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The Kentish Hog

Adrian Desmond, 15 October 1987

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. Vol. II: 1837-1843 
edited by Frederick Burkhardt and Sydney Smith.
Cambridge, 603 pp., £30, March 1987, 0 521 25588 0
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The Works of Charles Darwin 
edited by Paul Barrett and R.B. Freeman.
Pickering & Chatto, 10 pp., £470, March 1987, 1 85196 002 3
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The Darwinian Heritage 
edited by David Kohn.
Princeton, 1138 pp., £67.90, February 1986, 0 691 08356 8
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Western Science in the Arab World: The Impact of Darwinism, 1860-1930 
by Adel Ziadat.
Macmillan, 162 pp., £27.50, October 1986, 0 333 41856 5
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Theories of Human Evolution: A Century of Debate 1844-1944 
by Peter Bowler.
Blackwell, 318 pp., £25, February 1987, 0 631 15264 4
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Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute 
by James Secord.
Princeton, 363 pp., £33.10, October 1986, 0 691 08417 3
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Darwin’s Metaphor: Nature’s Place in Victorian Culture 
by Robert Young.
Cambridge, 341 pp., £30, October 1985, 0 521 31742 8
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... David Kohn opens his monumental Darwinian Heritage with a deftly-delivered kick, observing that a study of the wider institutional culture of Darwin’s day seems to be ‘beyond the present ken of historians of 19th-century biology’. It’s a well-aimed blow. Little of the Darwin industry’s capital has been spent on exploring evolution in its social context ...

Photo-Finish

John Hedley Brooke, 23 May 1985

Just Before the Origin: Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Evolution 
by John Langdon Brooks.
Columbia, 284 pp., $39, January 1984, 0 231 05676 1
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China and Charles Darwin 
by James Reeve Pusey.
Harvard, 544 pp., £21.25, February 1984, 0 674 11735 2
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... were insights in Wallace’s treatment of divergence which Darwin could turn to advantage. As David Kohn observed in a cogent dismissal of Brackman2, it is first necessary to distinguish between divergence as a purely taxonomic conception and divergence as an explanatory principle, integral to the dynamics of natural selection. Both Darwin and ...

Ruin and Redemption

David Simpson: Psychoanalysing Zionism, 23 June 2005

The Question of Zion 
by Jacqueline Rose.
Princeton, 202 pp., £12.95, April 2005, 0 691 11750 0
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... of secular and sceptical Zionists and sceptics about Zionism per se, including Hannah Arendt, Hans Kohn, Martin Buber and Ahad Ha’am, she portrays the divisions within and about Zionism both as a terrifying legacy and as a source of hope against the grain of current history. The terror comes from the willingness of modern Israelis to assimilate covertly and ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Underground Bunkers, 6 November 2008

... to the underground government facility newly photographed in large-format full colour by David Moore. The Last Things (Dewi Lewis, £25) opens with an anonymous quote – ‘Ministry of Defence official, London 2007’ – that reads: ‘I don’t understand how you’ve got this far.’ What follows is a series of shots of unpeopled hallways and ...

Dragon-Slayers

Corey Robin: Careerism and Hannah Arendt, 4 January 2007

Why Arendt Matters 
by Elisabeth Young-Bruehl.
Yale, 232 pp., £14.99, October 2006, 0 300 12044 3
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Hannah Arendt: The Jewish Writings 
edited by Jerome Kohn and Ron Feldman.
Schocken, 640 pp., $35, January 2007, 978 0 8052 4238 6
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Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil 
by Hannah Arendt.
Penguin, 336 pp., £10.99, December 2006, 0 14 303988 1
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... violence, ethnic bigotry and a culture of corruption’. According to the New York Times columnist David Brooks, after the fall of Saddam the Iraqis succumbed to their native ‘demons: greed, blood lust and a mind-boggling unwillingness to compromise … even in the face of self-immolation’. Liberal hawks such as Leon Wieseltier believe much the same ...

Aunts and Uncles

Michael Hofmann, 19 November 1992

A Feast in the Garden 
by George Konrad, translated by Imre Goldstein.
Faber, 394 pp., £14.99, October 1992, 0 571 16623 7
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Wartime Lies 
by Louis Begley.
Picador, 198 pp., £5.99, August 1992, 0 330 32099 8
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Brothers 
by Carmelo Samona, translated by Linda Lappin.
Carcanet, 131 pp., £13.95, August 1992, 0 85635 990 4
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Rolling 
by Thomas Healy.
Polygon, 161 pp., £7.95, July 1992, 0 7486 6121 2
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... for thirty pages reluctant to let his book go, even to hand it over to his fictional alter ego, David Kobra. He has a sub-Kunderesque divagation on his ‘philosophy of ecstasy’ before going on to the ownership of property – descriptions of remote and magnificent real estate are my hot tip for fiction-writers in this last decade of the ...

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