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Disaffiliate, Reaffiliate, Kill Again

Jeremy Harding: Régis Debray, 7 February 2008

Praised Be Our Lords: The Autobiography 
by Régis Debray, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 328 pp., £19.99, April 2007, 978 1 84467 140 3
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... digression, exposition, all done with stylish dispatch, admirably rendered by the translator, John Howe. Closer to a looped sequence of essays than a memoir, the book nonetheless shows off the memoirist’s skill to stunning effect in three somewhat unflattering portraits – Castro, Guevara and Mitterrand – and reminds us that distance and ...

Thank you for your letter

Anthony Grafton: Latin, 1 November 2001

Latin, or the Empire of a Sign: From the 16th to the 20th Centuries 
by Françoise Waquet, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 346 pp., £20, July 2001, 1 85984 615 7
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... and was charged with deep meaning by many prelates and intellectuals. At Vatican II, John XXIII himself dwelt lovingly on the universality, antiquity and majesty of the Latin language, which Providence – so he argued – had led the Church to adopt. Catholics, then, were bombarded every Sunday with a form of Latin that came to be, in some ...

Like What Our Peasants Still Are

Landeg White: Afrocentrism, 13 May 1999

Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes 
by Stephen Howe.
Verso, 337 pp., £22, June 1998, 1 85984 873 7
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... these are serious questions, requiring patient and scholarly rebuttal? Afrocentrism, says Stephen Howe, comes in two varieties. The first is an interest in Africa and its culture reinforced by the belief ‘that Eurocentric bias has blocked or distorted knowledge of Africans and their cultures’. Although it has been around for some time, it has been most ...

Manchester’s Moment

Boyd Hilton, 20 August 1998

Free Trade and Liberal England, 1846-1946 
by Anthony Howe.
Oxford, 336 pp., £45, December 1997, 9780198201465
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The Origins of War Prevention: The British Peace Movement and International Relations, 1730-1854 
by Martin Ceadel.
Oxford, 587 pp., £55, December 1996, 0 19 822674 8
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... and competing political tendencies; between little Englanders (such as Richard Cobden and John Bright) on the one hand and chauvinist imperialists (such as Lord Palmerston and Joseph Chamberlain) on the other; between a maritime and peaceful trading nation and a military-imperial superpower; between a petit-bourgeois electorate, fired by the ...

Into the Dark

Kathleen Jamie: A Winter Solstice, 18 December 2003

... their arm and said: ‘Listen!’ I’m glad I was alone, because, so help me, it was only Elton John. The music was so nearly drowned out by the ship’s engines that I’d just caught the top notes. I bent down, stuck my ear to the speaker and yes, it was Elton John, singing, of all things: ‘Don’t let the sun go down ...

Yes and No

John Bayley, 24 July 1986

Lionel Trilling and the Fate of Cultural Criticism 
by Mark Krupnick.
Northwestern, 207 pp., $25.95, April 1986, 0 8101 0712 0
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... he sought to animate his own fables. In ‘Of this time, of that place’, the college teacher, Howe, has two such exemplary ones among his pupils: Tertan, an original, perhaps brilliant, but wholly unstable creature, and the horrible Blackburn, a clean-limbed undergraduate type who is adroit, insensitive, dishonest and on the make. ...

Our Flexible Friends

Conor Gearty, 18 April 1996

Scott Inquiry Report 
by Richard Scott.
HMSO, 2386 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 10 262796 7
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... govern the whole question of military exports to Iran and Iraq for the duration of the war. The ‘Howe Guidelines’ (after the Foreign Secretary) were as follows: 1. We should maintain our consistent refusal to supply any lethal equipment to either side. 2. Subject to that overriding consideration, we should attempt to fulfil existing contracts and ...

Why did it end so badly?

Ross McKibbin: Thatcher, 18 March 2004

Margaret Thatcher. Vol. II: The Iron Lady 
by John Campbell.
Cape, 913 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 224 06156 9
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... Si monumentum requiris, circumspice. Even those, John Campbell suggests, who have little or no memory of Margaret Thatcher, live in a world she created; and from which there is no going back. More than any other British prime minister, even Gladstone, she conforms to Max Weber’s type of the modern demagogic politician: the leader who appeals directly to the electorate over the heads of the party machine; and who subordinates the machine to his or her political personality ...

Happy Knack

Ian Sansom: Betjeman, 20 February 2003

John Betjeman: New Fame, New Love 
by Bevis Hillier.
Murray, 736 pp., £25, November 2002, 0 7195 5002 5
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... helps explain why Bevis Hillier has written an enormous biography of a dead English minor poet. John Betjeman: New Fame, New Love is the second volume of Hillier’s proposed trilogy and covers, roughly, the years 1933-58, the period when Betjeman, as Larkin put it, ‘became Betjeman’. The book is 736 pages long. Its predecessor, Young Betjeman, was 477 ...

