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Edmund Leach, 23 October 1986

The Anthropology of Violence 
edited by David Riches.
Blackwell, 232 pp., £25, September 1986, 0 631 14788 8
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Quest for Excitement: Sport and Leisure in the Civilising Process 
by Norbert Elias and Eric Dunning.
Blackwell, 313 pp., £19.50, August 1986, 0 631 14654 7
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Sport, Power and Culture: A Social and Historical Analysis of Popular Sports in Britain 
by John Hargreaves.
Polity, 258 pp., £25, September 1986, 0 7456 0153 7
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At the Dawn of Tyranny: The Origins of Individualism, Political Oppression and the State 
by Eli Sagan.
Faber, 420 pp., £17.50, April 1986, 0 571 13822 5
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... the same term to the ritual obscenities of bottle-throwing soccer fans somehow seems misplaced. David Riches is aware of this incongruity. His symposium contains 11 papers by 11 different authors drawn from the Proceedings of an ESRC-funded conference held at St Andrews University in January 1985. The violence under discussion is not a concept which ...
The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age 
by Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Faber, 595 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 571 13177 8
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... between North and South, capital and labour. No summary could do adequate justice to the range and riches of this book, which bears all the hallmarks of Himmelfarb’s work at its best and most vigorous. It is, again, a piece of rightish writing, although she grinds fewer contemporary axes than in her book on Mill. She vigorously reasserts the merits of ...

Two Poems

David Wheatley, 8 May 2008

... its ends. Knots of islanders stream from the graveyard to East Town and West Town – the infinite riches of if not one thing the other – each soul one peg the more to stop the place blowing away with the trees (there are no trees on the island) and the lighthouse beams, blown out to sea and snapped at by Balor’s teeth where the island runs out. Lighthouse ...

Noovs’ hoovs in the trough

Angela Carter, 24 January 1985

The Official Foodie Handbook 
by Ann Barr and Paul Levy.
Ebury, 144 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 85223 348 5
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An Omelette and a Glass of Wine 
by Elizabeth David.
Hale, 318 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7090 2047 3
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Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook 
by Alice Waters, foreword by Jane Grigson .
Chatto, 340 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 7011 2820 8
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... half-crust. (‘That bread alone was worth the journey,’ they probably remark, just as Elizabeth David says of a trip to an out-of-the-way eatery in France.) Art has a morality of its own, and the aesthetics of cooking and eating aspire, in ‘foodism’, towards the heights of food-for-food’s sake. Therefore the Third World can go suck its fist.The ...

Scandal in Pittsburgh

David Nasaw: Andrew Mellon, 19 July 2007

Mellon: An American Life 
by David Cannadine.
Allen Lane, 779 pp., £30, November 2006, 0 7139 9508 4
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... their personal lives. ‘Though Judge Mellon had rebelled decisively against his own father,’ David Cannadine writes in his new biography of the judge’s son Andrew, ‘he had no intention of tolerating any such conduct in the next generation … The judge regarded his sons as essentially extensions of himself.’ When Andrew Mellon was in his teens, his ...

How do you wrap a skeleton?

J. Robert Lennon: David Copperfield Sedaris, 9 June 2022

A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries 2003-20 
by David Sedaris.
Little, Brown, 566 pp., £10.99, June, 978 0 349 14190 9
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... In late​ 2016, David Sedaris attended a piano recital delivered by his longtime partner, Hugh. Hugh had practised with obsessive intensity for many hours a day, but ultimately performed poorly, disappointing himself in front of a room full of his fellow students and their parents. ‘I’ve never seen him so vulnerable,’ Sedaris wrote that night in his diary, excerpted here in a second curated volume of entries, which he has said are a small fraction of the nearly ten million words he has ‘handwritten or typed’ as part of this project since 1977 ...

