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You win, I win

Philip Kitcher: Unselfish behaviour, 15 October 1998

Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behaviour 
by Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson.
Harvard, 400 pp., £18.50, May 1998, 0 674 93046 0
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... prominent when there are social means of inducing us to take pleasure in the happiness of others. Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson are clear that there are two notions of altruism, as well as two challenges to its possibility, stemming from quite different sources, but their wide-ranging book is intended to tackle both. They begin with biological ...


Peter Burke, 21 May 1987

The Count-Duke of Olivares: The Statesman in an Age of Decline 
by J.H. Elliott.
Yale, 733 pp., £19.95, August 1986, 0 300 03390 7
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Philip IV and the Decoration of the Alcazar of Madrid 
by Steven Orso.
Princeton, 227 pp., £36.70, July 1986, 0 691 04036 2
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... have some justification. Yet it is rarely so obviously justified as in the case of Professor John Elliott’s rediscovery of a major Spanish statesman of the 17th century, the effective ruler of Spain for more than twenty years and the contemporary, the rival and the opponent of Cardinal Richelieu. A choleric man, obsessed with honour and reputation, it is ...


Tom Carver: Philby in Beirut, 11 October 2012

... agent. Since diplomatic cover was not an option, his schoolfriend and fellow MI6 officer Nicholas Elliott got him a job as a stringer for the Observer and the Economist. Beirut made good sense as a posting: his father, St John Philby, a well-known Arabist, was living there at the time, and the Middle East was an area of growing interest to British ...

Meg, Jo, Beth and Me

Elaine Showalter, 23 March 1995

Little Women 
directed by Gillian Armstrong.
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... Still a fledgling writer of 33, Alcott jumped at the invitation of the Boston publisher James Elliott to write a 200-page novel for $125. She hired a girl to help care for her ailing mother, and wrote the story at night, putting into it all the imaginative violence that had characterised her adolescent dramas, but ...


Sheila Fitzpatrick: A Leninist version of Soviet history, 1 September 2005

The Soviet Century 
by Moshe Lewin, edited by Gregory Elliott.
Verso, 416 pp., £25, February 2005, 1 84467 016 3
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... said, Verso surely published Lewin’s manuscript – and went to the trouble of getting Gregory Elliott to edit it – out of respect for a man who is not only a major scholar of Soviet history but also a figure of distinction in the world of radical historians. On the assumption that many people will approach the book wanting to know how he has reacted to ...

Carved Cosmos

Tom Lowenstein, 5 August 1993

Amaravati: Buddhist Sculpture from the Great Stupa 
by Robert Knox.
British Museum, 247 pp., £40, November 1992, 0 7141 1452 9
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... decorative arts went round the corner to the V & A. ‘What gratified me greatly,’ wrote Walter Elliott in 1880, ‘was to find that Franks, with the true instinct of a lover of Art, treated these poor suffering remains so tenderly, with an appreciation of their value, and careful handling which they have now for the first time met with. I have urged him to ...

Great Expectations of Themselves

Anthony Pagden: Was there a Spanish Empire?, 17 April 2003

Spain’s Road to Empire: The Making of a World 1492-1763 
by Henry Kamen.
Allen Lane, 609 pp., £25, November 2002, 0 7139 9365 0
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... Eurocentric perspective’ date from the first half of the last century. Set against, say, John Elliott’s concept of a ‘multiple monarchy’ (Elliott is absent even from Kamen’s bibliography which, given his enormous influence, is difficult to account for) or Serge Gruzinski’s writings on mestisaje (also ...

On the imagining of conspiracy

Christopher Hitchens, 7 November 1991

Harlot’s Ghost 
by Norman Mailer.
Joseph, 1122 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7181 2934 2
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A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs 
by Theodore Draper.
Hill and Wang, 690 pp., $27.95, June 1991, 0 8090 9613 7
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... the Reagans and acted as at least a confidante to the First Lady. Norman Podhoretz’s son-in-law Elliott Abrams, while working as Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of State, dunned the Sultan of Brunei for a $10 million backhander to the Contras and then lost the money in a Swiss computer error. Ronald Reagan sent three envoys with a cake and a Bible to Tehran ...

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