, 978 0 674 05544 5
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On China 
by Henry Kissinger.
Allen Lane, 586 pp., £30, May 2011, 978 1 84614 346 5
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The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China 
by Jay Taylor.
Harvard, 736 pp., £14.95, April 2011, 978 0 674 06049 4
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... is fixed elsewhere, however. Central to The Generalissimo is the aim of reversing the verdict of Barbara Tuchman’s book on the American role, personified by General Stilwell, in the Chinese theatre of the Pacific War.3 For Taylor, it wasn’t the long-suffering Chiang, but the arrant bully and incompetent meddler Stilwell who was to blame for disputes ...

Forty-Eighters

Peter Pulzer, 4 September 1986

Little Germany: Exile and Asylum in Victorian England 
by Rosemary Ashton.
Oxford, 304 pp., £17.50, July 1986, 0 19 212239 8
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... to England and Malwida von Meysenburg became a pioneer of women’s education, joining forces with Barbara Leigh Smith, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Emily Davies. Two thousand lost or disorientated souls are not many in a country of twenty millions. Yet they were remarkable for their variety and individuality, and, not ...

‘I’m glad what I done’

Gavin Millar, 13 October 1988

A Life 
by Elia Kazan.
Deutsch, 848 pp., £17.95, June 1988, 0 233 98292 2
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... work by Clifford Odets, Sam Behrman, Robert Ardrey, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Robert Anderson and William Inge. He did the same in the cinema with Williams, Robert Sherwood, Inge, Steinbeck and Schulberg. Though he modestly disclaims more than typecast competence on the boards, it should be remembered that he was a succès fou as Agate Keller in ...

John McEnroe plus Anyone

Edward Said: Tennis, 1 July 1999

The Right Set: The Faber Book of Tennis 
edited by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.99, June 1999, 0 571 19540 7
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... not only Hoad and Rosewall, 18-year-old prodigies in the Fifties, but also Neale Fraser, Mal Anderson, Laver, Roy Emerson, John Newcombe and Fred Stolle (plus lesser stars like Don Candy and Bob Howe). I wanted to know more about South African tennis during apartheid, which gave rise to Sturgess, Gordon and Jean (his sister) Forbes, plus the colourful ...

If you don’t swing, don’t ring

Christopher Turner: Playboy Mansions, 20 April 2016

Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics 
by Beatriz Preciado.
Zone, 303 pp., £20.95, October 2014, 978 1 935408 48 2
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Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny 
by Holly Madison.
Dey Street, 334 pp., £16.99, July 2015, 978 0 06 237210 9
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... One article began: ‘Some say you can judge a man by the way he furnishes his home.’ Barbara Ehrenreich thought the pin-ups were a cover for a style-conscious interest in the domestic interior: ‘The breasts and bottoms were necessary not just to sell the magazine but to protect it.’ In the ‘Playboy Penthouse’, every item of furniture and ...

As Many Pairs of Shoes as She Likes

Jenny Turner: On Feminism, 15 December 2011

... Selfridges one afternoon to visit a friend and was struck by advertising slogans that said, à la Barbara Kruger, I shop, therefore I am. And I couldn’t help but wonder that as I couldn’t actually shop, ergo what?’ At the UK Feminista summer school in Birmingham meanwhile, Emily Birkenshaw, 24, a teaching assistant from York, was learning how to ‘go ...

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