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Counting weapons

Rudolf Peierls

5 March 1981
Britain and Nuclear Weapons 
by Lawrence Freedman.
Papermac, 160 pp., £3.25, September 1980, 0 333 30511 6
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Countdown: Britain’s Strategic Forces 
by Stewart Menual.
Hale, 188 pp., £8.25, October 1980, 0 7091 8592 8
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The War Machine 
by James Avery Joyce.
Quartet, 210 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 7043 2254 4
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Protest and Survive 
edited by E.P. Thompson and Dan Smith.
Penguin, 262 pp., £1.50, October 1980, 0 14 052341 3
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... than those experienced in the unfortunate cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Fortunately, the danger of this happening is very much reduced by the ‘balance of terror’: by the fact that the United States and the Soviet Union both possess these weapons in profusion, so that any nuclear attack on either country or on their allies must expect a reply in ...
1 July 1982
The Fate of the Earth 
by Jonathan Schell.
Cape/Picador, 256 pp., £7.95, June 1982, 0 224 02064 1
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The Two-Edged Sword: Armed Force in the Modern World 
by Laurence Martin.
Weidenfeld, 108 pp., £5.95, March 1982, 0 297 78139 1
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Zero Option 
by E.P. Thompson.
Merlin, 198 pp., £10, June 1982, 0 85036 288 1
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Disarming Europe 
edited by Mary Kaldor and Dan Smith.
Merlin, 196 pp., £10, May 1982, 0 85036 277 6
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... relish for the Cold War have finally succeeded in rousing Americans to an awareness of the danger of nuclear war. But, while Reagan and his associates certainly deserve most of the credit for dispelling people’s complacency, the American campaign against the nuclear arms race has also received considerable inspiration from a series of articles by ...

London Review of Crooks

Robert Marshall-Andrews

15 July 1982
Rough Justice: The Extraordinary Truth about Charles Richardson and his Gang 
by Robert Parker.
Fontana, 352 pp., £1.95, October 1981, 0 00 636354 7
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Web of Corruption: The Story of John Poulson and T. Dan Smith 
by Raymond Fitzwalter and David Taylor.
Granada, 282 pp., £12.50, October 1981, 0 246 10915 7
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Inside Boss: South Africa’s Secret Police 
by Gordon Winter.
Penguin, 640 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 9780140057515
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Crime in Wartime: A Social History of Crime in World War II 
by Edward Smithies.
Allen and Unwin, 219 pp., £12.50, January 1982, 0 04 364020 6
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... crime need look no further than Web of Corruption, which tells the story of John Poulson and T. Dan Smith. Raymond Fitzwalter and David Taylor took eight years to research and write their analysis of the most far-reaching corruption trial of this century. The opening summary is startling. Of those prosecuted in connection with Poulson 21 were ...
22 November 1979
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... It was for services ‘to exports and ecology’ that Sir James Goldsmith was nominated for a peerage, and then demoted to a knight by the Scrutiny Committee, in what is bitterly remembered as the Wilson Honours List. Was there a connection between Sir James’s elevation and his year-long battle to punish Private Eye and jail its editor, Richard Ingrams – an effort which was supported by Wilson and Lady Falkender, both victims of Ingrams’s harassment, and which petered out in a relatively painless settlement in 1976? Ingrams’s theory is that there was such a connection ...
8 March 2012
Militant Modernism 
by Owen Hatherley.
Zero, 146 pp., £9.99, April 2009, 978 1 84694 176 4
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A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain 
by Owen Hatherley.
Verso, 371 pp., £9.99, July 2011, 978 1 84467 700 9
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... urban for its outer-suburban context’. Hatherley is even more ensorcelled by Alison and Peter Smithson’s béton brut behemoth, Robin Hood Gardens in East London (shown above). For him the Smithsons are the real heroes, and a half-century on he reprises Reyner Banham – with dialectical knobs on – by placing them ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel

22 June 1995
Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... alternatively seen as a helot and an ‘elemental’, the miner, engaged in ‘the difficult and dangerous job of coal-getting’ was as representative a figure of industrial Britain as the sharecropper of Dust Bowl America, or the peasant of la France profonde. Such images, embedded in the national unconscious, and springing to life in times of crisis, were ...

