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Political Gothic

Andy Beckett: David Peace does the miners’ strike, 23 September 2004

by David Peace.
Faber, 465 pp., £12.99, March 2004, 0 571 21445 2
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... David Peace’s first novel, Nineteen Seventy Four (1999), was set in West Yorkshire in the year of its title, and presented that time and place in apocalyptic terms. ‘These are violent bloody times, son,’ a senior policeman tells the narrator, a gauche young journalist investigating the disappearance of a series of girls ...

Polly the Bleeding Parrot

James Meek: David Peace, 6 August 2009

Occupied City 
by David Peace.
Faber, 275 pp., £12.99, July 2009, 978 0 571 23202 4
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... the best of these books are the ones we keep rereading. Tokyo Year Zero, the 2007 predecessor to David Peace’s new novel, conforms in its early pages to the first kind of mystery, specifically those described with cool backhandedness by Elizabeth Bowen when she wrote that ‘the only above-board grown-up children’s stories are detective ...

Peace for Galilee

David Twersky, 21 April 1983

The Longest War 
by Jacobo Timerman.
Chatto, 160 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 7011 3910 2
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... crazy. The Israelis must become Palestinians in their imagination in order to make peace with them. Based on essays which appeared in the New Yorker this summer, The Longest War has the advantage of immediacy, of intimacy. The anguish it describes, an anguish located in the first-person plural employed almost throughout, has not been tempered ...

Making peace

Dan Gillon, 3 April 1980

The Question of Palestine 
by Edward Said.
Routledge, 265 pp., £7.50, February 1980, 0 7100 0498 2
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... that threatens all the other agreements which have been reached, particularly the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. In his new book Edward Said tries to move the discussion beyond the narrow and sterile polemicism of the past. In many respects his attempt is successful. His writing is prejudiced and bitter and at times downright misleading. Yet he is able to rise ...

Bloody Brilliant Banter

Theo Tait: ‘A Natural’, 4 May 2017

A Natural 
by Ross Raisin.
Cape, 343 pp., £14.99, March 2017, 978 1 910702 66 6
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... enclosed, distinctive world of their own. There are very few good British novels about sport, and, David Peace aside, hardly any about football – despite its place in our culture. In A Natural, Raisin delves into the life of a lower league English football team – a subject never covered before, as far as I know, in literary fiction. Perhaps it ...

The Great Middle East Peace Process Scam

Henry Siegman: There Is No Peace Process, 16 August 2007

... in March – had presented the world with a new ‘window of opportunity’.* (Never has a failed peace process enjoyed so many windows of opportunity.) Hamas’s isolation in Gaza, Olmert and Bush agreed, would allow them to grant generous concessions to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, giving him the credibility he needed with the Palestinian ...

David Nokes on the duality of Defoe

David Nokes, 19 April 1990

Daniel Defoe: His Life 
by Paula Backscheider.
Johns Hopkins, 671 pp., £20.50, November 1989, 0 8018 3785 5
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... to have had no trouble sustaining the Review and publishing more than twenty tracts on the [peace] negotiations (plus half a dozen pamphlets on other subjects) in twelve months’. Her chapter titles reinforce this admiration for heroic feats of productivity. Chapter Seven is entitled ‘Four Hundred Thousand Words’, a record easily surpassed by ...

Ehud Barak

Avi Shlaim: Ehud Barak, 25 January 2001

... to full independence and statehood. On the other hand, it was not presented as a full-blown peace treaty but, much more modestly, as a Declaration of Principles for Palestinian self-government, which would come into operation initially only in Gaza and Jericho. Despite all the limitations and ambiguities, I argued, the Accord represented a major ...

Short Cuts

David Simpson: The 9/11 Memorial, 17 November 2011

... I had just about made my peace with the 9/11 memorial, whose concept I had at first found generic and full of clichés: the trees, the pool of falling water, the glimpse into the void and so on. Despite a few false notes (the tacky little flags on the bagpipes, and George W. Bush reciting from a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to a mother who lost five sons in the Civil War, once again opportunistically figuring the deaths of unknowing civilians as military heroism), the opening ceremony on Sunday, 11 September had gone well ...

The Politics of Now

David Runciman: The Last World Cup, 21 June 2018

The Fall of the House of Fifa 
by David Conn.
Yellow Jersey, 336 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 0 224 10045 8
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... power, some moments now look like straws in the wind. In late November 2010 the English FA sent David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham to Fifa headquarters in Zurich to lobby on its behalf before the vote for the right to host the 2018 World Cup. Two old Etonians and an alumnus of Chingford County High ...
... and to fill you with a sense of well-being and completeness. That sense of completeness, of inner peace, is surely bound up with an attitude of acceptance of nature that is rare in art. Western art normally colonises nature. When its tendency is Romantic it takes nature over by inflicting the pathetic fallacy on it. When its tendency is classical it insists ...

America and Israel

Ian Gilmour, 18 February 1982

The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East 
by Mahmoud Riad.
Quartet, 365 pp., £11.95, October 1981, 0 7043 2297 8
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Palestinian Self-Determination 
by Hassan Bin Talal.
Quartet, 138 pp., £6.95, July 1981, 0 7043 2312 5
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This Year in Jerusalem 
by Kenneth Cragg.
Darton, Longman and Todd, 192 pp., £5.95, February 1982, 0 232 51524 7
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... in the recent conflict, for an end to belligerency and for the right of every state to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries. At that time, the territories occupied by Israel outside her 1967 boundaries were the Sinai peninsula, the West Bank, including Arab Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights. More than fourteen years later ...

One Does It Like This

David A. Bell: Talleyrand, 16 November 2006

Napoleon’s Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand 
by David Lawday.
Cape, 386 pp., £20, September 2006, 0 224 07366 4
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... there. The two most familiar images of the men express the contrast eloquently. First, there is David’s brilliant portrait of Napoleon on his rearing charger in the Alps, seemingly master of the wind, rocks and sky; second, Chateaubriand’s acid description of Talleyrand hobbling into the presence of Louis XVIII with the help of Napoleon’s sinister ...

Blood Ba’th

David Gilmour, 2 February 1989

Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East 
by Patrick Seale.
Tauris, 552 pp., £19.95, October 1988, 1 85043 061 6
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... and with the other he duped Sadat. There has never been a better chance for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East than in the period following the October war. It was destroyed by Kissinger, who cared nothing about a solution to the central issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestine question, but worked instead for a separate ...


David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... Agent Cooper losing grip and my attention. Off to bed. Wednesday 9: Collapse of Geneva Peace talks. James Baker and Bush are determined to teach Saddam Hussein ‘a terrible lesson’. Alan Jenkins of TLS rang up at 7.15 p.m. to suggest I write article on two exhibitions in London next month: Man Ray photos at Barbican, Max Ernst at Tate. Thursday ...

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