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Somewhat Divine

Simon Schaffer: Isaac Newton, 16 November 2000

Isaac Newton: The ‘Principia’ Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy 
translated by I. Bernard Cohen.
California, 974 pp., £22, September 1999, 0 520 08817 4
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... never, until now, been another. It has understandably taken the Harvard historian of science I. Bernard Cohen and his collaborators much longer to produce this new translation than Newton took to compose the original, or Motte his version. In 1956, when Cohen had already established his reputation as a historian of ...

Dealing in futures

W.R. Mead, 21 March 1985

The 2024 Report: A Concise History of the Future 1974-2024 
by Norman Macrae.
Sidgwick, 198 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 283 99113 5
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The Resourceful Earth: A Response to ‘Global 2000’ 
edited by Julian Simon and Herman Kahn.
Blackwell, 585 pp., £14.95, September 1984, 0 631 13467 0
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... which nuclear power is merely the symbol’. Further support for the pro-nuclear lobby comes from Bernard Cohen, who considers that increasing measures to prevent heat loss in the home are more dangerous to health than the provision of energy from nuclear power plants. Of course, forty years on in the Utopian world of The 2024 Report, nuclear energy will ...

Kurt Waldheim’s Past

Gitta Sereny, 21 April 1988

Waldheim 
by Luc Rosenzweig and Bernard Cohen.
Robson, 192 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 86051 506 0
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Waldheim: The Missing Years 
by Robert Edwin Herzstein.
Grafton, 303 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 246 13381 3
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... belong to the two ends of a spectrum. Waldheim, by two French journalists, Luc Rosenzweig and Bernard Cohen, is more of a tract than a historical examination, whereas Waldheim: The Missing Years is by an American historian. Herzstein was the first researcher to be commissioned, by the World Jewish Congress, to look into Waldheim’s past, and the ...

‘Someone you had to be a bit careful with’

David Sylvester: Gallery Rogues, 30 March 2000

Groovy Bob: The Life and Times of Robert Fraser 
by Harriet Vyner.
Faber, 317 pp., £20, October 1999, 0 571 19627 6
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... Magritte, Dubuffet, Michaux, Bellmer, Klapheck. Britons: Bacon, Hamilton, Paolozzi, Blake, Harold Cohen, Riley, Caulfield, Gilbert and George. Kasmin’s Americans included Newman, Reinhardt, Stella, Noland, Louis, Frankenthaler, Olitski, Poons; his Britons, Caro, Tucker, Latham, Hill, Hockney, Richard Smith, ...

The kind of dog he likes

W.G. Runciman: Realistic Utopias, 18 December 2014

Justice for Earthlings: Essays in Political Philosophy 
by David Miller.
Cambridge, 254 pp., £18.99, January 2013, 978 1 107 61375 1
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... with him. He has in his sights the ‘neo-Augustinians’, as he calls them, like the late G.A. Cohen, for whom justice can be realised only in a secular version of Augustine’s City of God, thereby leaving political philosophers with nothing to do but lament the size of the gap between the disappointing actual and the impossible ideal. What use is a ...

‘No view on it’

Paul Foot, 22 October 1992

Nuclear Ambiguity: The Vanunu Affair 
by Yoel Cohen.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 297 pp., £10.99, July 1992, 1 85619 150 8
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... for its forthright investigations in the Sixties and Seventies, but the Sunday Times, as Yoel Cohen points out, was a very different newspaper in 1986 from the one which fought for thalidomide children. When Andrew Neil became Rupert Murdoch’s surprise appointment as Sunday Times editor in 1983, almost his first act was to sack the editor of ...

On and off the page

Thomas Nagel, 25 July 1991

Isaiah Berlin: A Celebration 
by Edna Margalit and Avishai Margalit.
Hogarth, 224 pp., £25, June 1991, 0 7012 0925 9
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... Francis Haskell on controversies about the transition from Late Roman to Early Christian art; Bernard Williams, in a wonderful and unsummarisable essay called ‘Naive and Sentimental Opera Lovers’, writes about distinctions in operatic taste, the sources of the power of opera, what it is to be an opera lover, and Berlin’s responses to opera in ...

Before Foucault

Roy Porter, 25 January 1990

The Normal and the Pathological 
by Georges Canguilhem, translated by Carolyn Fawcett and Robert Cohen.
Zone, 327 pp., £21.95, June 1989, 0 942299 58 2
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... and to formulate the laws governing that order. What Auguste Comte did for sociology, Claude Bernard and his followers undertook for bio-medicine. Physiology would encompass all the laws of the living body. In consequence, the vulgar, Manichean vision of Life battling – to the death! – against Disease would be discredited as an obsolete survival from ...

