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Tariq Ali: Af-Pak

19 November 2009
... all. Recently Mullah Omar strongly criticised the Pakistani branch of the Taliban: they should, he said, be fighting Nato, not the Pakistan army. Meanwhile the British military commander, General Sir DavidRichards, echoing McChrystal, talks of training Afghan security forces ‘much more aggressively’ so that Nato can take on a supporting role. Nothing new here. Eupol (the European Union Police ...

Travelling in the Wrong Direction

Lorna Finlayson: Popular Feminism

4 July 2019
Empowered: Popular Feminism and Popular Misogyny 
by Sarah Banet-Weiser.
Duke, 220 pp., £18.99, November 2018, 978 1 4780 0291 8
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Darkness Now Visible: Patriarchy’s Resurgence and Feminist Resistance 
by Carol Gilligan and David Richards.
Cambridge, 162 pp., £21.99, August 2018, 978 1 108 47065 0
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Feminism for the 99 Per Cent: A Manifesto 
by Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya and Nancy Fraser.
Verso, 85 pp., £7.99, March 2019, 978 1 78873 442 4
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... the emergence of populism makes it possible to avoid giving critical attention to the hegemonic form of feminism and the politics to which it has acquiesced. This is exemplified by Carol Gilligan and DavidRichards in Darkness Now Visible, as they seek to account for Trump’s rise ‘seemingly out of nowhere’. They tell an intricate psychological story, based on Gilligan’s earlier work on moral ...

Larks

Patricia Craig

19 September 1985
But for Bunter 
by David​ Hughes.
Heinemann, 223 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 434 35410 4
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Bunter Sahib 
by Daniel Green.
Hodder, 272 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 340 36429 7
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The Good Terrorist 
by Doris Lessing.
Cape, 370 pp., £9.50, September 1985, 0 224 02323 3
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Unexplained Laughter 
by Alice Thomas Ellis.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 7156 2070 3
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Polaris and Other Stories 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 237 pp., £8.95, August 1985, 0 340 33227 1
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... schoolboy blunderer whose tomfoolery – quite by accident – has saved the day. It’s a custom of Bunter’s to run headlong into things, with preposterously beneficial results for all concerned. David Hughes, in his latest novel, takes this trait and turns it on its head: the outcome of Bunter’s intervention in certain notable episodes of the 20th century is very serious indeed. By this account ...

Sir Jim

Reyner Banham

22 May 1980
Memoirs of an Unjust Fella: An Autobiography 
by J.M. Richards.
Weidenfeld, 279 pp., £10, March 1980, 9780297777670
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... accident …” ’ A good Cassonian ploy. Those who were outside the game would be impressed that he knew who the Times architectural correspondent was; those who knew that evasive figure to be J.M. Richards would be interested to learn where he lived; and those who knew Richards personally would groan: ‘Typical Jim. Up all night working on an obit.’ The anonymity of a Times byline – ‘Our ...

Diary

Jonathan Steele: Neo-Taliban

9 September 2010
... world perceived the Taliban. We know almost nothing about the Taliban’s current views, but it’s clear that on the US side there is as yet no readiness to talk. There is some evidence that General David Petraeus, the new US commander in Afghanistan, is more in tune with Afghan realities than his predecessor, General Stanley McChrystal. But both have been committed to the current ‘surge’ of extra ...

Country Life

David​ Cannadine

5 November 1981
The Victorian Countryside 
edited by G.E. Mingay.
Routledge, 380 pp., £25, July 1981, 0 7100 0734 5
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... of shopkeepers, carriers and publicans, and the varied and contracting tasks of the country craftsmen. The rural proletariat (both male and female) also gets its due, and in the concluding essay, David Hey reminds us of the industrialised villages that lurked in the countryside. Here, fully revealed for the first time, is the world of the rural town, with middle-class, skilled artisans and ...

Taking the hint

David​ Craig

5 January 1989
The King’s Jaunt: George IV in Scotland, 1822 
by John Prebble.
Collins, 399 pp., £15, November 1988, 0 00 215404 8
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... and more fashionable’. Perhaps the corpulent King had been appalled by his own image in the mirror before the levee at Holyrood, when he had worn ‘full Highland dress’, described by the painter David Wilkie as kilt and hose ‘with a kind of flesh-coloured pantaloons underneath’ and by a Lowland laird as ‘the Royal Tartan Highland dress with buff-coloured trowsers like flesh to imitate his ...

