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19 June 1980
Romans and Aliens 
by J.P.V.D. Balsdon.
Duckworth, 310 pp., £18, August 1979, 0 7156 1043 0
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Pompey: A Political Biography 
by Robin Seager.
Blackwell, 209 pp., £12, August 1979, 0 631 10841 6
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The Gracchi 
by David Stockton.
Oxford, 251 pp., £9.50, October 1979, 0 19 872104 8
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Cicero: the Ascending Years 
by Thomas Mitchell.
Yale, 257 pp., £11, September 1979, 0 300 02277 8
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Clio’s Cosmetics: Three Studies in Greco-Roman Literature 
by T.P. Wiseman.
Leicester University Press, 209 pp., £13, November 1979, 0 7185 1165 4
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... pity that Robin Seager, who a few years ago produced important re-examinations of the concepts factio and populares, has not used his life of Pompey to carry the process further. No one could accuse DavidStockton’s The Gracchi of a similar failure to discuss evidence and problems. It begins by setting out the basic workings of the Republican constitution, and continues with a (rather brief ...

Diary

Clive James: Lord's Day

7 February 1985
... they had been tarted up for the day. If the latter, it was a good argument in favour of televising Parliament. The argument against was rehearsed at the eleventh hour by Lord Chalfont, talking to David Dimbleby on BBC 1. Lord Chalfont was against the televising of the House of Lords because he suspected that it was just a stratagem on the part of the broadcasters so that they could force the door ...
12 October 1989
A Short History of the Liberal Party 1900-88 
by Chris Cook.
Macmillan, 216 pp., £9.95, August 1989, 0 333 44884 7
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Against Goliath 
by David​ Steel.
Weidenfeld, 318 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 9780297796787
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Labour’s Decline and the Social Democrats’ Fall 
by Geoffrey Lee Williams and Alan Lee Williams.
Macmillan, 203 pp., £29.50, July 1989, 0 333 46541 5
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Penhaligon 
by Annette Penhaligon.
Bloomsbury, 262 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 7475 0501 2
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Citizens’ Britain: A Radical Agenda for the 1990s 
by Paddy Ashdown.
Fourth Estate, 159 pp., £5.95, September 1989, 1 872180 45 0
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... the momentum that Grimond and Thorpe had given the Party. But the tangled web that led to Thorpe’s disgrace and departure, and then to a bitter contest for the succession with John Pardoe, gave David Steel an almost impossible task. He was 39, but looked younger, a slight figure with an easy smile, a son of the Scottish manse, neither obviously at home with scholars, like Grimond, or in London ...

Lamb’s Tails

Christopher Driver

19 June 1986
All Manners of Food: Eating and Taste in England and France from the Middle Ages to the Present 
by Stephen Mennell.
Blackwell, 380 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 631 13244 9
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Curye on Inglysch: English Culinary Manuscripts of the 14th Century including ‘The Forme of Cury’ 
edited by Constance Hieatt and Sharon Butler.
Oxford, for the Early English Text Society, 224 pp., £6.50, April 1985, 0 19 722409 1
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The English Cookbook 
by Victor Gordon.
Cape, 304 pp., £12.50, November 1985, 0 224 02300 4
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... of unawareness are the exception rather than the rule: early redbrick university departments striving to differentiate themselves from Oxford and Cambridge; or the English gentry, who, as Lord Stockton has reminded us, taught their genteel imitators that it was bad form to notice the manna that came to dinner. In other times and places, both hunger and plenty have proved stimulating sauces for food ...
2 May 1985
Motel Chronicles and Hawk Moon 
by Sam Shepard.
Faber, 188 pp., £3.95, February 1985, 0 571 13458 0
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Paris, Texas 
by Wim Wenders and Sam Shepard.
Ecco, 509 pp., £12.95, January 1985, 0 88001 077 0
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... go any further? And I recognised that the point of wondering comes when you think you’ve gone too far. Travis, the central figure of Paris, Texas strides across the landscapes of Big Bend and Fort Stockton, Texas, as a man who has gone too far, but arrived nowhere. In the wake of a wrecked and violent marriage, he has taken to the road, a disconnected derelict. Not simply rootless, he spends the first ...
6 July 1989
Who Framed Colin Wallace? 
by Paul Foot.
Macmillan, 306 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 333 47008 7
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... Wilson was seen as the beneficiary of, and a possible participant in, the assassination of Hugh Gaitskell; lists were drawn up of such notorious Communists or Communist sympathisers as Brian Walden, David Owen, Robert Mellish, John Stonehouse, Roy Hattersley and Reg Prentice; and even a bogus pamphlet on ‘revolutionary strategy’ for the installation of socialism in Britain was contrived for off ...

Good New Idea

John Lanchester: Universal Basic Income

18 July 2019
... take demeaning or exhausting or damagingly precarious work. This idea has been the focus of attention for a great range of thinkers, including Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams in Inventing the Future, David Graeber in Bullshit Jobs, Paul Mason in Post-Capitalism, Rutger Breman in Utopia for Realists, and Peter Barnes in With Liberty and Dividends for All. UBI is definitely having a moment.Guy Standing ...

The Uncommon Reader

Alan Bennett: A Story

8 March 2007
... You mean, I can have it?’ She clutched the book to her. ‘I’m glad I came. Good afternoon, Mr Seakins. More Cecil Beaton?’ Norman showed her the book he was looking at, this time something on David Hockney. She leafed through it, gazing unperturbed at young men’s bottoms hauled out of Californian swimming-pools or lying together on unmade beds. ‘Some of them,’ she said, ‘some of them ...

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