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1 September 1983
... The silhouette of Cesar Augusto Sandino, his hands clasped behind his back, his left foot pointing outwards, wearing high-laced army boots and a ten-gallon hat, is the universal emblem of Nicaragua’s revolutionary movement. In the 1920s Sandino led a prolonged guerrilla campaign against the US marines who had been occupying his country since 1912. The Marines withdrew, but left in their place a surrogate ...


Anthony Pagden

13 June 1991
The Cambridge History of Latin America. Vol. VII: 1930 to the Present 
edited by Leslie Bethell.
Cambridge, 775 pp., £70, October 1990, 0 521 24518 4
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Magical Reels: A History of Cinema in Latin America 
by John King.
Verso, 266 pp., £29.95, November 1990, 0 86091 295 7
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Democracy and Development in Latin America: Economics, Politics and Religion in the Post-war Period 
by David Lehmann.
Polity, 235 pp., £29.50, April 1990, 0 7456 0776 4
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... might be. Few Latin American states possess established political parties, or sophisticated political classes, and where such parties do exist they tend to act less as agents of government than, in DavidLehmann’s words, ‘as employment agencies for their followers’. In their place are clientelist, sometimes even semi-feudal, oligarchies whose capacity for survival is remarkable. Despite the ...

What’s Happening in the Engine-Room

Penelope Fitzgerald: Poor John Lehmann

7 January 1999
John LehmannA Pagan Adventure 
by Adrian Wright.
Duckworth, 308 pp., £20, November 1998, 0 7156 2871 2
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... The first volume of John Lehmann’s autobiography, published in 1955, starts: When I try to remember where my education in poetry began, the first image that comes to mind is that of my father’s library at the old family home of ...


Rosemary Hill: Rosamund Lehmann’s Disappointments

8 August 2002
Rosamond Lehmann 
by Selina Hastings.
Chatto, 476 pp., £25, June 2002, 0 7011 6542 1
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... Rosamond Lehmann was born the day after Queen Victoria’s funeral. When the First World War broke out she was 13, on holiday with her family on the Isle of Wight. The imminence of hostilities had put an end to a ...

A Conversation with Gore Vidal

Thomas Powers: Meeting Gore Vidal

30 July 2014
... suppressed important evidence that Henry James was a homosexual, and if so, why? A complicated story. It happened that Vidal had information on this subject: both Stephen Spender and John Lehmann had been told by Hugh Walpole – in identical words, apparently – of an occasion mentioned by Edel. Walpole, then young, beautiful, and awed by the Master, had offered himself to James. After a ...

Playing Catch Up

Wolfgang Streeck: The German Exception

3 May 2017
German Economic and Business History in the 19th and 20th Centuries 
by Werner Plumpe.
Palgrave, 367 pp., £86, August 2016, 978 1 137 51859 0
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The Seven Secrets of Germany: Economic Resilience in an Era of Global Turbulence 
by David​ Audretsch and Erik Lehmann.
Oxford, 229 pp., £22.99, February 2016, 978 0 19 025869 6
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Germany’s Role in the Euro Crisis: Berlin’s Quest for a More Perfect Monetary Union 
by Franz-Josef Meiers.
Springer, 146 pp., £90, November 2016, 978 3 319 37052 1
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... was no longer forthcoming, Germany finally experienced its second Wirtschaftswunder, while the economies of the Mediterranean EMU member countries began to collapse. Here​ the story is picked up by David Audretsch and Erik Lehmann. They purport to reveal the ‘seven secrets’ that enabled Germany to muster, in the words of their subtitle, ‘economic resilience in an era of global turbulence ...

Swaying at the Stove

Rosemary Hill: The Cult of Elizabeth David

9 December 1999
Elizabeth DavidA Biography 
by Lisa Chaney.
Pan, 482 pp., £10, September 1999, 0 330 36762 5
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Waiting at the Kitchen Table. Elizabeth DavidThe Authorised Biography 
by Artemis Cooper.
Viking, 364 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7181 4224 1
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... When Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food appeared in 1950, many of the ingredients it called for were unobtainable. But even after meat came off the ration, few people can have had much practical need for a ...

