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How Not to Invade

Patrick Cockburn: Lebanon, 5 August 2010

Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East 
by David Hirst.
Faber, 480 pp., £20, March 2010, 978 0 571 23741 8
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The Ghosts of Martyrs Square: An Eyewitness Account of Lebanon’s Life Struggle 
by Michael Young.
Simon and Schuster, 295 pp., £17.99, July 2010, 978 1 4165 9862 6
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... The gross underestimation of the ability of the Lebanese to defend themselves is the main theme of David Hirst’s elegantly written and highly informed history. For many years one of the most perceptive correspondents in the Middle East, he says he decided to write this book after the 34-day war in the summer of 2006, when Israel rained explosives on ...

‘It was necessary to uproot them’

Charles Glass: Post-Zionist historiography, 24 June 2004

A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples 
by Ilan Pappe.
Cambridge, 333 pp., £15.99, January 2004, 0 521 55632 5
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The Gun and the Olive Branch 
by David Hirst.
Faber, 624 pp., £16.99, August 2003, 0 571 21945 4
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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited 
by Benny Morris.
Cambridge, 664 pp., £70, January 2004, 0 521 81120 1
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... Party had kept secret during its uninterrupted period in power from 1948. The Labour patriarch David Ben-Gurion had called Begin a ‘Jewish Hitler’. Begin, a zealot but a legalist, had called Ben-Gurion’s extension of the repressive British Defence Regulations, although enforced mainly against Israel’s Arabs, ‘Nazi laws’ and vowed to resist ...

Arabs

Malise Ruthven, 18 February 1982

Covering Islam 
by Edward Said.
Routledge, 224 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 7100 0840 6
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Heart-Beguiling Araby 
by Kathryn Tidrick.
Cambridge, 224 pp., £12.50, July 1981, 0 521 23483 2
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Inside the Iranian Revolution 
by John Stempel.
Indiana, 336 pp., £10.50, December 1981, 0 253 14200 8
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The Return of the Ayatollah 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 218 pp., £9.95, November 1981, 0 233 97404 0
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Sadat 
by David Hirst and Irene Beeson.
Faber, 384 pp., £11.50, December 1981, 0 571 11690 6
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... them are old Guardian hands with many years’ experience of reporting Egypt and the Middle East. David Hirst, along with Eric Rouleau of Le Monde, is one of the few Western journalists to have received the Edward Said Seal of Approval. Irene Beeson lived for 16 years in one of the poorer districts of Cairo, and knows its people intimately, Together they ...

‘We’ know who ‘we’ are

Edward Said: Palestine, Iraq and ‘Us’, 17 October 2002

... UN Resolutions in the pursuit of their own hostile and destructive policies in those worlds. As David Hirst has pointed out in the Guardian, even Arabs who oppose their own despotic regimes will see any US attack on Iraq as an ‘act of aggression aimed not just at Iraq, but at the whole Arab world; and what will make it supremely intolerable is that ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: The Big Issue, 20 September 2001

... Roses and George Michael (‘breaking a six-year silence’). Guest editors have included Damien Hirst and David Bailey – Big Issue chic. The ads say something, too: Levis, Sony, Calvin Klein, Bacardi; British Nuclear Fuels, a contentious issue in the office, soon pulled; some of the best clients are Rizla and Drum ...

Democratic Sublime

Derek Hirst: Writing the English republic, 19 August 1999

Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics 1627-60 
by David Norbrook.
Cambridge, 509 pp., £40, January 1999, 0 521 63275 7
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... when the axe fell on Charles Stuart’s neck, was no mere romantic gesture. Rather, it declared David Norbrook’s belief that to vindicate the cultural vitality and integrity of English republicanism at its moment of flowering – a moment of high energy not only in politics but also in political thought, journalism and in literature, too – is to make a ...

Thatcher’s Artists

Peter Wollen, 30 October 1997

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection 
by Norman Rosenthal.
Thames and Hudson, 222 pp., £29.95, September 1997, 0 500 23752 2
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... of artists, who first came to public notice in 1988 with the Freeze show organised by Damien Hirst, were the beneficiaries of the hard work of the St Ives Group, the Independent Group, the Royal College Pop artists and so on, all of whom had successively edged British art into a position where it could at last compete in the world of international ...

