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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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... his anointed successor John Connally, the former Democrat governor of Texas. In Nixon’s Shadow, David Greenberg explores Nixon’s place in modern American culture. While other politicians struggled for name recognition, manifold images of Nixon infiltrated every level of American life from the early 1950s and persisted long after the Watergate scandal ...

Subject, Spectator, Phantom

J. Hoberman: The Strangest Personality Ever to Lead the Free World, 17 February 2005

Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief 
by Mark Feeney.
Chicago, 422 pp., £19.50, November 2004, 0 226 23968 3
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... televised debate, epitomises his ambivalent relationship with the medium. In Nixon’s Shadow, David Greenberg argues that Nixon was the first American president pre-eminently concerned with the construction of his image.* Unlike Kennedy, his nemesis, Nixon was a self-made man; he didn’t have the benefit of an extremely wealthy and well-connected ...

Balls and Strikes

Charles Reeve: Clement Greenberg, 5 April 2007

Art Czar: The Rise and Fall of Clement Greenberg 
by Alice Goldfarb Marquis.
Lund Humphries, 321 pp., £25, April 2006, 0 85331 940 5
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... abstraction, the painting landed in the collection of the famously plain-spoken art critic Clement Greenberg. Greenberg never published on the relatively obscure Donati, so one might wonder if he liked White to White. This isn’t a trivial issue in the bid to assess Greenberg’s ...

Guests in the President’s House

Steven Shapin: Science Inc., 18 October 2001

Science, Money and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion 
by Daniel Greenberg.
Chicago, 530 pp., £22.50, October 2001, 0 226 30634 8
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... proximate cause of this supposed decline in favour. This paradox is the organising theme of Daniel Greenberg’s heroically researched book. Were the politics of science as important as the altitude of Presidential trousers, Greenberg would certainly be acknowledged as one of the greatest American investigative journalists ...

Jackson breaks the ice

Andrew Forge, 4 April 1991

Jackson Pollock: An American Saga 
by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.
Barrie and Jenkins, 934 pp., £19.95, March 1990, 0 7126 3866 0
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Abstract Expressionism 
by David Anfam.
Thames and Hudson, 216 pp., £5.95, August 1990, 0 500 20243 5
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Night Studio: A Memoir of Philip Guston 
by Musa Mayer.
Thames and Hudson, 256 pp., £8.95, February 1991, 0 500 27633 1
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... There are villains: Dr Henderson, Pollock’s Jungian analyst, Robert Motherwell, Clement Greenberg; and heroes and heroines: the sad, remote father, the brothers, particularly Sande, and his wife Arloie, Reuben Kadish, Roger Wilcox, Rita Benton. They write with respect about Lee Krasner and without parti pris. My impression is that the book is ...

Mr and Mrs Hopper

Gail Levin: How the Tate gets Edward Hopper wrong, 24 June 2004

Edward Hopper 
edited by Sheena Wagstaff.
Tate Gallery, 256 pp., £29.99, May 2004, 1 85437 533 4
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... subscribing to le dernier cri from Europe’. Rothko dominates an essay in the Hopper catalogue by David Anfam, the author of the Rothko catalogue raisonné, who notes that ‘so much has been written about Edward Hopper that perhaps one of the few remaining royal roads by which to approach him is via another massively interpreted artist.’ Anfam makes the ...

At the Guggenheim

Hal Foster: David Smith, 9 March 2006

... David Smith is often seen as the Jackson Pollock of modern sculpture, the artist who transformed European innovations (in welded steel above all) into an American idiom of expanded scale and expressive power. Like most legends in art history, this isn’t false, despite the immediate catch that his greatest follower, Anthony Caro, is English ...

At the RA

Jeremy Harding: Richard Diebenkorn, 6 May 2015

... Diebenkorn remembered helping him hang a show of his work in 1947. But like Elmer Bischoff and David Park, with whom he made the turn to figurative painting a few years later, Diebenkorn was asking questions that abstract expressionism couldn’t always answer, even though, as the early works in the show at the Royal Academy (until 7 June) suggest, he was ...

