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Reasons to Comply

Philippe Sands: International law, 20 July 2006

The Limits of International Law 
by Jack Goldsmith and Eric Posner.
Oxford, 262 pp., £17.99, February 2005, 0 19 516839 9
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War Law: International Law and Armed Conflict 
by Michael Byers.
Atlantic, 214 pp., £16.99, April 2005, 1 84354 338 9
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... lively and informed debate about international law-making, democracy and constitutionalism. Jack Goldsmith and Eric Posner, the authors of The Limits of International Law, have contributed significantly to that debate and have played an important role in focusing attention on issues of legitimate concern. A similar debate is needed in Britain, as ...

A Grand and Disastrous Deceit

Philippe Sands: The Chilcot Report, 28 July 2016

The Report of the Iraq Inquiry 
by John Chilcot.
HMSO, 12 vols, 6275 pp., £767, 1 4741 3331 2
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... told the president: ‘I will be with you, whatever.’ In September he and the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, persuaded Bush to ‘take the issue of Iraq back to the UN’, and in November the Security Council adopted Resolution 1441, which gave Iraq a final opportunity to disarm or face ‘serious consequences’: further breaches would be reported to the ...

No Crying in This House

Jackson Lears: The Kennedy Myth, 7 November 2013

The Patriarch: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy 
by David Nasaw.
Allen Lane, 896 pp., £12.35, September 2013, 978 0 14 312407 8
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Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch 
by Barbara Perry.
Norton, 404 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 0 393 06895 5
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... and urged him to share ‘the beautiful women of Cape Cod’ with his recently married brother Jack. Indeed, Perry writes, Joe Sr ‘modelled the very sort of immoral behaviour that Jack and Teddy embraced’. By ‘immoral behaviour’ Perry means Joe’s legendary philandering, which Nasaw dismisses as conduct that ...

The Second Resolution Question

Owen Bennett-Jones: Post-Invasion Iraq, 1 June 2017

Iraq: The Cost of War 
by Jeremy Greenstock.
Heinemann, 467 pp., £25, November 2016, 978 1 78515 125 5
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... the book to the appropriate Foreign Office committees. In 2005 when the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, decided the book shouldn’t be published until the ministers involved were out of office, Greenstock accepted the ban with no public protest. He went on, as planned before he wrote the book, to take up a post running the British deep state’s ...

Phantom Jacks

John Bayley, 5 January 1989

JackC.S. Lewis and His Times 
by George Sayer.
Macmillan, 278 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 0 333 43362 9
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J.B. Priestley 
by Vincent Brome.
Hamish Hamilton, 512 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 9780241125601
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Eddy: The Life of Edward Sackville-West 
by Michael De-la-Noy.
Bodley Head, 341 pp., £16, October 1988, 0 370 31164 7
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... presentations we make in life, of ourselves to ourselves and to others. Everyone knows that jolly Jack Lewis and jolly Jack Priestley were not jolly at all inside, but there is a perennial pleasure in finding out what they did, what they liked and felt, and thus, in some degree, who they are. I doubt they would have got on ...

Hegel in Green Wellies

Stefan Collini: England, 8 March 2001

England: An Elegy 
by Roger Scruton.
Chatto, 270 pp., £16.99, October 2000, 1 85619 251 2
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The Faber Book of Landscape Poetry 
edited by Kenneth Baker.
Faber, 426 pp., £25, October 2000, 0 571 20071 0
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... element concerns Scruton’s treatment of his father, to whom he returns or alludes several times. Jack Scruton was born into the lower ranks of the Northern industrial working class: one of eight children, two of whom died in infancy, he grew up in the back streets of Ancoats, child of a Lawrentian marriage between a physical, drunken father and a mother with ...


Iain Sinclair: Ronnie Kray bows out, 8 June 1995

... a Cockney mum and never harm one hair of a dog’s head. Even wrong ’uns like Cornell and Jack McVitie didn’t go that far. They cheated, popped pills, blasted pub ceilings, did damage for cash, but they loved their families and patted Alsatians for luck. They were cursed for another reason entirely: they cost the Twins their lives. ‘It’s because ...

At the V&A

Marina Warner: Alexander McQueen, 4 June 2015

... about sex and pain, but the theme is certainly present in McQueen’s work, from the notorious ‘Jack the Ripper’ student show to ‘It’s Only a Game’ (2005) to the bondage allusions (horses’ bits, braces, straps, harnesses, hoods, masks and piercings). McQueen himself made a series of comments about women which have the candour that won him many ...

