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Noddy is on page 248

Jay Griffiths: On the streets, 10 June 1999

The Penguin Book of 20th-Century Protest 
edited by Brian MacArthur.
Penguin, 440 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 670 87052 8
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DIY Culture: Party and Protest in Nineties Britain 
edited by George McKay.
Verso, 310 pp., £11, July 1998, 1 85984 260 7
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... to draw attention to ‘the seventeen million people killed directly by the motor car’. George McKay’s collection is a far more accurate portrait of contemporary British protest than MacArthur’s, in both subject matter and style. John Jordan of Reclaim the Streets, for example, offers a critique of ‘the street’ as public commons now ...

Who’s the real wolf?

Kevin Okoth: Black Marseille, 23 September 2021

Romance in Marseille 
by Claude McKay.
Penguin, 208 pp., £12.99, May 2020, 978 0 14 313422 0
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... When​ Claude McKay first visited Marseille he was immediately taken with the vagabond social life of the Vieux Port. In his early twenties he had moved from Jamaica to the US, where he spent a few years before setting off to travel Europe. He had reported for Sylvia Pankhurst’s Workers’ Dreadnought in London, attended the Fourth World Congress of the Communist International in Petrograd and Moscow, and visited the cabarets of Berlin ...


D.A.N. Jones, 8 January 1987

The Old School: A Study 
by Simon Raven.
Hamish Hamilton, 139 pp., £12, September 1986, 0 241 11929 4
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The Best Years of their Lives: The National Service Experience 1945-63 
by Trevor Royle.
Joseph, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 7181 2459 6
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Murder without Conviction: Inside the World of the Krays 
by John Dickson.
Sidgwick, 164 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780283994074
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Inside ‘Private Eye’ 
by Peter McKay.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 947795 80 4
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Malice in Wonderland: Robert Maxwell v. ‘Private Eye’ 
by Robert Maxwell, John Jackson, Peter Donnelly and Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 191 pp., £10.95, December 1986, 0 356 14616 2
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... their knees nailed to the furniture. The fallen state of Private Eye is illustrated by Peter McKay’s foolish and ill-written book, Inside Private Eye, but scornful young readers should remember that this downmarket old fogey was once a young fogey. It stood up to the Krays, a plucky little public-school rag-mag. This brings us back to The Old School ...


Susan McKay: Breakdown in Power-Sharing, 8 March 2018

... of the Good Friday Agreement is marked at the beginning of April. The Clintons, Tony Blair, George Mitchell and Bertie Ahern were all expected to make an appearance. Recently it seemed that a deal was about to be made. May and Varadkar flew in to Belfast on 12 February, ready to welcome it. But it soon became clear that the talks were in deep ...


Susan McKay: The Irish Border, 30 March 2017

... minority, concentrated in the north-east of the country, was not impressed. In 1917 Lloyd George warned Parliament that they were ‘alien in blood, in religious faith, in traditions, in outlook, as alien from the rest of Ireland as the inhabitants of Fife and Aberdeen’. Margaret Thatcher would agree, claiming that Northern Ireland was ‘as British ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Vice’, 21 February 2019

... We may​ think all biopics are biofantasies, in which case the opening title card of Adam McKay’s new film Vice will have us laughing already. After all, he is the former Saturday Night Live writer who made The Big Short, a very funny movie about the 2008 financial crisis. The card says: ‘The following is a true story ...

A Great Wall to Batter Down

Adom Getachew, 21 May 2020

Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent 
by Priyamvada Gopal.
Verso, 607 pp., £25, June 2019, 978 1 78478 412 6
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... she finds, were met over and over again with an excessive response. From the execution of George William Gordon, a member of the Jamaican National Assembly, for allegedly inciting the 1865 rebellion at Morant Bay, to the conviction for conspiracy of the Meerut defendants in India in 1933 for organising a railway strike, the dynamic of rebellion and ...

White Lies

James Campbell: Nella Larsen, 5 October 2006

In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Colour Line 
by George Hutchinson.
Harvard, 611 pp., £25.95, June 2006, 0 674 02180 0
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... and to spare herself further pain. For the rest of her days, she was constrained to pass as black. George Hutchinson’s remarkable In Search of Nella Larsen is full of savage ironies; for example, Marie and Peter Larsen, together with their daughter, Anna, moved at one point to a new Chicago neighbourhood, Woodlawn, ‘one of those east of State Street that ...

Did he leap?

Paul Mendez: ‘Harlem Shuffle’, 16 December 2021

Harlem Shuffle 
by Colson Whitehead.
Fleet, 320 pp., £16.99, September, 978 0 7088 9944 1
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... is not really a heist novel, or the heir to earlier Harlem capers by Chester Himes and Claude McKay. It’s a subtle examination of what it is to disturb structures that have existed for generations, to shake oneself free from expectations based on race, gender and class, and slowly and deliberately to acquire the art of taking control. This, perhaps, is ...

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