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Keep slogging

Andrew Bacevich: The Trouble with Generals, 21 July 2005

Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters 1914-18 
edited by Gary Sheffield and John Bourne.
Weidenfeld, 550 pp., £25, March 2005, 0 297 84702 3
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... it comes nowhere near achieving its intended objective. In their introduction, Gary Sheffield and John Bourne summarise the conclusions that they wish the reader to draw from the text itself. Running through the charges typically brought against Haig, they acquit him on all counts. Far from being a half-educated dilettante, he was, they ...

At the Brunei Gallery

Peter Campbell: Indian photography, 1 November 2001

... a certain stiffness and a high degree of conventionality. Things changed fast, though. Samuel Bourne, who was among the most prolific of the professionals, complained as early as 1870 – after his return to England – of the increasing use of equipment which produced small things ‘fit only for the scrap book’. He also said at one point (but later ...

Spectacle of the Rats and Owls

Malcolm Deas, 2 June 1988

Against All Hope 
by Armando Valladares, translated by Andrew Harley.
Hamish Hamilton, 381 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 0 241 11806 9
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by Peter Bourne.
Macmillan, 332 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 333 44593 7
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Fidel: A Critical Portrait 
by Tad Szulc.
Hutchinson, 585 pp., £14.95, June 1987, 0 09 172602 6
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Castro and the Cuban Labour Movement: Statecraft and Society in a Revolutionary Period (1959-1961) 
by Efren Cordova.
University Press of America, 354 pp., £24.65, April 1988, 0 8191 5952 2
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Fidel and Religion: Castro talks on revolution and religion with Frei Betto 
translated by the Cuban Centre for Translation.
Simon and Schuster, 314 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 9780671641146
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... true. Valladares has quite enough to indict him for without that charge. Both Tad Szulc and Peter Bourne seem to have approached the test of writing about Castro with initial enthusiasm, and in both cases the enthusiasm seems to have flagged. Both books dwell disproportionately on Castro’s life up to his taking of power, and have disappointingly little to ...

Let every faction bloom

John Patrick Diggins, 6 March 1997

For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism 
edited by Joshua Cohen.
Beacon, 154 pp., $15, August 1996, 0 8070 4313 3
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For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism 
by Maurizio Viroli.
Oxford, 214 pp., £22.50, September 1995, 0 19 827952 3
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Bonds of Affection: Americans Define Their Patriotism 
edited by John Bodnar.
Princeton, 352 pp., £45, September 1996, 0 691 04397 3
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Buring the Flag: The Great 1989-90 American Flag Desecration Controversy 
by Robert Justin Goldstein.
Kent State, 453 pp., $39, July 1996, 0 87338 526 8
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... often a war’s first casualty. Before the First World War, the Greenwich Village rebels Randolph Bourne, Max Eastman and John Reed regarded themselves as nationalistic liberators willing to draw on the country’s intellectual traditions. Eastman defined himself as an ‘American lyrical socialist – a child of Walt ...

Lord Cupid proves himself

David Cannadine, 21 October 1982

Palmerston: The Early Years, 1784-1841 
by Kenneth Bourne.
Allen Lane, 749 pp., £25, August 1982, 0 7139 1083 6
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... is the spur stood on its head). But many prime ministers have fared less well: Chatham and Lord John Russell because there are few private papers; Gladstone and Salisbury because their careers were too long for any one writer to encompass comprehensively; Charles James Fox and Lloyd George because their passion to rule and their ruling passions are so hard ...


Brian Barry, 23 November 1989

The Company of Critics: Social Criticism and Political Commitment in the 20th Century 
by Michael Walzer.
Halban, 260 pp., £15.95, February 1989, 1 870015 20 7
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... his own ends. He begins with Julien Benda, famous for one book, La Trahison des Clercs. Randolph Bourne, who follows, was an American writer born twenty years later but dead of influenza in 1918, before Benda’s book appeared. Walzer focuses on his opposition to America’s entry into the First World War. Then comes Martin Buber, whose chapter concerns ...


