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20 November 1986
Marriage and Morals among the Victorians, and Other Essays 
by Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Faber, 253 pp., £15.95, July 1986, 0 571 13952 3
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... For the past thirty years Gertrude Himmelfarb has sounded a discordant and unusual note among writers on Victorian England. She defended a (small c) ‘conservative’ perspective long before conservatism became intellectually fashionable. She was deciphering ‘ideas in context’ more than a decade before such an approach became the new orthodoxy of academic journals: indeed, her stock-in-trade has been to show that the great minds of the past look quite different if viewed from their own setting rather than from the time-capsule of highbrow reputation ...
24 January 1985
The Idea of Poverty: England in the Early Industrial Age 
by Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Faber, 595 pp., £20, March 1984, 0 571 13177 8
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... who tried to do something about it? It is to the answering of these fundamental questions that Gertrude Himmelfarb has devoted her most ambitious book. In terms of its subject and its approach, this is a quintessentially Himmelfarbian performance. In this book, as in her others, she is primarily concerned with the ...

Clive’s Clio

Hugh Tulloch

8 February 1990
Not by Fact Alone: Essays on the Writing and Reading of History 
by John Clive.
Collins Harvill, 334 pp., £15, October 1989, 0 00 272041 8
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... has come full circle. Young aimed his shot specifically at Bloomsbury. More recently, Gertrude Himmelfarb, in an essay entitled A Genealogy of Morals: From Clapham to Bloomsbury, has ostensibly aimed at the same target, but indirectly, and from a position of American neo-conservatism: she indicts by implication the libertarian excesses of ...

Sire of the Poor

Linda Colley

17 March 1988
Victorian Values and 20th-Century Condescension 
by Gertrude Himmelfarb.
Centre for Policy Studies, 15 pp., £2.20, August 1987, 1 870265 10 6
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Peel and the Victorians 
by Donald Read.
Blackwell, 330 pp., £27.50, August 1987, 0 631 15725 5
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Suicide in Victorian and Edwardian England 
by Olive Anderson.
Oxford, 475 pp., £40, July 1987, 9780198201014
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... and by those who are neither. This, in essence, is the position which the American historian Gertrude Himmelfarb adopts in Victorian Values, an address delivered last year to the Centre for Policy Studies. Like all of her work, it is shrewd and well-written. Historians, she argues, are being condescending when they dismiss ...

Performing Seals

Christopher Hitchens: The PR Crowd

10 August 2000
Partisans: Marriage, Politics and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals 
by David Laskin.
Simon and Schuster, 319 pp., $26, January 2000, 0 684 81565 6
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... monastic by contrast to the friends whose hands they held at moments of crisis. Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb are Philemon and Baucis, not Abelard and Héloïse and never mind Dorothea and Casaubon. No breath of scandal attaches to Susan Sontag, much admired and desired as she was and is. My old comrade Norman Birnbaum was once married to Edith ...
24 August 1995
John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier 
by Andrew Lownie.
Constable, 365 pp., £20, July 1995, 0 09 472500 4
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... almost unbelievable crudity, ‘Sapper’ and Dornford Yates. Despite defences of John Buchan by Gertrude Himmelfarb in an essay in Encounter in 1960, and Janet Adam Smith in her biography of 1965, the mud stuck. By the end of the Sixties in England, John Buchan was sinking towards oblivion, the sort of forgotten bestseller (like Phillips Oppenheim) you ...

Let every faction bloom

John Patrick Diggins

6 March 1997
For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism 
edited by Joshua Cohen.
Beacon, 154 pp., $15, August 1996, 0 8070 4313 3
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For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism 
by Maurizio Viroli.
Oxford, 214 pp., £22.50, September 1995, 0 19 827952 3
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Bonds of Affection: Americans Define Their Patriotism 
edited by John Bodnar.
Princeton, 352 pp., £45, September 1996, 0 691 04397 3
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Buring the Flag: The Great 1989-90 American Flag Desecration Controversy 
by Robert Justin Goldstein.
Kent State, 453 pp., $39, July 1996, 0 87338 526 8
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... of a world government? And does it not deny identity as something inherited rather than chosen? Gertrude Himmelfarb cites ‘the givens of life: parents, ancestors, family, race, religion, heritage, history, culture, tradition, community – and nationality’. Similarly, Charles Taylor reminds Nussbaum that democracy requires a strong national ...

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