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Aliens

Peter Burke, 18 March 1982

The Monstrous Races in Medieval Art and Thought 
by John Friedman.
Harvard, 268 pp., £14, July 1981, 0 674 58652 2
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Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain 
by William Christian.
Princeton, 349 pp., £16.80, September 1981, 9780691053264
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... images of the monstrous races have in their turn fascinated modern scholars. However, as J.B. Friedman observes, ‘discussions of these peoples have been neither rigorous nor analytical.’ ‘Marvels of the East’ have been replaced by ‘Marvels of the Middle Ages’. A distinguished exception was the work of Rudolf Wittkower, whose essay on the ...

Like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

John Lloyd: Globalisation, 2 September 1999

The Lexus and the Olive Tree 
by Thomas Friedman.
HarperCollins, 394 pp., £19.99, May 1999, 0 00 257014 9
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Global Transformation 
by David Held and Anthony McGrew.
Polity, 515 pp., £59.50, March 1999, 0 7456 1498 1
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... Thomas Friedman is so much the kind of American that the rest of the world likes to despise that it’s a fair assumption he has, at least in part, adopted the pose consciously. He calls himself a ‘tourist with attitude’ and his attitude is that of the know-it-all, ‘wise up, you dumb cluck’ American journalist who is here to tell you your economy is blown, your politics stink and you haven’t a hope in hell of making it in today’s world ...

Streamlined Smiles

Rosemary Dinnage: Erik Erikson, 2 March 2000

Identity’s Architect: A Biography of Erik Erikson 
by Lawrence Friedman.
Free Association, 592 pp., £15.95, May 1999, 9781853434716
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... than Erik Erikson, ‘identity’s architect’ as he is rather grandiosely titled by Lawrence Friedman: he made identity his key concept because it was something he was deprived of in a dramatic way. To the end of his days, he had no idea who his father was. Erikson’s name may now ring a bell for very few people, and even they may be surprised to ...

The Way Forward

Ian Gilmour, 25 October 1990

The Economic Limits to Modern Politics 
edited by John Dunn.
Polity, 274 pp., £35, July 1990, 0 7456 0827 2
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... Evidently, things have not greatly changed in the last two hundred years. No existing country, John Dunn suggests, manages ‘to combine prudent regard for the economic limits to modern politics with delicate and effective concern for the sorts of human beings whom its economic momentum fashions’. Professor Dunn, who contributes the introduction and both ...

What’s fair about that?

Adam Swift: Social Mobilities, 23 January 2020

Social Mobility and Its Enemies 
by Lee Elliot Major and Stephen Machin.
Pelican, 272 pp., £8.99, September 2018, 978 0 241 31702 0
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Social Mobility and Education in Britain 
by Erzsébet Bukodi and John Goldthorpe.
Cambridge, 249 pp., £19.99, December 2018, 978 1 108 46821 3
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The Class Ceiling: Why It Pays to Be Privileged 
by Sam Friedman and Daniel Laurison.
Policy, 224 pp., £9.99, January, 978 1 4473 3610 5
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... commission’s few remaining members resigned en masse, citing lack of progress.The​ sociologist John Goldthorpe has spent almost fifty years developing and championing his version of the class analysis approach. It has become the international norm in sociological research and is the basis of the categorisation used by the UK’s Office for National ...

Send them to Eton!

Linda Colley, 19 August 1993

The End of the House of Windsor: Birth of a British Republic 
by Stephen Haseler.
Tauris, 208 pp., £14.95, June 1993, 1 85043 735 1
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The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor 
by A.N. Wilson.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 211 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 1 85619 354 3
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Royal Throne: The Future of the Monarchy 
by Elizabeth Longford.
Hodder, 189 pp., £16.99, April 1993, 0 340 58587 0
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Diana v. Charles 
by James Whitaker.
Signet, 237 pp., £14.99, May 1993, 0 670 85245 7
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The Tarnished Crown 
by Anthony Holden.
Bantam, 400 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 593 02472 9
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Inheritance: A Psychological History of the Royal Family 
by Dennis Friedman.
Sidgwick, 212 pp., £14.99, April 1993, 0 283 06124 3
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Raine and Johnnie: The Spencers and the Scandal of Althorp 
by Angela Levin.
Weidenfeld, 297 pp., £17.99, July 1993, 0 297 81325 0
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... flux. They are no longer able to sink their internal differences in a broad attachment to what Sir John Seeley called ‘Greater Britain’. They are not yet sure, most of them, that they want to be Europeans. Yet many do not see themselves, or desire to see themselves, as British. Is the answer, then, for the monarchy to revive one of its most traditional ...