Inigo Thomas: Berry Bros, 20 December 2018

... business under that name; nor was it exclusively a wine merchant. A figure known only as the Widow Bourne founded the shop in 1698 at the southern end of St James’s Street; one of her daughters married William Pickering, and the shop remained with the Pickering family until 1810, when George Berry renamed the shop after himself. It was an ‘Italian ...

Speak for yourself, matey

Adam Mars-Jones: The Uses of Camp, 22 November 2012

How to Be Gay 
by David Halperin.
Harvard, 549 pp., £25.95, August 2012, 978 0 674 06679 3
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... O’Grady we wanted to hear from. There was no shortage of available guests, though: Bette Bourne, best known then for appearances with the troupe Bloolips, said yes, and so did two members of La Gran Scena Opera Company. We were hoping for a certain amount of technical discussion, perhaps even scraps of a masterclass, and had borrowed a screen from ...

Ordained as a Nation

Pankaj Mishra: Exporting Democracy, 21 February 2008

The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anti-Colonial Nationalism 
by Erez Manela.
Oxford, 331 pp., £17.99, July 2007, 978 0 19 517615 5
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... Wilson, an academic by training, was fortified in his convictions by such liberal intellectuals as John Dewey, Walter Lippmann and Herbert Croly (co-founder of the New Republic), who believed that by joining the war America would make the world safe for democracy rather than, as was the case, help the Allied powers deliver a knockout blow to the Germans. As ...

I myself detest all Modern Art

Anne Diebel: Scofield Thayer, 9 April 2015

The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer 
by James Dempsey.
Florida, 240 pp., £32.50, February 2014, 978 0 8130 4926 7
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... even though he was already engaged to the beautiful 18-year-old Elaine Orr, whom John Dos Passos described as a ‘poet’s dream’ and about whom Cummings would write hundreds of poems. Thayer was less annoyed, it seems, at losing Vivien than at Eliot’s sense of superiority. He compared Eliot the critic to a father punishing a naughty ...


John Sutherland: My Grandmother the Thief, 21 August 2003

... where, when he was young, a friend had gone under. He had often warned me of the dangers of Bourne millrun: its treacherous currents and strangling weeds. Not throwing himself under the wheels of the ubiquitous car was, presumably, a criticism of the way things had turned out. He left no note and some mysterious relics in two locked trunks: Edwardian ...

Cocoa is blood and they are eating my flesh

Toby Green: Slavery and Cocoa, 11 April 2013

Chocolate Islands: Cocoa, Slavery and Colonial Africa 
by Catherine Higgs.
Ohio, 230 pp., £24.95, June 2012, 978 0 8214 2006 5
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... treated as slaves, with high death rates resulting from a shocking diet. Picked up by H.R. Fox Bourne, the secretary of the Aborigines’ Protection Society (APS), Casement’s Angola report was used to add weight to protests led by the activist-journalist E.D. Morel against conditions in the Congo Free State, run as a personal fiefdom by King Leopold II ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Skyfall’, 22 November 2012

directed by Sam Mendes.
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... in the age of infinite technological intrusion? The movie’s writers (Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan) obviously want to side with tradition against the mindless modernisers but their heart’s not in it. Even M herself is aurally present on a wire while Bond is chasing through Istanbul on his bike and leaping onto a train. This is a fine ...

What to call her?

Jenny Diski, 9 October 2014

... cartoon, but before he could finish what sounded uncannily like the solicitor’s speech in John Osborne’s play Inadmissible Evidence, a year or so later, Doris grabbed my sleeve and we escaped down the winding wooden staircase, with the sound of his voice echoing behind us. In addition, my mother had one of her screaming fits and threatened to sue ...

Woman in Love

Marghanita Laski, 1 April 1983

... of letters. Of her siblings, a younger sister is Beatrix Lehmann, the actress, her younger brother John Lehmann, poet, and fructifying editor and founder of the London Magazine. Most sensitive, literate girls write out the agonies of growing up, at least in private poetry or prose. But from such a family as Rosamond Lehmann’s, one writes to publish. In an ...

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