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Empty Cookie Jar

Donald MacKenzie: Ethnoaccountancy, 22 May 2003

Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego and the Death of Enron 
by Robert Bryce.
PublicAffairs, 394 pp., £9.99, November 2002, 1 903985 54 4
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Enron: The Rise and Fall 
by Loren Fox.
Wiley, 384 pp., £18.50, October 2002, 0 471 23760 4
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... insider view of Enron’s accounting practices. Had there not been, staff at its auditors, Arthur Andersen (one of the ‘big five’ global accountancy firms before its spectacular Enron-induced collapse), would not have taken the fatal decision to shred Enron-related records when they learned that the corporation was being investigated ...

Darwinian Soup

W.G. Runciman: The Meme Machine by Susan Blackmore, 10 June 1999

The Meme Machine 
by Susan Blackmore.
Oxford, 264 pp., £18.99, March 1999, 0 19 850365 2
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... in greater depth and detail than had been possible for Darwin himself, the American psychologist Donald Campbell and others began to develop the notion that cultural evolution (including the emergence of such things as theories of cultural evolution) is also driven by a competitive process of variation and selection. Campbell called his Presidential Address ...

If you don’t swing, don’t ring

Christopher Turner: Playboy Mansions, 21 April 2016

Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics 
by Beatriz Preciado.
Zone, 303 pp., £20.95, October 2014, 978 1 935408 48 2
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Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny 
by Holly Madison.
Dey Street, 334 pp., £16.99, July 2015, 978 0 06 237210 9
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... cartoons, he published (or rather, mostly republished) work by John Steinbeck, Norman Mailer, Arthur Conan Doyle, Margaret Atwood, Vladimir Nabokov, Jack Kerouac, Saul Bellow, P.G. Wodehouse, Anne Sexton and John Updike. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was first serialised in the magazine. ‘I only read it for the articles,’ joked subscribers, of which ...

Going on the air

Philip French, 2 May 1985

Orwell: The War Broadcasts 
edited by W.J. West.
Duckworth/BBC, 304 pp., £12.95, March 1985, 0 7156 1916 0
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... gaol has ever boasted to visitors that his notorious dungeons were chosen as the setting for Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon. But for over thirty years successive generations of BBC producers escorting guests through the labyrinthine corridors of Broadcasting House past doors bearing inscrutably coded designations have cheerfully informed them that ...

Diary

Clive James, 21 October 1982

... fight For all those gritty doctrines he has spoken On that day when they have to be renounced And Arthur Scargill’s strike bid must be trounced. But Arthur’s rhetoric is like his hair. Though spurious, transparent and bombastic, It’s legal and has some right to be there. The threat it poses to the state is drastic But ...

An Enemy Within

Paul Foot, 23 April 1987

Molehunt: The Full Story of the Soviet Mole in MI5 
by Nigel West.
Weidenfeld, 208 pp., £10.95, March 1987, 0 297 79150 8
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... with the demise of the Labour Government, the Communist culprits were hunted down. Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean fled to Russia in 1951; Kim Philby was finally exposed in 1963; Anthony Blunt in 1979. The first three took refuge in Russia. Blunt died in disgrace, deserted both by the Leftist friends of his youth and by the Royal Family and his colleagues in ...

Home Stretch

John Sutherland: David Storey, 17 September 1998

A Serious Man 
by David Storey.
Cape, 359 pp., £16.99, June 1998, 9780224051583
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Saville 
by David Storey.
Vintage, 555 pp., £6.99, June 1998, 0 09 927408 6
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... His life as a professional is over. Football chews up its workforce faster even than the pits. But Arthur doesn’t take it lying down: no longer a sportsman but still a man. Storey adapted his original novel for Lindsay Anderson, who directed the film, but he curtailed the ending. On the printed page, after Machin’s legs have ‘betrayed’ him on the ...

Mae West and the British Raj

Wendy Doniger: Dinosaur Icons, 18 February 1999

The Last Dinosaur Book: The Life and Times of a Cultural Icon 
by W.J.T. Mitchell.
Chicago, 321 pp., £25, November 1998, 0 226 53204 6
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... political history, fiction (the ‘lost worlds’ of Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Bur roughs and Arthur Conan Doyle), film, advertising, depth psychology and art (paintings in art museums and museums of science, cartoons and comics). The scholarship is successfully air-brushed by an elegant Post-Modern presentation. Mitchell, who teaches English and art at ...

