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The People Must Be Paid

Paul Smith: Capital cities in World War I

7 May 1998
Capital Cities at War: Paris, London, Berlin 1914-1919 
edited by Jay Winter and Jean-Louis Robert.
Cambridge, 622 pp., £60, March 1997, 0 521 57171 5
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... ability to mobilise them in a manner seen to be ‘fair’, the capital cities in question offered a microcosm of the administrative and political efficiency of their respective states. The work of Winter, Robert and their collaborators examines how they dealt with the problems of employment, welfare, food and fuel supply, housing and public health, in an effort to estimate the degree of satisfaction ...


V.G. Kiernan

4 August 1983
The Working Class in Modern British History: Essays in Honour of Henry Pelling 
edited by Jay Winter.
Cambridge, 315 pp., £25, February 1983, 0 521 23444 1
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The Chartist Experience: Studies in Working-Class Radicalism and Culture, 1830-60 
edited by James Epstein and Dorothy Thompson.
Macmillan, 392 pp., £16, November 1982, 0 333 32971 6
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Bread, Knowledge and Freedom: A Study of 19th-Century Working Class Autobiography 
by David Vincent.
Methuen, 221 pp., £4.95, December 1982, 0 416 34670 7
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... JayWinter’s introduction to the work in honour of Henry Pelling points to a shift that has been taking place in the writing of labour history – from concentration on militant strivings towards interest in ...

The Past’s Past

Thomas Laqueur

19 September 1996
Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History 
by Jay Winter.
Cambridge, 310 pp., £12.95, September 1996, 0 521 49682 9
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... in time be utterly lost, That the hands of the sisters Death and Night incessantly softly wash again and again, and              ever again this soiled world ... JayWinter has written an elegy. But it is not for those who died by ‘deeds of carnage’: it is for those who mourned them. Or rather he has written a lamentation for their capacity to remember – to mourn ...

Wandering Spooks

David Simpson: Vietnam’s Ghosts

14 August 2008
Ghosts of War in Vietnam 
by Heonik Kwon.
Cambridge, 222 pp., £25, March 2008, 978 0 521 88061 9
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... and proud of the sacrifice they had made. The First World War produced a comprehensive culture of spirit contact both in the trenches and at home. In Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning (1995), JayWinter found a strong continuity in mourning and memorial habits between the First World War and the previous century, a pattern that was broken only with the massive number of civilian deaths in World War ...

Libel on the Human Race

Steven Shapin: Malthus

4 June 2014
Malthus: The Life and Legacies of an Untimely Prophet 
by Robert Mayhew.
Harvard, 284 pp., £20, April 2014, 978 0 674 72871 4
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... and economists address fears about falling populations as stark as those canvassed a century ago. Writing recently in the New York Times, a demographer, Michael Teitelbaum, and a historian, JayWinter, reminded readers that nearly half of all people now live in countries where women have fewer babies than are needed to maintain a stable population, and that this is no longer clearly a circumstance ...
12 May 1994
John Steinbeck: A Biography 
by Jay​ Parini.
Heinemann, 605 pp., £20, March 1994, 0 434 57492 9
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... to an embittered Steinbeck, literary criticism is ‘a kind of ill-tempered party game in which nobody gets kissed’. Twenty-five years after his death he receives a big wet one in the shape of Jay Parini’s biography, which comes with much fanfare designed to rehabilitate him as one of America’s great writers. A handsome ‘Steinbeck award’ has been set up by the writer’s widow; a South ...


Jay​ Griffiths: Protesting at Fairmile

8 May 1997
... peacepipe filled with motherwort and hash. Rats gnaw through sleeping bags and rucksacks. A mother wipes snot off her child’s face with her sleeve. ‘Great waterproofing, snot.’ At Fairmile last winter, protesters were disputing the building of a road; more cars, more pollution, more loss of countryside. Where protestors gather now, at a thousand-acre site outside Manchester, their complaint is ...

And what did she see?

Graham Robb: The Bête du Gévaudan

19 May 2011
Monsters of the Gévaudan: The Making of a Beast 
by Jay​ Smith.
Harvard, 378 pp., £25.95, March 2011, 978 0 674 04716 7
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... In the summer of 2007, Jay Smith, who teaches history at the University of North Carolina, was in Paris collecting information for a book about a mysterious beast that terrorised the remote French province of the Gévaudan ...

