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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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... and inextricably political. So the question inevitably arises as to whether the disparate green lobbies 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 ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Literary Prizes

10 May 2001
... 17 October, and the shortlist isn’t due till mid-September, but the hype began to trundle back in 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 ...

Something to look at

David​ Sylvester

10 March 1994
... Ortiz’s collection of antiquities and ethnographic art, part of which is currently on show at 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 ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: ‘Anthrax’!

7 July 2005
... a royal sperm bank is in order. There used to be one for the seed of Nobel Prize winners. In The Genius 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 ...

Notes on the Election

David​ Runciman

5 February 2015
... year fixed-term parliaments – a rushed act of convenience with far-reaching and little considered 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 ...
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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... What happened to Britain’s men in the quarter-finals 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 ...
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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... his business-like precision and efficiency. Dressed in a well-cut suit, never at a loss for words 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 ...

On the Edge

David​ Sylvester

27 April 2000
A New Thing Breathing: Recent Work 
by Tony Cragg.
Tate Gallery Liverpool
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... century of the millennium in which the championship was a two-horse race – and a very close race, 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 ...

Notes on the Election

David​ Runciman

5 March 2015
... t a patch on Obama’s but it was fluent, plausible, and unapologetic about being a Conservative – 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 ...

Who Lost?

David​ Edgar: the third presidential debate

16 October 2008
...  was a just response to the cumulative effects of the series as a whole. Despite Joe the Plumber, the consistency of Obama’s performance elevates him from a three-time non-loser to a series winner ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The biography of stuff

5 July 2001
... Announcing the winner of this year’s Samuel Johnson Prize, Andrew Marr was pleased to be able to say that none of the shortlisted books was the obvious result of a publisher’s ‘wheeze’, or the so-called biography ...

Short Cuts

Helen Thompson: West Ham Disunited

25 April 2018
... constructing an Olympic stadium that a football club could inherit when the games were over. In 2013 the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) and West Ham, under the majority ownership of David Gold and David Sullivan, two businessmen who had made their money from pornography, agreed that the club would acquire a 99-year lease on the Olympic stadium. By then, West Ham had gone too far to ...

At the Fondation Custodia

Julian Barnes: Wilhelm Eckersberg

27 July 2016
... Age of Danish Art, was the most cosmopolitan of the three. In September 1809 he won the local equivalent of the Prix de Rome. But official money was tight, and he was advised to wait for the previous winner to return before taking up the prize. So Rome (1813-16) was preceded by Paris (1810-13), where he spent a year ‘beneath the eye’ of Jacques-Louis David. Here he received the full stamp of French ...

Everybody gets popped

David​ Runciman: Lance Armstrong’s Regime

22 November 2012
The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups and Winning at All Costs 
by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle.
Bantam, 290 pp., £18.99, September 2012, 978 0 593 07173 1
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... there were fears that the event would be overshadowed by a drugs scandal or by the steady drip-drip of multiple failed drugs tests. In the end, although a few athletes were caught (including the winner of the gold in the women’s shot put and an American judo competitor who blamed his positive marijuana test on eating the wrong cakes), the Games were more or less drugs-free. There were some dark ...

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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... it from the other side. Following a disputed election result, a pre-planned uprising backed by Western 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 ...

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