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On Diego Rivera

Julia Bryan-Wilson, 12 August 2021

... Diego Rivera’s The Marriage of the Artistic Expression of the North and of the South on this Continent was painted in front of an audience at the Golden Gate International Exposition, on San Francisco’s Treasure Island, during the summer of 1940. It was Rivera’s last mural in the US and remains one of his most complicated achievements – both a celebration of cultural exchange and a condemnation of what Frida Kahlo called ‘Gringolandia ...

What Labour must do

Bryan Gould, 7 January 1988

... In the wake of Labour’s third successive – and in some ways most serious – defeat, it is surely the merest prudence to ask ourselves whether there are not some things we could be doing a little better. There are, one might say, only two possibilities: either everything is perfect and need only be reproduced to guarantee victory next time, or something has to change ...

In qualified praise of Stephen Vizinczey

Bryan Appleyard, 24 July 1986

Truth and Lies in Literature: Reviews and Essays 
by Stephen Vizinczey.
Hamish Hamilton, 399 pp., £12.95, June 1986, 0 241 11805 0
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In Praise of Older Women: The Amorous Recollections of A.V. 
by Stephen Vizinczey.
Hamish Hamilton, 192 pp., £8.95, February 1985, 0 241 11378 4
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... book he read and reviewed for the Sunday Telegraph and from the research he did for an impassioned J’accuse-type article for the same newspaper. There are many other examples where ideas – frequently expressed in virtually the same words – flit from book to book as if looking for a home. The best home tends to be the fiction, where these ideas can be ...

At BAMPFA

Julia Bryan-Wilson: Rosie Lee Tompkins, 17 December 2020

... Rosie Lee Tompkins​ , born Effie Mae Martin in Gould, Arkansas in 1936, grew up picking cotton alongside her fourteen siblings and half-siblings. As was common for a child of rural sharecroppers, her formal schooling was limited, but Tompkins learned to sew by making bedcoverings with her mother, scrapping together any available pieces of cloth. At the age of 22, she joined millions of African Americans who left the South as part of the Great Migration, seeking what Isabel Wilkerson (after Richard Wright) calls ‘the warmth of other suns ...

Whoopers and Shouters

James Morone: William Jennings Bryan, 21 February 2008

A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan 
by Michael Kazin.
Anchor, 374 pp., $16.95, March 2007, 978 0 385 72056 4
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... mob of divided, disgruntled Democrats packed the Chicago Coliseum in July 1896 as William Jennings Bryan rose to the platform and delivered a roaring speech – still the speech for part of the American left – about an economic chimera. Bryan demanded that the United States peg its currency not to gold but to silver ...

Prodigals

John Sutherland, 19 August 1982

A Prodigal Child 
by David Storey.
Cape, 319 pp., £7.50, June 1982, 0 224 02027 7
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The Prodigal Daughter 
by Jeffrey Archer.
Hodder, 447 pp., £7.95, July 1982, 0 340 27687 8
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Ralph 
by John Stonehouse.
Cape, 318 pp., £6.95, May 1982, 0 224 02019 6
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The Man from St Petersburg 
by Ken Follett.
Hamish Hamilton, 292 pp., £7.95, May 1982, 0 241 10783 0
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The Patriot Game 
by George Higgins.
Secker, 237 pp., £7.50, July 1982, 0 436 19589 5
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... They have two children. Alan inherits his father’s energies and stupidities; the other son, Bryan, is gifted and has talents which he apparently owes to neither parent. Through visits to the farm where his father works (other Lawrentian echoes here), Bryan meets Fay Corrigan, the coquettish younger wife of a ...

Hope in the Desert

Eric Foner: Democratic Party Blues, 12 May 2022

What It Took to Win: A History of the Democratic Party 
by Michael Kazin.
Farrar, Straus, 396 pp., $35, March, 978 0 374 20023 7
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... abroad; American Dreamers (2011), about the 20th-century left; and a biography of William Jennings Bryan, published in 2006, which attempted to rescue its protagonist from what E.P. Thompson in a different context called ‘the enormous condescension of posterity’. (Condescension regarding Bryan emanates from secular urban ...

