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Andrew Hodges, 17 April 1986

Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern 
by Douglas Hofstadter.
Viking, 852 pp., £18.95, September 1985, 0 670 80687 0
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Ada: A Life and a Legacy 
by Dorothy Stein.
MIT, 321 pp., £17.50, January 1986, 9780262192422
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... historical understanding to an important topic in the modern development of logical ideas, while Douglas Hofstadter tries to bring logic and mathematics to bear upon the human condition. Both writers also share a panoramic, polymathic, total vision of their tasks. The second is the more familiar to us. ...
The Mind’s I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul 
edited by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett.
Harvester, 448 pp., £9.95, November 1981, 0 7108 0352 4
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... Both this and the following statement are false. Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett’s book is well worth £9.95. One does not have to be a philosopher to realise that I have already gone further than a humble book-reviewer should. The value of the book under review is, you might think, a matter of opinion ...

On the Sofa

Malin Hay: ‘Russian Doll’, 12 May 2022

... echoing the show’s puzzle-box quirks it threatens to swamp them. References to Lou Reed, Cheers, Douglas Hofstadter, quantum mechanics and Orson Welles jostle for attention. Swathes of plot are filled in through explanatory dialogue and Nadia’s muttered soliloquies as she pounds the streets. Alan is served a lukewarm side plot involving his Ghanaian ...

Strange Loops

James Lighthill, 24 January 1980

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid 
by Douglas Hofstadter.
Harvester, 777 pp., £10.50, August 1980, 0 85527 757 2
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... of Gödel, Escher, Bach is to explore such kinships of the imagination, while also exploiting Douglas Hofstadter’s own artistic imagination to the maximum possible extent, so as to make all the essential ideas underlying Gödel’s achievement accessible to readers without specialised mathematical knowledge. Previous popular introductions to the ...

From Soixante-Huit to Soixante-Neuf

Glen Newey: Slack-Sphinctered Pachyderm, 29 April 1999

Collected Papers: Technology, War and Fascism 
by Herbert Marcuse, edited by Douglas Kellner.
Routledge, 278 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 415 13780 2
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The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy after the Holocaust 
by Norman Geras.
Verso, 181 pp., £15, June 1998, 1 85984 868 0
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... rage. I shall not repeat here the uncouth popular idiom which says as much ... [Richard] Hofstadter himself acquired the dogma from such ‘Frankfurt School’ followers of avowed arch-conspirator Georg Lukacs and the sometime OSS and CIA agent, sometime Communist, and active conspirator Herbert Marcuse, who used to begin his lectures with the ...

Make me work if you can

T.H. Breen, 18 February 1988

Bound for America: The Transportation of British Convicts to the Colonies, 1718-1775 
by Roger Ekirch.
Oxford, 277 pp., £25, November 1987, 0 19 820092 7
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... many people in fact found Britain’s mainland colonies a land of opportunity? The late Richard Hofstadter suggested that the answer would almost certainly not sustain the success myth. In America at 1750: A Social Portrait, a wonderfully sensitive piece of writing, he observed that the servants as well as the slaves had been commodities, goods sold in a ...

The Paranoid Elite

Michael Wood: DeLillo, 22 April 2010

Point Omega 
by Don DeLillo.
Picador, 117 pp., £14.99, March 2010, 978 0 330 51238 1
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... Not the paranoid style in American politics, to quote the title of a famous essay by Richard Hofstadter (how could anyone say farewell to a mode so lavishly on the rise?), but to the paranoid fictions that animated DeLillo’s own novels The Names (1982) and Libra (1988), and went all the way back to Pynchon’s V (1963) and The Crying of Lot 49 ...

Big Stick Swagger

Colin Kidd: Republican Conspiracism, 6 January 2022

A Conspiratorial Life: Robert Welch, the John Birch Society and the Revolution of American Conservatism 
by Edward H. Miller.
Chicago, 456 pp., £24, January, 978 0 226 44886 2
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... QAnon, birtherism, Biden’s election ‘steal’.In the early 1960s, the historian Richard Hofstadter identified a ‘paranoid style’ in American political culture. The Whigs of the mid-19th century had emerged, at least in part, out of the Anti-Masonic Party, and the Republican Party that succeeded the Whigs in the 1850s was not only hostile to the ...

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