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Daniel Soar: You can’t get away from Google

6 October 2011
The Googlisation of Everything (and Why We Should Worry) 
by Siva Vaidhyanathan.
California, 265 pp., £18.95, March 2011, 978 0 520 25882 2
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In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives 
by Steven Levy.
Simon and Schuster, 424 pp., £18.99, May 2011, 978 1 4165 9658 5
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I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 
by Douglas Edwards.
Allen Lane, 416 pp., £20, July 2011, 978 1 84614 512 4
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... as well as a complete record of every radio or television signal broadcast from our own planet’. Google takes its April Fool’s jokes very seriously, as the marketing man who wrote some of them, DouglasEdwards, explains in I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59: big arguments broke out when the founders felt that proposed jokes weren’t true to Google’s sense of its ...

Enabler’s Revenge

David Runciman: John Edwards

25 March 2010
The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down 
by Andrew Young.
Thomas Dunne, 301 pp., $24.99, January 2010, 978 0 312 64065 1
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Race of a Lifetime: How Obama Won the White House 
by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.
Viking, 448 pp., £25, January 2010, 978 0 670 91802 7
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... with Andrew Young, whose stomach-churning, jaw-dropping account of his time spent working for, befriending and then covering up on behalf of the Democratic politician and presidential hopeful John Edwards takes the genre of enabler’s revenge to a whole new level. ‘Covering up’ doesn’t really do justice to Young’s role, which by the end included going on the run with Edwards’s mistress ...
9 May 1996
John Wayne: American 
by Randy Roberts and James Olson.
Free Press, 738 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 02 923837 4
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... the popular judgment, film critics polled this year by Sight and Sound chose John Ford’s The Searchers as one of the five best movies ever made; it starred John Wayne, as the Indian-hating Ethan Edwards. John Wayne casts his shadow over far more than Orange County and Hollywood. Eric Bentley, the Brecht scholar and editor of a volume of testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee ...

Making strange

John Sutherland

19 March 1981
Other people 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 223 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 224 01766 7
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The Magic Glass 
by Anne Smith.
Joseph, 174 pp., £6.50, March 1981, 9780718119867
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The Book of Ebenezer Le Page 
by Gerald Edwards.
Hamish Hamilton, 400 pp., £7.50, March 1981, 0 241 10477 7
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Sharpe’s Eagle 
by Bernard Cornwell.
Collins, 266 pp., £6.50, February 1981, 0 00 221997 2
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XPD 
by Len Deighton.
Hutchinson, 397 pp., £6.95, March 1981, 0 09 144570 1
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... Smith’s particular achievement in her first novel, it’s worth going a little into the general question of why Lowland Scots, as different in pedigree as David Daiches, the film-maker Bill Douglas, Jimmy Boyle and Anne Smith, should be so determined to rake over and publicly display their childhoods (all more or less deprived childhoods, though in Daiches’ case less so from poverty than from ...

Report from Sirius B

Jeremy Harding: ‘Phantom Africa’

22 March 2018
Phantom Africa 
by Michel Leiris, translated by Brent Hayes Edwards.
Seagull, 711 pp., £42, January 2017, 978 0 85742 377 1
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... éro. But he was a diligent clerk and, as he understood soon enough, an apprentice ethnographer. His journal is now available in an elegant translation with notes and an introduction by Brent Hayes Edwards, professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia. It is a magnificent book. Edwards has kept the apparatus of the key French editions, including Leiris’s own footnotes – many, as ...

Downland Maniacs

Michael Mason

5 October 1995
The Village that Died for England 
by Patrick Wright.
Cape, 420 pp., £17.99, March 1995, 0 224 03886 9
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... H. Lawrence, James Meade Falkner (who wrote Moonfleet), Gerald Brenan, John Stewart Collis, Fritz Schumacher, John Eliot Gardiner (son of Rolf) and via him Roger Norrington, Lord Hinchinbrooke, Jimmy Edwards, Kenneth Allsop, Tariq Ali, Fenner Brockway, J.R.R. Tolkien, Bill Douglas (who made a film about the Tolpuddle Martyrs in a revamped Tyneham), Mike Leigh (via Nuts in May), Nigel Coates, even David ...

Dawn of the Dark Ages

Ronald Stevens: Fleet Street magnates

4 December 2003
Newspapermen: Hugh Cudlipp, Cecil Harmsworth King and the Glory Days of Fleet Street 
by Ruth Dudley Edwards.
Secker, 484 pp., £20, May 2003, 0 436 19992 0
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... Sunday Express) and, just as King had done after ousting Bartholomew, he inherited his victim’s job. Treachery and self-aggrandisement were part of the natural order of things in what Ruth Dudley Edwards, in this double biography of Cudlipp and King, comically describes as the glory days of Fleet Street. The two men had very little in common. Cudlipp, the youngest son of a travelling salesman ...

