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3 January 2008
... leader who may be the best man for one stage of the journey is not necessarily the right leader for the next stage.’ At 60, he looked ghostly; a diet of tea and cigarettes hadn’t helped. A.J.P. Taylor said that Maxton had wasted his political life: ‘He was a politician who had every quality – passionate sincerity, unstinted devotion, personal charm, a power of oratory – every quality save ...

Short Cuts

David​ Bromwich: Alexander Hamilton’s Worst Idea

24 October 2019
... series was published by the Intelligence Committee on 3 October, after Volker’s resignation from his post on 27 September. ‘Counting on you to be right about this interview, Gordon,’ William Taylor, the chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Kiev, texted Sondland on 9 September at 12.34 a.m. Three minutes later Sondland replied: ‘Bill, I never said I was “right”. I said we are where we ...
5 July 1984
Smoke Ring: The Politics of Tobacco 
by Peter Taylor.
Bodley Head, 384 pp., £9.95, March 1984, 0 370 30513 2
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... of government over the great corporations were ushering in a dark age of bureaucratic tyranny. This theory later became the central slogan of the Thatcher-Reagan reaction of the Eighties. Peter Taylor’s marvellous book does awful damage to it. He deals with the power of the tobacco companies, especially the six giant ones which control the production, distribution and marketing of the crop all ...


A.J.P. Taylor: One of Two Versions

2 August 1984
... again. If this means the end of my life I shall not care. Anything is better than to be imprisoned in a hospital. Life has begun to stir since I was released. I opened an exhibition of the works of David Low, which had been locked up since his death. Some years ago I opened a similar exhibition of Low’s works which the University of Canterbury had managed to acquire. Now I launched another set ...
5 November 1981
History and Imagination: Essays in honour of H.R. Trevor-Roper 
edited by Hugh Lloyd-Jones, Valerie Pearl and Blair Worden.
Duckworth, 386 pp., £25, October 1981, 9780715615706
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... a fascinating piece by Valerie Pearl on ‘Social Policy in Early Modern London’. Kevin Sharpe on Archbishop Laud and the University of Oxford is much in Trevor-Roper’s spirit. I greatly enjoyed David S. Katz on the problem, much debated in 17th century England, of what language Adam spoke. After some false starts with Egyptian and ‘the language of Canaan’, Hebrew won the contest: hence the ...

All Together Now

John Lloyd: The British Trade Union

19 October 2000
British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. I: The Postwar Compromise, 1945-64 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 335 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. II: The High Tide of Trade Unionism, 1964-79 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 389 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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The TUC: From the General Strike to New Unionism 
by Robert Taylor.
Palgrave, 299 pp., £45, September 2000, 0 333 93066 5
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... skills which are in short supply should be able to move easily from completing their degrees to finding employment. Aimed primarily at Asia and Central/Eastern Europe, the scheme was commended by David Blunkett as proof that the Government was ‘delivering nothing less than one of the world’s most flexible modern work permit systems. To maintain a buoyant economy we need to ensure employers can ...

State of the Art

John Lanchester

1 June 1989
Manchester United: The Betrayal of a Legend 
by Michael Crick and David​ Smith.
Pelham, 246 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 0 7207 1783 3
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Football in its Place: An Environmental Psychology of Football Grounds 
by David​ Canter, Miriam Comber and David​ Uzzell.
Routledge, 173 pp., £10.95, May 1989, 0 415 01240 6
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... less well, Cullis got the sack, and POMO lapsed into obscurity, until a strange thing, a kind of historical rhyme, occurred. Elton John bought Watford Football Club and appointed the energetic Graham Taylor as manager. Taylor, looking for a way of fulfilling his boss’s ambition of making Watford into a First Division team, came across a statistical survey which showed that the majority of goals comes ...

Short Cuts

Paul Laity: A west-country Man U supporter speaks

22 June 2006
... United’s manager since the end of the war. My dad, an eager new fan, was a Busby Babe. Of the books on my parents’ shelves, the one I remember taking down first was The Day a Team Died, by Frank Taylor. The title was so dramatic, and on the spine the letters d i e d were coloured red and arranged out of line like skittles that had just been hit. My father was memorably solemn as he told me the book ...

