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24 January 1980
Pavlov 
by Jeffrey Gray.
Fontana, 140 pp., £1.25, September 1980, 9780006343042
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J.B. Watson: The Founder of Behaviourism 
by David Cohen.
Routledge, 297 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 7100 0054 5
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... somewhat tyrannical mother whose threats of the Evil One in the shadows gave him a life-long fear of the dark. His behaviourist techniques never succeeded in curing him of this fear of the dark. DavidCohen makes the most of the limited material available on Watson’s early life, but we get just enough to see him, and his doubts and uncertainties, as a bright ambitious student in an ...

British Marxism

Richard Norman

21 February 1980
Karl Marx’s Theory of History: A Defence 
by G.A. Cohen.
Oxford, 369 pp., £10.50, December 1978, 0 19 827196 4
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Marxism After Marx: An Introduction 
by David​ McLellan.
Macmillan, 355 pp., £8.95, December 1980, 0 333 72208 6
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... Is there a British Marxism? David McLellan’s new book offers, implicitly, an answer. In his comprehensive survey of ‘Marxism after Marx’, one of the 24 chapters is devoted to British Marxism – and it is almost the shortest in ...
30 November 1995
Belle du Seigneur 
by Albert Cohen, translated by David​ Coward.
Viking, 974 pp., £20, November 1995, 9780670821877
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... that I listen to with deference, that I allow to be in the right all the time I am with it, without choosing and without arguing.’ Proust’s principle is admirable, but he hadn’t read Albert Cohen, parts of whose Belle du Seigneur are so mawkishly terrible you wonder why the publishers haven’t folded from embarrassment, while other parts are brilliantly, minutely observed, mercilessly funny ...

My body is my own

David​ Miller

31 October 1996
Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality 
by G.A. Cohen.
Cambridge, 277 pp., £40, October 1995, 0 521 47174 5
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... the boatman is puzzled when the narrator attempts to pay for his ride and explains that ‘this ferrying and giving people casts about the water is my business, which I would do for anybody.’ G.A. Cohen is one of the few socialists left today who is still drawn to this vision of an egalitarian community governed by the principle of freely-given service, and Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality can ...

The kind of dog he likes

W.G. Runciman: Realistic Utopias

18 December 2014
Justice for Earthlings: Essays in Political Philosophy 
by David​ Miller.
Cambridge, 254 pp., £18.99, January 2013, 978 1 107 61375 1
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... Why ‘earthlings’​ ? David Miller isn’t drawing a contrast with justice for creatures from outer space. Nor is he taking issue directly with Ronald Dworkin’s ‘justice for hedgehogs’ in Dworkin’s book of 2011 with ...

Tastes like Cancer

J. Robert Lennon: The Sweet'N Low dynasty

8 March 2007
Sweet and Low 
by Rich Cohen.
Cape, 272 pp., £12.99, April 2007, 978 0 224 07272 4
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... same people who still wear fedoras, or drive Buicks, or voted for Ross Perot. It is forever associated with the past, and blind loyalty is the only conceivable reason to stick with the stuff. Rich Cohen’s grandfather, Ben Eisenstadt, founded Cumberland Packing, the developers of both Sweet’N Low and the sugar packet itself. So you might expect the results of his own taste test to err on the side ...

Divide and divide and divide and rule

Yonatan Mendel: The Arab-Israeli Conflict

5 October 2016
1929: Year Zero of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 
by Hillel Cohen, translated by Haim Watzman.
Brandeis, 312 pp., £20, November 2015, 978 1 61168 811 5
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... soldiers we see: it’s the puzzled group of Arab-Palestinian figures at the other end of the room, ordinary people, onlookers. They, and others like them, are central figures in the work of Hillel Cohen. Neither the conventional ‘winners’ nor the stereotypical ‘losers’, they play a part in the grand political story which, though crucial, is often overlooked. Cohen was born in 1961 into a ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: Running Out of Time

8 January 2015
... version of his 15-minute TED talk on, well, how to do nothing at all. The book has more than seventy pages, though some of them are pictures of sunsets and dawns over water. Iyer’s guru was Leonard Cohen, now a friend, after he went to visit him in his mountain retreat: ‘The sun was scattering diamonds across the ocean as I drove toward the deserts of the east.’ From Cohen, Iyer learned that ...

