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Putting the Silicon in Silicon Valley

John Lanchester: Making the Microchip, 16 March 2023

Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology 
by Chris Miller.
Simon and Schuster, 431 pp., £20, October 2022, 978 1 3985 0409 7
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... a billion of them left over.If you want a guide to how we got here, you won’t do better than Chris Miller’s comprehensive, eye-opening Chip War. Insofar as we work, live and think differently from forty years ago, we do so thanks to the revolutions in economics and communication whose enabling technology are those microchips, which have been both ...

Who speaks for the state?

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: Brexit in Court, 1 December 2016

... Parliament and the executive? It’s a question raised by the recent High Court decision in Miller v. The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, a member state must ‘notify the European Council of its intention’ to leave, commencing a two-year period of negotiations on the terms of its ...


Chris Baldick, 10 November 1988

Poetry, Language and Politics 
by John Barrell.
Manchester, 174 pp., £21.50, May 1988, 0 7190 2441 2
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Garden – Nature – Language 
by Simon Pugh.
Manchester, 148 pp., £25, May 1988, 0 7190 2824 8
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Writing Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism and Culture 
by David Cairns and Shaun Richards.
Manchester, 178 pp., £21.50, May 1988, 0 7190 2371 8
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The Shakespeare Myth 
edited by Graham Holderness.
Manchester, 215 pp., £25, May 1988, 0 7190 1488 3
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... them emerge from the interrogation with their ankles unbitten (particularly the energetic Jonathan Miller), although it is still astonishing, as Terry Eagleton notes in his afterword, how many of them fall back unquestioningly upon the sweet swan of Avon’s ‘universality’ and ‘timelessness’, those reflex mystifications of high Bardolatry. The ...

Making Do and Mending

Rosemary Hill: Penelope Fitzgerald’s Letters, 25 September 2008

So I Have Thought of You: The Letters of Penelope Fitzgerald 
edited by Terence Dooley.
Fourth Estate, 532 pp., £25, August 2008, 978 0 00 713640 7
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... In 1997, three years before her death, Penelope Fitzgerald asked her American publisher, Chris Carduff, who had offered to send her any books she wanted, for a copy of Wild America by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher. An account of a 30,000-mile journey around the continent by two naturalists, it was originally published in 1955 and was being reissued in memory of Peterson, who had recently died ...

A Rumbling of Things Unknown

Jacqueline Rose: Marilyn Monroe, 26 April 2012

... it might have been because he began by showing no interest in her; he had gone to interview Arthur Miller just before filming started on The Misfits, which would be Monroe’s last finished film. ‘I’ve seen you talk,’ he reports her saying, ‘to everyone but me.’ In fact he couldn’t forgive her for having turned ...

Gentlemen Travellers

Denis Donoghue, 18 December 1986

Between the Woods and the Water 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor et al.
Murray, 248 pp., £13.95, October 1986, 0 7195 4264 2
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by Jonathan Raban.
Collins, 301 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 00 272119 8
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The Grand Tour 
by Hunter Davies.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 241 11907 3
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... in France, D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico, Lawrence Durrell in Corfu, Michel Butor in Istanbul, Henry Miller in Greece. In December 1933, leaving his father in Simla and his mother in London, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off to walk from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul. He was 19, an engaging lad, especially attractive to aristocrats who lived in castles and had ...

Bristling Ermine

Jeremy Harding: R.W. Johnson, 4 May 2017

Look Back in Laughter: Oxford’s Postwar Golden Age 
by R.W. Johnson.
Threshold, 272 pp., £14.50, May 2015, 978 1 903152 35 5
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How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming Crisis 
by R.W. Johnson.
Hurst, 288 pp., £12.99, July 2016, 978 1 84904 723 4
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... pieces for the LRB, as an Oxford scholar whose politics were to the left of the editor’s (Karl Miller favoured the SDP, while Johnson favoured Labour). Nowadays I think he’d still say he was on the left but it isn’t obvious what that would mean, in his case especially. Like many people, he prides himself on describing things as they really are.As the ...
... politically conservative, defensively étatiste, it seemed in the Sixties to be everything Karl Miller claimed – and not all that far removed from the Scottish situation. Yet within a decade it was to provide proof that a reformist intelligentsia could create its own economic and political dynamic. Miller’s position ...

