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Black, White and Female

Betty Wood, 2 May 1985

The Limits of Liberty: American History 1607-1980 
by Maldwyn Jones.
Oxford, 696 pp., £22.50, November 1983, 0 19 913074 4
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America: A Narrative History 
by Charles Brown Tindall.
Norton, 1425 pp., £16.95, July 1984, 0 393 95435 8
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The Longman History of the United States 
by Hugh Brogan.
Longman, 740 pp., £19.95, March 1985, 0 582 35385 8
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American Tough: The Tough-Guy Tradition and American Character 
by Rupert Wilkinson.
Greenwood, 221 pp., £27.95, March 1984, 0 313 23797 2
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... to changes in the economic, social and cultural landscape. Maldwyn Jones, Charles Tindall and Hugh Brogan have played absolutely safe and settled for an orthodox approach. They neither dispute nor deviate significantly from the well-trodden paths of traditional historiography. If Professors Jones and Tindall are to be criticised, it is not so much ...

Bolsheviks and Bohemians

Angus Calder, 5 April 1984

The Life of Arthur Ransome 
by Hugh Brogan.
Cape, 456 pp., £10.95, January 1984, 0 224 02010 2
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Bohemia in London 
by Arthur Ransome, introduced by Rupert Hart-Davis.
Oxford, 284 pp., £3.50, January 1984, 0 19 281412 5
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... prose is never tinged with purple, the dialogue is superbly lifelike and economical. And, as Hugh Brogan points out in his biography, while Ransome ‘did not live to encounter that marvellously self-serving critical doctrine according to which the only subject of art is art and even such works as Emma are concerned chiefly with their own writing ...

A Matter of Caste

Colin Kidd: Alexis de Tocqueville, 22 March 2007

Alexis de Tocqueville: Prophet of Democracy in the Age of Revolution 
by Hugh Brogan.
Profile, 724 pp., £30, December 2006, 1 86197 509 0
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... but to the exclusion of the fervour and enthusiasms which animate political life in the raw. It is Hugh Brogan’s achievement in this biography to present Tocqueville as a man of feelings – and not all of them fine feelings. Indeed, one theme dominates: Tocqueville’s failure ever quite to overcome the prejudices of his caste. His career as a ...

With What Joy We Write of the New Russian Government

Ferdinand Mount: Arthur Ransome, 24 September 2009

The Last Englishman: The Double Life of Arthur Ransome 
by Roland Chambers.
Faber, 390 pp., £20, August 2009, 978 0 571 22261 2
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... I think, first brought to public attention by David Caute in The Fellow Travellers (1973), then by Hugh Brogan in his 1984 biography, more recently in papers declassified by MI5 in 2005, and now by Roland Chambers in this new biography. It should be said at once that the bulk of the evidence was never secret, being set out in Ransome’s own articles for ...

A Piece of Single Blessedness

John Burrows, 21 January 1988

Jane Austen: Her Life 
by Park Honan.
Weidenfeld, 452 pp., £16.95, October 1987, 0 297 79217 2
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... meaning of her remark was proposed by Charles Edge, in Nineteenth-Century Fiction (1961), and by Hugh Brogan and others in the correspondence columns of the Times Literary Supplement in December 1968 and January 1969. (The case is also argued and Edge’s evidence extended in an unpublished Appendix of my doctoral thesis, University of London, 1967.) To ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I Didn’t Do in 2007, 3 January 2008

... to cope with, never knowing if it was piss-taking quite. It’s stated in the book that Denis Brogan, fellow of Peterhouse, broadcaster and expert on the USA, used to boast that he had fucked in 46 of the 50 states. I wish I’d known this in 1952, when in my first weeks of National Service Basic Training I was in the next bed to a boy called Huggins, a ...

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