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Seven Miles per Hour

Robert Macfarlane: The men who invented flight, 5 February 2004

First to Fly: The Unlikely Triumph of Wilbur and Orville Wright 
by James Tobin.
Murray, 431 pp., £9.99, November 2003, 0 7195 5738 0
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The Wright Brothers: The Aviation Pioneers who Changed the World 
by Ian Mackersey.
Little, Brown, 554 pp., £20, October 2003, 0 316 86144 8
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Wings of Madness: Alberto Santos-Dumont and the Invention of Flight 
by Paul Hoffman.
Fourth Estate, 369 pp., £18.99, June 2003, 1 84115 368 0
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Taking Flight: Inventing the Aerial Age from Antiquity to the First World War 
by Richard Hallion.
Oxford, 531 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 19 516035 5
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... apparatus had lost its balance ‘at considerable height’ and he had fallen to his death. James Tobin’s history of the four remarkable seasons the brothers spent at Kitty Hawk shows their progress to have been marked, like so many technological breakthroughs, by periods of painstaking effort and bursts of inspired improvisation. By scrupulously ...

The Scissors Gap

Rebecca E. Karl: China takes it slow, 21 October 2021

How China Escaped Shock Therapy: The Market Reform Debate 
by Isabella Weber.
Routledge, 358 pp., £29.99, May, 978 1 03 200849 3
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... transformation, and in 1985 proselytisers of market fundamentalism, including János Kornai, James Tobin and other Ivy League economists as well as several Nobel Prize winners, were given the opportunity to put their arguments to Chinese officials. The attendees at the Bashan River Cruise conference (all of them men) spent a week going up the ...

Starting up

Peter Clarke, 6 November 1986

The German Slump: Politics and Economics 1924-1936 
by Harold James.
Oxford, 469 pp., £30, March 1986, 0 19 821972 5
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The Making of Keynes’s General Theory 
by Richard Kahn.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £20, May 1984, 9780521253734
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Towards the Managed Economy: Keynes, the Treasury and the Fiscal Policy Debate of the 1930s 
by Roger Middleton.
Methuen, 244 pp., £25, September 1985, 0 416 35830 6
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Keynes and his Contemporaries 
edited by G.C. Harcourt.
Macmillan, 195 pp., £22.50, October 1985, 0 333 34687 4
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The Policy Consequences of John Maynard Keynes 
edited by Harold Wattel.
Macmillan, 157 pp., £29.50, April 1986, 0 333 41340 7
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... way the world thinks about economic problems’? The first set of issues is addressed by Harold James in his impressive study, The German Slump. In explaining an apparent economic recovery under the Nazis, following the bankruptcy of the Weimar regime, there is a plausible argument that ‘the right blocked Keynesianism, and were only prepared to accept ...

Down with deflation!

Paul Seabright, 12 December 1996

... William Dickens and George Perry, that has stirred up the current controversy. Some years ago, James Tobin suggested that moderate inflation might ‘oil the wheels’ of an economy by facilitating adjustments in relative wages in different sectors (necessary to encourage people to shift jobs in response to changing technology and opportunities). Real ...

The Great British Economy Disaster

John Lanchester: A Very Good Election to Lose, 11 March 2010

... reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or a .400 baseball hitter,’ James Carville said in the early years of the Clinton administration. ‘But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.’ It is the bond market, more than anything else, which is currently forcing the government to pretend to take ...


Eugene Goodheart, 16 March 1989

The company we keep: An Ethics of Fiction 
by Wayne Booth.
California, 485 pp., $29.55, November 1988, 0 520 06203 5
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... because it confounds moral life with doctrine or dogma. We need only the reminder of Henry James, who, while cautioning against any ‘moral restrictions set upon the field of consciousness’, affirmed the moral character of art: ‘to count out the moral element in one’s appreciation of an artistic total is exactly as sane as it would be (if the ...

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