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Burbocentrism

Tom Shippey, 23 May 1996

Beyond Uhura: ‘Star Trek’ and Other Memories 
by Nichelle Nichols.
Boxtree, 320 pp., £9.99, December 1995, 0 7522 0787 3
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I Am Spock 
by Leonard Nimoy.
Century, 342 pp., £16.99, November 1995, 0 7126 7691 0
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Science Fiction Audiences: Watching ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Trek’ 
by Henry Jenkins and John Tulloch.
Routledge, 294 pp., £40, April 1995, 0 415 06140 7
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‘Star Trek’: Deep Space Nine 
by Mark Altman, Rob Davis and Tony Pallot.
Boxtree, 64 pp., £8.99, May 1995, 0 7522 0898 5
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... in the Sixties was only about 10 per cent; and in their study of science fiction audiences, Henry Jenkins and John Tulloch note the continuing rejection of Star Trek by ‘the male establishment of literary science fiction fandom’. Actually, no group of fans can be called an establishment: none of them has any power at all, not even, for all the ...

D&O

John Lanchester, 5 June 1997

Journals 1990-92 
by Anthony Powell.
Heinemann, 238 pp., £20, May 1997, 0 434 00430 8
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... memorable characters in A Dance to the Music of Time are the miners and bankers with whom Nicholas Jenkins, the narrator, serves during the war, or the literary down-and-outs with whom he mingles after it; a large part of the value of the work is that it encompasses Lady Huntercombe’s dance, as well as the vissicitudes of the small magazine Fission, the ...

Decisions

John Kenneth Galbraith, 6 March 1986

Truman 
by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 220 pp., £12.95, February 1986, 0 00 217584 3
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... to justify a really interesting book. From this depressing background there now emerges Roy Jenkins. As a contrast he is nothing short of spectacular. In Birmingham, long in Whitehall, then in Brussels and lately in Glasgow and over the whole of the Kingdom he has had a political career more obviously interesting than most. Of this he writes not a ...

Six Scotches More

Michael Wood: Anthony Powell, 8 February 2001

A Writer's Notebook 
by Anthony Powell.
Heinemann, 169 pp., £14.99, February 2001, 0 434 00915 6
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... Secret Harmonies). Powell was born in 1905 and died in 2000. Powell comments in the Notebook on ‘Henry James’s inability to invent good proper names’ – the inability may more properly belong to our culture, since James took a lot of his names straight from the Times – and certainly suffers from no such inability himself. ‘Drawbridge, a ...

I am a false alarm

Robert Irwin: Khalil Gibran, 3 September 1998

Kahlil Gibran: Man and Poet 
by Suheil Bushrui and Joe Jenkins.
One World, 372 pp., £18.99, August 1998, 1 85168 177 9
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Prophet: The Life and Times of Kahlil Gibran 
by Robin Waterfield.
Allen Lane, 366 pp., £20, August 1998, 0 7139 9209 3
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... about. Waterfield’s book is sharper, better-written and less repetitive, even if Bushrui and Jenkins give fuller weight to Gibran’s importance for the history of modern Arab literature. They place less stress than Waterfield on Gibran’s drinking and womanising, but then his weaknesses were made public long ago. The broad facts are deducible from ...

Über-Tony

Ben Pimlott: Anthony Crosland, 3 September 1998

Crosland’s Future: Opportunity and Outcome 
by David Reisman.
Macmillan, 237 pp., £47.50, October 1997, 0 333 65963 5
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... the history of the Left – by studying the history of theory are in danger of anachronism. As Henry Drucker pointed out in The Doctrine and Ethos of the Labour Party, a gulf always existed between the thinkers quoted in set-pieces – Marx, Tawney, Orwell and the rest – and the trade-union argot of the smoke-filled rooms, where decisions were ...

A Talented Past

Linda Colley, 23 April 1987

The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. I: Survey 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 400 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. II: Constituencies 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 704 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. III: Members A-F 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 852 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. IV: Members G-P 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 908 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1790-1820. Vol. V: Members P-Z 
edited by R.G. Thorne.
Secker, 680 pp., £225, August 1986, 0 436 52101 6
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... in the past by Harold Macmillan and is protected now by the enthusiasm of men such as Roy Jenkins and Robert Rhodes James. But why should those of us who are excluded from this desirable club at Westminster want such an extended work of collective biography? In the case of these volumes one obvious reason lies in the period that they cover. They begin ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Awaiting the Truth about Hanratty, 11 December 1997

... system for a generation is about to hit the headlines again. Some time in the next few weeks Baden Henry Skitt, former Scotland Yard Commander and Chief Constable of Hertfordshire, now a chief investigator for the Criminal Cases Review Commission, will draft a public statement on the A6 murder, for which James Hanratty was hanged in 1962. The Commission ...

