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‘My God was bigger than his’

Colin Kidd: The Republicans, 4 November 2004

The Right Nation: Why America Is Different 
by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge.
Allen Lane, 450 pp., £14.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9738 9
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Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet 
by James Mann.
Penguin, 448 pp., $16, September 2004, 0 14 303489 8
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Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image 
by David Greenberg.
Norton, 496 pp., £9.99, November 2004, 0 393 32616 0
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America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism 
by Anatol Lieven.
HarperCollins, 274 pp., £18.99, October 2004, 0 00 716456 4
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... spite of the emergence of a prosperous black middle class with Republican role models in Rice and Colin Powell, the historic connection between blacks and Republicans has been severed: in 2000 barely one in ten of the black electorate backed Bush. The Democrat passage of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s alienated white Southern Democrat voters from their ...

Inventing Africa

Caroline Moorehead, 18 September 1980

Fantastic Invasion 
by Patrick Marnham.
Cape, 271 pp., £6.50, May 1980, 0 224 01829 9
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Images of Africa 
by Naomi Mitchison.
Canongate, 139 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 903937 70 0
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... tourists, were also the hunting-grounds of a tribe called the Ik, immortalised for theatregoers in Colin Turnbull’s gruesome play. There was a plan to ‘translocate’ the entire tribe to Southern Uganda and turn them into farmers, but that never happened: the Ik were left to torment one another to death on the fringes of their old lands, conservationists ...

Our National Hodgepodge

Colin Kidd and Malcolm Petrie, 29 June 2017

... are technically ‘third countries’ from the viewpoint of the EU; although there were moves to grant the islands ‘passporting’ rights, whether these will materialise post-Brexit appears doubtful. Despite this, the principle of ‘equivalence’ – adhering to a regulatory regime comparable to the EU’s – has allowed them to provide financial ...

Architect as Hero

David Cannadine, 21 January 1982

Lutyens: The Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens 
Hayward Gallery, 200 pp., £15, November 1981, 0 7287 0304 1Show More
Edwin Lutyens: Architect Laureate 
by Roderick Gradidge.
Allen and Unwin, 167 pp., £13.95, November 1981, 0 04 720023 5
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Indian Summer: Lutyens, Baker and Imperial Delhi 
by Robert Grant Irving.
Yale, 406 pp., £20, November 1981, 0 300 02422 3
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Lutyens: Country Houses 
by Daniel O’Neill.
Lund Humphries, 167 pp., £8.95, May 1980, 0 85331 428 4
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Lutyens and the Sea Captain 
by Margaret Richardson.
Scolar, 40 pp., £5.95, November 1981, 0 85967 646 3
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Houses and Gardens by E.L. Lutyens 
by Lawrence Weaver.
Antique Collectors’ Club, 344 pp., £19.50, January 1982, 0 902028 98 7
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... and demand admiration. Not surprisingly, the catalogue commentary requires the combined efforts of Colin Amery, Mary Lutyens, Jane Brown, John Cornforth, Gavin Stamp and John Summerson to do justice to an architect whose career, in its range, dimensions and achievements, outshines Wren, Vanbrugh and the Adam brothers. Cloud-capp’d ...

How long before Ofop steps in?

Patrick Carnegy, 16 March 2000

In House: Covent Garden, 50 Years of Opera and Ballet 
by John Tooley.
Faber, 318 pp., £25, November 1999, 9780571194155
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Never Mind the Moon: My Time at the Royal Opera House 
by Jeremy Isaacs.
Bantam, 356 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 593 04355 3
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... Webster’s reign was the Georg Solti era (1961-71). Tooley presided over the rather lesser era of Colin Davis (1971-86). Things, indeed, began to fall apart when Davis’s partnerships with Peter Hall and Götz Friedrich broke down. Tooley dutifully chronicles the years from 1947 to 1988, but only comes alive in his final 80 pages, with a disgruntled ...

Cobban’s Vindication

Olwen Hufton, 20 August 1981

Origins of the French Revolution 
by William Doyle.
Oxford, 247 pp., £12.50, January 1981, 0 19 873020 9
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... and Ravitch exposed the myth of an increasing noble stranglehold on offices in church and state. Colin Lucas pertinently observed that this was a society of aristocratic aspirations defining itself by the status symbols of the past – land, seigneurial rights and office – rather than the economic resources of the future. There certainly was a large group ...

Music and Beyond

Hans Keller, 21 October 1982

Hanns Eisler: Political Musician 
by Albrecht Betz, translated by Bill Hopkins.
Cambridge, 326 pp., £25, June 1982, 0 521 24022 0
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Music and Political: Collected Writings 1953-81 
by Hans Werner Henze, translated by Peter Labanyi.
Faber, 286 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 571 11719 8
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Vindications: Essays on Romantic Music 
by Deryck Cooke and Bryan Magee.
Faber, 226 pp., £12.50, July 1982, 0 571 11795 3
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... an autonomous period with which, note for note, the movement eventually ends: we can only grant it Cookeian ‘precedence’ over the other themes inasmuch as it contains them, not in that they are ‘evolved’ from it, because you could just as well say that it is evolved from them! The essay in question is both the most extended and the weightiest ...