We know it intimately

Christina Riggs: Rummaging for Mummies, 22 October 2020

A World beneath the Sands: Adventurers and Archaeologists in the Golden Age of Egyptology 
by Toby Wilkinson.
Picador, 510 pp., £25, October, 978 1 5098 5870 5
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... To the Past we must go as a relief from To-day’s harshness,’ the Egyptologist Arthur Weigall wrote in 1923, as illustrated newspapers were bringing Tutankhamun back to life. The First World War was over, but its aftershocks rippled on. Golden treasure, a boy pharaoh and lost tombs in the Valley of the Kings offered readers an escape ...

Dogface

Ian Hamilton, 28 September 1989

Wartime: Understanding and Behaviour in the Second World War 
by Paul Fussell.
Oxford, 330 pp., £15, September 1989, 0 19 503797 9
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War like a Wasp: The Lost Decade of the Forties 
by Andrew Sinclair.
Hamish Hamilton, 312 pp., £17.95, October 1989, 0 241 12531 6
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... poetry and prose. Sinclair’s critical method is that of the impresario. A phrase like ‘As Donald Bain put it’ or ‘In the words of Gaven Ewart’ will be used to introduce a large hunk of the text in question, and that’s that. Sinclair’s real excitement is in recalling what a thrill it was (or must have been) to bang in to the old pub every ...

X marks the snob

W.G. Runciman, 17 May 1984

Caste Marks: Style and Status in the USA 
by Paul Fussell.
Heinemann, 202 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 9780434275007
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... uneasy and therefore middle-class subject), and he permits himself a quotation from Professor Arthur Marwick of the Open University (who knows better but pretends not to) that ‘class is too serious a subject to leave to the social scientists.’ Well – OK, fellas. Vance Packard sells better than Aristotle, and we don’t want to take ourselves too ...

When judges sleep

Stephen Sedley, 10 June 1993

In the Highest Degree Odious: Detention without Trial in Wartime Britain 
by A.W.B. Simpson.
Oxford, 453 pp., £35, December 1992, 0 19 825775 9
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... Cannibalism and the Common Law was that it went much wider than the one earlier book on the case, Donald McCormick’s Blood on the Sea, trawling in great social and nautical circles and retrieving wonderful things. Simpson’s new book on wartime internment in Great Britain does the same, with the deliberate result that the historic case which internment ...

It makes yer head go

David Craig: James Kelman and Gordon Legge, 18 February 1999

The Good Times 
by James Kelman.
Secker, 246 pp., £14.99, July 1998, 0 436 41215 2
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Near Neighbours 
by Gordon Legge.
Cape, 218 pp., £9.99, June 1998, 0 224 05120 2
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... green paper, if I remember, and featured strip cartoons of Laurel and Hardy, Flanagan and Allen, Arthur Askey, and Old Mother Riley the female impersonator.) I support this project, and I want it to be carried out skilfully, not clumsily. (‘Comic Cuts’ is an amazingly inventive account of a marathon drunken conversation, almost wholly in direct ...

Marseille, 1940-43

Neal Ascherson, 18 July 2013

... anti-fascist celebrities: Heinrich and Golo Mann, Hannah Arendt, Anna Seghers, Simone Weil, Arthur Koestler, Victor Serge, Walter Benjamin, Franz Werfel and his wife Alma Mahler, Lion Feuchtwanger, Konrad Heiden (Hitler’s first truthful biographer), Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Moïse Kisling, the young Claude Lévi-Strauss … A band of ...

No Meat and Potatoes – Definitely No Chocolate

James Fletcher: Haydn studies, 8 February 2001

Haydn Studies 
edited by Dean Sutcliffe.
Cambridge, 343 pp., £47.50, October 1998, 0 521 58052 8
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... see whether Spitzer will actually come up with anything that wouldn’t have been noticed by, say, Donald Tovey. I think he does, even if it only turns out to be a new way of thinking about an old enigma. The agenda, not only in this essay but in half the contributions to the book, is a wish to rehabilitate Haydn’s lesser known works, particularly those in ...

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