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How Not to Invade

Patrick Cockburn: Lebanon

5 August 2010
Beware of Small States: Lebanon, Battleground of the Middle East 
by David Hirst.
Faber, 480 pp., £20, March 2010, 978 0 571 23741 8
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The Ghosts of Martyrs Square: An Eyewitness Account of Lebanon’s Life Struggle 
by Michael Young.
Simon and Schuster, 295 pp., £17.99, July 2010, 978 1 4165 9862 6
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... the middle of the night, abandoning their local Christian allies to triumphant Hizbullah guerrillas. The gross underestimation of the ability of the Lebanese to defend themselves is the main theme of DavidHirst’s elegantly written and highly informed history. For many years one of the most perceptive correspondents in the Middle East, he says he decided to write this book after the 34-day war in the ...

‘It was necessary to uproot them’

Charles Glass: Post-Zionist historiography

24 June 2004
A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples 
by Ilan Pappe.
Cambridge, 333 pp., £15.99, January 2004, 0 521 55632 5
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The Gun and the Olive Branch 
by David Hirst.
Faber, 624 pp., £16.99, August 2003, 0 571 21945 4
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The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem Revisited 
by Benny Morris.
Cambridge, 664 pp., £70, January 2004, 0 521 81120 1
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... using the model of Britain’s 30-year rule, Likud began in 1978 to declassify archives that the Labour Party had kept secret during its uninterrupted period in power from 1948. The Labour patriarch David Ben-Gurion had called Begin a ‘Jewish Hitler’. Begin, a zealot but a legalist, had called Ben-Gurion’s extension of the repressive British Defence Regulations, although enforced mainly against ...

Arabs

Malise Ruthven

18 February 1982
Covering Islam 
by Edward Said.
Routledge, 224 pp., £8.95, October 1981, 0 7100 0840 6
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Heart-Beguiling Araby 
by Kathryn Tidrick.
Cambridge, 224 pp., £12.50, July 1981, 0 521 23483 2
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Inside the Iranian Revolution 
by John Stempel.
Indiana, 336 pp., £10.50, December 1981, 0 253 14200 8
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The Return of the Ayatollah 
by Mohamed Heikal.
Deutsch, 218 pp., £9.95, November 1981, 0 233 97404 0
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Sadat 
by David Hirst and Irene Beeson.
Faber, 384 pp., £11.50, December 1981, 0 571 11690 6
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... biography to appear since Sadat’s assassination last October will have none of this gush. Both of them are old Guardian hands with many years’ experience of reporting Egypt and the Middle East. DavidHirst, along with Eric Rouleau of Le Monde, is one of the few Western journalists to have received the Edward Said Seal of Approval. Irene Beeson lived for 16 years in one of the poorer districts of ...

‘We’ know who ‘we’ are

Edward Said: Palestine, Iraq and ‘Us’

17 October 2002
... jihadi extremists of whom bin Laden is the most famous, and second, as ignoring international law and UN Resolutions in the pursuit of their own hostile and destructive policies in those worlds. As DavidHirst has pointed out in the Guardian, even Arabs who oppose their own despotic regimes will see any US attack on Iraq as an ‘act of aggression aimed not just at Iraq, but at the whole Arab world ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: The Big Issue

20 September 2001
... so has Noam Chomsky. It hit the big time a while ago, with sought-after interviews with the Stone Roses and George Michael (‘breaking a six-year silence’). Guest editors have included Damien Hirst and David Bailey – Big Issue chic. The ads say something, too: Levis, Sony, Calvin Klein, Bacardi; British Nuclear Fuels, a contentious issue in the office, soon pulled; some of the best clients ...

Democratic Sublime

Derek Hirst: Writing the English republic

19 August 1999
Writing the English Republic: Poetry, Rhetoric and Politics 1627-60 
by David​ Norbrook.
Cambridge, 509 pp., £40, January 1999, 0 521 63275 7
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... The appearance of this book on 30 January, the 350th anniversary of the cold morning when the axe fell on Charles Stuart’s neck, was no mere romantic gesture. Rather, it declared David Norbrook’s belief that to vindicate the cultural vitality and integrity of English republicanism at its moment of flowering – a moment of high energy not only in politics but also in political ...
30 October 1997
Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection 
by Norman Rosenthal.
Thames and Hudson, 222 pp., £29.95, September 1997, 0 500 23752 2
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... of the Seventies and early Eighties. Rather than a meteor arriving out of the blue, the new generation of artists, who first came to public notice in 1988 with the Freeze show organised by Damien Hirst, were the beneficiaries of the hard work of the St Ives Group, the Independent Group, the Royal College Pop artists and so on, all of whom had successively edged British art into a position where it ...

