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Daniel Soar: The vexed issue of Labour Party funding, 19 October 2006

... under caution, and there is still a chance that Blair will be too. When it was revealed that Sir Christopher Evans, the venture capitalist founder of Merlin Biosciences, had been arrested and questioned about his £1 million loan before the 2005 election, he said: ‘The reason I made the loan was precisely because I was not prepared to make such a ...

Diary

Thomas Jones: My Life as a Geek, 22 June 2006

... documentary called The Mighty Micro was broadcast on ITV. Written and presented by the late Christopher Evans of the National Physical Laboratory, and based on his book of the same name, the series looked at the ways the world might be changed by the microcomputer revolution. The BBC responded with a more practically minded, educational series ...

Aliens

John Sutherland, 21 January 1982

Brave Old World 
by Philippe Curval, translated by Steve Cox.
Allison and Busby, 262 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 407 0
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The Insider 
by Christopher Evans.
Faber, 215 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 571 11774 0
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Genetha 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 185 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 410 0
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From the Heat of the Day 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 159 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 0 85031 325 2
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One Generation 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 202 pp., £2.50, March 1981, 9780850312546
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Sardines 
by Nuruddin Farah.
Allison and Busby, 250 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 85031 408 9
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... diabolically nasty, as in Alien itself, or deistically nice, as in Spielberg’s Close Encounters. Evans’s visitor is, in the repertoire of SF gimmickry, a ‘body-snatcher’. These are traditionally unpleasant and very sneaky. It’s a pleasing twist to devise a parasite with conscience and not too good at looking after number one. His education from a ...
... I first heard of Turing in 1975 when I was writing a magazine piece on machine intelligence. Dr Christopher Evans of the National Physical Laboratories gave me an article by Turing, published in 1950 in Mind, entitled ‘Computing Machinery and Intelligence’. In it he proposed the ‘imitation game’ as an operational procedure for approaching the ...

Echoes from the Far Side

James Sheehan: The European Age, 18 October 2017

The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914 
by Richard J. Evans.
Penguin, 848 pp., £12.99, June 2017, 978 0 14 198114 7
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... others are trying to prevent them from realising them’. The pursuit of power was not, as Richard Evans seems to suggest in his introduction, a distinctive feature of 19th-century Europe. What changes over time is not the fact that people seek power, but the means by which they do it, as well as the nature of the contest with those who resist them. In ...

I want to love it

Susan Pedersen: What on earth was he doing?, 18 April 2019

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History 
by Richard J. Evans.
Little, Brown, 800 pp., £35, February 2019, 978 1 4087 0741 8
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... and autobiographical questions and then hares off to tackle the former. This means that Richard Evans had an untilled field before him. Based on unrestricted access to Hobsbawm’s personal archive, this is one of those doorstopper biographies that can get published in Britain even when the subject is a historian. It clocks in at 662 pages of text and ...

Kissinger’s Crises

Christopher Serpell, 20 December 1979

The White House Years 
by Henry Kissinger.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 1476 pp., £14.95
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... to lucid narration lies in a sentence found in the foreword to the present book: ‘Harold Evans, assisted by Oscar Turnill, read through the entire volume with a brilliant editorial eye; they taught me what skilled and intelligent editing can contribute to organisation and to lightening prose.’ Obviously the book’s main claim to attention must be ...

Still messing with our heads

Christopher Clark: Hitler in the Head, 7 November 2019

Hitler: A Life 
by Peter Longerich.
Oxford, 1324 pp., £30, July 2019, 978 0 19 879609 1
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Hitler: Only the World Was Enough 
by Brendan Simms.
Allen Lane, 668 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 1 84614 247 5
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... from which there could be no escape. As Lucy Dawidowicz argued many years ago and Richard Evans reminded us more recently, Hitler’s ‘war against the Jews’ really was a war against the Jews. Simms’s monocausal approach creates an inertia at the heart of his narrative. Hitler, having been shaped for life by his early wartime encounters, is ...

