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Richly-Wristed

Ian Aitken, 13 May 1993

Changing Faces: The History of the ‘Guardian’, 1956-88 
by Geoffrey Taylor.
Fourth Estate, 352 pp., £20, March 1993, 1 85702 100 2
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... irritated journalists on other newspapers. Part of the story he has to tell is how people like John Cole – yes, the same John Cole – and his successor as News Editor. Jean Stead, dragged the paper more or less reluctantly into mainstream, news-oriented journalism. Coming from what at the time was probably ...

Nanny knows best

Michael Stewart, 4 June 1987

Kinnock 
by Michael Leapman.
Unwin Hyman, 217 pp., £11.95, May 1987, 0 04 440006 3
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The Thatcher Years: A Decade of Revolution in British Politics 
by John Cole.
BBC, 216 pp., £12.95, April 1987, 0 563 20572 5
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Thatcherism and British Politics: The End of Consensus? 
by Dennis Kavanagh.
Oxford, 334 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 19 827522 6
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The New Right: The Counter-Revolution in Political, Social and Economic Thought 
by David Green.
Wheatsheaf, 238 pp., £22.50, March 1987, 0 7450 0127 0
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... one will not find much in either Michael Leapman’s sympathetic and readable portrait, or John Cole’s lively and good-humoured canter over the events of the last decade, to change one’s mind. The nature of the Labour Party’s – and Kinnock’s – problem was vividly illustrated by what happened when James Callaghan resigned the leadership ...

Where a man can be a man

Margaret Anne Doody, 16 December 1993

All the Pretty Horses 
by Cormac McCarthy.
Picador, 302 pp., £5.99, November 1993, 0 330 33169 8
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... is imprisoned largely because of love-complications (the same applies to McCarthy’s young John Grady Cole). Tortured, immured, separated from his beloved, Habrokomes is given the relief of a dream: he thought he saw his own father Lykomedes in black clothing travelling across all the lands and seas and arriving ...

Helter-Skelter

Edmund Gordon: ‘Melmoth’, 3 January 2019

Melmoth 
by Sarah Perry.
Serpent’s Tail, 271 pp., £16.99, October 2018, 978 1 78816 065 0
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... thing,’ a character reflects. ‘It collapsing without purpose or meaning is quite another.’ John Cole, an ageing bookseller, is one of the last to leave, and gets lost when he finally does, ending up in the grounds of a dilapidated country house whose residents seem to be expecting him. Perry handles his growing sense of dread with considerable ...

At Driscoll Babcock

Christopher Benfey: The Shock of the Old, 16 June 2016

... heard of Durand, or, indeed, of the two ‘kindred spirits’ – the British-born painter Thomas Cole and the Romantic poet and newspaper editor William Cullen Bryant – whom he depicted contemplating a lushly idealised Catskills landscape of bluffs and waterfalls, their names inscribed like those of lovers on a nearby birch tree. ...

Was he? Had he?

Corey Robin: In the Name of Security, 19 October 2006

The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government 
by David Johnson.
Chicago, 277 pp., £13, May 2006, 0 226 40190 1
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Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security 
by David Cole and James Dempsey.
New Press, 320 pp., £10.99, March 2006, 1 56584 939 6
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General Ashcroft: Attorney at War 
by Nancy Baker.
Kansas, 320 pp., £26.50, April 2006, 0 7006 1455 9
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State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration 
by James Risen.
Free Press, 240 pp., £18.99, January 2006, 0 7432 7578 0
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Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush 
by Eric Boehlert.
Free Press, 352 pp., $25, May 2006, 0 7432 8931 5
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... According to John Cheever, 1948 was ‘the year everybody in the United States was worried about homosexuality’. And nobody was more worried than the federal government, which was rumoured to be teeming with gays and lesbians. One might think that Washington’s attentions would have been focused elsewhere – on the Soviet Union, for example, or on Communist spies – but in 1950, President Truman’s advisers warned him that ‘the country is more concerned about the charges of homosexuals in the government than about Communists ...

Reagan and Rosaleen

John Horgan, 21 June 1984

Prince of Spies: Henri Le Caron 
by J.A. Cole.
Faber, 221 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 571 13233 2
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... either setting. The phenomenon of the Irish in America, which forms the backdrop to much of J.A. Cole’s fascinating book, is still an important political reality, though it has changed dramatically from the days when those ragged armies charged across the Canadian border in an attempt to seize an entire British dominion and thus force recognition of Irish ...

