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Argentine Adam

Malcolm Deas, 20 November 1986

Argentina 1516-1982: From Spanish Colonisation to the Falklands War 
by David Rock.
Tauris, 478 pp., £24.50, May 1986, 1 85043 013 6
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A State of Fear: Memories of Argentina’s Nightmare 
by Andrew Graham-Yooll.
Eland, 180 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 907871 51 8
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... not do is to pretend, in the light of recent Argentine history, that they answer what Professor Rock calls ‘the central compelling question about Argentina ... What went wrong?’ To expect a satisfactory answer to that question from an economic history is, in the old Spanish phrase, to expect pears from the elm. His book offers a competent account of ...
Bowie 
by Jerry Hopkins.
Elm Tree, 275 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 241 11548 5
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Alias David Bowie 
by Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman.
Hodder, 511 pp., £16.95, September 1986, 0 340 36806 3
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... David Robert Jones, alias DavidBowie, is now in his 40th year. His creepy, chilling phrases pop out of pub jukeboxes, and extracts from his movies catch the eye on pub videos, whether he is embracing a Chinese girl or being executed by Japanese soldiers; his image appears in the Sunday-paper magazines, artistically displayed in sundry poses ...

What’s going on, Eric?

David Renton: Rock Against Racism, 22 November 2018

Walls Come Tumbling Down: The Music and Politics of Rock Against Racism, 2 Tone and Red Wedge 
by Daniel Rachel.
Picador, 589 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 1 4472 7268 7
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... to be gaining a presence not just in politics but in pop culture too. That same month, May 1976, David Bowie was photographed at Victoria Station on his return to Britain after two years in North America. Standing in an open-topped Mercedes, he appeared to give his fans some kind of open-handed, straight-armed – possibly fascist – salute. Soon afterwards ...

At Tate Britain

David Craig: Mountain Art, 25 April 2002

... was God’s creation and that its bones, its visible crust, were ‘a Book of Revelations in the rock-leaved Bible of geology’. Those were the words of the pioneering geologist John Wesley Powell, who led the first expedition through the Grand Canyon in 1873. Thomas Moran, an experienced painter from Philadelphia, travelled with Powell, and had been to ...

Lennonism

David Widgery, 21 February 1985

John Winston Lennon. Vol. I: 1940-1966 
by Ray Coleman.
Sidgwick, 288 pp., £9.95, June 1984, 0 283 98942 4
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John Ono Lennon. Vol. II: 1967-1980 
by Ray Coleman.
Sidgwick, 344 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 283 99082 1
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John Lennon, Summer of 1980 
by Yoko Ono.
Chatto, 111 pp., £4.95, June 1984, 0 7011 3931 5
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... Teensville USA. J.W. Lennon, grammar-school dissident and art-school yobbo, used the idiom of rock and roll to charm London into cultural submission, drive Britain half-crazy with excitement and enchant the world. But then saw through the corporate pantomime and, with Yoko Ono, turned the tables on his prodigious fame, discovered Art and Politics and ...

Perfectly Mobile, Perfectly Still

David Craig: Land Artists, 14 December 2000

Time 
by Andy Goldsworthy.
Thames and Hudson, 203 pp., £35, August 2000, 0 500 51026 1
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... are following the footsteps of the original Australians, who ground their ochres from earth in rock holes next to the overhangs which they adorned with fish and birds and lizards and spirit-figures. They are also working as nearly as humans can to the processes of nature itself. If you look at the photographs by Paul van Vlissingen taken monthly from one ...

Diary

David Craig: Episodes on the Rock, 13 May 1993

... The most baffling part of the climb was getting to the base of the Rock. Or so we thought until we embarked on the Face itself. On a Saturday we started to ask our way along the limpet-horde of wrecked garages and scrapyards that encrust the base of the reef. Nowhere does the 500-metre soaring triangle of raw limestone actually sprout from common ground ...

Climbing

David Craig, 5 September 1985

... cracks. Ed Drummond found the first way up it 17 years ago and gave his line the most beautiful of rock names, A Dream of White Horses. For seven months we’ve been exchanging poems between his home in San Francisco and mine in Cumbria. Now we’re here to pluck his route from the teeth of winter but it seems madly unfeasible. I couldn’t live in that ...

Triermain Eliminate

Chauncey Loomis, 9 July 1987

Native Stones: A Book about Climbing 
by David Craig.
Secker, 213 pp., £10.95, May 1987, 0 436 11350 3
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... I admire mountain, rock and ice-climbing from a respectful distance. When young and foolish, I tried it. I even went up what some experienced climbers call ‘the milk run’ to the peak of Matterhorn, but that climb was my last: all the way up I visualised Lord Francis Douglas coming down the way that he did in 1865 – straight – and it spoiled the trip for me ...

Poisoned Words

Ian Williams, 5 May 1988

Indictment: Power and Politics In the Construction Industry 
by David Morrell.
Faber, 287 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 0 571 14985 5
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... builders of Chernobyl? For the Kariba North Bank power station, however, there is now a memorial-David Morrell’s Indictment. Mr Morrell is the chairman of Mitchell Construction, the original contractors for the KNB project, and his book breaks ground unturned since Samuel Smiles’s Lives of the Engineers. In his pages, Mitchell Construction, in ...

Hateful Sunsets

David Craig: Highlands and Headlands, 5 March 2015

Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place 
by Philip Marsden.
Granta, 348 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 1 84708 628 0
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... Western Europe reaches one of its fine points here, like Cape Wrath in Sutherland, Lleyn and St David’s Head in Wales, and Cornuaille in Brittany. In such places we come across peaks and juts of rock which look and feel like those in West Penwith: ‘look’ because they draw our eyes and feet like ...

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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... Moll’s repentance, she tells us in born-again tones, ‘has been a thing of joy. Like the rock that poured clear, refreshing water when struck, Moll has told her story to the minister who “broke into my very soul” by his honest, friendly manner.’ In a footnote Backscheider concedes that ‘not all critics agree with this reading.’ This is an ...

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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... sense that you can encompass them, you can easily walk or sail round them and get to know each rock-face or sand-bar, each vein of water or peat-hagg lip. Islands make you attend to them with the most intimate focus, until you know them entirely and understand the reason each feature, natural or civilised, is as it is. That stone-heap on a west-facing ...
... is mountainous or flat, these images often have a striking resemblance to compositions by Caspar David Friedrich. Working out there in nature, then, Long is a performer in the open-air theatre of the sublime. But is this aspect of his work its main distinction? There are two possible extreme interpretations of the relationship between Long’s outdoor and ...

Brown and Friends

David Runciman, 3 January 2008

... Party in Scotland. Balls’s wife, Yvette Cooper, sits with him in cabinet. Miliband’s brother, David, is foreign secretary. Brothers and sisters, husbands and wives: the Brown government is a family affair, and it marks a shift to ever more intimate political relationships at the centre of power, even compared to the days when Tony Blair was ruling the ...

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