At Tate Britain

James Cahill: Frank Bowling, 15 August 2019

... made a Royal Academician in 2005 but he has remained a quiet man of British art in comparison with David Hockney or R.B. Kitaj, his contemporaries at the Royal College of Art in the early 1960s. ‘Swan i’ (1964) The exhibition shows how decisively he transcends the well-worn term ‘postwar British artist’: Bowling is diasporic, resisting easy ...

It’s Modern but is it contemporary?

Hal Foster, 16 December 2004

... by Oskar Schlemmer with engaged work by the Mexicans Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. The juxtapositions are provocative, but the rationale not clear (unless it is merely that the new MoMA is not hostile to committed figuration). The fourth floor, which covers only 1940-70, also begins in an expected way, with late ...

The Grin without the Cat

David Sylvester: Jackson Pollock at the Tate, 1 April 1999

Jackson Pollock 
by Kirk Varnedoe and Pepe Karmel.
Tate Gallery, 336 pp., £50, March 1999, 1 85437 275 0
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Interpreting Pollock 
by Jeremy Lewison.
Tate Gallery, 84 pp., £9.99, March 1999, 1 85437 289 0
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... Romantic vocabulary of boundless energies and limitless spaces’ was not altogether new: Clement Greenberg had six years earlier linked Clyfford Still to Turner. What Rosenblum’s essay did was to suggest in a totally convincing way that the conventional division of the Abstract Expressionist movement into two wings – on the one hand, the ‘colour-field ...

Are we there yet?

David Simpson: Abasing language, abusing prisoners, 17 February 2005

Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib and the War on Terror 
by Mark Danner.
Granta, 573 pp., £16.99, February 2005, 9781862077720
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The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib 
edited by Karen Greenberg and Joshua Dratel.
Cambridge, 1284 pp., £27.50, February 2005, 0 521 85324 9
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... between May and November 2004. The even more extensive compilation of documents assembled by Karen Greenberg and Joshua Dratel includes all of these, along with further Bush administration internal memoranda from the years 2001-04, important reports critical of the administration from the New York City Bar Association (April 2004) and the American Bar ...

Pop Eye

Hal Foster: Handmade Readymades, 22 August 2002

Image Duplicator: Roy Lichtenstein and the Emergence of Pop Art 
by Michael Lobel.
Yale, 196 pp., £35, March 2002, 0 300 08762 4
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... comics and the like could be made to serve some of the goals set for high art from Rembrandt and David to Rothko and Barnett Newman: not only pictorial unity and dramatic focus, but also ‘significant form’ (as Roger Fry and Clive Bell urged) and ‘the integrity of the picture plane’ (the vaunted ‘flatness’ demanded of Modernist painting by Clement ...

Antigone on Your Knee

Terry Eagleton, 6 February 2020

A Cultural History of Tragedy: Vols I-VI 
edited by Rebecca Bushnell.
Bloomsbury Academic, 1302 pp., £395, November 2019, 978 1 4742 8814 9
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... remarks that tragedy ‘was born under tyranny but flowered under democracy’, though Mitchell Greenberg notes that in the 17th century tragic theatre enjoyed a golden period in an age of political absolutism. It is also worth asking why the decline of tragedy coincided with the waning of such power. The scholars who write in the volume on medieval ...

Slumming with Rappers at the Roxy

Hal Foster: Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture by John Seabrook, 21 September 2000

Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture 
by John Seabrook.
Methuen, 215 pp., £9.99, March 2000, 0 413 74470 1
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... Tina. ‘Wonderful! … Where’s the library?’) At the end of 1997 Brown was replaced by David Remnick, who as an editor is less Buzz-happy than Brown, but as a writer ranges, browlessly, from Kremlin politics to Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile Seabrook lived to tell the tale, though half his chapters are revamped articles written for Brown, whom he regards ...

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