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Other Lives

M.F. Burnyeat: The Truth about Pythagoras, 22 February 2007

Pythagoras: His Life, Teaching and Influence 
by Christoph Riedweg, translated by Steven Rendall.
Cornell, 216 pp., £9.95, May 2005, 0 8014 4240 0
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Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans: A Brief History 
by Charles Kahn.
Hackett, 193 pp., £10.95, October 2001, 0 87220 575 4
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... the ideas of the movement he founded.Christopher Riedweg’s book is dedicated to Burkert, while Charles Kahn thanks Burkert for ‘superlative’ comments on the manuscript he sent to the publisher. Whenever Pythagoreanism comes up for scholarly study, the Burkert revelation is now everywhere, the anxiety of his influence omnipresent – but with ...

Various Woman

Penelope Fitzgerald, 2 April 1987

A Voyager Out: The Life of Mary Kingsley 
by Katherine Frank.
Hamish Hamilton, 333 pp., £14.95, February 1987, 0 241 12074 8
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by Gloria Steinem and George Barris.
Gollancz, 182 pp., £12.95, February 1987, 0 575 03945 0
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Joe and Marilyn: A Memory of Love 
by Roger Kahn.
Sidgwick, 268 pp., £10.95, March 1987, 0 283 99427 4
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I leap over the wall 
by Monica Baldwin and Karen Armstrong.
Hamish Hamilton, 308 pp., £4.95, March 1987, 9780241119747
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Diary of a Zen Nun: A Moving Chronicle of Living Zen 
by Nan Shin (Nancy Amphoux).
Rider, 228 pp., £5.95, January 1987, 9780712614320
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... this fine biography. Mary Kingsley was the daughter of George Kingsley, the younger brother of Charles. The DNB gallantly falsifies the date of George’s marriage, which was only four days before Mary’s birth. His wife (thought to have been his cook) was a competent businesswoman and, unexpectedly, a good shot with a revolver. Mary learned from her the ...

Men, Women and English Girls

Lyndall Gordon, 24 January 1980

Looking for Laforgue 
by David Arkell.
Carcanet, 248 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 85635 285 3
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A Night of Serious Drinking 
by René Daumal, translated by David Coward.
Routledge, 150 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 7100 0325 0
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... himself as a writer in Paris. He had a talent for attracting loyal friends. His first employer, Charles Ephrussi, secured him at the Prussian Court at a salary equal to that of a French MP. Later, when he was destitute, Gustave Kahn published his new work in La Vogue, the magazine that made his name. Laforgue also ...

Walking in high places

Michael Neve, 21 October 1982

The Ferment of Knowledge: Studies in the Historiography of 18th-Century Science 
edited by G.S. Rousseau and R.S. Porter.
Cambridge, 500 pp., £25, November 1980, 9780521225991
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Romanticism and the Forms of Ruin 
by Thomas McFarland.
Princeton, 432 pp., £24.60, February 1981, 0 691 06437 7
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Poetry realised in Nature: Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Early 19th-Century Science 
by Trevor Levere.
Cambridge, 271 pp., £22.50, October 1981, 0 521 23920 6
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by Richard Holmes.
Oxford, 102 pp., £1.25, March 1982, 0 19 287591 4
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Young Charles Lamb 1775-1802 
by Winifred Courtney.
Macmillan, 411 pp., £25, July 1982, 0 333 31534 0
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... the view of posterity. The most extraordinary of these acts of intellectual banditry remains Sir Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology, of 1830-1833, where Lyell argues that geology starts with himself. So, an Enlightenment which believed in materialism and progress, but which was a scientific non-event. Strange. The great merit of The Ferment of Knowledge ...

How to be Green

Mary Douglas, 13 September 1990

A Green Manifesto for the 1990s 
by Penny Kemp and Derek Wall.
Penguin, 212 pp., £4.99, July 1990, 0 14 013272 4
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Social Philosophy and Ecological Scarcity 
by Keekok Lee.
Routledge, 425 pp., £40, September 1989, 0 415 03220 2
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Mother Country 
by Marilynne Robinson.
Faber, 261 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 0 571 15453 0
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Blueprint for a Green Economy 
by David Pearce, Anil Markandya and Edward Barbier.
Earthscan, 192 pp., £6.95, September 1989, 1 85383 066 6
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The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers and Defenders of the Amazon 
by Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn.
Verso, 366 pp., £16.95, November 1989, 0 86091 261 2
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Thinking Green: An Anthology of Essential Ecological Writing 
edited by Michael Allaby.
Barrie and Jenkins, 250 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 7126 3489 4
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... sprinkled in among moderates, who find themselves side by side with the extreme optimism of Herman Kahn. Garrett Hardin and Barry Commoner point to the problems of co-operation and solidarity, Alvin Toffler calls desperately for responsibility, while others, pointing the finger of blame, use vitriol to stir up hostility. As well as being a delightful ...


Anand Menon: The trouble with France, 12 November 1998

On the Brink: The Trouble with France 
by Jonathan Fenby.
Little, Brown, 464 pp., £18.99, August 1998, 0 316 64665 2
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... are not a matter for the market (despite the market-friendly finance minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn). Welfare state reform has been, if anything, even patchier. An ambitious reform programme introduced by Juppé has been systematically watered down since its introduction three years ago. One reason for Jospin’s inaction is a fear of provoking the kind of ...

