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It Never Occurred to Them

John Connelly: The Nazi Volksstaat, 27 August 2009

Hitler’s Beneficiaries: How the Nazis Bought the German People 
by Götz Aly, translated by Jefferson Chase.
Verso, 448 pp., £19.99, August 2007, 978 1 84467 217 2
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... toppled by popular unrest if the people’s mood soured: their ‘satisfaction’ had to be ‘purchased’ every day. But was the Nazi leadership so fearful? Aly alleges that in 1943, Hitler’s propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, who carefully monitored the popular mood, ‘called for urgent measures to prevent the German populace from rising up against ...

Hopping in His Matchbox

Neal Ascherson: Hitler as a Human, 1 June 2016

Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939 
by Volker Ullrich, translated by Jefferson Chase.
Bodley Head, 758 pp., £25, March 2016, 978 1 84792 285 4
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... Werner Willikens​ was quite a senior Nazi civil servant. In the crushed and castrated government of Prussia, he had become the state secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture. It was in February 1934, just over a year after Adolf Hitler had become chancellor, that Willikens made a speech to agriculture officials from all over the Reich, using words that have come in our own time to fascinate historians ...

On Lawrence Joseph

Michael Hofmann, 19 March 2020

... almost uniquely among contemporary American poets, Joseph doesn’t retail privities, doesn’t chase the minuscule scraps of sublimity left to us, doesn’t retreat to his literal or figurative cabin in the woods. Readers of his work may be tempted to conclude: this poet doesn’t have a personal life. That’s because what the poems give us are the past ...

On the Secret Joke at the Centre of American Identity

Michael Rogin: Ralph Ellison, 2 March 2000

Juneteenth 
by Ralph Ellison, edited by John Callaghan.
Hamish Hamilton, 368 pp., £16.99, December 1999, 0 241 14084 6
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... on the American romance to Henry James on Nathaniel Hawthorne to Lionel Trilling and Richard Chase staking out the ground for American exceptionalism in the postwar United States, the problem for the writer of American fiction famously posed itself as a deficit: ‘no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong’ (Ellison quoting ...

Red Stars

John Sutherland, 6 December 1984

Wild Berries 
by Yevgeny Yevtushenko, translated by Antonia Bovis.
Macmillan, 296 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 333 37559 9
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The Burn 
by Vassily Aksyonov, translated by Michael Glenny.
Hutchinson, 528 pp., £10.95, October 1984, 0 09 155580 9
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Fellow Travellers 
by T.C. Worsley.
Gay Men’s Press, 249 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 907040 51 9
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The Power of the Dog 
by Thomas Savage.
Chatto, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 3939 0
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The Fourth Protocol 
by Frederick Forsyth.
Hutchinson, 448 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 09 158630 5
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The Set-Up 
by Vladimir Volkoff, translated by Alan Sheridan.
Bodley Head, 397 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 370 30583 3
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... to their profile of him, he lives in Washington, jogs four miles a day, and greatly admires the Jefferson memorial. The Burn, which is proclaimed his masterwork, was written over the period 1969-75, but never published in the USSR. It’s hard to see how it ever could have been. The novel (evidently composed as an angry private journal) is a fantasia on the ...

Attercliffe

Nicholas Spice, 17 May 1984

Present Times 
by David Storey.
Cape, 270 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 0 224 02188 5
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The Uses of Fiction: Essays on the Modern Novel in Honour of Arnold Kettle 
edited by Douglas Jefferson and Graham Martin.
Open University, 296 pp., £15, December 1982, 9780335101818
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The Hawthorn Goddess 
by Glyn Hughes.
Chatto, 232 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 7011 2818 6
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... of Amos Culpin, Jabez Stott, Joshua Binns and divers others of the Lady Well rabble, as they chase her through the early pages of this curious historical fantasy, hurling stones at her and abusing her for drying up their cows, striking their dogs blind and generally polluting their puritanical souls. Anne takes refuge in the village schoolroom, where the ...

It’s Been a Lot of Fun

David Runciman: Hitchens’s Hitchens, 24 June 2010

Hitch-22: A Memoir 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Atlantic, 435 pp., £20, June 2010, 978 1 84354 921 5
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... George W. Bush’s appointee as head of the Department of Homeland Security, and conducted on Jefferson’s birthday at the Jefferson Memorial. ‘There was a very stiff breeze blowing across the Tidal Basin,’ Hitchens recalls, ‘but it served to give a real smack and crackle to the Stars and Stripes that ...

Divinely Ordained

Jackson Lears: God loves America, 19 May 2011

A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided 
by Amanda Foreman.
Penguin, 988 pp., £12.99, June 2011, 978 0 14 104058 5
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... moderation won him the undying enmity of Senator Charles Sumner, the treasury secretary Salmon Chase and the other Radical Republicans in Lincoln’s cabinet. Eventually they forced Seward to offer his resignation, which Lincoln refused. Meanwhile the Confederate envoys did minimal damage to the Union cause. Slidell, the son of a New York candlemaker who ...

All I Can Stand

Thomas Powers: Joseph Mitchell, 17 June 2015

Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of the ‘New Yorker’ 
by Thomas Kunkel.
Random House, 384 pp., £22.50, April 2015, 978 0 375 50890 5
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... including some of the greats: Winslow Homer, Frederic Church, John La Farge and William Merritt Chase. But the ground under the Tenth Street Studios had grown too valuable for painters. On a Thursday in November 1955 plans were announced to build apartments on the site and promptly the following Monday, as Mitchell would have been walking out of the front ...

Who had the most fun?

David Bromwich: The Marx Brothers, 10 May 2001

Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx 
by Stefan Kanfer.
Penguin, 480 pp., £7.99, April 2001, 0 14 029426 0
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The Essential Groucho 
by Groucho Marx, edited by Stefan Kanfer.
Penguin, 254 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 14 029425 2
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... out with were dead or in jail by then, and Minnie saw how little her children were doing besides chase women and arrange transactions with petty thieves. Chico stole casually from his father’s business and only realised how serious it was when Frenchy said he would kill him if he ever did it again. So, you get the feeling, Minnie sent them in one by one ...

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