The Beast on My Back

Gerald Weissmann

6 June 1996
The Harmony of Illusions: Inventing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
by Allan Young.
Princeton, 327 pp., £28, March 1996, 0 691 03352 8
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... Bête Noire’ is set in Piccadilly during the long winter between the Battle of Alamein and the Normandy invasion. At the time, the 24-year-old Douglas had pretty much recovered from wounds inflicted by German 88s in the Western Desert and by spring he was ...
18 May 1989
Games, Sex and Evolution 
by John Maynard Smith.
Harvester, 264 pp., £14.95, August 1988, 0 7108 1216 7
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... Le Guin, in her very effective Science Fiction novel The Left Hand of Darkness has tried to do so. Whether consciously or not, Ms Le Guin set the action of her novel on a planet where perpetual winter provides an appropriately gray and colourless backdrop. But even she could not quite sustain the imaginative leap required: once a month her characters acquire sexual characteristics, but at random ...
13 May 2010
The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey 
by Robert Morrison.
Weidenfeld, 462 pp., £25, November 2009, 978 0 297 85279 7
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... money-lender from whom he could borrow against his expected inheritance; here his privations became still more extreme, yet he starved and froze in abandoned buildings in the Soho slums for most of a winter before walking to Eton to beg a loan from a schoolboy acquaintance. This was a life story in the raw, one that placed him beyond class divides just as opium-eating set him apart from Englishness ...

End of the Century

John Sutherland

13 October 1988
Worlds Apart 
by David Holbrook.
Hale, 205 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 9780709033639
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Story of My Life 
by Jay​ McInerney.
Bloomsbury, 188 pp., £11.95, August 1988, 0 7475 0180 7
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Forgotten Life 
by Brian Aldiss.
Gollancz, 284 pp., £11.95, September 1988, 0 575 04369 5
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Incline Our hearts 
by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 250 pp., £11.95, August 1988, 0 241 12256 2
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... It would be interesting to place Jay McInerney and David Holbrook as neighbours at E.M. Forster’s imaginary table. Both novelists are fascinated by decadence – that much they have in common. But their diagnoses and anatomies of the ...
9 April 1992
‘Goodbye, Great Britain’: The 1976 IMF Crisis 
by Kathleen Burk and Alec Cairncross.
Yale, 268 pp., £18.95, March 1992, 0 300 05728 8
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... This is a timely and exceptionally interesting book. 1976, the year of IMF intervention, together with the winter of 1978-79, represents in purest form what was for most people (insofar as they have any memory of the Seventies) characteristic of that decade: persistent economic failure and social disintegration ...

Man without a Fridge

Thomas Jones: Haruki Murakami

17 April 2003
After the Quake 
by Haruki Murakami, translated by Jay​ Rubin.
Vintage, 132 pp., £6.99, March 2003, 1 84343 015 0
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Earthshaking Science: What We Know (and Don’t Know) about Earthquakes 
by Susan Elizabeth Hough.
Princeton, 238 pp., £17.95, May 2002, 0 691 05010 4
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... longer a fault goes without a major rupture, the more stress accumulates, the greater the event when at last it occurs. There is a Native American legend of the earth shaking and the sea roiling on a winter’s night long ago, but direct subjective accounts tend to be treated with scepticism by seismologists. During the 1980s, however, geological research found evidence of two large earthquakes in the ...

Boy Gang

Peter Prince

19 January 1984
Minor Characters 
by Joyce Johnson.
Collins, 262 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 00 272511 8
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Neurotica: The Authentic Voice of the Beat Generation 1948-1951 
edited by Jay​ Landesman and G. Legman.
Jay​ Landesman, 535 pp., £19.95, July 1981, 0 905150 26 0
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Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac 
by Gerald Nicosia.
Grove, 767 pp., £14.95, October 1983, 0 394 52270 2
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... flashes, an extraordinary writer. The family stands behind Kerouac’s life and work like monstrous deities – overwhelming images of warning, perfection, adoration and revenge. He was born in the winter of 1922 in the French Canadian section of Lowell, Massachusetts, the third child and second son of Leo and Gabrielle Kerouac. Within the family, within the small, isolated Cannuck community, he was ...

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