Bad Dreams

Robert Crawford: Peter Porter

6 October 2011
The Rest on the Flight: Selected Poems 
by Peter Porter.
Picador, 421 pp., £12.99, May 2010, 978 0 330 52218 2
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... went off to Australia, leaving his wife in London looking after their daughters. He had accepted an invitation to read at the Adelaide Arts Festival, and while in Australia he fell in love with Sally Lehmann, the wife of the poet Geoff Lehmann. Just after he returned to London, Jannice told her husband she wanted to go to her parents’ place for some time alone. He waved her off from Paddington. She ...

Fit and Few

Donald Davie

3 May 1984
The Making of the Reader: Language and Subjectivity in Modern American, English and Irish Poetry 
by David​ Trotter.
Macmillan, 272 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 333 30632 5
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... distributors; whereas the best-selling author, weeping all the way to the bank, has no one to blame but himself. If he is in earnest – and if he isn’t we’ll not bother with him, any more than David Trotter does – he thought that he was testing his society by moving out to the periphery of that society, speaking for and with the disaffected, the vagabonds, the ill-adjusted. How disconcerting ...

A Plumless Pudding

John Sutherland: The Great John Murray Archive Disaster

18 March 2004
... House, for a reported $1.3 billion. Who, "on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue or at Verlagsgruppe Random House in Gütersloh, can much have cared about the inter-office memoranda of Leonard Woolf and John Lehmann, or between Ian Parsons and Norah Smallwood – all of them big names in the days when British publishing houses were small? Let the librarians at Reading look after them, if they were kind enough to ...
21 January 1982
War Diary 1913-1917: Chronicle of Youth 
by Vera Brittain, edited by Alan Bishop.
Gollancz, 382 pp., £8.50, September 1981, 0 575 02888 2
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The English Poets of the First World War 
by John Lehmann.
Thames and Hudson, 144 pp., £6.95, August 1981, 0 500 01256 3
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Voices from the Great War 
by Peter Vansittart.
Cape, 303 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 224 01915 5
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The Little Field-Marshal: Sir John French 
by Richard Holmes.
Cape, 427 pp., £12.50, November 1981, 0 224 01575 3
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... to write. But then the volunteer army of 1915 produced a veritable constellation of poets. The phenomenon is so striking that it has been exhaustively chronicled; and an inevitable drawback to John Lehmann’s survey of The English Poets of the First World War is that so many of his poets seem already chosen for him, so many of his conclusions already foregone. The excellence of the illustrations, the ...

The Candidates

Chris Lehmann: Scott, Rick, Ted, Marco and Jeb

17 June 2015
... Party of Florida chose to look the other way for the spending habits of certain individuals while at the same time accusing me.’ Meanwhile, a longtime friend and ally of Rubio, former Congressman David Rivera, is facing a series of ethics proceedings, the Washington Post reports, for ‘routinely billing the state for travel and other expenses while paying himself back out of campaign accounts when ...

All This Love Business

Jean McNicol: Vanessa and Julian Bell

24 January 2013
Julian Bell: From Bloomsbury to the Spanish Civil War 
by Peter Stansky and William Abrahams.
Stanford, 314 pp., £38.95, 0 8047 7413 7
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... then he was the kind of person with whom girls fall in love and, it seemed, the kind of person whom they forgive. It wasn’t that he was particularly good-looking – according to his friend John Lehmann he was ‘a great, untidy, sprawling figure of a young man’. Virginia Woolf blamed his lack of looks on his father’s family: ‘He had a strong element of the Bell in him. What do I mean? I think ...
20 July 2000
... excrement from the area steps, for instance, or rooting with a bent coat-hanger down a blocked sink) thoughts occur like ‘I bet Tom Stoppard doesn’t have to do this’ or ‘There is no doubt David Hare would have deputed this to an underling.’ So I was happy to read in Gavin Lambert’s Mainly about Lindsay Anderson* that Lindsay harboured similar thoughts about such self-imposed menialities ...


A.N. Wilson

21 October 1993
Love from Nancy: The Letters of Nancy Mitford 
edited by Charlotte Mosley.
Hodder, 538 pp., £20, September 1993, 0 340 53784 1
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... her sister Diana, in the middle of relaying some mildly amusing malice about a friend. To her lover Gaston Palewski (‘Colonel’), she reports that Odette Massigli is having an affair with John Lehmann, who had never liked women before’. ‘Are you shrieking, Colonel?’ One hopes that he was. ‘I have been screaming with laughter for several days on end,’ Nancy reports, after reading a life ...

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