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20 November 1986
News from Nowhere 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 403 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 241 11920 0
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O-Zone 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 469 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 241 11948 0
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Ticket to Ride 
by Dennis Potter.
Faber, 202 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780571145232
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... A drunken American historian once lurched over to DavidCaute at a party and told him: ‘Having read your last novel, or part of it, I’d advise you to give up writing fiction – if you weren’t such a lousy historian.’ Caute, a connoisseur of masochism ...

Textual Harassment

Nicolas Tredell

7 November 1991
Textermination 
by Christine Brooke-Rose.
Carcanet, 182 pp., £12.95, October 1991, 0 85635 952 1
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The Women’s Hour 
by David Caute.
Paladin, 272 pp., £14.99, September 1991, 0 586 09142 4
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Look twice 
by John Fuller.
Chatto, 255 pp., £13.99, October 1991, 0 7011 3761 4
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... Nervousness and nostalgia mark these three novels. The nostalgia of Christine Brooke-Rose is, surprisingly, for a golden age of character in fiction; DavidCaute harks back to the Sixties and the heyday of radical hopes; John Fuller conjures a world in which stories can still enchant. But these novelists are all, in their respective ways, nervous about the ...
17 March 1988
1968: A Student Generation in Revolt 
by Ronald Fraser.
Chatto, 370 pp., £14.95, January 1988, 0 7011 2913 1
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Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties 
by Tariq Ali.
Collins, 280 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 9780002177795
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Sixty-Eight: The Year of the Barricades 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 464 pp., £14.95, January 1988, 0 241 12174 4
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Nineteen Sixty-Eight: A Personal Report 
by Hans Koning.
Unwin Hyman, 196 pp., £10.95, April 1988, 9780044401858
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... I appeared on television to defend the paper against A.J. Ayer, John Gross and Colin Welch – with a chairman who accused me of being a disciple of Sorel, a writer of whom I had barely heard. (DavidCaute sardonically notes that ‘the allusion to Sorel was standard nonsense among professors of history and politics hostile to the New Left: one may search in vain for any favourable reference to ...
21 November 1985
Peasant Consciousness and Guerrilla War in Zimbabwe 
by Terence Ranger.
James Currey, 377 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 85255 000 6
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Guns and Rain: Guerrillas and Spirit Mediums in Zimbabwe 
by David​ Lan.
James Currey, 244 pp., £19.50, October 1985, 0 85255 200 9
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... to be ambushed by Zanla and force-marched into Mozambique. Tom Wigglesworth’s remarkable testimony, Perhaps Tomorrow (1981), deserves to have been included in Ranger’s bibliography as well as David Lan’s. Our post-Independence historiography obviously runs some risk of an inverted snobbery towards non-kosher white Rhodesian sources (though Ranger has elsewhere drawn extensively on the records ...
7 July 1983
Under the Skin 
by David Caute.
Allen Lane, 447 pp., £14.95, February 1983, 0 7139 1357 6
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The K-Factor 
by David Caute.
Joseph, 216 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 7181 2260 7
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... What will you tell your children?’ asks the Zipra guerrilla as he says goodbye to Caute and vanishes back into the bush. (The Zimbabwean handshake: hands, thumbs, then hands again.) What did you do in the war, Daddy? Tell us, what was it like? It seems so long ago. Zimbabwe has just ...

Degeneration Gap

Andreas Huyssen: Cold War culture conflicts

7 October 2004
The Dancer Defects: The Struggle for Cultural Supremacy during the Cold War 
by David Caute.
Oxford, 788 pp., £30, September 2003, 0 19 924908 3
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... intellectuals from having to criticise the Soviet Union, permitting them to put all the blame for the Cold War squarely on the United States. The Soviet Union is gone, but this attitude persists. DavidCaute’s narrative in The Dancer Defects is neither triumphalist nor conspiratorial. He tells a sober story of high cultural exchanges and contests subject to a political climate fluctuating between ...

