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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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... A 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 ...

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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... farm labourer, she a shrewish but good wife) move to a new house and a new life on the Stainforth estate. 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 ...

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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... suits had been vaguely circulating round Fleet Street for some years. While preparing a profile of Archer 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 ...

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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...  allowing the New World to ‘fatten on the follies of the Old’ in Jefferson’s felicitous phrase. 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 ...

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. But it is not as simple as ...
21 February 1985
Modern Times 
by Peter York.
Heinemann, 128 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 434 89260 2
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Face Value: The Politics of Beauty 
by Robin Tolmach Lakoff and Raquel Scherr.
Routledge, 312 pp., £12.95, November 1984, 0 7100 9742 5
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... want? Modern Times ranges from ‘Neurotic Boy Outsiders’ (James Dean, Anthony Perkins et al) to ‘The Fairisle Years’ (Chariots of Fire, Brideshead Revisited), with passing looks at Babytime, Bryan Ferry, Reactionary Chic, and Not Shaving. The most substantial part of York’s book is ‘Designtime’, an anatomy of the people he calls ‘the square men’, after their favourite motif. They ...

At the Royal Academy

Rosemary Hill: The Treasures of the Society of Antiquaries

18 October 2007
... of Bosworth; a red, blue and gold filigree Anglo-Saxon brooch, recovered from the Kingston Down barrow 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 ...

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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... The immediate past can frequently seem very distant 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 ...

Diary

Karl Miller: Football Tribes

1 June 1989
... I come from Ashington in Northumberland, my mother was a Milburn and, if that doesn’t make me a Newcastle man, I don’t know what does.’ He is of reiver stock, as lots of people are, and so is Bryan Robson, who plays like a warrior for moneymongering Manchester United, a team which has learnt to play with a scowl, as if they felt they were being robbed of the results to which financial outlays ...

Diary

Karl Miller: On the 1990 World Cup

26 July 1990
... the tournament. It was rumoured that the local despot had insisted that the elderly fellow play. Nice 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 ...

Diary

Giles Gordon: Experimental Sideshows

7 October 1993
... clear but a bit dull; the overall effect curiously journalistic, perhaps because the anthology included a surprising number of travel pieces. In 1975 Hutchinson published what was to have been BryanJohnson’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 ...

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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... history. Before discussing these three popular accounts of how DNA techniques can be used 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 ...
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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... There is nothing enigmatic about Stephen Vizinczey. He has views, he shouts, cajoles, threatens and sneers. He worships Kleist and Stendhal, loathes William Styron and Sainte-Beuve, is conspicuously silent about Flaubert and seems to have a love-hate relationship with Nabokov. He delights in summoning up his rhetoric of loathing for the Nazis and the Mafia and in distilling hard, frequently paradoxical ...

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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... The sage of Chelsea would not have been amused. But then, nothing did amuse him. He seems to have 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 ...

One word says to its mate

Claire Harman: W.S. Graham

4 October 2001
The Nightfisherman: Selected Letters of W.S. Graham 
edited by Michael Snow and Margaret Snow.
Carcanet, 401 pp., £12.95, November 1999, 1 85754 445 5
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... In the Tate Gallery St Ives exhibition catalogue for 1995 there is a comical photograph of the painter Bryan Wynter and some friends at Zennor in themid-1950s. They are seated round a bottle-strewn table. Wynter is smiling absently, Karl Weschke is looking down at his hands or the tablecloth, a woman lies ...

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