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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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... Adams would have subscribed to the view that ‘all men are created equal’ – but, as James Shapiro recently showed in Shakespeare in a Divided America, he also thought that Desdemona’s ‘fondling with Othello is disgusting’ and her passion for him ‘unnatural solely and exclusively because of his colour’. It would be convenient if ...

Dual Loyalty

Victor Mallet, 5 December 1991

The Samson Option: Israel, America and the Bomb 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 256 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 571 16619 9
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Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship 
by Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn.
Bodley Head, 423 pp., £17.99, January 1991, 0 370 31405 0
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... to be seen as a watershed. With the Cold War over and the Gulf War won, President George Bush and James Baker, his Secretary of State, have adopted an attitude which the Israelis find so alarmingly even-handed that they have begun to suspect another sort of conspiracy, this time concocted by pro-Arab Texas oilmen. Bush says in private that there is not much ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... by Paul Schrader, a Hollywood thriller pairing the improbable team of Lindsay Lohan and porn stud James Deen. Deen acquitted himself quite well, giving a more convincing, noirish performance than Lohan, whose tardiness and wayward lurches were chronicled in an on-set report by Stephen Rodrick for the New York Times magazine titled ‘Here Is What Happens When ...

Freedom of the Press

Anthony Lewis, 26 November 1987

... Act making it a crime to publish false criticism of the Government or its leaders – and that James Madison, the principal author of the First Amendment, had condemned the Act. It was a violation, he said, not only of the freedom of speech and press but of the whole premise of our new Constitution: that the people were to make the ultimate political ...

Take out all the adjectives

Jeremy Harding: The poetry of George Oppen, 6 May 2004

New Collected Poems 
by George Oppen, edited by Michael Davidson.
Carcanet, 433 pp., £14.95, July 2003, 1 85754 631 8
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... There is also the extra ‘e’ on Maud, the remarriageable reader of French novels in Henry James’s ‘The Story of It’: a quirk Oppen chose not to change in later editions. Yet the drift is clear and exhilarating, and there is a cold precision, no less exhilarating, in the way the poem gets where it’s going, in a single, almost coherent sentence ...

Places Never Explained

Colm Tóibín: Anthony Hecht, 8 August 2013

The Selected Letters of Anthony Hecht 
edited by Jonathan Post.
Johns Hopkins, 365 pp., £18, November 2012, 978 1 4214 0730 2
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... after Rupert Brooke’s poem, in order, as he told his wife, ‘to compete’ with him. Karl Shapiro’s best-known war poem, or anti-war poem, ‘Scyros’, used an epigraph from Brooke; it was named for the island where Brooke was buried. In an interview with the Paris Review, Shapiro spoke of reviewing a book of new ...

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