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McTeague’s Tooth

David Trotter: Good Fetishism, 20 November 2003

A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature 
by Bill Brown.
Chicago, 245 pp., £22.50, April 2003, 0 226 07628 8
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... table stands on wooden feet, not on its head; and those feet already show signs of incipient rot. Bill Brown takes up the story of commodification and its discontents as it reaches a climax of a kind in America in the 1880s and 1890s. By that time, the fetishism of the commodity had been further reinforced by the widespread use of elaborate techniques of ...

Brown v. Salmond

Colin Kidd: The Scottish Elections, 26 April 2007

... 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 party politics. In 1976 ...

The Bloody Sixth

Joshua Brown: The Real Gangs of New York, 23 January 2003

The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld 
by Herbert Asbury.
Arrow, 366 pp., £6.99, January 2003, 0 09 943674 4
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Gangs of New York 
directed by Martin Scorsese.
December 2002
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... leader of the Dead Rabbits, at the hands of the viciously racist leader of the Native Americans, Bill ‘the Butcher’ Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis). With the triumph of the nativist gang (adorned and equipped, like their adversaries, in Braveheart meets Mad Max style), the Rabbits are outlawed and Priest’s young son, Amsterdam Vallon (soon to be Leonardo ...

Brown Goo like Marmite

Neal Ascherson: Memories of the Fog, 8 October 2015

London Fog: The Biography 
by Christine Corton.
Harvard, 408 pp., £22.95, November 2015, 978 0 674 08835 1
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... were growing more frequent and denser. Their colour began to darken from the yellow of sulphur to brown and even black, as the load of soot particles thickened. An act summoning furnace-masters to modify steam engines and induce them to consume their own smoke was ineffective. Once again, Parliament was addressing the less important source, but – with ...

Wigs and Tories

Paul Foot, 18 September 1997

Trial of Strength: The Battle Between Ministers and Judges over Who Makes the Law 
by Joshua Rozenberg.
Richard Cohen, 241 pp., £17.99, April 1997, 1 86066 094 0
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The Politics of the Judiciary 
by J.A.G. Griffith.
Fontana, 376 pp., £8.99, September 1997, 0 00 686381 7
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... asylum seekers to death and thus violating their ‘basic human rights’ was Lord Justice Simon Brown. But it was Simon Brown QC who appeared in the divisional court for the Government in 1982 in an initially successful attempt to deprive Mr Ron Smith of Leeds of his basic right to an inquest into the death of his ...

Owning Art

Arthur C. Danto, 7 March 1996

Kings and Connoisseurs: Collecting Art in 17th-Century Europe 
by Jonathan Brown.
Yale, 264 pp., £35, September 1995, 0 300 06437 3
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Art & Money 
by Marc Shell.
Chicago, 230 pp., £27.95, June 1995, 0 226 75213 5
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... at the home of a major collector of contemporary art, where the topic arose of the house which Bill Gates, the legendarily successful head of Microsoft, is having built for himself at a rumoured cost of anything up to $30 million. We sought to understand how a house could cost so much, and the somewhat stammering conjecture was that it must be due to the ...

Short Cuts

James Francken: The Booker Prize shortlist, 2 November 2000

... strains to have an effect on the reader. In the McCourt house, people’s teeth turned ‘brown and black in their heads’. Dolores’s friends haven’t got teeth at all, ‘just a row of brown stubs, like iron filings, top and bottom’. White Teeth, Zadie Smith’s polished, attractive fictional debut (LRB, 21 ...

The Angry Men

Jean McNicol: Harriet Harman, 14 December 2017

A Woman’s Work 
by Harriet Harman.
Allen Lane, 405 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 0 241 27494 1
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The Women Who Shaped Politics 
by Sophy Ridge.
Coronet, 295 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 4736 3876 1
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... account of her difficulties in her first job, as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Gordon Brown’s deputy, are typical of the descriptions she gives of her ministerial career as a whole. She stresses her own inadequacy and failure in a way it’s almost impossible to imagine a man’s political memoir doing. Labour was trying to avoid saying that the ...

Success and James Maxton

Inigo Thomas, 3 January 2008

... Labour Party MP, socialist, orator, Scotsman and the subject of a biography written by Gordon Brown twenty years ago – was not a successful leader, although some of his contemporaries in the 1920s thought he might become one. ‘Maxton was never a government minister,’ Brown wrote of his subject, ‘and his failure ...

Waspish Civilities

Stephen Sedley: The Case for a Supreme Court, 21 May 2020

High Principle, Low Politics and the Emergence of the Supreme Court 
by Frederic Reynold.
Wildy, Simmonds and Hill, 154 pp., £14.95, September 2019, 978 0 85490 283 5
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... parliamentary questions, he encountered a constitutional roadblock in article IX of the 1689 Bill of Rights, which prevented the scrutiny of parliamentary proceedings in court. To help him out of this impasse the lord chancellor, Lord Mackay, got one of the law lords to move an additional clause to a bill then going ...

Short Cuts

Francis FitzGibbon: The Lobbying Bill, 19 December 2013

... The Lobbying Bill – due to complete the Lords committee stage before Christmas – is intended ‘to ensure that people know whose interests are being represented by consultant lobbyists who make representations to government’. Part One provides that lobbyists must disclose the names of their clients four times a year in a public register; there will be a registrar to enforce compliance, and sanctions for non-compliance ...

Intimidation

Sara Roy: On-campus syllabus-control, 17 February 2005

... organisation called Students for Academic Freedom, which has branches on 135 campuses (including Brown, Cornell, Princeton, Stanford and Yale), monitors lecturers for ‘bias’. Its website features an ‘Academic Freedom Abuse Center’. ‘Rights abused in a college course (e.g. unfair grading, one-sided lectures, stacked reading lists)’? ‘Please ...

What is Labour for?

John Lanchester: Five More Years of This?, 31 March 2005

David Blunkett 
by Stephen Pollard.
Hodder, 359 pp., £20, December 2004, 0 340 82534 0
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... figure in this transformation. But he is not alone. His key colleague is, also obviously, Gordon Brown, with whom there are – Old Labour stalwarts dreaming of a New Jerusalem after the Blair to Brown handover, please note – plenty of personal differences but almost no ideological ones. And then there are the figures ...

Liars, Hypocrites and Crybabies

David Runciman: Blair v. Brown, 2 November 2006

... better than anyone the new rules of political fabrication. He comprehensively outmanoeuvred Gordon Brown in Manchester by being truer both to himself and to the spirit of contemporary politics in the way he stretched the truth. Blair was sincere in the lies he told. Brown, by contrast, came across as a straightforward ...

What Is Great about Ourselves

Pankaj Mishra: Closing Time, 21 September 2017

The Retreat of Western Liberalism 
by Edward Luce.
Little, Brown, 240 pp., £16.99, May 2017, 978 1 4087 1041 8
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The Fate of the West: Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea 
by Bill Emmott.
Economist, 257 pp., £22, May 2017, 978 1 61039 780 3
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The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics 
by David Goodhart.
Hurst, 256 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 84904 799 9
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The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics 
by Mark Lilla.
Harper, 143 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 0 06 269743 1
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The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam 
by Douglas Murray.
Bloomsbury, 343 pp., £18.99, May 2017, 978 1 4729 4224 1
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... post-1989, the noisiest celebrations of liberalism, democracy, free markets and globalisation. Bill Emmott, the former editor of the Economist, writes that ‘the fear now is of being present at the destruction' of the ‘West’, the ‘world’s most successful political idea’. Edward Luce, for example, a Financial Times columnist based in ...

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