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Last Stand

Stephen Smith, 8 May 1997

Solidarity on the Water front: The Liver pool Lock-Out of 1995-96 
by Michael Lavalette and Jane Kennedy.
Liver Press, 147 pp., £5.95, December 1996, 1 871201 06 3
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... their families who have found precious little solidarity in other quarters. Michael Lavalette and Jane Kennedy also suggest that the cost of securing foreign support has been some ‘inactivity’ by the men at home: ‘if internationalism and the international dock labour force are going to win the dispute for the Liverpool workers why do they need to ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Novels for the Bright, Modern Woman, 1 July 1982

... ungrammatical descriptions of Pavanne’s first four titles (‘Set in Massachusetts, Raymond Kennedy reflects a period of lost American innocence’) and to provide case-histories of four ‘target’ readers – each of them very, very ABC. Angela Welch, for example, is seen bustling through the Inns of Court, briefs under her left arm: ‘living proof ...

Dear Sphinx

Penelope Fitzgerald, 1 December 1983

The Little Ottleys 
by Ada Leverson and Sally Beauman.
Virago, 543 pp., £3.95, November 1982, 0 86068 300 1
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TheConstant Nymph 
by Margaret Kennedy and Anita Brookner.
Virago, 326 pp., £3.50, August 1983, 0 86068 354 0
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The Constant Novelist: A Study of Margaret Kennedy 1896-1967 
by Violet Powell.
Heinemann, 219 pp., £10.95, June 1983, 0 434 59951 4
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... agree with Sally Beauman that the tone of the Sphinx’s novels is ‘unmistakably descended from Jane Austen’. It seems to me much more nearly related to her own contemporaries, Paul Bourget and ‘Gyp’. The passing remarks of Bourget’s characters (‘tout est pour le mieux dans le meilleur des demi-mondes,’ ‘avec les femmes tout est ...

Culture Wars

W.J.T. Mitchell, 23 April 1992

... most heavily publicised war in American history, and ended with a cinematic re-enactment of the Kennedy assassination, the most highly publicised event in what JFK represents as a secret war for control of America’s national destiny. Between CNN’s Operation Desert Storm and JFK’s Operation Mongoose fall the media shadows of what are now called ...

Love among the Cheeses

Lidija Haas: Life with Amis and Ayer, 8 September 2011

The House in France: A Memoir 
by Gully Wells.
Bloomsbury, 307 pp., £16.99, June 2011, 978 1 4088 0809 2
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... DW wasn’t all that near the bottom. It later turned out that Dee was involved with Bobby Kennedy around the same time. Though in her own eyes ‘the prissiest, most conservative girl in all of swinging London’, Gully never wants to be seen to disapprove of anything her parents do, and is careful to let us know how tolerant she is: ‘not ...

I’ll be back

Marjorie Garber: Sequels, 19 August 1999

Part Two: Reflections on the Sequel 
edited by Paul Budra and Betty Schellenberg.
Toronto, 217 pp., £40, February 1999, 0 8020 0915 8
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... would, if asked, tell us many little particulars about the subsequent career of her people,’ Jane Austen’s nephew wrote in his Memoir of his aunt. In this traditionary way we learned that Miss Steele never succeeded in catching the Doctor; that Kitty Bennet was satisfactorily married to a clergyman near Pemberley, while Mary obtained nothing higher ...

The Monster Plot

Thomas Powers: James Angleton, Spymaster, 10 May 2018

The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton 
by Jefferson Morley.
Scribe, 336 pp., £20, December 2017, 978 1 911344 73 5
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... something Morley has been investigating for more than twenty years, JFK’s assassination. The Kennedy assassination is a notoriously tricky subject for researchers and The Ghost helps us to see why. Attempts to say who really killed Kennedy go quickly at first but then the vast universe of available information takes ...

Laundering Britain’s Past

Marilyn Butler, 12 September 1991

The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 1095 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 297 81207 6
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... in order to address the American reader. At a thousand pages Johnson’s book is longer than Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, 1988 (subtitle, ‘Economic Change and Military Conflict, 1500-2000’), or Simon Schama’s Citizens, 1989. At first glance it looks as if the reader gets a smaller return, a mere 15 years of history at a point ...

Peroxide Mug-Shot

Marina Warner: Women who kill children, 1 January 1998

... piece of game, he found the body of his own child. There’s a trace of this type of legend in Jane Eyre’s first encounter with Mr Rochester, but here the predator’s quarry is a young woman and the episode has erotic overtones: the sound of his horse’s hooves reminds her of the Gytrash, a ‘north-of-England spirit’ from ‘one of Bessie’s ...

Diary

Christian Lorentzen: At the Conventions, 27 September 2012

... the skies were protected by helicopters. ‘Here comes a mob,’ somebody said. At the corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Tampa Street, policemen in riot gear formed a line to meet the Poor People’s March of socialists and anarchists. The cops far outnumbered the protesters. A man with a megaphone and a black plastic boot on his head addressed the ...

Down with DWEMs

John Sutherland, 15 August 1991

ProfScam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education 
by Charles Sykes.
St Martin’s, 304 pp., $9.95, December 1989, 0 312 03916 6
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Tenured Redicals: How politics has corrupted our Higher Education 
by Roger Kimball.
HarperCollins, 222 pp., $9.95, April 1991, 0 06 092049 1
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... But many conservatives (Bennett among them) thought that Stanford’s President, Donald Kennedy, had caved in too readily to radical ‘intimidation’, and a number of journalists were excited by images of blacks lynching Western Culture. The lay public had also been made aware at around the same time that something sinister called Deconstruction ...

Diary

Inigo Thomas: New York Megacity, 16 August 2007

... dead. These weren’t exceptional remarks: gloom was everywhere. At the beginning of the 1960s, Jane Jacobs and Lewis Mumford, America’s most famous writers on urban issues, sensed a crisis on the horizon, but they didn’t foresee just how badly things would turn out. Nor did Robert Moses, who had been in charge of city planning since the 1920s, and ...

The Coat in Question

Iain Sinclair: Margate, 20 March 2003

All the Devils Are Here 
by David Seabrook.
Granta, 192 pp., £7.99, March 2003, 9781862075597
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... championship of Aickman lasted for years and carried him to an interview with Elizabeth Jane Howard, co-author of Aickman’s first book, and to a reconsideration of the values of a certain kind of Englishness. ‘These people did what they wanted to do. They carried on when their work went out of fashion, when nobody was listening.’ Thinking ...

The Importance of Aunts

Colm Tóibín, 17 March 2011

... hushed interregnum when both Bingley and Darcy have disappeared and with them the prospects for Jane; and it is while travelling with her aunt and uncle that Elizabeth renews her relations with Darcy. It is through them that she discovers that Darcy has rescued her sister Lydia. In other words, they offer stillness, unforced opportunity, vital information ...

Half Bird, Half Fish, Half Unicorn

Paul Foot, 16 October 1997

Peter Cook: A Biography 
by Harry Thompson.
Hodder, 516 pp., £18.99, September 1997, 0 340 64968 2
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... Was the Week That Was broadcast a sickeningly sycophantic tribute to the assassinated President Kennedy. There was no part of public life, he insisted, which was free of humbug and therefore immune to mockery. Peter’s own statements to journalists must always be treated with caution. He could rarely resist satirising himself or his interviewer, and ...

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