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Should we say thank you?

Hugh Wilford: The Overrated Marshall Plan

30 April 2009
The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Reconstruction of Postwar Europe 
by Greg Behrman.
Aurum, 448 pp., £25, February 2008, 978 1 84513 326 9
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Winning the Peace: The Marshall Plan and America’s Coming of Age as a Superpower 
by Nicolaus Mills.
Wiley, 290 pp., £15.99, August 2008, 978 0 470 09755 7
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... worker who rented out deckchairs on the Champs-Elysées, the explanation was simple. ‘Without Marshall aid probably very few people would be sitting down,’ he told an interviewer. ‘Most of them would be rioting and bashing each other over the head with my chairs.’ It is not hard to understand why Europeans like Lignes were grateful for the ...

In Whose Interest?

Thomas Meaney: Truman’s Plan

6 December 2018
The Accidental President: Harry S. Truman and the Four Months that Changed the World 
by A.J. Baime.
Doubleday, 431 pp., £20, February 2018, 978 0 85752 366 2
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The Marshall Plan: Dawn of the Cold War 
by Benn Steil.
Oxford, 606 pp., £25, March 2018, 978 0 19 875791 7
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... as this president is concerned Santa Claus is dead and that my first interest is the USA.’ The Marshall Plan​ has come down as the Truman administration’s most admired achievement – the outstanding exception to its unilateralist instincts. It was recognised as such at the time by even some of the more severe observers of American activity in ...

The Four Degrees

Paul Kingsnorth: Climate Change

22 October 2014
Don’t Even Think about It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change 
by George Marshall.
Bloomsbury, 272 pp., £20, October 2014, 978 1 62040 133 0
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This Changes Everything: Capitalism v. The Climate 
by Naomi Klein.
Allen Lane, 576 pp., £20, September 2014, 978 1 84614 505 6
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... able to control them. Given everything we know about climate change, why are we still ignoring it? George Marshall’s intriguing book, Don’t Even Think about It, offers many answers, but the likely consequences of twenty years of top-level lies, dithering and obfuscation are left until the last chapter. This was probably a smart decision, because the ...

Ikonography

Keith Kyle

4 July 1985
Eisenhower. Vol. I: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect 1890-1952 Vol. II: The President 1952-1969 
by Stephen Ambrose.
Allen and Unwin, 637 pp., £12.50, February 1984, 0 04 923073 5
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Ike’s Letters to a Friend: 1941-1958 
edited by Robert Griffith.
Kansas, 211 pp., $19.95, October 1984, 0 7006 0257 7
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...  ...
8 November 2018
... advance that began in September 1918 and ended with the signing of the Armistice on 11 November. George Marshall, after whom the Marshall Plan is named, drew up the order of battle for the American Expeditionary Force. More than a million American soldiers fought in what is known as the Hundred Days Offensive: 122,000 ...
3 September 1987
Before the oil ran out: Britain 1977-86 
by Ian Jack.
Secker, 271 pp., £9.95, June 1987, 0 436 22020 2
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In a Distant Isle: The Orkney Background of Edwin Muir 
by George Marshall.
Scottish Academic Press, 184 pp., £12.50, May 1987, 0 7073 0469 5
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... a peculiarly heart-sore quality. We call our migrations ‘exile’ (a chapter-heading in George Marshall’s lucid and thorough study of Edwin Muir’s native culture), although the individual choice is usually our own. As Stevenson wrote in The Silverado Squatters, ‘I do not know if I desire to live there, but let me hear in some far land a ...

Dastardly Poltroons

Jonathan Fenby: Madame Chiang Kai-shek

21 October 2010
The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China 
by Hannah Pakula.
Weidenfeld, 787 pp., £25, January 2010, 978 0 297 85975 8
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... to China. After a series of chaotic discussions between the military leaders, which Brooke and George Marshall, the US army chief of staff, regarded as ‘a ghastly waste of time’, Roosevelt made the Chinese an airy promise of an offensive across the Andaman Sea to try to end the Japanese occupation of Burma. The promise was soon withdrawn: in ...

