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Famine and Fraternity

Amartya Sen, 3 July 1986

Is that it? 
by Bob Geldof and Paul Vallely.
Sidgwick, 352 pp., £10.95, May 1986, 0 283 99362 6
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... person’ (especially in his 1980 Dewey Lectures*). The recent emergence of the so-called ‘Bob Geldof phenomenon’ is a matter of some relevance for these arguments. Of course, the primary importance of this phenomenon lies in the substantial funds that these efforts have been generating. The Live Aid concert last summer produced a stunning $70 ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Starved for Words, 20 July 2000

... word’. This appears to be the brainchild (if that’s the word we’re looking for) of Sir Bob Geldof, whose own favourite word, it’s not wholly surprising to find out, is ‘f**k’, a choice that poses, if without answering, the question whether a verbal sign that contains two asterisks counts as a word of the language or not. Sir ...

Burning Blankets

R.W. Johnson: Robert Mugabe’s latest tidy-up, 7 July 2005

... decline the invitation. Does this have anything to do with Blair’s Commission on Africa, G8, Bob Geldof and all that? Well, yes it does. Mbeki, an honoured guest at G8, is the chief link. These crimes against humanity wouldn’t be possible without his active support for Mugabe. It is also because Mbeki has insisted on keeping Zimbabwe on the UN ...

Washed in Milk

Terry Eagleton: Cardinal Newman, 5 August 2010

Newman’s Unquiet Grave: The Reluctant Saint 
by John Cornwell.
Continuum, 273 pp., £18.99, May 2010, 978 1 4411 5084 4
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... pastoral exodus as well – nurses, for example. There is a sense in which the Dubliners Bono and Bob Geldof are self-advertising versions of Irish missionaries. The English and Scottish Catholic churches have always relied heavily on Irish priests to minister to parishioners who were themselves perhaps only a generation or two away from the farm in Mayo ...


Elizabeth Lowry: Binyavanga Wainaina, 23 February 2012

One Day I Will Write about This Place 
by Binyavanga Wainaina.
Granta, 256 pp., £15.99, November 2011, 978 1 84708 021 9
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... the king of Ethiopia. He is everywhere. Every news broadcast, every song in the whole world. Bob Geldof. Wherever he is people fall, twist, writhe, lose language skills, accumulate insects around their eyes, and then die on BBC. The anger here is counterbalanced by Wainaina’s mature realisation that his response is also occasionally conditioned ...

Mirror Images

Jenny Diski: Piers Morgan, 31 March 2005

The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade 
by Piers Morgan.
Ebury, 484 pp., £17.99, March 2005, 0 09 190506 0
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... them a chance, even do them a favour. Paula Yates rings him up when her divorce settlement with Bob Geldof is going badly. ‘I’m going to walk the kids home from school today in the rain because I can’t afford a taxi. If you take some pictures, then Bob might feel shamed into helping me properly.’ Morgan’s ...

Australia strikes back

Les Murray, 13 October 1988

Snakecharmers in Texas 
by Clive James.
Cape, 373 pp., £11.95, July 1988, 0 224 02571 6
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... notably in a fine essay on the ghosts of the Munich Zepplinsfeld. A fascinating study of Bob Geldof ends with a silly-cynical bromide I’ll bet Mr James wouldn’t repeat to Mother Teresa, and a clutch of essays on notable Englishwomen of our time (they are also English women, but somehow the compound form of the word seems requisite) comes out ...

The Wickedest Woman in Paris

Colm Tóibín, 6 September 2007

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins 
by Rupert Everett.
Abacus, 406 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 349 12058 4
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... just cut her hair short and was wearing a green Halston trouser suit.’) Next on the list are Bob Geldof and Paula Yates: According to Alan [Parker], Bob had a cock so big that he needed a wheelbarrow to carry it around in . . . But one didn’t need to have coffee with Alan Parker to know that ...

You can’t build a new society with a Stanley knife

Malcolm Bull: Hardt and Negri’s Empire, 4 October 2001

by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri.
Harvard, 478 pp., £12.95, August 2001, 0 674 00671 2
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... Forget Bob Geldof, Bono and the other do-gooders, Genoa’s only significance was as the latest battle in the war of Neoliberalism. It was a clear victory this time for the ‘anarchists’. Damaging property and street fighting proved the most effective forms of protest, and provoked an over-reaction from the police: they shot a man armed with a fire extinguisher and raided the headquarters of the Genoa Social Forum for no reason ...

Outbreak of Pleasure

Angus Calder, 23 January 1986

Now the war is over: A Social History of Britain 1945-51 
by Paul Addison.
BBC/Cape, 223 pp., £10.95, September 1985, 0 563 20407 9
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England First and Last 
by Anthony Bailey.
Faber, 212 pp., £12.50, October 1985, 0 571 13587 0
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A World Still to Win: The Reconstruction of the Post-War Working Class 
by Trevor Blackwell and Jeremy Seabrook.
Faber, 189 pp., £4.50, October 1985, 0 571 13701 6
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The Issue of War: States, Societies and the Far Eastern Conflict of 1941-1945 
by Christopher Thorne.
Hamish Hamilton, 364 pp., £15, April 1985, 0 241 10239 1
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The Hiroshima Maidens 
by Rodney Barker.
Viking, 240 pp., £9.95, July 1985, 0 670 80609 9
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Faces of Hiroshima: A Report 
by Anne Chisholm.
Cape, 182 pp., £9.95, August 1985, 0 224 02831 6
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End of Empire 
by Brain Lapping.
Granada, 560 pp., £14.95, March 1985, 0 246 11969 1
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by Simon Winchester.
Hodder, 317 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 340 33772 9
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... fifty Tebbits to invest capitalism with glamour and a sense of opportunity. On the other hand, Bob Geldof has perhaps done more in a year to make ‘compassion’ fashionable than any Labour leader has managed in twenty. The complex and shifting interactions of pleasure and ideology, performers and spectators, regional accents and metropolitan ...

Here was a plague

Tom Crewe, 27 September 2018

How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed Aids 
by David France.
Picador, 624 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 5098 3940 7
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Patient Zero and the Making of the Aids Epidemic 
by Richard A. McKay.
Chicago, 432 pp., £26.50, November 2017, 978 0 226 06395 9
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Modern Nature: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1989-90 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 314 pp., £9.99, May 2018, 978 1 78487 387 5
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Smiling in Slow Motion: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1991-94 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 388 pp., £9.99, August 2018, 978 1 78487 516 9
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The Ward 
by Gideon Mendel.
Trolley, 88 pp., £25, December 2017, 978 1 907112 56 0
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... it creates fear and scandal. Underlying all this is the sexual regime ushered in by Aids. This is Bob Geldof, speaking at the International Aids Day concert at Wembley Arena in April 1987: It’s critical to influence people who are just beginning to grope their way into their own sexuality and to rid them of the notions that my generation imbued them ...

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