Don’t do what Allende did

Greg Grandin: Allende, 19 July 2012

Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War 
by Tanya Harmer.
North Carolina, 375 pp., £38.95, October 2011, 978 0 8078 3495 4
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... the national palace. What came next is part of capitalist mythology. Pinochet, advised by Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys – Chilean economists trained at the University of Chicago – applied what Friedman at the time called ‘shock treatment’, a dramatic and immediate reduction of the money supply, followed by ...

Achieving Disunity

Corey Robin, 25 October 2012

Age of Fracture 
by Daniel Rodgers.
Harvard, 360 pp., £14.95, September 2012, 978 0 674 06436 2
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... exchange. Like most scholars of the free-market movement, Rodgers assigns great weight to Milton Friedman, ‘the University of Chicago’s most forceful politiciser’, and the right’s answer to J.K. Galbraith. He wrote columns for Newsweek, advised presidents (and dictators), and organised the ten-part PBS series Free to Choose as a counter to ...

The Imagined Market

Donald MacKenzie: Money Games, 31 October 2002

Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science 
by Philip Mirowski.
Cambridge, 670 pp., £24.95, February 2002, 0 521 77526 4
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... theory be rejected as a fantasy based on unsound foundations? The classic riposte came from Milton Friedman, who argued that the test of a theory should not be the realism of its assumptions but the precision and success of its predictions. To assume that people are egoists who each maximise what economists call their ‘utility’ (roughly speaking, their ...

Crotchet Castles

Peter Campbell, 6 December 1984

William Kent 
by Michael Wilson.
Routledge, 276 pp., £30, July 1984, 0 7100 9983 5
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James Gibbs 
by Terry Friedman.
Yale, 362 pp., £40, November 1984, 0 300 03172 6
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Sir John Soane, Architect 
by Dorothy Stroud.
Faber, 300 pp., £32, May 1984, 9780571130504
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The Later Paintings and Drawings of John Constable 
by Graham Reynolds.
Yale, 880 pp., £140, October 1984, 0 300 03151 3
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... house-guest for most of his life, stands on the pre-professional side of the divide: Sir John Soane, architect of the Bank of England, professor of architecture at the Royal Academy, on the post-professional side. The careers Dorothy Stroud and Michael Wilson describe in their new biographies of Soane and Kent illustrate the division. James Gibbs had ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: The demise of Woolworths, 29 January 2009

... always wishes that someone was making the counter-argument against a thriving car industry. Thomas Friedman recently said in the New York Times that the Detroit bail-out was ‘the equivalent of pouring billions of dollars of taxpayer money into the mail-order-catalogue business on the eve of the birth of eBay’. There’s something in that; when I hear that ...

Mid-Century Male

Christopher Glazek: Edmund White, 19 July 2012

Jack Holmes and His Friend 
by Edmund White.
Bloomsbury, 390 pp., £18.99, January 2012, 978 1 4088 0579 4
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... one of the few contemporary novels he liked. The book was reviewed in the New York Times by Alan Friedman, the author of a forgotten novel called Hermaphrodeity, who described it as ‘a nearly inscrutable mystery’ powered by ‘camp, vamp and very damp wit’. He praised White’s ‘poetic brilliance’ and ‘hard, gem-like style’ but backhandedly ...

Comedy is murder

Thomas Powers: Joseph Heller, 8 March 2012

Just One Catch: The Passionate Life of Joseph Heller 
by Tracy Daugherty.
Robson, 548 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 1 84954 172 5
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Yossarian Slept Here: When Joseph Heller was Dad and Life was a Catch-22 
by Erica Heller.
Vintage, 272 pp., £8.99, October 2011, 978 0 09 957008 0
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... who built his career on the principle that tragedy is hard, but comedy is murder; Bruce Jay Friedman, who wrote novels, plays and movies; Mario Puzo, who made a fortune with his novel The Godfather; and Speed Vogel, who resists summary. Heller’s wife Shirley in her youth had been a friend of Vogel’s sister on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. In ...

Pay and Jobs

Samuel Brittan, 18 March 1982

Stagflation. Vol. 1: Wage Fixing 
by James Meade.
Allen and Unwin, 233 pp., £15, January 1982, 0 04 339023 4
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Prices and Quantity 
by Arthur Okun.
Blackwell, 382 pp., £15, August 1981, 0 631 12899 9
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... ways and read into it what they would like to find. One reason for this is that, as in the case of John Stuart Mill, a writer with whom one may notice many parallels, there is something of a conflict between heart and head, and between the intellectual positions which logic forces him to accept and the ones with which he feels most at home. Although union ...

Diary

August Kleinzahler: The Doomsday Boys, 17 August 2006

... or war too seriously. Nobody takes anything too seriously around here, except football. Kinky Friedman (of the country band Kinky Friedman and the Texas Jewboys) is in the running for the November gubernatorial election. His slogan is: ‘Why the hell not!’ The really big news here in Texas is the acquittal on appeal ...

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