We came, we saw, he died

Jackson Lears: Clinton’s Creed, 5 February 2015

Hard Choices 
by Hillary Clinton.
Simon and Schuster, 635 pp., £20, June 2014, 978 1 4711 3150 9
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HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton 
by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.
Hutchinson, 440 pp., £20, February 2014, 978 0 09 195448 2
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... by creating alliances with high-tech entrepreneurs. The crucial figure in this project was Jared Cohen, a Condoleezza Rice protégé who served as a senior adviser in both the Rice and Clinton State Departments. Cohen’s chief achievement was to promote the power of social media in the Iranian elections of June ...

Quiet Sinners

Bernard Porter: Imperial Spooks, 21 March 2013

Empire of Secrets: British Intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire 
by Calder Walton.
Harper, 411 pp., £25, February 2013, 978 0 00 745796 0
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... Roger Hollis, of being a Soviet mole. (He thought the same of the relatively liberal Sir Andrew Cohen, governor of Uganda in the 1950s.) Wright got all this from the notorious CIA molehunter James Jesus Angleton. Clearly, there were divisions in MI5 about how far to go along with the Americans. The problem was worsened by the temptation to pander to the US ...

Is everybody’s life like this?

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Amy Levy, 16 November 2000

Amy Levy: Her Life and Letters 
by Linda Hunt Beckman.
Ohio, 331 pp., £49, May 2000, 0 8214 1329 5
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... two later studies of Jewish life: the controversial Reuben Sachs (1888) and a brief tale called ‘Cohen of Trinity’ (1889). (Beckman, who thinks the Leuniger story one of Levy’s strongest, had apparently intended to include it and another unpublished story in an appendix; but this, she cryptically announces in a note, ‘became impossible’.) Levy seems ...

Walking among ghosts

Paul Fussell, 18 September 1980

The Private Diaries of Sir H. Rider Haggard, 1914-1925 
edited by D.S. Higgins.
Cassell, 299 pp., £14.95, May 1980, 0 304 30611 8
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... of them, have been known for years and have been drawn on by biographers and critics like Morton Cohen and Peter Berresford Ellis. Here the Haggard collector and enthusiast D.S. Higgins has selected about one-fortieth of the text and presented it in an edition which deserves to be called amateur. He has not indicated omissions by ellipses, the annotation is ...

My Feet Are Cut Off

Barbara Newman: Lives of the Saints, 3 December 2009

Gilte Legende Vol. I 
edited by Richard Hamer and Vida Russell.
Early English Text Society (Oxford), 496 pp., £65, November 2006, 0 19 920577 9
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Gilte Legende Vol. II 
edited by Richard Hamer and Vida Russell.
Early English Text Society (Oxford), 1036 pp., £65, August 2007, 978 0 19 923439 4
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... offer a compromise between the old Stoic ideal of equanimity and a new Christian ethos that Esther Cohen has called ‘philopassianism’, the love of pain. It differs from masochism in that pain is valued, not as a perverse source of pleasure, but as a moral and spiritual good. Admittedly, the theology is dubious, for if God did not shield his own son from ...

Capital Folly

Avi Shlaim: The Jerusalem Syndrome, 21 March 2002

Divided Jerusalem: The Struggle for the Holy City 
by Bernard Wasserstein.
Profile, 420 pp., £9.99, March 2002, 1 86197 333 0
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... seeking to understand the Jerusalem question in its current form could not do better than read Bernard Wasserstein’s thoroughly researched, elegantly written and strikingly fair-minded book. Its starting-point is what psychologists have long been aware of as the ‘Jerusalem syndrome’ that afflicts some visitors to the city, especially Western ...

Nobbled or Not

Bernard Porter: The Central African Federation, 25 May 2006

British Documents on the End of Empire Series B Vol. 9: Central Africa: Part I: Closer Association 1945-58 
by Philip Murphy.
Stationery Office, 448 pp., £150, November 2005, 0 11 290586 2
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British Documents on the End of Empire Series B Vol. 9: Central Africa: Part II: Crisis and Dissolution 1959-65 
by Philip Murphy.
Stationery Office, 602 pp., £150, November 2005, 0 11 290587 0
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... which is likely to be most popular with Africans,’ the influential colonial civil servant Andrew Cohen wrote in 1951. ‘It is also our business to do what we believe is in the genuine interests of Africans.’ It went almost without saying that Africans were incapable of working this out for themselves. The charitable way of putting it was to say they were ...

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