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Benetton Ethics

Nick Cohen: Treachery at the FO, 2 July 1998

First Annual Report on Human Rights 
by Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
56 pp., April 1998
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The Great Deception 
by Mark Curtis.
Pluto, 272 pp., £14.99, June 1998, 0 7453 1234 9
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... the streets and Suharto’s fantastic wealth. It was as if the Western media had reported that the Berlin Wall had been felled by a mindless crowd revolted by the Baltic villas of the East German élite and forgotten to recall the crimes of Stalinism. But then Suharto was ‘our’ criminal. When Gilchrist died in 1993, he was presented as a typically British ...

Diary

Daniel Finn: Ireland’s Election, 17 March 2011

... another opportunity to revisit the tedious question of whether or not he was a member of the IRA. But that’s far from being the most interesting thing about him. Adams has spent the past couple of decades giving radically different messages to different constituencies, telling people what he thinks they want to hear, and making it hard to know what he ...

Is the particle there?

Hilary Mantel: Schrödinger in Clontarf, 7 July 2005

A Game with Sharpened Knives 
by Neil Belton.
Weidenfeld, 328 pp., £12.99, May 2005, 0 297 64359 2
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... is precarious. England casts an envious eye on Irish ports. Civil servants – scowling old IRA men, who once counted rifles and now count paperclips – draw up plans for when the Germans walk in and become the de facto power. Who is dropping the bombs? Is it the Germans, or is it the English, aiming to discredit the Germans? Half-hidden in the murk ...

I want to love it

Susan Pedersen: What on earth was he doing?, 18 April 2019

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History 
by Richard J. Evans.
Little, Brown, 800 pp., £35, February 2019, 978 1 4087 0741 8
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... blood. Percy’s brother Sidney had married Nelly’s sister Gretl and they took Nancy off to Berlin, where Sidney had found a job with a motion picture company; Eric was left in Vienna, boarding with a woman in exchange for giving English lessons to her son, and visiting his mother in one or another sanatorium. He was a cerebral, bookish child, living ...

While Statues Sleep

Thomas Laqueur, 18 June 2020

Learning from the Germans: Confronting Race and the Memory of Evil 
by Susan Neiman.
Allen Lane, 415 pp., £20, August 2019, 978 0 241 26286 3
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... to demonstrate moral principle in action at a national level. Dressed in its memorial trappings, Berlin today is the Nazi capital in sackcloth.Neiman seeks analogies between Germany’s experience and possible ways of recuperating the more or less unredeemed American past. What Nietzsche called ‘monumental’ history extracts from the past a particular ...

Destiny v. Democracy

David Runciman: The New Deal, 25 April 2013

Fear Itself: The New Deal and the Origins of Our Time 
by Ira Katznelson.
Norton, 706 pp., £22, April 2013, 978 0 87140 450 3
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... state-sanctioned murder was treated as an unpleasant necessity rather than a public festival. As Ira Katznelson records, in November 1933, more than a year after FDR’s election, Lloyd Warner was burned alive before a cheering crowd of ten thousand in Princess Anne, Maryland, after an attempt to hang him had failed. Nothing so ghastly was permitted on the ...

Puck’s Dream

Mark Ford, 14 June 1990

Selected Poems 1990 
by D.J. Enright.
Oxford, 176 pp., £6.95, March 1990, 0 19 282625 5
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Life by Other Means: Essays on D.J. Enright 
edited by Jacqueline Simms.
Oxford, 208 pp., £25, March 1990, 0 19 212989 9
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Vanishing Lung Syndrome 
by Miroslav Holub, translated by David Young and Dana Habova.
Faber, 68 pp., £10.99, April 1990, 0 571 14378 4
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The Dimension of the Present Moment, and Other Essays 
by Miroslav Holub, edited by David Young.
Faber, 146 pp., £4.99, April 1990, 0 571 14338 5
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Poems Before and After: Collected English Translations 
by Miroslav Holub, translated by Ewald Osers and George Theiner.
Bloodaxe, 272 pp., £16, April 1990, 1 85224 121 7
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My Country: Collected Poems 
by Alistair Elliot.
Carcanet, 175 pp., £18.95, November 1989, 0 85635 846 0
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1953: A Version of Racine’s ‘Andromaque’ 
by Craig Raine.
Faber, 89 pp., £4.99, March 1990, 0 571 14312 1
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Andromache 
by Jean Racine, translated by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £4.99, March 1990, 0 571 14249 4
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... Enright spent most of his working life abroad as an English lecturer in Egypt, Japan, Germany (Berlin), Thailand, Singapore. Most of the poems written during these years record his responses to alien ideals and cultures, but all are underpinned by the need to believe in a common humanity. A poem called ‘Reflections on humanity’ ends with the ...
... outlawed these crappy referendums. First the British, now the Turks!’ (man at my local bakery in Berlin). Brexit has contributed to a gradual but tidal change in the way Germans see Europe. On the one hand, it is another element in the chaos they see unfolding around them: the failure of the Arab Spring, the implosion of Syria, the botched intervention in ...

Against Belatedness

Richard Rorty, 16 June 1983

The Legitimacy of the Modern Age 
by Hans Blumenberg, translated by Robert Wallace.
MIT, 786 pp., £28.10, June 1983, 0 262 02184 6
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... purported inevitability characteristic of the genre, and condemned by liberals such as Popper and Berlin. Die Legitimität der Neuzeit was published in 1966, and has been much discussed in Germany, though not much elsewhere. Badly-educated English-speaking philosophers like myself (the kind who read long books in German only if they absolutely have to, non ...

Tell us, Solly

Tim Radford: Solly Zuckerman, 20 September 2001

Solly Zuckerman: A Scientist out of the Ordinary 
by John Peyton.
Murray, 252 pp., £22.50, May 2001, 9780719562839
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... were not just any old fleeting celebrities: they included Charles Laughton, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Ira Gershwin, e.e. cummings and Lord Mountbatten. He became conspicuously friendly with the Duke of Edinburgh. Science was not then, and has never been, a celebrity preoccupation, but war tends to move science rapidly up the agenda. Radar, the jet engine, nuclear ...

Dangers of Discretion

Alex de Waal: International law, 21 January 1999

Dunant’s Dream: War, Switzerland and the History of the Red Cross 
by Caroline Moorehead.
HarperCollins, 780 pp., £24.99, May 1998, 0 00 255141 1
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The Warrior’s Honour: Ethnic War and the Modern Conscience 
by Michael Ignatieff.
Chatto, 207 pp., £10.99, February 1998, 0 7011 6324 0
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... weapon. Even a halfway measure – a diplomatic intervention, a visit by Huber and Burckhardt to Berlin, a personal letter to Hitler – might have achieved something.’ What that ‘difference’ would have amounted to we can only guess. The Red Cross itself would have been strengthened. As Dunant’s Dream amply demonstrates, the guiding idea of ...

The Olympics Scam

Iain Sinclair: The Razing of East London, 19 June 2008

... was released in 1947. Bethnal Green masquerades as an expressionist Belfast. James Mason is an IRA gunman on the run. Twenty years later, his Hollywood career in decline, Mason returned once more to an East End of smoky pubs, dark shadows, charity hostels, to narrate a documentary version of Geoffrey Fletcher’s The London Nobody Knows. Umbrella ...

11 September

LRB Contributors, 4 October 2001

... sociologists and theologians, students of the symbolic rather than the technical. Lorraine Daston Berlin It’s Islamic fundamentalism, not The Satanic Verses, that represents a blasphemous version of the Koran. Most ideology, however, works by a distinction between what one does and what one says one does, such that the one does not impinge too ...

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