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Green Thoughts

Colin Ward, 19 January 1989

Seasons of the Seal 
by Fred Bruemmer and Brian Davies.
Bloomsbury, 160 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 7475 0214 5
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Whale Nation 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 191 pp., £15, August 1988, 0 224 02555 4
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Falling for a dolphin 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 47 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 0 224 02659 3
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Prisoners of the Seas 
by K.A. Gourlay.
Zed, 256 pp., £25.95, November 1988, 0 86232 686 9
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Progress for a Small Planet 
by Barbara Ward.
Earthscan, 298 pp., £5.95, September 1988, 1 85383 028 3
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Future Earth: Exploring the Frontiers of Space 
edited by Nigel Calder and John Newell.
Christopher Helm, 255 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780747004202
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Sizewell B: An Anatomy of the Enquiry 
by Timothy O’Riordan, Ray Kemp and Michael Purdue.
Macmillan, 474 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 333 38944 1
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Early Green Politics 
by Peter Gould.
Harvester, 225 pp., £29.95, June 1988, 0 7108 1192 6
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Dreamers of the Absolute 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
Radius, 312 pp., £7.95, October 1988, 0 09 173240 9
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The Coming of the Greens 
by Jonathon Porritt and David Winner.
Fontana, 287 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 00 637244 9
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Ecology and Socialism 
by Martin Ryle.
Radius, 122 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 09 182247 5
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... can be enfolded within our political party system. And if so, where? No sooner had Porritt and Winner declared that ‘there is no more chance of a deep green tendency developing in the modern Conservative Party than there is within the Socialist Workers Party’ than Mrs Thatcher addressed the Royal Society on 27 September last with the message that her ...

Picking the winner

Keith Kyle, 7 July 1983

Tom Mboya: The Man Kenya Wanted to Forget 
by David Goldsworthy.
Heinemann/Africana, 308 pp., £13, June 1982, 0 435 96275 2
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... or for an attractive formulation of ideas, he was the perfect refutation of colonialist disdain. David Goldsworthy, the Australian scholar who is Mboya’s second biographer – the first, Alan Rake, wrote his book in 1962 – has produced an efficient interim study of his career, which examines in a sensible way the main issues it presents. He never met his ...

Something to look at

David Sylvester, 10 March 1994

... the Royal Academy, is its combination of quality and breadth.* Ortiz is not only like a decathlon winner; he is like an unheard-of phenomenon, a decathlon winner some of whose results are better than those of the winners of separate events. His choice of objects, moreover, for all its eclecticism, clearly reflects a ...

Notes on the Election

David Runciman, 5 February 2015

... constitutional implications – makes it much harder to know what may happen if there is no clear winner. Opinions about how easy it would be to engineer an election before the five years are up vary from no problem to no way (the truth is probably somewhere in between). What’s more, previous nail-biters were straight two-way contests. Even if no one ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Literary Prizes, 10 May 2001

... February, when the judges were announced. Whoever wins the Booker takes home £9000 less than the winner of the Orange Prize, ‘the UK’s largest and richest annual book award for fiction’, for which the shortlist is to be announced today (10 May). There’s always a certain amount of fuss about whether or not it’s fair to exclude men from the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: ‘Anthrax’!, 7 July 2005

... Factory: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank (Simon and Schuster, £12.99), David Plotz investigates the Repository for Germinal Choice that was founded in California in 1980 by Robert Graham, an ‘eccentric millionaire’, and closed in 1999. The only prize-winner to fess up to having donated was ...

On the Edge

David Sylvester, 27 April 2000

A New Thing Breathing: Recent Work 
by Tony Cragg.
Tate Gallery Liverpool
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... so that there may never be a consensus lasting more than fifty years as to which of them was the winner. Nevertheless, there is a clear distinction in their greatness, one relating purely to its nature, not its degree. It’s that Matisse did not possess or need to possess genius. The definition of genius is implicit in the platitude about its affinity to ...

