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Gentlemen Did Not Dig

Rosemary Hill: 18th-Century Gap Years

24 June 2010
The Society of Dilettanti: Archaeology and Identity in the British Enlightenment 
by Jason Kelly.
Yale, 366 pp., £40, January 2010, 978 0 300 15219 7
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... Joseph ‘Spanco’ Spence in Oxford, ‘it has been the talk of the Town and the Country and small beer and Bread & Cheese to my friends the Garretteers in Grubstreet for these few days past.’ JasonKelly, writing for a transatlantic audience, goes to greater lengths to account for this and other similar ‘moments of semiotic disjuncture’, as he calls them, than is perhaps necessary for a ...

Outfoxing Hangman

Thomas Jones: David Mitchell

11 May 2006
Black Swan Green 
by David Mitchell.
Sceptre, 371 pp., £16.99, May 2006, 0 340 82279 1
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... destruction of the human race, but with the everyday difficulties of being a 13-year-old boy. The plot doesn’t cross continents or span centuries, but records one year – 1982 – in the life of Jason Taylor. Jason lives with his parents and older sister at No. 9 (of course) Kingfisher Meadows: they moved to the village soon after Jason was born and, like other recent arrivals, are quietly ...

Anti-Party Party

Ben Jackson: The Greens

6 May 2015
Honourable Friends? Parliament and the Fight for Change 
by Caroline Lucas.
Portobello, 281 pp., £14.99, March 2015, 978 1 84627 593 7
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... educated, middle-class and female, and it isn’t clear that there is any position on the traditional political spectrum that the party can comfortably occupy. Lucas begins her book by quoting Petra Kelly, one of the founders of the German Greens: ‘We can no longer rely on the established parties, nor can we go on working solely through extra-parliamentary channels. There is a need for a new force ...

Subject, Spectator, Phantom

J. Hoberman: The Strangest Personality Ever to Lead the Free World

17 February 2005
Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief 
by Mark Feeney.
Chicago, 422 pp., £19.50, November 2004, 0 226 23968 3
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... and mirthless smile were made for caricature. In the 1950s, the Washington Post’s political cartoonist Herblock portrayed the then vice-president week after week as an unshaven thug, while Walt Kelly cast him as a villainous polecat in the comic strip Pogo; Andy Warhol produced a silk-screened Nixon with skin as biliously green as the Wicked Witch of the West and, in a riotous series of drawings ...

Act One, Scene One

David Bromwich: Don’t Resist, Oppose

16 February 2017
... to quasi-political mediators who could work with financial bigwigs because they also came from that environment. Peter Orszag, Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, William Daley, Michael Froman, Jason Furman and Jack Lew were all finance-to-government mediators of this stamp. Trump, however, gives up all pretence of a distinction between finance and government. A possible reaction is delight, as ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan

7 June 2018
... wanted to send people down the stairs when it was known that some people hadn’t made it. But why were the firefighters not coming up with breathing equipment and helping them down? Why indeed.Jason Garcia, Jessica’s cousin, lived in a neighbouring block and when he saw the tower was on fire he called Ramiro, Jessica’s dad. ‘We have been evacuated,’ Ramiro said. ‘I’m here with ...

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