Founding Moments

Stuart Macintyre

11 March 1993
The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. II, 1770-1860: Possessions 
by Jan Kociumbas.
Oxford, 397 pp., £25, September 1992, 0 19 554610 5
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The Rule of Law in a Penal Colony: Law and Power in Early New South Wales 
by David​ Neal.
Cambridge, 266 pp., £30, March 1992, 9780521372640
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Waterloo Creek: The Australia Day Massacre of 1838, George Gipps and the British Conquest of New South Wales 
by Roger Milliss.
McPhee Gribble, 965 pp., February 1992, 0 86914 156 2
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Living in a New Country: History, Travelling and Language 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 214 pp., £14.99, July 1992, 0 571 16329 7
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... she believes the event indicates the assumptions about property and authority, sexuality and family life, on which the settlement’s ‘blueprint for growth’ was premised. By contrast, David Neal’s monograph opens with a successful legal action brought by a convict couple against one of the First Fleet captains. Neal is concerned to show how the establishment of the rule of law in a ...

At Tate Britain

James Cahill: Frank Bowling

15 August 2019
... has been slow, despite presentations at the Whitney in 1971 and the Serpentine in 1986. Bowling was made a Royal Academician in 2005 but he has remained a quiet man of British art in comparison with David Hockney or R.B. Kitaj, his contemporaries at the Royal College of Art in the early 1960s. ‘Swan i’ (1964) The exhibition shows how decisively he transcends the well-worn term ‘postwar ...
11 January 1990
New Times: The Changing Face of Politics in the 1990s 
edited by Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques.
Lawrence and Wishart/Marxism Today, 463 pp., £9.95, November 1989, 0 85315 703 0
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... has 28 essays, together with an introduction by the editors, three extracts from the ‘Manifesto for New Times’ – a general political statement or programme – and a fable for the 1990s by David Edgar. The book is long, and since several contributors are responsible for more than one essay, there is a good deal of repetition. Tighter editorial control would have done no harm, though that ...

Allergic to Depths

Terry Eagleton: Gothic

18 March 1999
Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil and Ruin 
by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Fourth Estate, 438 pp., £20, December 1998, 1 85702 498 2
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... this can be put down to Post-Modern faddishness, though vampires have a more venerable pedigree, as Richard Davenport-Hines notes in his agreeable romp through Gothic art from Salvator Rosa to Damien Hirst. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, now translated into over forty languages, has exerted an enduring fascination since its publication in 1897, with Dracula himself the most filmed fictional character after ...

Scaling Up

Peter Wollen: At Tate Modern

20 July 2000
... edges and shiny surfaces, or because of a disenchantment with the monotony and imperiousness of the grid, with its serried ranks so reminiscent of the parade ground, the march past of the modules. As David Batchelor notes in his excellent and generally sympathetic book on Minimalism, ‘in much of this work the traditions of studio craft gave way to something more like small-scale industrial production ...

Get out

Julian Bell: Francis Bacon

19 October 2000
Looking back at Francis Bacon 
by David​ Sylvester.
Thames and Hudson, 272 pp., £29.95, June 2000, 0 500 01994 0
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... other broadened like a Hallowe’en pumpkin. Two lordly sensibilities, the heterosexual critic and the homosexual artist, had converged to discuss painting and the human condition. The thought that David Sylvester and Francis Bacon were caught up in this dialogue seemed at once daunting and salutary to some of us then learning to paint in the same town. Their Interviews – first published in 1975 ...

Feigning a Relish

Nicholas Penny: One Tate or Two

15 October 1998
The Tate: A History 
by Frances Spalding.
Tate Gallery, 308 pp., £25, April 1998, 1 85437 231 9
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... visited for its gallery of Old Masters. In 1816 it was emptied of its collection to help fill gaps in the Louvre and it reopened in 1818 as a gallery for pictures by great living artists (including David, then in political exile). The creation of the first European museum of modern art was thus something of an expedient, but the political impulse behind it was not ephemeral. No subsequent French ...
3 September 1987
Mantegna 
by Ronald Lightbown.
Phaidon/Christie’s, 512 pp., £60, July 1986, 0 7148 8031 0
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The Sistine Chapel: Michelangelo Rediscovered 
edited by Massimo Giacometti, translated by Paul Holberton.
Muller, Blond and White, 271 pp., £40, September 1986, 0 584 11140 1
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... and furious temper the actions reported by Simone seem to be an implausible response to the situation Lightbown describes. A bolder hypothesis is needed. As it happens, one such was advanced by David Landau in the catalogue of the exhibition at the Christ Church Picture Gallery in Oxford, organised in 1979. It is almost impossible to get hold of a copy of this catalogue and I wonder whether ...

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