House-Cleaning

David​ Bromwich: I met a Republican

7 March 2019
... was postponed by a DC district court in December (with a strong indication that he will serve prison time) in order to allow him to assist another possibly related prosecution in Virginia.Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, was sentenced in December in a New York federal court for tax fraud, lying to Congress and paying hush money to prevent Trump’s affairs with two women coming ...

Sabre-Toothed Teacher

Colin Kidd: Cowling

31 March 2011
The Philosophy, Politics and Religion of British Democracy: Maurice Cowling and Conservatism 
edited by Robert Crowcroft, S.J.D. Green and Richard Whiting.
I.B. Tauris, 327 pp., £54.50, August 2010, 978 1 84511 976 8
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... than the reactionary menace which inhered in the idea of class warfare waged from above. But Tory Marxism need not be an oxymoron or a deliberately insensitive shorthand for right-wing negativity. If David Cameron’s idea of a Big Society amounts to more than a smokescreen disguising the cuts that will lead to a Small State, then it will owe much to the theories of the Anglo-Catholic theologian ...
25 July 1991
Isaiah Berlin: A Celebration 
by Edna Margalit and Avishai Margalit.
Hogarth, 224 pp., £25, June 1991, 0 7012 0925 9
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... the inevitable expression of the laws of history. In an essay called ‘Isaiah’s Marx, and Mine’ that begins with engaging personal reminiscence and goes on to careful exegetical argument, G.A. Cohen recounts his experience as a student of Berlin’s, and then takes issue with his view of Marx as devoid of familiar moral attitudes toward social injustice, yet vindictively drawn by the prospect of ...

So Hard to Handle

John Lahr: In Praise of Joni Mitchell

22 February 2018
Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell 
by David​ Yaffe.
Farrar, Straus, 420 pp., £20, October 2017, 978 0 374 24813 0
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... was as immediate on her musical peers as on the public. ‘Fantastic girl with heaven words,’ Jimi Hendrix noted in his diary after their first, brief meeting. ‘She just knocked me on my ass,’ David Crosby said after hearing her sing ‘Both Sides, Now’. ‘It was the highest quality of songwriting. I liked her better than Dylan.’ Crosby briefly became Mitchell’s inamorato and produced her ...

Lemon and Pink

David​ Trotter: The Sorrows of Young Ford

1 June 2000
Return to Yesterday 
by Ford Madox Ford, edited by Bill Hutchings.
Carcanet, 330 pp., £14.95, August 1999, 1 85754 397 1
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War Prose 
by Ford Madox Ford, edited by Max Saunders.
Carcanet, 276 pp., £14.95, August 1999, 1 85754 396 3
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... echoing a formulation ubiquitous in Return to Yesterday and the other memoirs, ‘in waves’. Its most troubling episodes – his father’s death, the end of his affair with a married woman, Hilda Cohen – do not have to be summoned. They announce themselves when he is least expecting them. The fragment never quite gets round either to the ‘true love’, or to the General Court Martial: like Ford ...

Short Cuts

David​ Bromwich: Alexander Hamilton’s Worst Idea

24 October 2019
... can be explained away as (after all) not definitely criminal. Let’s hope it works. The most edifying subtext was supplied last February, in the congressional testimony by Trump’s fixer Michael Cohen: ‘Have you ever seen Mr Trump personally threaten people with physical harm?’ ‘No: he would use others.’ ‘He would hire other people to do that?’ ‘I’m not sure he had to hire ...

Rioting

Paul Rock

17 September 1981
... pattern so disclosed permit the presence of more than one major design. Neither will it be depicted as contingent and changing. It is portrayed as permanent, sovereign and irreducible. As Stan Cohen, in his book Folk Devils and Moral Panics, has observed of a number of current explanations of delinquency, ‘a single and one-directional historical trend is picked out – commercialisation ...

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