Help Yourself

R.W. Johnson: The other crooked Reggie

21 April 2005
Reggie: The Life of Reginald Maudling 
by Lewis Baston.
Sutton, 604 pp., £25, October 2004, 0 7509 2924 3
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... spring of 1974, as reports multiplied of his involvement with crooks such as John Poulson and T. Dan Smith, Reginald Maudling disappeared to Paris with his wife, Beryl. The Daily Mail’s Harry Longmuir had little difficulty locating him in the ‘Président’ suite of the George V. Checking in himself, Longmuir spent a whole Sunday morning with a ...


Robert Crawford

20 August 2014
... Your galleries a showy clone of Santiago de Compostella, One-off of sugar and gallusness, Adam Smith and preening baroque, Art-schooled from birth, ark, blast-furnace of ship-in-bottle Models and artwork, arsenic, scuffed footballs and chips, Unsafe haven of hard matriarchs and lasses’ backchat, after-hours Capital of banana boots and over-the-top ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Milk’

1 January 2009
... the mayor who supported him were shot and killed in 1978 by another, resentful supervisor called Dan White. White served five years for manslaughter and committed suicide soon after his release. The film opens over black and white footage of police rounding up and beating up gays in the early 1970s. Newspaper headlines fill the screen, the effect is that of ...
4 September 1986
Bird of Passage: Recollections of a Physicist 
by Rudolf Peierls.
Princeton, 350 pp., £21.20, January 1986, 0 691 08390 8
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A Life in Science 
by Nevill Mott.
Taylor and Francis, 198 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 85066 333 4
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Stallion Gate 
by Martin Cruz Smith.
Collins Harvill, 287 pp., £10.95, May 1986, 0 00 222727 4
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Day of the Bomb: Hiroshima 1945 
by Dan Kurzman.
Weidenfeld, 546 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 297 78862 0
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Assessing the Nuclear Age 
edited by Len Ackland and Steven McGuire.
Chicago, 382 pp., £21.25, July 1986, 0 941682 07 2
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... won or lost. And don’t ever forget the villain who is secretly betraying them all. Martin Cruz Smith is an enthralling storyteller, but uses the authentic drama of Los Alamos only as the dynamic setting for a more earthy melodrama in which the historical characters are little more than cardboard cutouts. Stallion Gate could have been more than a good ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Michael Jackson’s frailties

31 March 2005
... Catching news about the Michael Jackson trial, I can’t help being reminded of a caustic song by Dan Bern, a singer less famous than Jackson by several orders of magnitude, called ‘Too Late to Die Young’. ‘The day that Elvis died was like a mercy killing,’ it begins, before turning its attention to the inglorious late careers of other fallen idols of American popular culture, challenging listeners to ‘name the last good film that Marlon Brando made/While trying to keep his kid from going to jail ...

In the Garden

Peter Campbell: Rampant Weeds

26 April 2007
... Our hedge has gone. The new railings are up. Weeds have begun to cover the bare ground. A dandelion is already flowering. Its seeds will soon appear and be carried off by the wind. Very probably some will find bare earth and germinate. They will not be popular. ‘Not easy to eradicate, regrowth occurs from root fragments,’ the Pest and Weed Expert says ...

Let’s eat badly

William Davies: Irrationality and its Other

5 December 2019
Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason 
by Justin E.H. Smith.
Princeton, 344 pp., £25, April 2019, 978 0 691 17867 7
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... course of studying the commercial applications of psychological research, I contacted the agent of Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke University, to inquire whether Ariely might want to speak at a conference in London. It didn’t come off: I had to explain that my ‘conference budget’ didn’t stretch to the $75,000 ...

Less a Wheel than a Wave

Dan Jacobson: Irène Némirovsky’s War

11 May 2006
Suite Française 
by Irène Némirovsky, translated by Sandra Smith.
Chatto, 403 pp., £16.99, March 2006, 0 7011 7896 5
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... of where they might find shelter; by taking to the roads they generally exposed themselves to dangers that they might have avoided had they stayed put. In any case, once the French government had capitulated to the invaders, which it did in great haste, most of the fugitives had no choice but to try to get back as quickly as possible to the homes they had ...


Stephen Smith: What about Somalia?

11 February 1993
... had presumably taken him to the United States had said to me: ‘I felt different when I saw Dan Rather here. I felt millions would be watching around the world.’ What millions saw were perspiring, cork-blackened Marines conquering the airport and harbour of Mogadishu – no matter that they had both been under UN auspices for three months – and, at ...

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