Diary

Tobias Jones: The politics of football

7 May 1998
... followers. And in December 1994, after Ferguson’s team had won the double, the share price rose so high that each share was split into ten, to draw in more buyers. In March 1995, chairman Martin Edwards sold 1.2 million shares, and pocketed £1.5 million. In 1996, after the second Sky deal, shares rose again to £4.50 each; Edwards sold £3.7 million shares, making £16.6 million. Peter Reid, the ex ...

Callaloo

Robert Crawford

20 April 1989
Northlight 
by Douglas​ Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £8.95, September 1988, 0 571 15229 5
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A Field of Vision 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 68 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 333 48229 8
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Seeker, Reaper 
by George Campbell Hay and Archie MacAlister.
Saltire Society, 30 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 85411 041 0
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In Through the Head 
by William McIlvanney.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 1 85158 169 3
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The New British Poetry 
edited by Gillian Allnutt, Fred D’Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram.
Paladin, 361 pp., £6.95, September 1988, 0 586 08765 6
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Complete Poems 
by Martin Bell, edited by Peter Porter.
Bloodaxe, 240 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 1 85224 043 1
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First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital 
edited by Lawrence Sail.
Faber, 69 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 571 55374 5
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Birthmarks 
by Mick Imlah.
Chatto, 61 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3358 9
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... the sort of cultures where dialect is spoken. Tony Harrison does this when he harnesses his Classical learning and tones to write about working-class life in Leeds (he also uses straight dialect); Douglas Dunn does it when he writes in Northlight with Marvellian decorum about Tayport; Les Murray when he writes about Bunyah. Use of proper names (where’s Tayport? where’s Bunyah? where’s Glanmore ...
29 March 2017
... the GDP of a small European country – it mattered quite a bit to the various companies bidding for the tender that they come up with a winning design. When, in 1996, a consortium led by McDonnell Douglas proposed a plane that effectively had no tail – they left out the vertical fins that provide stability in flight – they were dropped from the competition: punishment for trying to be too clever ...

Self-Made Women

John Sutherland

11 July 1991
The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present 
edited by Virginia Blain, Isobel Grundy and Patricia Clements.
Batsford, 1231 pp., £35, August 1990, 0 7134 5848 8
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The Presence of the Present: Topics of the Day in the Victorian Novel 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 854 pp., $45, March 1991, 0 8142 0518 6
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... the children of working women, nor her successful campaign to provide schools for crippled children. These were achieved with the help of powerful and rich men like the Duke of Bedford and Passmore Edwards, and are tainted by the association. The Companion does, however, go out of its way to point to the ‘warm portrayal of the intense bonds between women’ in her fiction, with an implied Sapphic ...

Upside Down, Inside Out

Colin Kidd: The 1975 Referendum

25 October 2018
Yes to Europe! The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain 
by Robert Saunders.
Cambridge, 509 pp., £24.99, March 2018, 978 1 108 42535 3
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... and the Common Market, insisted that ‘English Christianity’ was older than the English state, being ‘a European, not an insular’ phenomenon. Gerald Ellison, the bishop of London, and David Edwards, chaplain to the speaker of the House of Commons, denounced as a kind of heresy the obsession with sovereignty found, for example, in the High Tory ecclesiology of Enoch Powell. Outside Ulster, ultra ...

The poet steamed

Iain Sinclair: Tom Raworth

19 August 2004
Collected Poems 
by Tom Raworth.
Carcanet, 576 pp., £16.95, February 2003, 1 85754 624 5
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Removed for Further Study: The Poetry of Tom Raworth 
edited by Nate Dorward.
The Gig, 288 pp., £15, March 2003, 0 9685294 3 7
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... up and evaluated. Collections of the notable figures are beginning to appear: J.H. Prynne, Barry MacSweeney, Wendy Mulford, John James, with decent selections of Bill Griffiths, Allen Fisher, Douglas Oliver. And glimpses of many others, the reforgotten: John Temple, Anna Mendelssohn. It is a truth, unilaterally acknowledged (Cambridge and environs), that Raworth is the man, the only English poet ...

In real sound stupidity the English are unrivalled

Stefan Collini: ‘Cosmo’ for Capitalists

27 January 2020
Liberalism at Large: The World According to the ‘Economist’ 
by Alexander Zevin.
Verso, 538 pp., £25, November 2019, 978 1 78168 624 9
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... partially obscured or distorted by the personal standing of its most famous editor, Walter Bagehot, in charge from 1861 to 1877. ‘Bagehot and the Economist are inextricably fused,’ Ruth Dudley Edwards declared in the paper’s official history, published in 1993, and the Economist has never been slow to celebrate the connection. Bagehot got a foot in the door by marrying one of Wilson’s ...

Diary

Rebecca Solnit: After the Oil Spill

5 August 2010
... and couldn’t quite make out the oiled terns in the distance. And I saw what everyone else could see too, the photographs and footage from those who went to Ground Zero of this catastrophe.Mary Douglas said that dirt is matter out of place, and petroleum is out of place everywhere above ground. We design our lives around not seeing it even when we pump it into our cars and burn it, and when we do ...

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