Whirligig

Barbara Everett: Thinking about Hamlet, 2 September 2004

... Perhaps the best single introduction to Hamlet is the long essay that prefaces Harold Jenkins’s Arden edition. Jenkins opens his critical discussion with a sub-section entitled ‘Problems’, which begins: ‘Few, I imagine, would challenge the assertion that’ – here he quotes from Harry Levin ...

The Illiberal Hour

Mark Bonham-Carter, 7 March 1985

Black and White Britain: The Third Survey 
by Colin Brown.
PSI/Heinemann, 331 pp., £22.50, September 1984, 0 435 83124 0
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... a number of unattractive characteristics, but allowed a spirit of self-criticism that was healthy. Henry Adams reports in his autobiography that at a dinner at the American Embassy at which John Bright was the chief British guest, he thumped the table and announced: ‘the English are a nation of brutes and should be exterminated to the last man.’ This ...
The Dons 
by Noël Annan.
HarperCollins, 357 pp., £17.99, November 1999, 0 00 257074 2
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A Man of Contradictions: A Life of A.L.Rowse 
by Richard Ollard.
Allen Lane, 368 pp., £20, October 1999, 0 7139 9353 7
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... Director of Covent Garden and so on; ‘a fine exemplar of the civilisation he portrays’, as Roy Jenkins wrote in a review of author and book together. What made Our Age so arresting was its combination of self-promotion and self-flagellation, and Annan’s wistful reflections on the failures, as well as the successes, of his own generation. Put simply, he ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Wonder Woman’, 13 July 2017

Wonder Woman 
directed by Patty Jenkins.
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... she doesn’t really belong in the movie at all: she’s a living trailer for her own film, Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman, which is now breaking all kinds of box office records. Batman does look her up on a database of metahumans, though. Not quite the right category, since she is not human at all, she was moulded by her mother from clay fertilised by ...

Had he not run

David Reynolds: America’s longest-serving president, 2 June 2005

Franklin Delano Roosevelt 
by Roy Jenkins.
Pan, 208 pp., £7.99, May 2005, 0 330 43206 0
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Franklin D. Roosevelt 
by Patrick Renshaw.
Longman, 223 pp., $16.95, December 2003, 0 582 43803 9
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom 
by Conrad Black.
Weidenfeld, 1280 pp., £17.99, October 2004, 0 7538 1848 5
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... as a matter of course. ‘Never let your left hand know what your right is doing,’ he told Henry Morgenthau, his treasury secretary and a close friend. ‘Which hand am I, Mr President?’ Morgenthau asked. ‘My right hand,’ he replied, ‘but I keep my left hand under the table.’ Roosevelt’s presidency is superbly documented, yet the modern ...

Dancing Senator

Pat Rogers, 7 November 1985

Memoirs of King George II: Vols I, II and III 
by Horace Walpole, edited by John Brooke.
Yale, 248 pp., £65, June 1985, 0 300 03197 1
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... these are annals of the Hanoverian accession, and don’t get anywhere within hailing distance of Jenkins Ear. The date is significant: Robert Walpole had died in 1745, and a year later his son’s arrested political development brings him back to the quarrels of a previous generation. Many people are liberated by the death of a dominant parent: Horace felt ...

Great Fun

John Bayley, 22 January 1987

Gossip 
by Patricia Meyer Spacks.
Chicago, 287 pp., £9.25, November 1986, 0 226 76844 9
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The Bonus of Laughter 
by Alan Pryce-Jones.
Hamish Hamilton, 263 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 241 11903 0
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... the verbal meccano-work of literary theory. In conclave with her admiring if sceptical husband in Henry James’s novel The Golden Bowl, Fanny Assingham remarks of her efforts on behalf of the Prince and Charlotte – efforts which involve, at the highest level, resources of query, speculation, understanding – that whatever happens it will all have been ...

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