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Did Harold really get it in the eye?

Patrick Wormald: The Normans

3 June 2004
The Battle of Hastings, 1066 
by M.K. Lawson.
Tempus, 288 pp., £16.99, October 2003, 0 7524 1998 6
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The Normans: The History of a Dynasty 
by David Crouch.
Hambledon, 345 pp., £25, July 2002, 1 85285 387 5
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Domesday Book: A Complete Translation 
edited by Ann Williams and G.H. Martin.
Penguin, 1436 pp., £18.99, October 2003, 0 14 143994 7
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... it began to be argued that the real Harold was the fallen man beneath the words ‘is killed’, and not the central figure, whether or not he has been hit by ” an arrow. This view was dismissed by David Wilson in his superb colour facsimile of 1985. It turns out, however, that the scene as we know it is the result of a restoration in the earlier 19th century. The areas in which work was done ...

Short Cuts

Patrick Wright: The Moral of Brenley Corner

6 December 2018
... in the late 1960s, had refused to yield to Kentish requests that the M2 be extended all the way to Dover, but the bypasses were on the way by 28 June 1973, when the conservative MP for Canterbury, DavidCrouch, told the House of Commons that he was merely asking that the A2 be raised to ‘the standard obtaining in Europe’. Crouch quoted a report showing that freight through Dover had increased by ...

In a Frozen Crouch

Colin Kidd: Democracy’s Ends

13 September 2018
How Democracy Ends 
by David​ Runciman.
Profile, 249 pp., £14.99, May 2018, 978 1 78125 974 0
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Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy Is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth – And How to Fix It 
by Dambisa Moyo.
Little, Brown, 296 pp., £20, April 2018, 978 1 4087 1089 0
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How Democracies Die 
by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.
Viking, 311 pp., £16.99, January 2018, 978 0 241 31798 3
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Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracy 
by William Galston.
Yale, 158 pp., £25, June 2018, 978 0 300 22892 2
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... Jr, published in 1973, which argued that with superpower status the American executive was exceeding its constitutional prerogatives). The Trilateral Commission – a discussion group founded by David Rockefeller to bring together policymakers, academics and journalists from North America, Western Europe and Japan – put out a controversial report in 1975 titled The Crisis of Democracy, which ...
7 May 1981
The Socialist Agenda 
edited by David​ Lipsey.
Cape, 242 pp., £7.95, January 1981, 0 224 01886 8
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The Future of Socialism 
by Anthony Crosland.
Cape, 368 pp., £8.95, January 1981, 0 224 01888 4
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Politics is for people 
by Shirley Williams.
Allen Lane/Penguin, 230 pp., £8.50, April 1981, 0 7139 1423 8
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... of the sort. On the contrary, they have managed to turn their mentor – perhaps the greatest iconoclast in the history of British socialism – into a kind of icon, ‘In The Future of Socialism,’ David Lipsey writes in the first substantial essay in the book, ‘Crosland had erected a towering castle. The rest of his life was devoted to defending it against all comers.’ There is an element of ...

Long March

Martin Pugh

2 June 1983
Renewal: Labour’s Britain in the 1980s 
by Shadow Cabinet, edited by Gerald Kaufman.
Penguin, 201 pp., £2.50, April 1983, 0 14 052351 0
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Socialism in a Cold Climate 
edited by John Griffith.
Allen and Unwin, 230 pp., £2.95, April 1983, 9780043350508
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Liberal Party Politics 
edited by Vernon Bogdanor.
Oxford, 302 pp., £17.50, April 1983, 0 19 827465 3
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... any improvement in real take-home pay for five years. Is there any possibility that a Labour government could cajole the Unions into accepting such a strategy for a five-year term of office? Colin Crouch in his essay on industrial relations builds up a sobering case, starting with the premise that the apparent strength and success of the trade unions during the 1950s and 1960s was highly conditional ...
19 May 1988
The Monument 
by T. Behrens.
Cape, 258 pp., £11.95, May 1988, 0 224 02510 4
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The Passion of John Aspinall 
by Brian Masters.
Cape, 360 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 224 02353 5
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... The Duke of Atholl, Miss Julie Battersea, Mr Tom Begg, Dr Kurt Benirschke, Mr Robin Birley, Mr Anthony Blond, Mr Robert Boutwood, Mr Claus von Bülow, Mr Timothy Cassel, The Hon. Mr Alan Clark, Sir DavidCrouch MP, Mr Nigel Dempster, The Earl of Derby, The Duke of Devonshire ...’ And so on through the alphabet. ‘If I have inadvertently omitted anyone, I ask forgiveness. Some have asked that their ...
11 May 1995
High Fidelity 
by Nick Hornby.
Gollancz, 256 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 0 575 05748 3
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... Rob Fleming is 35 years old, nearly 36. He lives in North London, in a one-bedroom conversion flat in Crouch End. His girlfriend, Laura, is a lefty lawyer who would like to be working for a legal aid firm but finds herself, to her dismay, with a flash job in the City instead. Laura has this very morning ...