I sizzle to see you

John Lahr: Cole Porter’s secret songs, 21 November 2019

The Letters of Cole Porter 
edited by Cliff Eisen and Dominic McHugh.
Yale, 672 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 0 300 21927 2
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... Of​ the many remedies Cole Porter used to kill pain – boys, drink, luxury – the most powerful was song. In October 1937, at the age of 46, out for an early morning canter at the Piping Rock Club in Locust Valley, New York, Porter lost his stirrups when his horse spooked at a bush and fell on him, crushing both his legs ...

Crenellated Heat

Philip Connors: Cormac McCarthy, 25 January 2007

The Road 
by Cormac McCarthy.
Picador, 241 pp., £16.99, November 2006, 9780330447539
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... most romantic of McCarthy’s novels, a coming-of-age story with a likeable cowboy protagonist, John Grady Cole, who shoots and knifes his way out of trouble in Mexico. Or who, to put it differently, moves classically from innocence to hard-bitten realism, even a kind of cynicism. In Cities of the Plain, the trilogy’s ...

I am the Watchman

Linda Colley: William Cobbett, forerunner of the Sun, 20 November 2003

William Cobbett: Selected Writings 
edited by Leonora Nattrass.
Pickering & Chatto, 2312 pp., £495, December 1998, 1 85196 375 8
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Rural rides 
by William Cobbett, edited by Ian Dyck.
Penguin, 576 pp., £9.99, September 2001, 0 14 043579 4
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... for frank comprehensiveness. ‘His biographers are saved the search for significance,’ G.D.H. Cole declared: ‘he has it all ready for them.’ Only close reading reveals that Cobbett hardly ever mentioned his mother. Or that his wife (who tried to kill herself and from whom he died estranged) was restricted in his prose to a catalogue of domestic ...

Diary

David Thomson: Alcatraz, 26 March 2009

... To this day, there are hardy members of swimming clubs who do the same. In December 1937, Ted Cole and Ralph Roe escaped from the Model Industries building and took to the water. No one has ever claimed to have seen them again. The guards spread a story that the men had been shot; inmates claimed they’d received a postcard from ...

Sexual Tories

Angus Calder, 17 May 1984

The Common People: A History from the Norman Conquest to the Present 
by J.F.C. Harrison.
Croom Helm and Flamingo, 445 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 7099 0125 9
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British Society 1914-45 
by John Stevenson.
Allen Lane/Penguin, 503 pp., £16.95, March 1984, 0 7139 1390 8
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The World We Left Behind: A Chronicle of the Year 1939 
by Robert Kee.
Weidenfeld, 369 pp., £11.95, April 1984, 0 297 78287 8
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Wigan Pier Revisited: Poverty and Politics in the Eighties 
by Beatrix Campbell.
Virago, 272 pp., £4.50, April 1984, 0 86068 417 2
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... might reply to these rhetorical flourishes: ‘Well – what? How on earth can we tell?’ G.D.H. Cole and Raymond Postgate once added a postscript to their study of The Common People since 1746 suffused with Whiggish pleasure over Labour’s recent triumph in the 1945 General Election. They clearly believed that they understood the common ‘man’ and what ...

Radical Aliens

David Cole: The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair, 22 October 2009

The Sacco-Vanzetti Affair: America on Trial 
by Moshik Temkin.
Yale, 316 pp., £25, July 2009, 978 0 300 12484 2
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... and intellectuals, including Stalin, Einstein, Henry Ford, Mussolini, Fritz Kreisler, Thomas Mann, John Dos Passos, H.L. Mencken, Anatole France, H.G. Wells, the dean of Harvard Law School, Roscoe Pound and 205 members of the law school’s 1927 graduating class. Interest in the case did not die with the men’s executions. It has been the subject of countless ...

From Notre Dame to Cluny, via a Beehive Hut

John Bossy: Abelard’s Final Fling, 2 July 1998

Abelard: A Medieval Life 
by M.T. Clanchy.
Blackwell, 416 pp., £45, January 1997, 0 631 20502 0
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... well, and matches with a wide and happy learning, which runs from Socrates to Eliot and from Cole Porter to Eco, his intense engagement with the mind and heart of Western Christendom in the 12th century, a time which always seems particularly springlike. His engagement is no less with the authors who have already written about Abelard, 76 of whom are ...

Everybody’s Friend

D.A.N. Jones, 15 July 1982

William Cobbett: The Poor Man’s Friend 
by George Spater.
Cambridge, 318 pp., £15, March 1982, 0 521 22216 8
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... patronising about this. He was ‘the last great tribune of the agrarians’, wrote G.D.H. Cole, and, ‘by force of circumstances, also the first great tribune of the industrial proletariat’. But that was in 1924, when it looked as if ‘the industrial proletariat’ was going to last for ever, and Cole had a ...

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