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How to be Green

Mary Douglas

13 September 1990
A Green Manifesto for the 1990s 
by Penny Kemp and Derek Wall.
Penguin, 212 pp., £4.99, July 1990, 0 14 013272 4
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Social Philosophy and Ecological Scarcity 
by Keekok Lee.
Routledge, 425 pp., £40, September 1989, 0 415 03220 2
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Mother Country 
by Marilynne Robinson.
Faber, 261 pp., £12.99, November 1989, 0 571 15453 0
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Blueprint for a Green Economy 
by David Pearce, Anil Markandya and Edward Barbier.
Earthscan, 192 pp., £6.95, September 1989, 1 85383 066 6
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TheFate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers and Defenders of the Amazon 
by Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn.
Verso, 366 pp., £16.95, November 1989, 0 86091 261 2
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Thinking Green: An Anthology of Essential Ecological Writing 
edited by Michael Allaby.
Barrie and Jenkins, 250 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 7126 3489 4
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... How can restraint be imposed on a public which wants to spend, how can a public decide to postpone its satisfactions, become patient and make room for the future? Blueprint for a Green Economy, by DavidPearce, Anil Markandya and Edward Barbier, is a report drawn up by the London Environment Centre for the UK Department of the Environment. It is a state-of-the-art review of ‘Sustainable ...

Up the avenue

Peter Clarke

11 June 1992
Election Rides 
by Edward Pearce.
Faber, 198 pp., £5.99, April 1992, 0 571 16657 1
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... Don’t be put off by the title, since it’s only a laboured allusion to Cobbett’s Rural Rides, lacking the alliterative euphony of the original. What Edward Pearce of the Guardian offers is a record of his 19 days on the road during the General Election, visiting as many constituencies, each time in the company of a particular candidate, of varying party. There ...

The Atheists’ Picnic

Julian Bell: Art and Its Origins

10 June 2010
Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion 
by David​ Lewis-Williams.
Thames and Hudson, 320 pp., £18.95, March 2010, 978 0 500 05164 1
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... that the concepts ‘God’ and ‘man’ first arose? That seems to be the implication when, in the opening pages of Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion, the archaeologist David Lewis-Williams examines the earliest records of symbolic behaviour. It is unlikely we will ever pinpoint just when the human habit of investing objects with significance took hold. But for the moment ...

In a Dry Place

Nicolas Tredell

11 October 1990
On the Look-Out: A Partial Autobiography 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 234 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 85635 758 8
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In Two Minds: Guesses at Other Writers 
by C.H. Sisson.
Carcanet, 296 pp., £18.95, September 1990, 0 85635 877 0
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... remarkable novel, Christopher Homm. Part Two does move forward, but, like a novel, uses the third person, and dialogue, to evoke the Indian experiences of a BOR – a British Other Rank – called Pearce. Poems written at the time of Sisson’s passage to India are interleaved into chapters of Part Two, and each chapter of the other parts ends with lines which, as Sisson puts it, ‘might not have ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: From ‘Alien’ to ‘Covenant’

14 June 2017
Alien: Covenant 
directed by Ridley Scott.
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... Nostromo, signing off.’ Prometheus ended with Weaver’s successor Noomi Rapace murmuring: ‘There is only death here now.’ Only death apart from her and the severed head of an android called David. She is going to connect him to his separated body, and he will steer the ship to another planet. They haven’t got on well during the movie – ‘We have had our differences,’ the android says ...

Class Traitor

Edward Pearce

11 June 1992
Maverick: The Life of a Union Rebel 
by Eric Hammond.
Weidenfeld, 214 pp., £16.99, March 1992, 0 297 81200 9
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... towards most orthodox unions of a kind which intensified in the left-wing Seventies. No gap could have been wider than that dividing two nominal moderates. Frank Chapple of the Electricians and David Basnett of the G and M. Chapple began the tradition of heroic truculence, justifiable if unsubtle anti-Communism, double arm’s-length relations with the TUC General Council and aggressive ...


E.S. Turner

11 June 1992
Sunny Intervals and Showers: Our Changing Weather 
by David​ Benedictus.
Weidenfeld, 162 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 297 81154 1
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... David Benedictus is the Editor of Readings for BBC Radio’s Book at Bedtime. His Sunny Intervals and Showers is ill-suited for late-night reading, since it is not good to have the mind quickened from ...


