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These are intolerable

Richard Mayne, 10 September 1992

Michel Foucault 
by Didier Eribon, translated by Betsy Wing.
Faber, 374 pp., £25, August 1992, 0 571 14474 8
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... labelled ‘a Gaullist’. Within two years, however, Foucault had changed again, to become a left-wing radical activist and a target of obloquy from the Right. It may have been in response to the environment of Vincennes: it was almost certainly under the influence of his lover Daniel Defert. Already in the early Sixties, when he was teaching at the ...

Hitting and running

Eugen Weber, 10 June 1993

In Search of the Maquis: Rural Resistance in Southern France, 1942-1944 
by H.R. Kedward.
Oxford, 342 pp., £35, March 1993, 0 19 821931 8
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Outwitting the Gestapo 
by Lucie Aubrac, translated by Konrad Bieber and Betsy Wing.
Nebraska, 235 pp., $25, June 1993, 0 8032 1029 9
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... After the Second World War was over, 220,000 cards were distributed among French citizens to attest that their bearers had been Voluntary Resistance Fighters. Yet André Malraux, talking to Sanche de Gramont in 1970, asserted that ‘we’ Resistants were 17,000, while ‘they’ – French members of the Waffen SS – were 40,000. That begs a question to which I know no answer, though Malraux’s own story may provide some clues ...

At least they paid their taxes

Linda Colley, 25 July 1991

Nancy Reagan: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Kitty Kelley.
Bantam, 532 pp., £16.99, April 1991, 0 593 02450 8
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... classy’). And we learn what Nancy admired in her best friend and fashion mentor Betsy Bloomingdale: ‘Betsy wore cashmere trench-coats with mink collars and cuffs; her 18-carat-gold belt was decorated with 50 carved emeralds from David Webb, one of the finest jewellers in America; her three-acre garden ...

Act One, Scene One

David Bromwich: Don’t Resist, Oppose, 16 February 2017

... the hopeful words of the performers of Hamilton and the flailing words of the creator of The West Wing betray the same stunned bewilderment. By the first week of December, it was hard to recall the mood of a few weeks earlier – a mood in which it had been possible for Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor, to write a column for Bloomberg entitled ‘On ...

On the Way to First Base

R.W. Johnson, 17 October 1996

... that these have occasionally gone too far. The sight of the President sitting down to tea with Betsy Verwoerd made it clear that he wanted to lead a country in which no one felt excluded, not even the self-exclusionists of Orania. At this symbolic level nation-building has known its greatest success. The transformation of institutions has made a more ...

Crocodile’s Breath

James Meek: The Tale of the Tube, 5 May 2005

The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground Was Built and How It Changed the City For Ever 
by Christian Wolmar.
Atlantic, 351 pp., £17.99, November 2004, 1 84354 022 3
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... follows the rush hour, listed the locations of nearby cash machines and bars and clubs: Bed Bar, Betsy Trotwood, Bleeding Heart Tavern, Dust, Eagle, Ember, Fluid, Fabric. Trains were arriving every two minutes, never quite allowing the press of passengers on the westbound platform to build up to a dangerous thickness. It used to be that you were only told ...

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