Talking with Alfred

Steven Shapin: Mr Loomis’s Obsession

15 April 2004
Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science that Changed the Course of World War Two 
by Jennet Conant.
Simon and Schuster, 330 pp., £9.99, July 2003, 0 684 87288 9
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... Laboratory included Enrico Fermi, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Robert Wood, E.O. Lawrence, George Kistiakowsky, Leo Szilárd, the Compton brothers (Arthur and Karl) and Albert Einstein. One newspaper columnist observed Loomis’s odd form of philanthropy: ‘In Tuxedo Park, his home, he has built the Loomis Laboratories, and any scientist who wishes to ...

Will-be-ism?

Nicolas Walter

27 February 1992
Demanding the impossible: A History of Anarchism 
by Peter Marshall.
HarperCollins, 783 pp., £25, January 1992, 0 00 217855 9
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The Self-Build Book 
by Jon Broome and Brian Richardson.
Green Books, 253 pp., £15, December 1991, 1 870098 23 4
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... a survey of previous research. For thirty years the standard work of this kind in English has been George Woodcock’s Anarchism: A History of Libertarian Ideas and Movements (1962), which was a synthesis – an inexpensive paperback, elegantly written, deliberately designed for ordinary readers rather than scholars. There have been other general books, but ...

Misappropriation

Colin Kidd: Burke

4 February 2016
Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke 
by Richard Bourke.
Princeton, 1001 pp., £30.95, September 2015, 978 0 691 14511 2
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Training Minds for the War of Ideas: Ashridge College, the Conservative Party and the Cultural Politics of Britain, 1929-54 
by Clarisse Berthezène.
Manchester, 214 pp., £75, June 2015, 978 0 7190 8649 6
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The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke, Vol. IV: Party, Parliament and the Dividing of the Whigs, 1780-94 
edited by P.J. Marshall and Donald Bryant.
Oxford, 674 pp., £120, October 2015, 978 0 19 966519 8
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... may assume as uncontrolled a power in this country as the king of Sweden has done in his.’ Might George III become another Gustavus III? Although Burke ended up an enemy of popular revolt, he spent much of his life in politics as the foe of prerogative. Bourke is clear that he should not be pigeonholed as an uncompromising traditionalist. Antiquarian ...

Diary

A.J.P. Taylor: Magdalen College Portraits

3 May 1984
... had no spare money to pay for a picture even if they had wanted to buy it. Now friends of mine, marshalled by Chris Cook, had raised enough to buy the picture of me and offer it to the college. Magdalen College had acquired few portraits of fellows particularly of recent years. I can recollect only one of C.S. Lewis and I am not even sure of him. I seemed ...

Over the Top

Michael Howard

8 February 1996
A Genius for War: A Life of General George Patton 
by Carlo D’Este.
HarperCollins, 977 pp., £25, November 1995, 0 00 215882 5
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... Mad, is he?’ George II is reported to have said of General Wolfe; ‘Then I wish he would bite some of my other generals!’ Both remarks might have been made about General George S. Patton Jr, and no doubt frequently were. His sanity was seriously in question. As S.L.A. Marshall, the most judicious of American military historians, put it: ‘Any man who thinks that he is the reincarnation of Hannibal or some such isn’t quite possessed of all his buttons ...
5 June 1986
Sphinx 
by D.M. Thomas.
Gollancz, 248 pp., £9.95, June 1986, 0 575 03611 7
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... eye pretty swiftly, so swiftly that it reminded me of nothing so much as of my old teacher Marshall McLuhan at his rapid-fire worst, evading ordinary men’s plain questions by ping-ponging back little tag-phrases from Valéry, Gide, St Augustine or whoever came to mind, keeping things moving, now-you-understand-me-now-you-don’t, terrific, interview ...
30 September 1999
Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War 
by Frances Stonor Saunders.
Granta, 509 pp., £20, July 1999, 1 86207 029 6
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... assassinations and mass killings. Yet it still gives me an eerie feeling to read about people like George Orwell, Stephen Spender and Raymond Aron, to say nothing of less admirable characters of the Melvin Lasky stripe, taking part in surreptitiously subsidised anti-Communist ventures – magazines, symphony orchestras, art exhibitions – or in the setting up ...

How to get on in the new Iraq

Carol Brightman: James Baker’s drop-the-debt tour

4 March 2004
... two ways to look at the installation of James Baker, his father’s former secretary of state, in George W. Bush’s White House. Either the president has finally found a temporary assignment attractive enough to persuade his old retainer to come and rescue him from his Middle East hot seat. Or, as the new special envoy in charge of reducing Iraq’s $120 ...

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