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18 February 1988
The Road to Botany Bay 
by Paul Carter.
Faber, 384 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 571 14551 5
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The Oxford History of Australia. Vol. IV: 1901-1942 
by Stuart Macintyre.
Oxford, 399 pp., £22.50, October 1987, 0 19 554612 1
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The Archibald Paradox: A Strange Case of Authorship 
by Sylvia Lawson.
Penguin Australia, 292 pp., AUS $12.95, September 1987, 0 14 009848 8
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The Lucky Country Revisited 
by Donald Horne.
Dent, 235 pp., AUS $34.95, October 1987, 9780867700671
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... the Bulletin and the whole of its history in that period comes alive in Ms Lawson’s book. So solid an achievement didn’t need to make the slightest gesture towards academic respectability. When DonaldHorne took over the Bulletin in 1961, he killed off the slogan ‘Australia for the White Man.’ Self-assurance was, and remains, his strong suit. Horne’s writing about Australian cultural history ...

In the dark

Philip Horne

1 December 1983
The Life of Alfred Hitchcock: The Dark Side of Genius 
by Donald​ Spoto.
Collins, 594 pp., £12.95, May 1983, 0 00 216352 7
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Howard Hawks, Storyteller 
by Gerald Mast.
Oxford, 406 pp., £16.50, June 1983, 0 19 503091 5
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... 1980 to contradict this idea, and, for all its blandness and sparseness of reference, brought much information to light. Its blurb called it ‘the only serious biography of the man himself’. Now Donald Spoto, author of The Art of Alfred Hitchcock (1976), has undertaken to show The Dark Side of Genius, on the ground that (according to his blurb) ‘the intensely private, secretive Hitchcock eluded ...

Life and Work

Philip Horne

8 May 1986
Falling apart 
by Nicholas Salaman.
Secker, 190 pp., £9.95, April 1986, 0 436 44087 3
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Memoirs of Many in One 
by Alex Xenophon Demirjian Gray, edited by Patrick White.
Cape, 192 pp., £8.95, April 1986, 0 224 02371 3
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Free Agents 
by Max Apple.
Faber, 197 pp., £9.95, March 1986, 0 571 13852 7
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... were to be accused of a fault, in fact, the charge would involve the somewhat ‘winning’ air with which a few of these conceits are presented: a liability to surreal turns in the fashion of Donald Barthelme, without quite the cool reticence that distances Barthelme from cuteness. But such an accusation would only be made by an unsympathetic reader, and Max Apple’s carefully measured candour ...

Maiden Aunt

Colin Kidd: Adam Smith

7 October 2010
Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life 
by Nicholas Phillipson.
Allen Lane, 345 pp., £25, August 2010, 978 0 7139 9396 7
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Adam Smith and the Circles of Sympathy: Cosmopolitanism and moral theory 
by Fonna Forman-Barzilai.
Cambridge, 286 pp., £55, March 2010, 978 0 521 76112 3
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... man. Economists have also been slow to absorb this message. Yet the growing literature on Smith’s ethics, politics and jurisprudence – notwithstanding its debt to professional economists such as Donald Winch – has emerged during a period when the history of economics has become at best semi-detached from economics as a discipline. Nevertheless, there remain some historically inclined economists ...

It is still mañana

Matthew Bevis: Robert Frost’s Letters

19 February 2015
The Letters of Robert Frost, Vol. 1: 1886-1920 
edited by Donald​ Sheehy, Mark Richardson and Robert Faggen.
Harvard, 811 pp., £33.95, March 2014, 978 0 674 05760 9
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... principles – he calls it ‘the sound of sense’ – with devious energy. Whatever else this tricky phrase signifies, it points to the way tone enhances and complicates meaning: ‘Suppose Henry Horne says something offensive to a young lady named Rita when her brother Charles is by to protect her. Can you hear the two different tones in which she says their respective names, “Henry Horne...

Comedy is murder

Thomas Powers: Joseph Heller

8 March 2012
Just One Catch: The Passionate Life of Joseph Heller 
by Tracy Daugherty.
Robson, 548 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 1 84954 172 5
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Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller was Dad and Life was a Catch-22 
by Erica Heller.
Vintage, 272 pp., £8.99, October 2011, 978 0 09 957008 0
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... in 1948, the year he published his early stories, to figure out what he wanted his first book to say. It was the success of the competition that brought him up short. First had come The Gallery, John Horne Burns’s novel about the Allied occupation of Naples, which Heller admired. That gave him pause. Then Norman Mailer’s huge war novel, The Naked and the Dead, stopped him cold. Heller realised ...

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