‘J’accuse’: Dreyfus in Our Times

Jacqueline Rose: A Lecture, 10 June 2010

... words of Léon Blum looking back in 1935, not just ‘tolerable, but happy’. Emile Durkheim and Charles Péguy both saw it as a moment of ‘conscience humaine’ (the French conscience is both ‘consciousness’ and ‘conscience’) that introduced into political life a new level of moral seriousness. ‘Not since the Reformation,’ Reinach solemnly ...

Why the hawks started worrying and learned to hate the Bomb

John Lewis Gaddis: Nuclear weapons, 1 April 1999

The Gift of Time: The Case for Abolishing Nuclear Weapons 
by Jonathan Schell.
Granta, 240 pp., £9.99, November 1998, 1 86207 230 2
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... of the Strategic Air Command; General Andrew J. Goodpaster, a former Nato commander; and General Charles A. Horner, the former commander-in-chief of the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Unfortunately, Schell did not interview the man whose presence within this movement might most astonish those who have not been following recent ...


John Bayley, 8 December 1988

The Letters of Max Beerbohm 1892-1956 
edited by Rupert Hart-Davis.
Murray, 244 pp., £16.95, August 1988, 0 7195 4537 4
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The Faber Book of Letters 
edited by Felix Pryor.
Faber, 319 pp., £12.95, October 1988, 0 571 15269 4
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... principal man and allowed Max to slip gracefully away. The lady he eventually married, Florence Kahn, American and Jewish, was also an actress, with a solid kindly family home in Memphis. Shy and refined, she found her chosen profession agonisingly difficult, but was intense and moderately successful in the role of Ibsen’s heroines. She and Max became ...

Wine Flasks in Bordeaux, Sail Spires in Cardiff

Hal Foster: Richard Rogers, 19 October 2006

Richard Rogers: Architecture of the Future 
by Kenneth Powell.
Birkhäuser, 520 pp., £29.90, December 2005, 3 7643 7049 1
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Richard Rogers: Complete Works, Vol. III 
by Kenneth Powell.
Phaidon, 319 pp., £59.95, July 2006, 0 7148 4429 2
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... a rationalist manner, often through an explicit hierarchy of elements (Powell suggests that Louis Kahn, who thought in terms of ‘served’ and ‘servant’ spaces, influenced Rogers here). For example, RRP uses colours far more often than most offices, yet it does so less for Pop effect than for design clarity: it applies its colours rigorously, and ...

Global Style

Hal Foster: Renzo Piano, 20 September 2007

Piano: Renzo Piano Building Workshop 1966-2005 
by Philip Jodidio.
Taschen, 528 pp., £79.99, February 2005, 3 8228 5768 8
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Renzo Piano Building Workshop Vol. IV 
by Peter Buchanan.
Phaidon, 240 pp., £22.95, January 2005, 0 7148 4287 7
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... the mid-to-late 1960s Piano worked briefly in Philadelphia for the great American architect Louis Kahn, celebrated for his tactile and tectonic expression of materials, as well as in London with the innovative Polish engineer Z.S. Makowski, who was expert in structures and skins supported by their own tension. Another key mentor was the elegant French ...

Moderation or Death

Christopher Hitchens: Isaiah Berlin, 26 November 1998

Isaiah Berlin: A Life 
by Michael Ignatieff.
Chatto, 386 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 7011 6325 9
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The Guest from the Future: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin 
by György Dalos.
Murray, 250 pp., £17.95, September 2002, 0 7195 5476 4
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... DC. Another player made up an occasional fourth man. Isaiah Berlin was happy, at least when Charles (Chip) Bohlen was unavailable, to furnish an urbane ditto to their ruthlessness. Almost as if to show that academics and intellectuals may be tough guys, too – the most lethal temptation to which the contemplative can fall victim – Berlin’s ...

Strange, Angry Objects

Owen Hatherley: The Brutalist Decades, 17 November 2016

A3: Threads and Connections 
by Peter Ahrends.
Right Angle, 128 pp., £18, December 2015, 978 0 9532848 9 4
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Raw Concrete: The Beauty of Brutalism 
by Barnabas Calder.
Heinemann, 416 pp., £25, April 2016, 978 0 434 02244 1
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Space, Hope and Brutalism: English Architecture 1945-75 
by Elain Harwood.
Yale, 512 pp., £60, September 2015, 978 0 300 20446 9
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Concrete Concept: Brutalist Buildings around the World 
by Christopher Beanland.
Frances Lincoln, 192 pp., £18, February 2016, 978 0 7112 3764 3
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This Brutal World 
by Peter Chadwick.
Phaidon, 224 pp., £29.95, April 2016, 978 0 7148 7108 0
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Modern Forms: A Subjective Atlas of 20th-Century Architecture 
by Nicolas Grospierre.
Prestel, 224 pp., £29.99, February 2016, 978 3 7913 8229 6
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Modernist Estates: The Buildings and the People Who Live in Them 
by Stefi Orazi.
Frances Lincoln, 192 pp., £25, September 2015, 978 0 7112 3675 2
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Architecture an Inspiration 
by Ivor Smith.
Troubador, 224 pp., £24.95, November 2014, 978 1 78462 069 1
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... Madin’s Birmingham Central Library was designed using the Golden Section – even if Prince Charles said that it ‘looks like a place where books are incinerated, not kept’. Perhaps the only notable thing about Concrete Concept is its justifiable stress on the international nature of Brutalism. In the US, where it was largely used for university ...

The Breakaway

Perry Anderson: Goodbye Europe, 21 January 2021

... history comparable to the record in England, which with the exception of the eleven years of Charles I’s personal rule avoided the absolutism that snuffed out representative assemblies across most of the Continent from the 16th century onwards. For quite a few of them, indeed, their modern experience of constitutional politics dates no further back ...

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