Stalker & Co

Damian Grant

20 November 1986
... the same month – September 1985 – that Stalker completed his interim report, Manchester’s No 1 Regional Crime Squad began an investigation into the affairs of the Manchester businessman Kevin Taylor, a friend of John Stalker’s for many years. This investigation is currently the subject of a private prosecution brought by Mr Taylor against the Chief Constable of Manchester, James Anderton ...

Lucky Boy

Kevin Kopelson

3 April 1997
directed by Scott Hicks.
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Shine: The Screenplay 
by Jan Sardi.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £7.99, January 1997, 0 7475 3173 0
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The Book of David 
by Beverley Eley.
HarperCollins, 285 pp., £8.99, March 1997, 0 207 19105 0
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Love You to Bits and Pieces: Life with David​ Helfgott 
by Gillian Helfgott, with Alissa Tanskaya.
Penguin, 337 pp., £6.99, January 1997, 0 14 026546 5
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... or moths with similar equalities for purposes of telephonic seduction, Tristan-esque trip-taking.’ Now comes Scott Hicks’s Shine, an equally arty but commercially viable biopic about a man – David Helfgott (played by Geoffrey Rush, Noah Taylor and Alex Rafalowicz) – who is abnormally inarticulate. Helfgott’s very first words are: ‘Kissed them all, I kissed them all, always kissed cats ...


A.J.P. Taylor: Magdalen College Portraits

3 May 1984
... a few of the books which I have read since the opening of the year. They are a stimulus for me to return to the distant time when I read a book a day. They begin with Lloyd George and the Generals by David Woodward,* a professor at Marshall University, which is somewhere in the New World. The difficult relations between Lloyd George, when prime minister, and the British generals from Haig onwards ...

Carers or Consumers?

Barbara Taylor: 18th-Century Women

4 November 2010
Women and Enlightenment in 18th-Century Britain 
by Karen O’Brien.
Cambridge, 310 pp., £17.99, March 2009, 978 0 521 77427 7
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... from it except the pleasure of seeing it.’ The pronouns are male, yet these ‘principles’ were traditionally associated with women, and although Smith and other moral sentimentalists such as David Hume and Francis Hutcheson tried hard to purge the notion (Smith, for example, distinguished large-minded male generosities from ‘womanish lamentations’), femininity continued to be seen as ...


A.J.P. Taylor: On Not Being Egocentric Enough

4 August 1983
... difference. The Social Democratic Party has had a severe setback, which is all to the good. I trust this hotchpotch of a party will expire before the next general election. Incidentally, how much David Owen must be regretting that the SDP is still alive. If he had remained in the Labour Party nothing could have prevented his becoming its leader. Perhaps the Executive Committee of the Labour Party ...

Thanks to the Fels-Naptha Soap King

Miles Taylor: George Lansbury

22 May 2003
George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour 
by John Shepherd.
Oxford, 407 pp., £35, September 2002, 0 19 820164 8
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... wonders for the reputations of local politicians – seldom for national leaders – and by the 1920s, ‘good old George’ of Poplar had come to personify grassroots Labour in much the same way as David Blunkett of the ‘socialist republic’ of South Yorkshire did in the late 1970s. Shepherd sees Lansbury’s evolution into a Cockney icon as a parable of the working-class boy made good by a ...

When the Jaw-Jaw Failed

Miles Taylor: Company Rule in India

3 March 2016
The Tears of the Rajas: Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905 
by Ferdinand Mount.
Simon & Schuster, 784 pp., £12.99, January 2016, 978 1 4711 2946 9
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... service’ – in his famous chronicle of the mutiny. That aside, he disappeared from view. Until the summer of 2010, that is, when it was revealed that Low’s family was distantly related to David Cameron’s. Shortly after the prime minister returned from his first official visit to India, the Sunday Times broke the story that Low’s eldest son, Malcolm, had taken part in the brutal ...

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