Edward Pearce

22 October 1992
by Anne Chisholm and Michael Davie.
Hutchinson, 589 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 09 173549 1
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... difficult today, Lord!’, the current mistress, Marie-Edmée Escarra, later dismissed for drink, and a lethargic, affable, fat Lord Rosebery. They talk newspapers – the Observer is a good paper, David Astor ‘has flair. It’s not all done by luck’; ancient scandal – a lady-in-waiting of Queen Victoria thought to have been pregnant and a virgin; and best of all, Church politics: ‘Do you go ...

Sweetly Terminal

Edward Pearce

5 August 1993
by Alan Clark.
Weidenfeld, 421 pp., £20, June 1993, 0 297 81352 8
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... pause, ‘is’, pause, ‘formidable’. I got him back to the station at four thirty, smelling powerfully of brandy. Seeing I was a bit dejected, Bruce said he would plug me with John Major and David (Young) ... I went to Brooks’s, lost £150 and my appetite waned. Returned here and ate a toasted bun, first food since a banana at 1.30. In the tea room I had a chat with Fallon, a nice cool whip ...

Animal Experiences

Colin Tudge: At the zoo

21 June 2001
A Different Nature: The Paradoxical World of Zoos and Their Uncertain Future 
by David​ Hancocks.
California, 280 pp., £19.95, May 2001, 0 520 21879 5
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... look after his tigers, cheetahs, deer and five thousand elephants, and invited the populace at large to visit the animals: ‘Meet your brothers, take them to your hearts and respect them.’ But as David Hancocks colourfully describes, most precursors of the modern zoo have been the opposite of this, from the circuses of Rome to the travelling menageries of the 18th and 19th centuries, shuttered in ...

The Sound of Thunder

Tom Nairn: The Miners’ Strike

8 October 2009
Marching to the Fault Line: The 1984 Miners’ Strike and the Death of Industrial Britain 
by Francis Beckett and David​ Hencke.
Constable, 303 pp., £18.99, February 2009, 978 1 84901 025 2
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Shafted: The Media, the Miners’ Strike and the Aftermath 
edited by Granville Williams.
Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, 176 pp., £9.99, March 2009, 978 1 898240 05 1
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... represented the values of solidarity and community, and that required a measure of continuity – and thus a belief in the continued viability of the pits – to function at all. Francis Beckett and David Hencke quote one journalist’s description of a mining village near Barnsley: The village is not big, nearly all the 300 workers in the pit live here with their families. The wages were never very ...

The Man in White

Edward Pearce

11 October 1990
The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia 
by Lawrence James.
Weidenfeld, 404 pp., £19.50, August 1990, 0 297 81087 1
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... France, first as brass-rubber, then as a student of fortifications, displaying a certain scholarly ruthlessness in those pursuits. The Oxford first in History, accomplished with the guidance of David Hogarth, later a senior archaeological colleague, then a fellow officer, included a study of Crusader castles done in the field, which involved an examination of the Syrian citadel, Krak des ...


Adewale Maja-Pearce: ‘Make Nigeria Great Again’

9 May 2019
... same offshore tax havens. Nigerians are just cruder about it: after all, we are still part of the ‘developing’ world. This must be the reason that, in 2016, after he resigned as prime minister, David Cameron convened an anti-corruption conference that singled out Nigeria, even though his own government had enabled large-scale, illegal transfers of money out of the country. Not only did Buhari ...


Ronan Bennett: The IRA Ceasefire

22 September 1994
... by surprise. Why else this dreadful stuff? I leave Humphrys to pursue his Birtian mission to explain and go to check the newspapers. The Independent has a well-informed and balanced piece by David McKittrick on the genesis of the ceasefire. He seems cautiously optimistic. Not so that other old ham, Conor Cruise O’Brien, writing on the same newspaper’s opinion pages. O’Brien sees the ...

Touches of the Real

David​ Simpson: Stephen Greenblatt

24 May 2001
Practising New Historicism 
by Catherine Gallagher and Stephen Greenblatt.
Chicago, 249 pp., £17.50, June 2000, 0 226 27934 0
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... theory. The term may have been coined by Stephen Greenblatt in an essay of 1982; if so it was already a restrike, minted from a prototype used by Wesley Morris in 1972 or perhaps by Roy Harvey Pearce in 1958. Greenblatt himself came to prefer the term ‘cultural poetics’, but by the time he said so the nominal territory had already been claimed: ‘new historicism’ it was going to be, and ...

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