‘Hell, yes’

J. Robert Lennon: The Osage Murders, 5 October 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon: Oil, Money, Murder and the Birth of the FBI 
by David Grann.
Simon & Schuster, 338 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 0 85720 902 3
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... before the Senate intelligence committee. ‘Lordy,’ he said, ‘I hope there are tapes.’ David Grann couldn’t have known, when he began work on his absorbing, infuriating book about the crimes that helped shape the FBI, how many Americans would be looking to the agency today for salvation from their country’s ongoing political ...

Italy’s New Art

David Sylvester, 30 March 1989

... and fifty. However, the time of its supremacy had been even longer, so that the accumulated riches, plus the legacies of the Romans and the Etruscans, plus its all being so ubiquitous and conspicuous, make life easy for tour operators but complicated for artists: ever-present glories of the past create inhibition and resentment but also constant ...


David Runciman: The Problem with English Football, 23 October 2008

... United, Arsenal and Liverpool. League football occasionally throws up extraordinary rags-to-riches stories like this, but as a fan, even while you relish your good fortune, you know it can’t last, just as you know the riches are largely illusory, and will be frittered away. Carlisle United had done something similar ...

Owning Mayfair

David Cannadine, 2 April 1981

Survey of London. Vol. 40: The Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, Part 2. The Buildings 
edited by F.H.W. Sheppard.
Athlone, 428 pp., £55, August 1980, 0 485 48240 1
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... might be mollified to learn that Mayfair retains its high status and exclusive reputation: but the riches and power to which it now plays host are institutional and governmental rather than patrician or titled. The Mayfair Estate came into the Grosvenor family through an advantageous marriage in 1677 between Sir Thomas Grosvenor and the heiress Mary ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: Narcissistic Kevins, 6 November 2014

... sick. He says that one reason the team froze him out was that they couldn’t stomach the riches he was earning from the IPL, the Indian Premier League, where his contract was auctioned for $1.5 million. He has no sympathy for the gripers. ‘The IPL is professionalism taken to its logical extreme,’ he writes. ‘All the bullshit and hypocrisy have ...

Landlord of the Moon

David Craig: Scottish islands, 21 February 2002

Sea Room: An Island Life 
by Adam Nicolson.
HarperCollins, 391 pp., £14.99, October 2001, 0 00 257164 1
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... privileged nor more deprived than anywhere else’, with ‘the benefit of the good soils, the riches of the birds and fish. It was not to be deprived of anything the mainland could offer. It was a sea room with sea room, a place enlarged by circumstances, not confined by them.’ Each experience of his island life is beautifully described. Quite ...

The ‘R’ Word

Adam Smyth: For the Love of the Binding, 4 November 2021

Book Ownership in Stuart England 
by David Pearson.
Oxford, 352 pp., £69.99, January, 978 0 19 887012 8
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... stasis, scattering, reconstruction – is typical of many libraries from the 17th century. David Pearson’s Book Ownership in Stuart England gives us a superlative tour of just about everything we might want to know about the early modern culture of book buying, borrowing, listing, shelving, storing and displaying. The ‘backbone’ of his ...

Kurt Weill in Europe and America

David Drew, 18 September 1980

The days grow short 
by Ronald Sanders.
Weidenfeld, 469 pp., £14.95, July 1980, 0 297 77783 1
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Kurt Weill in Europe 
by Kim Kowalke.
UMI Research Press/Bowker, 589 pp., £25.50, March 1980, 0 8357 1076 9
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... The main outlines of the story are already known to television viewers the world over: rags to riches with Lenya and Brecht in Weimar Berlin; escape from the holocaust; new rags to even greater riches in the America of Broadway and Hollywood. In Mr Sanders’s version, many details are capably filled in, and elements ...

Queen Croesus

David Cannadine, 13 February 1992

Royal Fortune: Tax, Money and the Monarchy 
by Phillip Hall.
Bloomsbury, 294 pp., £18.99, February 1992, 0 7475 1133 0
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... worth cannot be worth very much.) Estimates range from £100 million, which is scarcely serious riches at all, to more than £3000 million, which is truly a mind-boggling accumulation. One reason for this uncertainty is that no one really knows what to include among the Queen’s assets. Her shareholdings, and her houses and estates at Sandringham and ...

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