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Living It

Andrew O’Hagan: The World of Andy McNab, 24 January 2008

by Andy McNab.
Bantam, 414 pp., £17.99, October 2007, 978 1 84413 535 6
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Strike Back 
by Chris Ryan.
Century, 314 pp., £17.99, October 2007, 978 1 84413 535 6
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... who don’t ordinarily read have come in great numbers to love the insiderish bravado of McNab and Chris Ryan. Their books are driven by stereotype and cartoon violence, by idiocy, prejudice and unreality, which is why they are inadvertent masterpieces of social realism, for in their garish video-game manners they enclose their subject. McNab and ...

Short Cuts

Christian Lorentzen: The Trump Regime, 1 December 2016

... he spent saying the president was born in Kenya. He demoted the leader of his transition team, Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor mired in his own scandal for allegedly having his aides pursue a vendetta against a local mayor and now allegedly the victim of a vendetta on the part of Trump’s son-in-law, the real estate scion and entrepreneur Jared ...

Community Relations

Daniel Finn: In Belfast, 27 August 2009

... community and they certainly got a reaction this time, which is very sad.’ Kevin McDaid’s son Ryan accused the PSNI of failing to protect his father: ‘The police sat and watched as Dad died, they never moved. There were four police officers in a car . . . they never moved, never came, never helped . . . They saw the whole thing and did ...

Short Cuts

Christian Lorentzen: Tom Cotton, 9 April 2015

... that Cotton has set himself apart from other recent celebrities of the right: Paul Ryan, the Ayn Rand-reading gym rat; Chris Christie, hulking hero of the parking lot outside the Springsteen concert; Sarah Palin, snowmobile queen avenger. Though Cotton left graduate school because it was ‘too ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: The Independent Group, 7 March 2019

... don’t think of them at all. What is an Ann Coffey? A Mike Gapes? An Angela Smith? What is a Joan Ryan? Every once in a while we are forced to grapple with questions like these. We are forever asking for our MPs to be human; but when we are confronted by their humanity, their spiky, quirky, sulky particularity, it quickly becomes painful for us. Who are these ...

In the Land of the Free

Christian Lorentzen, 22 November 2012

... now they stand to collect unemployment benefit or, more likely, become lobbyists. Paul Ryan, who dreamed of being Romney’s Dick Cheney, returns to Congress at the age of 42, and as long as his 90 per cent white Wisconsin district keeps voting for him, he has another three decades to try to gut Medicare, criminalise abortion and push gay people ...

‘It was everything’

Eliot Weinberger: The Republican Convention, 11 August 2016

... conservative woman’). There were a few noted committed Trumpistas (Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie); a few party stalwarts (Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell – who was booed) taking a sip of, if not exactly drinking the Trump Kool-Aid; and a breadline of hungry ‘rising stars’, fixed on the 2020 ...


Christian Lorentzen: At the Conventions, 27 September 2012

... surface in the form of wild applause for union-busting governors like Scott Walker of Wisconsin or Chris Christie of New Jersey. Imagine Nikki Haley’s joy when she saw the first Boeing built in South Carolina roll down the tarmac ‘surrounded by six thousand non-union employees’. That Monday night, after the protest, I met two local union members on a ...

Grand Theories

W.G. Runciman, 17 October 1985

The Return of Grand Theory in the Human Sciences 
edited by Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 215 pp., £17.50, July 1985, 0 521 26692 0
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by Erik Olin Wright.
Verso, 344 pp., £20, September 1985, 0 86091 104 7
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Powers and Liberties: The Causes and Consequences of the Rise of the West 
by John Hall.
Blackwell, 282 pp., £19.50, September 1985, 0 631 14542 7
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... which a community of scientists asserts to be so – which Kuhn himself doesn’t believe at all. Ryan: Rawls’s Grand Theory of Justice seeks to found a doctrine of rights (as opposed to deserts) on first principles to which all disinterested persons will assent, but it is really only an appeal to moral intuitions which many disinterested persons do not in ...

Nuremberg Rally, Invasion of Poland, Dunkirk …

James Meek: The never-ending wish to write about the Second World War, 6 September 2001

Ghost MacIndoe 
by Jonathan Buckley.
Fourth Estate, 469 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 1 84115 227 7
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The Twins 
by Tessa de Loo.
Arcadia, 392 pp., £6.99, May 2001, 1 900850 56 7
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by John Lawton.
Weidenfeld, 322 pp., £16.99, March 2001, 0 297 64345 2
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The Day We Had Hitler Home 
by Rodney Hall.
Granta, 361 pp., £15.99, April 2001, 1 86207 384 8
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Five Quarters of the Orange 
by Joanne Harris.
Doubleday, 431 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 0 385 60169 7
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The Fire Fighter 
by Francis Cottam.
Chatto, 240 pp., £15.99, March 2001, 0 7011 6981 8
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The Element of Water 
by Stevie Davies.
Women’s Press, 253 pp., £9.99, April 2001, 0 7043 4705 9
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The Bronze Horsewoman 
by Paullina Simons.
Flamingo, 637 pp., £6.99, April 2001, 0 00 651322 0
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The Siege 
by Helen Dunmore.
Penguin, 304 pp., £16.99, June 2001, 0 670 89718 3
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... the war on the part of the human mint that is Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan and soon Band of Brothers) must speak eloquently to publishers. In one direct sense at least, the Second World War is about money: it was the last war that materially affected the lives of all the inhabitants of the world’s richest and most powerful ...

Like a Manta Ray

Jenny Turner: The Entire History of Sex, 22 October 2015

The Argonauts 
by Maggie Nelson.
Graywolf, 143 pp., £23, May 2015, 978 1 55597 707 8
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... one joy of reading Nelson is getting introduced to them: Catherine Opie and A.L. Steiner, Chris Burden and Paul McCarthy, Ryan Trecartin and Mike Kelley, Nao Bustamante and William Pope.L. Nelson spends less time on work that, in her view, is stupid, arrogant or exploitative. Names that come up in this context tend ...

Burn Rate

Ed Harriman: The Iraq Disaster, 6 September 2007

... against the British. A recent report by the International Crisis Group, whose trustees include Chris Patten, George Soros and Zbigniew Brzezinski, entitled ‘Where Is Iraq Heading? Lessons from Basra’, suggests that ‘the British appear to have given up on the idea of establishing a functioning state capable of equitably redistributing wealth and ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... who had been staying in the hostel in October 1974. It was not until 1988, after Father Frank Ryan, the hostel’s head, had sued the police, that copies – not the originals – were returned. Peirce was then at last able to start tracing potential witnesses. It emerged that a nun working in the hostel in 1974, Sister Power, had also given a statement ...

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