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Provenly Unprovable

Solomon Feferman: Can mathematics describe the world?, 9 February 2006

Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel 
by Rebecca Goldstein.
Norton, 224 pp., $13.95, February 2006, 0 393 32760 4
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... as Goldstein has it): Einstein was brought from Germany to the institute in 1933 by its founder, Abraham Flexner, as one of the first two permanent members (the other was the American mathematician Oswald Veblen, brother of Thorstein); Gödel fled Austria at the last minute in 1940 to avoid conscription and came to the institute as an ...

The Ugly Revolution

Michael Rogin: Martin Luther King Jr, 10 May 2001

I May Not Get there with You: The True Martin Luther King Jr 
by Michael Eric Dyson.
Free Press, 404 pp., £15.99, May 2000, 0 684 86776 1
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The Papers of Martin Luther King Jr. Vol. IV: Symbol of the Movement January 1957-December 1958 
edited by Clayborne Carson et al.
California, 637 pp., £31.50, May 2000, 0 520 22231 8
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... free labour modes of production, brought hereditary legal servitude to an end. Its national hero, Abraham Lincoln, announced at Gettysburg that a nation ‘conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal’ had experienced ‘a new birth of freedom’ in civil war. But with the defeat of Reconstruction a decade after ...

Responses to the War in Gaza

LRB Contributors, 29 January 2009

... of human rights law at the LSE, has written a number of books on terrorism and human rights. Eric Hobsbawm For three weeks barbarism has been on show before a universal public, which has watched, judged and with few exceptions rejected Israel’s use of armed terror against the one and a half million inhabitants blockaded since 2006 in the Gaza ...
Secret Affairs: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and Sumner Welles 
by Irwin Gellman.
Johns Hopkins, 499 pp., $29.95, April 1995, 0 8018 5083 5
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Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley 
edited by Geoffrey Ward.
Houghton Mifflin, 444 pp., $24.95, April 1995, 0 395 66080 7
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No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War Two 
by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Simon and Schuster, 759 pp., £18, June 1995, 0 671 64240 5
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The End of Reform 
by Alan Brinkley.
Knopf, 371 pp., $27.50, March 1995, 0 394 53573 1
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... the President, however, Doris Kearns Goodwin (following Presidential scholars Richard Neustadt and Eric Larrabee), defends the political virtues of Roosevelt’s ‘management style’. By multiplying advisers he broke free of White House insularity, the argument goes, and was put in touch with diverse – conflicting – points of view. To be sure, Doris ...

He had fun

Anthony Grafton: Athanasius Kircher, 7 November 2013

Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity 
by Daniel Stolzenberg.
Chicago, 307 pp., £35, April 2013, 978 0 226 92414 4
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Exploring the Kingdom of Saturn: Kircher’s Latium and Its Legacy 
by Harry Evans.
Michigan, 236 pp., £63.50, July 2012, 978 0 472 11815 1
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... his children. They took it with them into the nations they founded. Centuries later, in the age of Abraham, a second Hermes recovered the fragments of the true ancient religion. He invented a new form of writing, the hieroglyphs, with which he hoped to preserve the ancient wisdom while keeping ordinary, ignorant people from profaning it further. And he devised ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... of the trade, such as Patrick Collinson on Elizabeth I, Michael Howard on Sir John Hackett, Eric Hobsbawm on Karl Marx (well, he lived here for thirty years, and undeniably ‘influenced the nation’s life’). Also impressive is how frequently those who have already written the authoritative intellectual biography have been persuaded to contribute an ...

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