Tam Dalyell: Argentina in 1984, 6 September 1984

... simply got on the telephone from Bourges to their engineer at Bahia Blanca, Monsieur Hervé Colin, to explain to him in a seven-hour call how to marry a surface-to-surface Exocet to the wing of an aircraft, so today the French merrily continue to supply Argentina with the weapons themselves. To preserve the proprieties, they do it through Israel. But ...

We are all Scots here

Linda Colley: Scotland and Empire, 12 December 2002

The Scottish Empire 
by Michael Fry.
Tuckwell/Birlinn, 580 pp., £16.99, November 2002, 9781841582597
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... power in India was dealt a major blow. No longer could cousin Angus from Arbroath or brother Colin from Caithness be eased so smoothly into the next soft billet in the Subcontinent. Smaller, private companies, however, were – at least initially – more easily managed. ‘Thank God,’ one of the directors of the Imperial British East Africa Company ...

Fog has no memory

Jonathan Meades: Postwar Colour(lessness), 19 July 2018

The Tiger in the Smoke: Art and Culture in Postwar Britain 
by Lynda Nead.
Yale, 416 pp., £35, October 2017, 978 0 300 21460 4
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... quasi-anthropomorphic, ascribing to fogs memory and mimetic capacities. Nead goes on to grant meaning to other inanimate objects: immigrants’ clothes, knick-knacks, domestic appliances, packaging. She seems unwilling to accept that the world is neither meaningful nor meaningless but that it just is. The ‘kitchen sink’ painters insisted that ...

Rancorous Old Sod

Colin Burrow: Homage to Geoffrey Hill, 20 February 2014

Broken Hierarchies: Poems 1952-2012 
by Geoffrey Hill.
Oxford, 973 pp., £35, November 2013, 978 0 19 960589 7
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... about Hill. Our heaviness is his heaviness; our mishearings of the past, our tendency to ‘grant inequity from afar to be in equity’s covenant’ by hearing inequity in ‘in equity’, are his problems too. And he attacks himself every bit as savagely as he attacks his age: ‘Rancorous, narcissistic old sod – what/makes him go on? We ...

The Empty Bath

Colin Burrow: ‘The Iliad’, 18 June 2015

Homer: ‘The Iliad’ 
translated by Peter Green.
California, 560 pp., £19.95, May 2015, 978 0 520 28141 7
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... the outcome? We know that a god has told Priam to go, and we know that a god has told Achilles to grant his request. But we also know that the gods don’t always say what they mean and that people don’t always obey the gods, and that Achilles can do things that are completely outside the norms of human behaviour. All that danger and strangeness is ...

Anger and Dismay

Denis Donoghue, 19 July 1984

Literary Education: A Revaluation 
by James Gribble.
Cambridge, 182 pp., £16.50, November 1983, 0 521 25315 2
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Reconstructing Literature 
edited by Laurence Lerner.
Blackwell, 218 pp., £15, August 1983, 0 631 13323 2
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Counter-Modernism in Current Critical Theory 
by Geoffrey Thurley.
Macmillan, 216 pp., £20, October 1983, 0 333 33436 1
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... its vice ‘a rhetoric that disallows more independent and inquiring acts of mind by appearing to grant a release from them’. Geoffrey Thurley’s book is a spirited attack on the assumptions he finds in a welter of texts diversely representing Modernism, Structuralism, Deconstruction. At the beginning I thought he was going to waste his strength: he kept ...


Frank Kermode, 8 June 1995

Angus Wilson 
by Margaret Drabble.
Secker, 714 pp., £20, May 1995, 0 436 20038 4
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... Ms Drabble offers detailed accounts of some of the glories of the Johnstone-Wilson garden: brother Colin, after leaving St Paul’s in 1913, indulged ‘the family talent for doing nothing much’ until at the end of the war he joined the Black and Tans and went to Ireland where he was seduced by a sergeant, who gave him a make-up box and encouraged him to ...

‘No, no,’ replied the fat man

Michael Davie, 3 December 1992

The Power of News: The History of Reuters 
by Donald Read.
Oxford, 330 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 19 821776 5
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... to the newspaper offices of Reuters clients. Eight years later, news of the election of President Grant reached London the following day. The assassination of Lincoln was a clear scoop. There were many others, the death of General Gordon among them. One of the most romantic ‘beats’ – a word that has gone out of fashion – was the Relief of ...

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