Who Lost?

David Edgar: the third presidential debate, 9 October 2008

... the consistency of Obama’s performance elevates him from a three-time non-loser to a series ...

Notes on the Election

David Runciman, 5 March 2015

... and delivered without notes. What made it appear a triumph was the speech given the next day by David Davis, Cameron’s main rival for the Tory Party leadership and the man long considered the favourite to succeed Michael Howard. Davis flopped. He spoke woodenly from behind a lectern without any of Cameron’s natural ease, looking and sounding like ...

What did happen?

David Edgar: Ukraine, 21 January 2016

The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine 
by Serhii Plokhy.
Allen Lane, 381 pp., £25, December 2015, 978 0 241 18808 8
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In Wartime: Stories from Ukraine 
by Tim Judah.
Allen Lane, 256 pp., £20, January 2016, 978 0 241 19882 7
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Ukraine Crisis: What It Means for the West 
by Andrew Wilson.
Yale, 236 pp., £12.99, October 2014, 978 0 300 21159 7
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Frontline Ukraine: Crisis in the Borderlands 
by Richard Sakwa.
I.B. Tauris, 297 pp., £9.99, January 2015, 978 1 78453 527 8
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... intelligence in a former part of the Soviet Union forces the judiciary to rerun an election. The winner presides over a factious and sectarian administration, every bit as corrupt as its predecessor, and it’s no surprise that the previously ousted winner is properly re-elected six years later. He refuses to sign an ...

More aggressive, dear!

Zachary Leader, 31 July 1997

My Aces, My Faults 
by Nick Bollettieri and Dick Schaap.
Robson, 346 pp., £17.95, June 1997, 1 86105 087 9
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... at Wimbledon? Twenty-four hours earlier, Tim Henman had beaten Richard Krajicek, last year’s winner and the No. 4 seed. In his first match Greg Rusedski had eliminated Mark Philippousis, winner at Queen’s and the No. 7 seed. Although both Britons (Rusedski was raised in Canada but his mother is British) had already ...

Didn’t they notice?

David Runciman: Offshore, 14 April 2011

Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World 
by Nicholas Shaxson.
Bodley Head, 329 pp., £14.99, January 2011, 978 1 84792 110 9
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Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class 
by Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson.
Simon and Schuster, 368 pp., £11.50, March 2011, 978 1 4165 8870 2
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... justice (who isn’t?). He is also, on some accounts, a victim: his unfortunate mentor at the LSE, David Held, has described the predicament the ostensibly reform-minded Saif found himself in after his father’s people had revolted as ‘the stuff of Shakespeare’, but that surely is letting everyone concerned off far too lightly. He may just be a ...


David Runciman: The Tory State?, 8 September 2016

... official Labour candidate, Frank Dobson, finished a distant third. But the fact that the runaway winner was Ken Livingstone, who stood as an independent but was in effect the alternative Labour candidate (and became the official Labour candidate in 2004), shows the extent of the party’s hold on every aspect of British politics. One mark of a one-party ...

Magic Beans, Baby

David Runciman, 7 January 2021

A Promised Land 
by Barack Obama.
Viking, 768 pp., £35, November 2020, 978 0 241 49151 5
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... the novel power of social media to drum up interest and financial support. His campaign manager David Plouffe liked to say of Obama’s candidacy: ‘Walking a tightrope without a net … That’s when we are at our best.’ Yet when Obama does make a misstep – and inevitably there are plenty, from dismissing Clinton as ‘likeable enough’, to ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: Narcissistic Kevins, 6 November 2014

... Then, having dumped him, the party found it needed him back, partly because he was its one proven winner, and partly because Kevin on the outside was just as poisonous as Kevin on the in (the drip-drip of self-serving innuendo never ceased). A seemingly contrite and humbled Rudd returned to the fold. It was too late: the party was now on a hiding to nothing ...

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