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Is there a health crisis?

Roy Porter, 19 May 1988

The Public Health Challenge 
edited by Stephen Farrow.
Hutchinson, 160 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 09 173165 8
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The Truth about the Aids Panic 
by Michael Fitzpatrick and Don Milligan.
Junius, 68 pp., £1.95, March 1987, 9780948392078
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Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830 
by Frank Mort.
Routledge, 280 pp., £7.95, October 1987, 0 7102 0856 1
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Medicine and Labour: The Politics of a Profession 
by Steve Watkins.
Lawrence and Wishart, 272 pp., £6.95, May 1987, 0 85315 639 5
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... flawed. Medical politics have always been, and remain, far more ambiguous. This is deftly shown in Frank Mort’s Dangerous Sexualities, a survey of sexual policing in England since the accession of Victoria. Focus initially upon the Early Victorian years, he suggests, and you see what appears to be an irresistible alliance of doctors, experts, reformers ...

English Marxists in dispute

Roy Porter, 17 July 1980

Arguments within English Marxism 
by Perry Anderson.
New Left Books, 218 pp., £3.95, May 1980, 0 86091 727 4
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Capitalism, State Formation and Marxist Theory 
edited by Philip Corrigan.
Quartet, 232 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 0 7043 2241 2
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Writing by Candlelight 
by E.P. Thompson.
Merlin, 286 pp., £2.70, May 1980, 0 85036 257 1
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... issue. Nor does this new Marxism worry about the consequences of state power. Rachel Harrison and Frank Mort, in their ‘Patriarchal Aspects of 19th-century State Formation’, treat the law as a univcrsalising, naturalising ideology, but they explicitly renounce investigating its reception or effectiveness: ‘We concentrate here on the way in which ...

The way we live now

Ross McKibbin, 11 January 1990

New Times: The Changing Face of Politics in the 1990s 
edited by Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques.
Lawrence and Wishart/Marxism Today, 463 pp., £9.95, November 1989, 0 85315 703 0
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... with design, advertising, lifestyle, soft and hardware. (See, particularly, the essays of Frank Mort and Geoff Mulgan.) New Times is within that tradition of European Marxism which has always been fascinated by the technological dynamic of capitalism, and admired it even while it feared it. As we gaze at the ruins of the promethean phase of ...

Unshockable Victorians

John Bayley, 19 June 1986

The Bourgeois Experience: Victoria to Freud. Vol. II: The Tender Passion 
by Peter Gay.
Oxford, 490 pp., £19.50, June 1986, 0 19 503741 3
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... to put up as best they could with civilisation and its discontents. One way of doing so was in a frank and free exchange of sexual desires between wives and husbands, as exemplified in the letters that passed between Emma and Arthur Roe during and after the American Civil War. These are one of the pieces of more or less obscure evidence that Gay produces to ...

Feast of St Thomas

Frank Kermode, 29 September 1988

Eliot’s New Life 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Oxford, 356 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 19 811727 2
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The Letters of T.S. Eliot 
edited by Valerie Eliot.
Faber, 618 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 571 13621 4
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The Poetics of Impersonality 
by Maud Ellmann.
Harvester, 207 pp., £32.50, January 1988, 0 7108 0463 6
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T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of Criticism 
by Richard Shusterman.
Duckworth, 236 pp., £19.95, February 1988, 0 7156 2187 4
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‘The Men of 1914’: T.S. Eliot and Early Modernism 
by Erik Svarny.
Open University, 268 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 335 09019 2
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Eliot, Joyce and Company 
by Stanley Sultan.
Oxford, 326 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 19 504880 6
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The Savage and the City in the Work of T.S. Eliot 
by Robert Crawford.
Oxford, 251 pp., £25, December 1987, 9780198128694
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T.S. Eliot: The Poems 
by Martin Scofield.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 30147 5
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... and a number from Jean Verdenal, the dedicatee of Prufrock and Other Observations, ‘mort aux Dardanelles’. Their relationship wasn’t of the kind improperly suggested, but it was close and involved some elegant youthful posing. Ce n’est pas facile de se faire comprendre, et puis d’ailleurs ce n’est pas mon métier is the kind of remark ...

Love Stories

Edmund White, 4 November 1993

To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life: A Novel 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by Linda Coverdale.
Quartet, 246 pp., £12.95, November 1991, 9780704370005
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The Man in the Red Hat 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by James Kirkup.
Quartet, 111 pp., £12.95, May 1993, 0 7043 7046 8
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The Compassion Protocol 
by Hervé Guibert, translated by James Kirkup.
Quartet, 202 pp., £13.95, October 1993, 9780704370593
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... useful, since Guibert’s writing often confounds genres) is unqualifiedly disgusting. In fact La Mort propagande combines several of the themes he would develop more extensively later on. First, the desire evinced by Proust’s character Mlle Vinteuil to humiliate her father in Guibert’s case becomes a nearly erotic pleasure in spitting on his ...

The State with the Prettiest Name

Michael Hofmann: ‘Florida’, 24 May 2018

Florida 
by Lauren Groff.
Heinemann, 275 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 78515 188 0
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... skulduggery, scams and religions, ditto. Dirt-poor, barefoot, backwoods Florida (the subject of Frank Conroy’s memoir of the 1930s and 1940s, Stop-Time) is not all that long gone. Sweet tea, squirrel and grits Florida. Then, successively, railroads, oranges, real estate, wintering place, destination for domestic and foreign tourism, and retirement ...

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