Memoriousness

E.S. Turner, 15 September 1988

Memories of Times Past 
by Louis Heren.
Hamish Hamilton, 313 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 241 12427 1
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Chances: An Autobiography 
by Mervyn Jones.
Verso, 311 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 0 86091 167 5
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... when Rupert Murdoch bought the newspaper. Heren was told that, at 61, he was too old. Under Harold Evans he failed to flourish (‘Evans trashes me, to use the US Army expression, and most of my former colleagues in his book Good Times, Bad Times’), so he took his redundancy money and settled for writing books. His ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Awaiting the Truth about Hanratty, 11 December 1997

... had stayed in her house on the night of the murder, 22 August 1961. She was backed up by Terry Evans, whom Hanratty had met in Rhyl some months before the murder. Evans had not been in Rhyl on 22 August but he had heard later from several people that a young Londoner had been looking for him that night. Could he find any ...

Fraternisation

Eric Evans, 26 July 1990

Scottish Society 1500-1800 
edited by R.A. Houston and I.D. Whyte.
Cambridge, 298 pp., £30, February 1989, 0 521 32522 6
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... truly ‘British’ history. Within Scotland, at least, much has changed in the past two decades. Christopher Smout’s History of the Scottish People, 1560-1830, published in 1972, was pioneering social history, and much of Professor Smout’s subsequent work on religion, literacy and the economy in Scotland has been widely read throughout Britain. Rosalind ...

Kisses for the Duce

Richard J. Evans: Letters to Mussolini, 7 February 2013

Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini’s Italy 
by Christopher Duggan.
Bodley Head, 501 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84792 103 1
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The Fascist Party and Popular Opinion in Mussolini’s Italy 
by Paul Corner.
Oxford, 320 pp., £65, July 2012, 978 0 19 873069 9
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... pathbreaking study that everyone interested in Fascism, or in Italy past and present, should read, Christopher Duggan fills the gap by examining a wide range of diaries, including Petacci’s, and the numerous letters sent to Mussolini by private citizens during the two decades of his rule, which often express the same intimate feelings towards the Duce and ...

Something else

Jonathan Coe, 5 December 1991

In Black and White 
by Christopher Stevenson.
New Caxton Press, 32 pp., £1.95
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The Tree of Life 
by Hugh Nissenson.
Carcanet, 159 pp., £6.95, September 1991, 0 85635 874 6
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Cley 
by Carey Harrison.
Heinemann, 181 pp., £13.99, November 1991, 0 434 31368 8
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... a near-infinity of characters, events and incidental detail. Less ambitious, but more subversive, Christopher Stevenson and Hugh Nissenson seek to dismantle the system from within by producing novels which look like something else altogether: a form of experimentation which often has rather puritanical motives behind it – the assumption being either that ...

Mr Lion, Mr Cock and Mr Cat

Roger Lonsdale, 5 April 1990

A Form of Sound Words: The Religious Poetry of Christopher Smart 
by Harriet Guest.
Oxford, 293 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 811744 2
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... Harriet Guest’s starting-point is Donald Davie’s suggestion in 1958 that Christopher Smart might be considered ‘the greatest poet between Pope and Wordsworth’. Her intelligent and carefully argued book does not deliver quite the far-reaching reassessment of Smart’s status Davie must have had in mind. He wanted Smart to be judged over the whole range of his poetic output, both conventional and unconventional, ‘light and ribald as well as devotional, urbane or tender as well as sublime ...

At the Party

Christopher Hitchens, 17 April 1986

Hollywood Babylon II 
by Kenneth Anger.
Arrow, 323 pp., £5.95, January 1986, 0 09 945110 7
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Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan 
by Robin Wood.
Columbia, 336 pp., $25, October 1985, 0 231 05776 8
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... in Taxi Driver is Iris’s (strictly off-screen and marginal); neither Jimmy Doyle nor Francine Evans appear to have any parents; Jake LaMotta’s are mentioned but never seen, and are allowed no explicit influence on the film’s events. It is as if Scorsese felt compelled to resist and repress any confrontation with the ways in which the individual is ...

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