Re-Readings

Chris Baldick

10 November 1988
Poetry, Language and Politics 
by John Barrell.
Manchester, 174 pp., £21.50, May 1988, 0 7190 2441 2
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Garden – Nature – Language 
by Simon Pugh.
Manchester, 148 pp., £25, May 1988, 0 7190 2824 8
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Writing Ireland: Colonialism, Nationalism and Culture 
by David​ Cairns and Shaun Richards.
Manchester, 178 pp., £21.50, May 1988, 0 7190 2371 8
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The Shakespeare Myth 
edited by Graham Holderness.
Manchester, 215 pp., £25, May 1988, 0 7190 1488 3
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... rising of the vegetables cannot really be said to have alarmed them. A work deserving far more respect is the intricate and soundly-researched exploration of Irish cultural ‘otherness’ by David Cairns and Shaun Richards in Writing Ireland, although it is clogged in parts by awkward efforts to align its arguments with those of the European masters: Foucault, Lacan, Gramsci and Althusser are ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Running Out of Time

8 January 2015
... I detect a falling-off in ambition among the better-paid advisers on physical and spiritual wellbeing. Once upon a time people published books like Invisibility: Mastering the Art of Vanishing (Steve Richards, 1982, a peerless guide to the many means of making oneself disappear), and Time Is an Illusion (Chris Griscom, 1986, a seminal lesson in past-life therapy and the unreality of time). Steve Richards ...

A Useless Body

David​ Craig: The Highland Clearances

17 May 2017
Set Adrift upon the World: The Sutherland Clearances 
by James Hunter.
Birlinn, 572 pp., £14.99, September 2016, 978 1 78027 354 9
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... settlement in Canada), is detailed and unsparing. His fellow-feeling for the cleared people is unmistakable, especially when compared with other historians such as the dispassionate Eric Richards, author of A History of the Highland Clearances (1985), and J.M. Bumsted, who wrote in The People’s Clearance (1982) that Highlanders ‘largely lacked … the ability of fluent self-expression ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: A journey to citizenship

16 November 2006
... Becoming a British citizen is a significant life event,’ the former home secretary David Blunkett writes. ‘The government intends to make gaining British citizenship meaningful and celebratory rather than simply a bureaucratic process.’ The quote is not from Blunkett’s diaries but ...

Boomster and the Quack

Stefan Collini: How to Get on in the Literary World

2 November 2006
Writers, Readers and Reputations: Literary Life in Britain 1870-1918 
by Philip Waller.
Oxford, 1181 pp., £85, April 2006, 0 19 820677 1
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... even self-indulgent, about the digressive miscellaneousness of the enterprise, something again in which the publisher appears to have colluded with the author. Take the appearances of one John Morgan Richards. On page 65 we are introduced to him as an ‘American, domiciled in England since 1867 and now owner of the Academy’. On page 92 we are told that ‘the Academy had been bought in 1896 by the ...

Adjusting the Mechanism

Colin Burrow: Robert Graves

11 October 2018
Robert Graves: From a Great War Poet to ‘Goodbye to All That’, 1895-1929 
by Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Bloomsbury, 461 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 4729 2914 3
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The Reader over Your Shoulder: A Handbook for Writers of English Prose 
by Robert Graves and Alan Hodge.
Seven Stories, 613 pp., £30, September 2017, 978 1 60980 733 7
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... slap: it ‘seems to shrink from the responsibility of “bestowing judgment”’. Ezra Pound’s prose is flogged as ‘wilfully loose’ and as a ‘yawp for yawp’s sake’. The critic I.A. Richards is subjected to a sliding studs-up tackle: ‘If I.A. Richards really finds the communication of simple experiences so much more difficult than most people do, this is probably because he avoids ...

Play hard

Dave Haslam

20 October 1994
The Dark Stuff: Selected Writings on Rock Music 1972-93 
by Nick Kent.
Penguin, 338 pp., £9.99, May 1994, 0 14 023046 7
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... of the self-destructive, drug-centred lives led by the rock stars he writes about. Kent made his name in the mid and late Seventies as a strung-out stringer, the suburban boy getting high with Keith Richards, hanging out at backstage drug binges, and – on one memorable occasion – being beaten about the body by Sid Vicious wielding a rusty bicycle chain. Kent’s most fruitful years writing for New ...
17 December 2009
...  and 1949’ – a fairly restricted group, even if more than two universities were really in question. Kermode invites us to pause over the elaborate social coding of Annan’s description of David Eccles as ‘a Wykehamist with the manner (so Etonians said) of a Harrovian’ – but also over the blunter evocation of Richard Hoggart as ‘the grammar school extramural lecturer’. Our Age had ...

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