Allergic to Depths

Terry Eagleton: Gothic, 18 March 1999

Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil and Ruin 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Fourth Estate, 438 pp., £20, December 1998, 1 85702 498 2
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... Davenport-Hines notes in his agreeable romp through Gothic art from Salvator Rosa to Damien Hirst. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, now translated into over forty languages, has exerted an enduring fascination since its publication in 1897, with Dracula himself the most filmed fictional character after Sherlock Holmes. An English film, made in 1962, was ...

Founding Moments

Stuart Macintyre, 11 March 1993

The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. II, 1770-1860: Possessions 
by Jan Kociumbas.
Oxford, 397 pp., £25, September 1992, 0 19 554610 5
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The Rule of Law in a Penal Colony: Law and Power in Early New South Wales 
by David Neal.
Cambridge, 266 pp., £30, March 1992, 9780521372640
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Waterloo Creek: The Australia Day Massacre of 1838, George Gipps and the British Conquest of New South Wales 
by Roger Milliss.
McPhee Gribble, 965 pp., February 1992, 0 86914 156 2
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Living in a New Country: History, Travelling and Language 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 214 pp., £14.99, July 1992, 0 571 16329 7
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... and family life, on which the settlement’s ‘blueprint for growth’ was premised. By contrast, David Neal’s monograph opens with a successful legal action brought by a convict couple against one of the First Fleet captains. Neal is concerned to show how the establishment of the rule of law in a penal colony, at once a tautology and an oxymoron, created ...

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 ...

The way we live now

Ross McKibbin, 11 January 1990

New Times: The Changing Face of Politics in the 1990s 
edited by Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques.
Lawrence and Wishart/Marxism Today, 463 pp., £9.95, November 1989, 0 85315 703 0
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... for New Times’ – a general political statement or programme – and a fable for the 1990s by David Edgar. The book is long, and since several contributors are responsible for more than one essay, there is a good deal of repetition. Tighter editorial control would have done no harm, though that might have been construed as inhibiting the openness of the ...

Scaling Up

Peter Wollen: At Tate Modern, 20 July 2000

... with its serried ranks so reminiscent of the parade ground, the march past of the modules. As David Batchelor notes in his excellent and generally sympathetic book on Minimalism, ‘in much of this work the traditions of studio craft gave way to something more like small-scale industrial production’ – usually executed, in fact, by someone else ...

Get out

Julian Bell: Francis Bacon, 19 October 2000

Looking back at Francis Bacon 
by David Sylvester.
Thames and Hudson, 272 pp., £29.95, June 2000, 0 500 01994 0
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... the homosexual artist, had converged to discuss painting and the human condition. The thought that David Sylvester and Francis Bacon were caught up in this dialogue seemed at once daunting and salutary to some of us then learning to paint in the same town. Their Interviews – first published in 1975 – conveyed such unassailable aplomb. ‘All art has now ...

Feigning a Relish

Nicholas Penny: One Tate or Two, 15 October 1998

The Tate: A History 
by Frances Spalding.
Tate Gallery, 308 pp., £25, April 1998, 1 85437 231 9
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... in the Louvre and it reopened in 1818 as a gallery for pictures by great living artists (including David, then in political exile). The creation of the first European museum of modern art was thus something of an expedient, but the political impulse behind it was not ephemeral. No subsequent French regime dared to neglect it. Unsurprisingly, the character of ...

Mantegna’s Revenge

Nicholas Penny, 3 September 1987

Mantegna 
by Ronald Lightbown.
Phaidon/Christie’s, 512 pp., £60, July 1986, 0 7148 8031 0
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The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo Rediscovered 
edited by Massimo Giacometti, translated by Paul Holberton.
Muller, Blond and White, 271 pp., £40, September 1986, 0 584 11140 1
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... Lightbown describes. A bolder hypothesis is needed. As it happens, one such was advanced by David Landau in the catalogue of the exhibition at the Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford, organised in 1979. It is almost impossible to get hold of a copy of this catalogue and I wonder whether Lightbown has done so (although he does list the publication in ...

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