His Father’s Children

Sissela Bok, 5 April 1984

Collected Works of John Stuart Mill. Vol. I: Autobiography and Literary Essays 
edited by John Robson and Jack Stillinger.
Toronto, 766 pp., £35, March 1982, 0 7100 0718 3
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... on logic in French. It is one of the achievements of the superb new edition that John Robson and Jack Stillinger have prepared of Mill’s Autobiography and Literary Essays that it allows a fuller understanding of what Mill took and what he tried to reject from his education. Even readers long familiar with the Autobiography will find that this volume sheds ...

Lunchtime No News

Paul Foot, 27 June 1991

Kill the messenger 
by Bernard Ingham.
HarperCollins, 408 pp., £17.50, May 1991, 0 00 215944 9
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... for ‘the lowest form of newspaper life – the investigative journalist’. Just as Sir James Goldsmith – that great enemy of the ‘see-through’ society – started a news magazine which was reluctant to publish news, so Sir Bernard Ingham was an information officer who loathed any journalist who sought out information. Naturally, therefore, there is ...


Zachary Leader: Oscar Talk at the Huntington, 16 April 1998

... four first Folios, and important holograph manuscripts by Swift, Pope, Gray, Fielding, Johnson, Goldsmith, Garrick, Blake, Burns, Shelley, Lamb, Charlotte Brontë and Dickens. Amis is hardly the only 20th-century writer represented here: the Library has significant Modernist holdings (Joyce, Yeats, Wallace Stevens – none of whom Amis had much time ...

A Row of Shaws

Terry Eagleton: That Bastard Shaw, 21 June 2018

Judging Shaw 
by Fintan O’Toole.
Royal Irish Academy, 381 pp., £28, October 2017, 978 1 908997 15 9
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... dexterity to hawk. As such, he joined an honourable lineage of Irish licensed jesters from Oliver Goldsmith to Brendan Behan (Terry Wogan and Graham Norton are minor offshoots), men who punctured English pomposity and found moral earnestness irresistibly comic, yet whose capacity to amuse rendered them more or less acceptable. It was a perilous role to ...


John Upton: Damilola Taylor, 4 January 2001

... and the shops grow shabbier. Here on the corner of Peckham Road and Southampton Way is Oliver Goldsmith School, which Damilola Taylor attended. Another group of policemen stands outside it. Behind the railings which line one side of the building are laid out the inevitable floral tributes to the boy – a line of cellophane bouquets stretching for twenty ...


D.A.N. Jones, 8 January 1987

The Old School: A Study 
by Simon Raven.
Hamish Hamilton, 139 pp., £12, September 1986, 0 241 11929 4
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The Best Years of their Lives: The National Service Experience 1945-63 
by Trevor Royle.
Joseph, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 7181 2459 6
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Murder without Conviction: Inside the World of the Krays 
by John Dickson.
Sidgwick, 164 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780283994074
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Inside ‘Private Eye’ 
by Peter McKay.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 947795 80 4
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Malice in Wonderland: Robert Maxwell v. ‘Private Eye’ 
by Robert Maxwell, John Jackson, Peter Donnelly and Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 191 pp., £10.95, December 1986, 0 356 14616 2
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... of the shooting of George Cornell, who had called Ronnie Kray a fat pouf, and of the murder of Jack the Hat by Reggie Kray, assisted by his cousin, Ronnie Hart (‘who had joined the firm when he came out of the army and was a good-looking guy’). The mysterious ‘Albert’ was shot in the foot by Reggie Kray but became ‘Reggie’s right-hand man ...


Peter Campbell, 4 December 1986

Survey of London: Vol. XLII. Southern Kensington: Kensington to Earls Court 
Athlone, 502 pp., £55, May 1986, 0 485 48242 8Show More
Follies: A National Trust Guide 
by Gwyn Headley and Wim Meulenkamp.
Cape, 564 pp., £15, June 1986, 0 224 02105 2
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The Botanists 
by David Elliston Allen.
St Paul’s Bibliographies, 232 pp., £15, May 1986, 0 906795 36 2
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British Art since 1900 
by Frances Spalding.
Thames and Hudson, 252 pp., £10.50, April 1986, 0 500 23457 4
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Paintings from Books: Art and Literature in Britain, 1760-1900 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 527 pp., £55, March 1986, 0 8142 0380 9
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History of the British Pig 
by John Wiseman.
Duckworth, 118 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 9780715619872
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... annoy their neighbours and puzzle posterity. Archaeology now supports the famous story about Mad Jack Fuller, who one night rashly bet that the spire of Dallington Church could be seen from his windows. Morning showed a hill stood in the way. When the cone-shaped folly Fuller had built to defy fact and win his bet was restored in 1961 it proved to be made of ...

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