Stephen Smith: In Mogadishu

23 July 1992
... traffic coming the other way: sloughing vans triple-deckered, club-sandwiched, with startled looking Somalis. I don’t hear my first bullet in Mogadishu until late afternoon. I’m standing with David Shearer, field director of the Save the Children Fund, on the flat roof of the SCF staff house, hardly troubled by the thought that we’re both crisply silhouetted against the skyline. At the report ...

A Conversation with Gore Vidal

Thomas Powers: Meeting Gore Vidal

30 July 2014
... 25 July 1978 (Tuesday). Dinner at George’s, where Gore Vidal showed up about nine and sat down in a curious hugging crouch in order to hide the fact he has grown fat since the last time we saw him. Otherwise he seems the same in every particular – intelligent, funny and malign in about equal proportion. He lamented the ...

Why do you make me do it?

David​ Bromwich: Robert Ryan

18 February 2016
... made to see, isn’t a gift of the gods but a discipline he has made for himself; and he knows it won’t last much longer. In the continuous footage of the four-round match, Ryan fights from a deep crouch, lunging forward – a strategy he must have learned in becoming a heavyweight champion at Dartmouth – but there is nothing collegiate about the look he gives the pretty boy in the opposite corner ...


Adam Shatz: Ornette Coleman

15 July 2015
... storm. Ravi Coltrane, John Coltrane’s son, gave a stately reading on soprano saxophone of Coleman’s 1959 composition ‘Peace’, with Geri Allen on piano. The tenor saxophonists Joe Lovano and David Murray howled their way through Coleman’s most famous tune, ‘Lonely Woman’. There was a haunting duet between Henry Threadgill, on alto flute, and Jason Moran, on piano, and an electric ...

The Strange Death of Municipal England

Tom Crewe: Assault on Local Government

15 December 2016
... service closures by Labour councils. Women’s rights campaigners occupy council-owned buildings rather than padlock themselves to the gates of Downing Street. Strangest of all, in September 2015 David Cameron wrote to the Conservative leader of Oxfordshire County Council to complain about cuts it had recently announced: I was disappointed at the long list of suggestions floated in the briefing ...


Ben Anderson: In Afghanistan

3 January 2008
... told that they often sprint towards the Taliban when attacked, but show no interest in cleaning weapons, exercising, drilling or turning up on time. During a recent ambush, some of them refused to crouch in a ditch because it would have muddied their boots. The desertion rate is around 20 per cent and is rather higher among those who have been told they are being deployed to Helmand. They can be ...

Just How It was

Anne Hollander: The work of Henri Cartier-Bresson

7 May 1998
Tête à Tête: Portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson 
edited by E.H. Gombrich.
Thames and Hudson, 144 pp., £32, February 1998, 9780500542187
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Henri Cartier-Bresson: Europeans 
edited by Jean Clair.
Thames and Hudson, 231 pp., £29.95, January 1998, 0 500 28052 5
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... surroundings are habits like others. In Upper Austria, Near Linz, 1953, we see the small rear-view silhouette of a man facing a huge breathtaking vista of mountains, mist and sun, a version of Caspar David Friedrich’s Traveller above the Sea of Clouds. A closer look tells us that this man is engaged in painting the railing in front of him, and just now standing back to survey his handiwork. In ...

Rome’s New Mission

Diarmaid MacCulloch: Early Christianity

2 June 2011
Christians and Pagans: The Conversion of Britain from Alban to Bede 
by Malcolm Lambert.
Yale, 329 pp., £30, September 2010, 978 0 300 11908 4
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... unholy alliance of Anglo-Saxon and Norman Johnny-come-latelies, consolidated their prestige and estates against the interlopers by inventing evangelistic exploits for ancient saints like Dyfrig or David. Malcolm Lambert is a judicious guide to the shifting opinions of scholars amid these quicksands, casting a sceptical eye even on Bede’s motives for glorifying and sanitising the Roman mission to ...

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