Martyrs

Lord Goodman

8 May 1986
Freedom of Speech 
by Eric Barendt.
Oxford, 314 pp., £35, November 1985, 0 19 825381 8
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The Espionage of the Saints: Two Essays on Silence and the State 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 212 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 9780241117507
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A Question of Judgment 
by Sara Keays.
Quintessential Press, 312 pp., £9.95, November 1985, 1 85138 000 0
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... and certainly procured greater rewards than tenpence per hour, but its high spot remained the treaty episode, and it is an interesting case to recollect in the context of Tisdall and Ponting. Mr Caute’s book, the most interesting of those under review, is divided into two long essays. The first, ‘Marechera and the Colonel’, does not, I think, dovetail very neatly with the second, which is a ...

Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland

17 July 1980
Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... royalties. Not that Amis’s motives can have been merely mercenary: he had long declared himself a devotee of the Bond books.) The author of Moscow Gold, ‘John Salisbury’, is in propria persona DavidCaute, present literary editor of the New Statesman. I don’t give anything away here, since the fact was divulged, with much nudging and winking, in the ‘Londoner’s Diary’ column of the ...

The Tarnished Age

Richard Mayne

3 September 1981
David​ O. Selznick’s Hollywood 
by Ronald Haver.
Secker, 425 pp., £35, December 1980, 0 436 19128 8
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My Early life 
by Ronald Reagan and Richard Hubler.
Sidgwick, 316 pp., £7.95, April 1981, 0 283 98771 5
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Naming Names 
by Victor Navasky.
Viking, 482 pp., $15.95, October 1980, 0 670 50393 2
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... Fourteen inches by 11, and weighing six pounds 13 ounces, David O. Selznick’s Hollywood is less a coffee-table book than a coffee table without legs. Its credits ape a blockbuster movie’s: ‘Executive Producer: Robert Gottlieb – Associate Producer: Martha ...
24 September 2009
The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome 
by Roland Chambers.
Faber, 390 pp., £20, August 2009, 978 0 571 22261 2
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... by Lenin and Lord Curzon, a man whose total lack of qualm or scruple baffled the spymasters of East and West alike. This other Ransome was, I think, first brought to public attention by DavidCaute in The Fellow Travellers (1973), then by Hugh Brogan in his 1984 biography, more recently in papers declassified by MI5 in 2005, and now by Roland Chambers in this new biography. It should be said at ...

To the End of the Line

Ferdinand Mount: The Red Dean

26 April 2012
The Red Dean of Canterbury: The Public and Private Faces of Hewlett Johnson 
by John Butler.
Scala, 292 pp., £16.95, September 2011, 978 1 85759 736 3
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... better known as Novocaine, the local anaesthetic used by dentists. But Johnson continued to swear by it until his death. After he had swallowed something once, he never stopped taking the medicine. DavidCaute begins The Fellow Travellers: Intellectual Friends of Communism (1973) with the story of Hewlett and Nowell escaping from the World Peace Council and clambering aboard a local bus going they ...

Siding with Rushdie

Christopher Hitchens

26 October 1989
The Rushdie File 
edited by Lisa Appignanesi and Sara Maitland.
Fourth Estate/ICA, 268 pp., £5.95, July 1989, 0 947795 84 7
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CounterBlasts No 4: Sacred Cows 
by Fay Weldon.
Chatto, 43 pp., £2.99, July 1989, 0 7011 3556 5
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Salman Rushdie and the Third World: Myths of the Nation 
by Timothy Brennan.
Macmillan, 203 pp., £29.50, September 1989, 0 333 49020 7
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... insult’ visited on the Prophet Muhamed (Peace Be Upon Him) by an Anglo-Pakistani fictionist of genius and renown, the British and American mass audience was thrilling to the reborn version of David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia. The movie, which is the closest investigation most English people have made of their country’s long, intense, misunderstood encounter with Islam, is actually rather ...

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