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Whomph!

Joanna Biggs: Zadie Smith, 1 December 2016

Swing Time 
by Zadie Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 453 pp., £18.99, November 2016, 978 0 241 14415 2
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... sort of writing Smith tries out here, the seemingly non-fictional sort seen in the novels of Ben Lerner and Sheila Heti, and in Smith’s own essays. As the title On Beauty had been already used by Elaine Scarry, so Swing Time has been borrowed from the title of the 1936 Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers vehicle, a black and ...

The Fighting Family

Avi Shlaim, 9 May 1996

Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream: Power, Politics and Ideology from Begin to Netanyahu 
by Colin Shindler.
Tauris, 324 pp., £25, August 1995, 1 85043 969 9
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Summing Up: An Autobiography 
by Yitzhak Shamir.
Weidenfeld, 276 pp., £19.99, April 1994, 0 297 81337 4
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Broken Covenant: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis between the US and Israel 
by Moshe Arens.
Simon and Schuster, 320 pp., $25, February 1995, 0 671 86964 7
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A Zionist Stand 
by Ze’ev Begin.
Cass, 173 pp., £15, January 1993, 0 7146 4089 1
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Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism 
by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Farrar, Straus, 152 pp., $17, October 1995, 0 374 15492 9
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... 1967 it remained outside all the coalition governments, ostracised thanks by and large to David Ben-Gurion, whose governing slogan was ‘Without Herut or Maki’ (the Israeli Communist Party). Gahal joined the Government for the first time during the crisis of May 1967, when Levi Eshkol was prime minister. Begin had the title of Minister without ...

Field of Bones

Charles Nicholl: The last journey of Thomas Coryate, the English fakir and legstretcher, 2 September 1999

... was a kind of comedian, a learned buffoon, a butt for courtly wits and poets like John Donne and Ben Jonson, who both knew him well. On the other hand, he was the immensely tough and courageous traveller, whose remarkable journeys through Europe and Asia were made almost entirely on foot. This is the boast entailed in his favourite description of himself as ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1998, 21 January 1999

... all. The accent could have gone through rubbing shoulders as a young man with the more well-spoken Ben Nicholson, say, or Kenneth Clark. But I would have thought that in the Thirties he needed to get rid of it (or at least knock the edges off it) in order to be taken seriously, whereas thirty years later, in Hockney’s day, a sculptor from a similar ...

The European Coup

Perry Anderson, 17 December 2020

... book on Europe’s politics today’), and Britain’s former ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers (‘brilliant’ – the sixth award of this epithet). But the two books are not on the same level. The Passage to Europe could legitimately claim to be a work of political realism. It laid bare central arcana imperii of European integration, as Naudé ...

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