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Art and Men

Michael Shelden, 5 December 1991

Bachelors of Art: Edward Perry Warren and the Lewes House Brotherhood 
by David Sox.
Fourth Estate, 296 pp., £18.99, September 1991, 1 872180 11 6
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... dean said of women: ‘Inferior to us God made you, and inferior to the end you will remain.’ David Sox does not try to disguise the ugliness of his subject’s attitude towards women, nor does he shy away from highlighting other faults. Ned was arrogant, possessive, gullible and hopelessly unrealistic. But his devotion to art makes his story worth ...

Oh, the curse!

David Runciman: A home run, 19 February 2004

Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville: A Lifelong Passion for Baseball 
by Stephen Jay Gould.
Cape, 342 pp., £16.99, January 2004, 0 224 05042 7
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Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game 
by Michael Lewis.
Norton, 288 pp., $24.95, June 2003, 0 393 05765 8
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... be heard bleating softly. Oh, the curse! By these standards, the other doomed team, the Boston Red Sox, got off relatively lightly. The Red Sox labour under the Curse of the Bambino, the result of a lapse of judgment by their owner Harry Frazee in 1920, when he sold his star pitcher, Babe Ruth, to the New York Yankees for ...


David Runciman: Winners Do Drugs, 3 August 2006

Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, Balco and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports 
by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.
Gotham, 332 pp., $26, March 2006, 1 59240 199 6
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... won a World Series, unlike Ruth, who won seven, including three as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. In other words, when the pressure is really on, Bonds is a choker, and they don’t make drugs for that (not yet, anyway). Second, although Bonds is by all accounts an odious person, it is also true that some of it is an act, put on in order to feed his ...

How messy it all is

David Runciman: Who benefits from equality?, 22 October 2009

The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better 
by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett.
Allen Lane, 331 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 1 84614 039 6
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... equal pay structure. From 2001-5 the two most unequal teams (the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox) won the greatest number of games; the two most equal teams (the Colorado Rockies and Kansas City Royals) won the fewest. You can see the same thing happening in English football: very rich, inegalitarian Chelsea do better than relatively rich, more ...

What the Twist Did for the Peppermint Lounge

Dave Haslam: Club culture, 6 January 2000

Adventures in Wonderland: A Decade of Club Culture 
by Sheryl Garratt.
Headline, 335 pp., £7.99, May 1999, 0 7472 7680 3
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Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey 
by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton.
Headline, 408 pp., £14.99, November 1999, 0 7472 7573 4
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Saturday Night For Ever: The Story of Disco 
by Alan Jones and Jussi Kantonen.
Mainstream, 223 pp., £9.99, April 1999, 9781840181777
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DJ Culture 
by Ulf Poschardt.
Quartet, 473 pp., £13, January 1999, 0 7043 8098 6
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Energy Flash: A Journey through Rave Music and Dance Culture 
by Simon Reynolds.
Picador, 493 pp., £12.99, July 1998, 0 330 35056 0
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More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction 
by Kodwo Eshun.
Quartet, 208 pp., £10, March 1998, 0 7043 8025 0
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... and Jussi Kantonen describe an occasion in July 1979 at the home stadium of the Chicago White Sox baseball team when thousands of disco records were set alight while the crowd chanted ‘Disco sucks, Disco sucks!’ The 1989 edition of the Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music describes disco as ‘a dance fad of the Seventies with a profound and ...

The Inevitable Pit

Stephen Greenblatt: Isn’t that a Jewish name?, 21 September 2000

... or Burns and Allen, when they watched I Love Lucy or the Ed Sullivan Show, when they went to Red Sox baseball games and outdoor concerts by the Boston Pops, they were participating in a collective culture that did not acknowledge – either with interest or dislike – their difference. There was an inherent contradiction, or at the very least a grave ...

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