Those Suits

Paul Foot, 7 September 1995

Jeffrey Archer: Stranger than Fiction 
by Michael Crick.
Hamish Hamilton, 456 pp., £17.50, May 1995, 0 241 13360 2
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... when he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1985, my Mirror colleague Bryan Rostron and I wrote to him asking about the Toronto rumour. Back came a firm reply from Geoffrey Grimes, a celebrated solicitor then acting for Archer: ‘Mr Archer was not involved in this incident.’ That seemed to be the end of the matter. Two years ...

Boy’s Own

Erika Hagelberg: Adam, Eve and genetics, 20 November 2003

The Seven Daughters of Eve: The Astonishing Story that Reveals How Each of Us Can Trace Our Genetic Ancestors 
by Bryan Sykes.
Corgi, 368 pp., £6.99, May 2002, 0 552 14876 8
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Mapping Human History: Unravelling the Mystery of Adam and Eve 
by Steve Olson.
Bloomsbury, 293 pp., £7.99, July 2003, 0 7475 6174 5
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The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey 
by Spencer Wells.
Penguin, 224 pp., £8.99, May 2003, 0 14 100832 6
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... to study human ancestry, I should declare an interest: I was a postdoctoral research associate in Bryan Sykes’s Oxford laboratory in the late 1980s. When I joined it in 1987, his team was working on inherited conditions such as osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, but my project was an attempt to recover DNA from archaeological bones, something ...

At the Royal Academy

Rosemary Hill: The Treasures of the Society of Antiquaries, 18 October 2007

... in 1771 by the young Henry Faussett under the directions of his antiquarian father, the Rev. Bryan, who was confined to his carriage by gout, and a ‘jousting cheque’ or scorecard from the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Down the centre of the first gallery runs an immense genealogical roll, made up of two parts, which traces the descent of Charles ...

Too Proud to Fight

David Reynolds: The ‘Lusitania’ Effect, 28 November 2002

Wilful Murder: The Sinking of the ‘Lusitania’ 
by Diana Preston.
Doubleday, 543 pp., £18.99, May 2002, 0 385 60173 5
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Lusitania: Saga and Myth 
by David Ramsay.
Chatham, 319 pp., £20, September 2001, 1 86176 170 8
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Woodrow Wilson 
by John Thompson.
Longman, 288 pp., £15.99, August 2002, 0 582 24737 3
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... But in 1914-15 this was no longer possible. That certainly was the view of William Jennings Bryan, the populist Democrat and former Presidential candidate whom Wilson had been obliged to appoint as Secretary of State in 1913. In the new era of undersea warfare, Bryan wanted Wilson to curtail American neutral rights in ...

Diary

Karl Miller: On the 1990 World Cup, 26 July 1990

... one, despot. England started out in disarray. The news was of big toes needing to be attended to. Bryan Robson had to take his toe home, despite the attentions of a faith healer, flown in from darkest England with the assent of Bobby Robson, who seemed to set himself to give the impression that Bryan was indispensable to ...

Sod off, readers

John Sutherland, 26 September 1991

Rude Words: A Discursive History of the London Library 
by John Wells.
Macmillan, 240 pp., £17.50, September 1991, 0 333 47519 4
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Swearing: A Social History of Foul Language, Oaths and Profanity in English 
by Geoffrey Hughes.
Blackwell, 283 pp., £16.95, August 1991, 0 631 16593 2
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... been immune to such essentially human feelings. Carlyle happened to be in the library in 1875 when Bryan Courthope Hunt – the child of a famously irregular marriage – chose to commit suicide there. Hunt had asked at the issue desk for the second volume of George Henry Lewes’s Problems of Life and Mind but discovered that it was out. Lewes’s wife had ...

Yesterday

Frank Kermode, 27 July 1989

The Pleasures of Peace: Art and Imagination in Post-War Britain 
by Bryan Appleyard.
Faber, 367 pp., £12.99, June 1989, 0 571 13722 9
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... and very alien; that strangeness can only be perceived through the medium of the present.’ Thus Bryan Appleyard, conscious of the difficulty of his project, which is to sketch the history of British art in the post-war years. The sentence occurs in an apologetic introduction, and it indicates some of the difficulties inherent in the author’s approach to ...

Diary

Giles Gordon: Experimental Sideshows, 7 October 1993

... included a surprising number of travel pieces. In 1975 Hutchinson published what was to have been Bryan Johnson’s and my antidote to Miller’s Penguin, but I fear we were too late. Unhappily, I put together Beyond the Words: Eleven Writers in Search of a New Fiction on my own; Johnson had killed himself in 1973. The next generation of writers was beginning ...

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