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Charles Glass: What Osama Said, 9 March 2006

The Secret History of al-Qaida 
by Abdel Bari Atwan.
Saqi, 256 pp., £16.99, February 2006, 0 86356 760 6
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Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror 
by Michael Scheuer.
Potomac, 307 pp., £11.95, July 2005, 1 57488 862 5
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Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden 
edited by Bruce Lawrence, translated by James Howarth.
Verso, 292 pp., £10.99, November 2005, 1 84467 045 7
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Osama: The Making of a Terrorist 
by Jonathan Randal.
Tauris, 346 pp., £9.99, October 2005, 1 84511 117 6
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... of their polemic obliges us to heed them. Bin Laden’s utterances, beautifully translated by James Howarth and well edited with informative footnotes by Lawrence, prove a better guide to his intentions and Weltanschauung than the same words mediated by CNN anchors and New York Times columnists. He does not appear to be deranged, as his detractors ...

Short Cuts

Christopher Tayler: The School of Life, 19 May 2011

... and though the entrepreneurial heavy lifting behind it was done by Sophie Howarth, a former curator at Tate Modern, he is very prominent in its PR. As he sees things, the school, which sells ‘programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well’, is a step towards ‘an ideal new sort of institution’, a ...

Who holds the welding rod?

James Meek: Our Turbine Futures, 15 July 2021

... began as a 16th-century state intervention, an act of internal Scottish colonisation, part of James VI’s attempt to curtail the autonomous power and culture of the Highlands. In 1597 the king and parliament in Edinburgh decided to plant three new towns in the Highlands as bearers of Lowland Scottish values: English against Gaelic, Protestantism against ...


Nicholas Spice: Dreaming of Vikram Seth, 29 April 1999

An Equal Music 
by Vikram Seth.
Phoenix House, 381 pp., £16.99, April 1999, 1 86159 117 9
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... for a decade. She develops her career as a pianist. Devotes herself to her child. Learns to love James, her not altogether thrilling husband. And when she discovers she is going deaf, she meets this intense misfortune with dignity and a proportionate distress. It’s at the point where her deafness is beginning seriously to disrupt her life that Julia meets ...

Might-have-beens must die

Peter Howarth: Christina Rossetti’s Games, 1 July 2021

New Selected Poems 
by Christina Rossetti, edited by Rachel Mann.
Carcanet, 240 pp., £12.99, March 2020, 978 1 78410 906 6
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... she wanted to play the game in 1849 on a visit to Mansfield to meet the family of her new fiancé, James Collinson. By now, at the age of nineteen, her poems had been accepted in the national press, and after the despair that her father’s illness had cast on the whole household, she was enjoying again the audacious conversation and artistic ambition of the ...

What’s Yours Is Mine

Roger Bland: Who Owns Antiquities?, 6 November 2008

Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage 
by James Cuno.
Princeton, 228 pp., £14.95, June 2008, 978 0 691 13712 4
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... James Cuno is currently the director of the Art Institute of Chicago. He used to be the director of the Courtauld Institute of Art in London; before that he was the director of the Harvard University Art Museums. He should be well qualified to write about the role of museums in the antiquities market. His book, essentially, has one argument: that what Cuno characterises as the ‘nationalist retentionist’ policies adopted by many countries and international organisations such as Unesco, which vest ownership of antiquities in the state where they are discovered and limit their export, are damaging because they make it more difficult to establish ‘encyclopedic’ museums – such as the Art Institute of Chicago – whose collections comprise objects from many cultures ...

Toshie Trashed

Gavin Stamp: The Glasgow School of Art Fire, 19 June 2014

... behind the vaguely Scottish Baronial east elevation in Dalhousie Street is the little-known James MacLaren, a gifted Scottish architect who died young. Mackintosh loved castles, and the extraordinary harled irregular south elevation that rises from the building line on steeply sloping ground overlooking the rooftops of Sauchiehall Street might be Fyvie ...

Feast of St Thomas

Frank Kermode, 29 September 1988

Eliot’s New Life 
by Lyndall Gordon.
Oxford, 356 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 19 811727 2
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The Letters of T.S. Eliot 
edited by Valerie Eliot.
Faber, 618 pp., £25, September 1988, 0 571 13621 4
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The Poetics of Impersonality 
by Maud Ellmann.
Harvester, 207 pp., £32.50, January 1988, 0 7108 0463 6
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T.S. Eliot and the Philosophy of Criticism 
by Richard Shusterman.
Duckworth, 236 pp., £19.95, February 1988, 0 7156 2187 4
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‘The Men of 1914’: T.S. Eliot and Early Modernism 
by Erik Svarny.
Open University, 268 pp., £30, September 1988, 0 335 09019 2
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Eliot, Joyce and Company 
by Stanley Sultan.
Oxford, 326 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 19 504880 6
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The Savage and the City in the Work of T.S. Eliot 
by Robert Crawford.
Oxford, 251 pp., £25, December 1987, 9780198128694
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T.S. Eliot: The Poems 
by Martin Scofield.
Cambridge, 264 pp., £25, March 1988, 0 521 30147 5
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... Aristotle’s phronesis led the poet back towards a native American pragmatism, recalling William James at Harvard but also providing critical anticipations of Richard Rorty. The truth is no doubt messier than these formulations suggest – say, that Eliot after a time was content to assimilate rather than extend his philosophical learning, but that the ...

Battle of Britain

Patrick O’Brian, 7 July 1988

The Spanish Armada 
by Colin Martin and Geoffrey Parker.
Hamish Hamilton, 296 pp., £15, April 1988, 0 241 12125 6
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Armada 1588-1988 
by M.J. Rodriguez-Salgado.
Penguin and the National Maritime Museum, 295 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 14 010301 5
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Armada: A Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588-1988 
by Peter Padfield.
Gollancz, 208 pp., £14.95, April 1988, 0 575 03729 6
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Froude’s ‘Spanish Story of the Armada’, and Other Essays 
edited by A.L. Rowse.
Sutton, 262 pp., £5.95, May 1988, 0 86299 500 0
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Ireland’s Armada Legacy 
by Laurence Flanagan.
Sutton, 210 pp., £9.95, April 1988, 9780862994730
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The Armada in the Public Records 
by N.A.M. Rodger.
HMSO, 76 pp., £5.95, April 1988, 0 11 440215 9
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The Spanish Armada: The Experience of War in 1588 
by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.
Oxford, 300 pp., £14.95, June 1988, 0 19 822926 7
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... La Armada lnvencible (Madrid, 1885), a book that has been treated much more fully by David Howarth in his excellent The Voyage of the Armada (Collins, 1981). The most interesting part of this collection is the piece on Perez, one of Philip II’s secretaries of state, who arranged an assassination for the King and who came very near to judicial murder ...

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