Licence to kill

Paul Foot, 10 February 1994

Spider’s Web: Bush, Saddam, Thatcher and the Decade of Deceit 
by Alan Friedman.
Faber, 455 pp., £17.50, November 1993, 0 571 17002 1
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The Unlikely Spy 
by Paul Henderson.
Bloomsbury, 294 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 7475 1597 2
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... managing director of the firm Walter Somers, which made the barrel, and a Bristol engineer, Chris Cowley, who had worked on the Supergun project in Iraq. The massive steel structures they had seized at Teesport provided Customs officers with the most substantial evidence they could ever have hoped for. There seemed no defence. Imagine, therefore, the ...

Ready to Rumble

John Upton, 16 March 2000

King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero 
by David Remnick.
Picador, 326 pp., £14.99, October 1999, 0 330 37188 6
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Muhammad Ali: Ringside 
edited by John Miller and Aaron Kenedi.
Virgin, 128 pp., £14.99, September 1999, 1 85227 852 8
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... uncertainty in the minds of both the public and his fellow boxers. To watch Prince Naseem or Chris Eubank today is to see a clumsy rehash of Ali in the early years, when he seemed so threatening, so unconstrained by the social rules willingly or unconsciously accepted by Liston or Patterson. The space in which imagination and conjecture could float ...

Ten Typical Days in Trump’s America

Eliot Weinberger, 25 October 2018

... number of their patients die in the course of organ transplants.*In New York State, Republican Chris Collins – the first congressman to endorse Trump for president – is broadcasting a television ad showing his Democratic challenger, Nate McMurray, speaking in Korean, juxtaposed with a photo of Kim Jong-un, and claims that McMurray is offering to ...

Illuminating, horrible etc

Jenny Turner: David Foster Wallace, 14 April 2011

Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace 
by David Lipsky.
Broadway, 320 pp., $16.99, 9780307592439
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The Pale King: An Unfinished Novel 
by David Foster Wallace.
Hamish Hamilton, 547 pp., £20, April 2011, 978 0 241 14480 0
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... The shift seems to have allowed him to recognise what he called, in a 1996 interview with Laura Miller of Salon, ‘a real American … sadness. I was white, upper-middle-class, obscenely well-educated … and was sort of adrift.’ Instead of merely acting out this sadness, like most people, he started to explore it. He wrote his great thousand-page novel ...

It’s Been a Lot of Fun

David Runciman: Hitchens’s Hitchens, 24 June 2010

Hitch-22: A Memoir 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Atlantic, 435 pp., £20, June 2010, 978 1 84354 921 5
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... to move between different worlds, as when an undergraduate at Oxford, where he was sometimes Chris, the socialist agitator on the picket lines, and sometimes Christopher, dinner-jacketed sampler of the high life. In both roles he fitted right in: he was, in his own words, John Bunyan’s ‘Mr Facing-both-ways’. He is intensely, almost insanely ...

The Club and the Mob

James Meek: The Shock of the News, 6 December 2018

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now 
by Alan Rusbridger.
Canongate, 464 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 1 78689 093 1
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... advertising arrived. It’s hard to convey the strangeness of programmatic advertising. As Carl Miller describes it in The Death of the Gods: The New Global Power Grab, ‘You do not buy space in a particular publication; you buy space in front of a particular kind of person, wherever they happen to go on the internet.’† Thanks to the Russian election ...


Amia Srinivasan: Can I speak freely?, 29 June 2023

... receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. In 2021, the political sociologist David Miller was sacked from his job at Bristol for his criticisms of Israel and Zionism, about which the University of Bristol Jewish Society complained, supported by more than a hundred MPs and peers and the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism.As these ...

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