The Greatest

R.W. Johnson, 4 August 1994

Charles de Gaulle, Futurist of the Nation 
by Régis Debray, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 111 pp., £29.95, April 1994, 0 86091 622 7
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De Gaulle and 20th-Century France 
edited by Hugh Gough and John Horne.
Edward Arnold, 158 pp., £12.99, March 1994, 0 340 58826 8
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François Mitterrand: A Study in Political Leadership 
by Alistair Cole.
Routledge, 216 pp., £19.99, March 1994, 0 415 07159 3
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... withdrawn, and had seven bishops sacked. When the new Papal Nuncio, Monsignor Roncalli (later Pope John XXIII), went to plead the cause of Catholic schools, he took with him a map of France with all the under-funded Catholic schools marked in red. De Gaulle sent him packing: ‘This map is the map of France. It is therefore up to the French, and not a foreign ...

A Revision of Expectations

Richard Horton: Notes on the NHS, 2 July 1998

The National Health Service: A Political History 
by Charles Webster.
Oxford, 233 pp., £9.99, April 1998, 0 19 289296 7
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... red boxes to find a long report by a still rather obscure Conservative barrister. Geoffrey Howe had entered Parliament in 1964, only to lose his seat when Wilson increased Labour’s majority from four to 95 in 1966. Crossman’s predecessor, Kenneth Robinson, had appointed Howe to chair an inquiry into scandalous ...

Dictionaries

Randolph Quirk, 25 October 1979

Collins Dictionary of the English Language 
by P. Hanks, T.H. Long and L. Urdang.
Collins, 1690 pp., £7.95
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... and Lawrence Urdang move from one dictionary house to another. Oxford (with R.W. Burchfield and John Sykes) is comparatively stable. When work began on the new Collins, Paul Procter and Della Summers were young conductors under impresario Urdang, and they later moved on to make dictionaries for Longman. Patrick Hanks was recruited to complete the Collins ...

Preventive Intercourse

Michael Mason, 22 October 1992

Predicaments of Love 
by Miriam Benn.
Pluto, 342 pp., £35, September 1992, 0 7453 0528 8
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Love in the Time of Victoria 
by Françoise Barret-Ducrocq, translated by John Howe.
Verso, 225 pp., £24.95, August 1992, 0 86091 325 2
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... It is also true that many of G.R.’s articles in the National Reformer are boring digests of John Stuart Mill, Drysdale’s new intellectual hero, not only on economics but also on epistemology and ethics. The Elements of Social Science continued to prosper in the marketplace, however. It sold as well as, or slightly better than The Fruits of Philosophy ...

I hate thee, Djaun Bool

Denis Donoghue: James Clarence Mangan, 17 March 2005

James Clarence Mangan: Selected Writings 
edited by Sean Ryder.
University College Dublin, 514 pp., £21, February 2004, 1 900621 92 4
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The Collected Works of James Clarence Mangan: Prose 1832-39 
edited by Jacques Chuto, Peter Van der Kamp, Augustine Martin and Ellen Shannon-Mangan.
Irish Academic, 416 pp., £45, October 2002, 0 7165 2577 1
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The Collected Works of James Clarence Mangan: Prose 1840-82 
edited by Jacques Chuto, Peter Van der Kamp, Augustine Martin and Ellen Shannon-Mangan.
Irish Academic, 496 pp., £45, October 2002, 0 7165 2735 9
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James Clarence Mangan: Poems 
edited by David Wheatley.
Gallery Press, 160 pp., £8.95, April 2005, 1 85235 345 7
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Selected Poems of James Clarence Mangan 
edited by Jacques Chuto, Rudolf Holzapfel, Peter Van der Kamp and Ellen Shannon-Mangan.
Irish Academic, 320 pp., £16, May 2003, 0 7165 2782 0
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... his most celebrated poems were written from literal translations supplied by James Hardiman, John O’Donovan, Eugene O’Curry, John O’Daly, Edward Walsh, Samuel Ferguson and other sources. It is impossible to know how Mangan could have written so many poems and essays in a few years beset by ...

Conspire Slowly, Act Quickly

David Runciman: Thatcher Undone, 2 January 2020

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. III: Herself Alone 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 1072 pp., £35, October 2019, 978 0 241 32474 5
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... merely how the game sometimes has to be played.The means they ultimately chose was to rally around John Major as the person best placed to stop Heseltine. Thatcher reluctantly came to accept this and therefore to accept the ostensible reasons they gave for her stepping aside. Very soon she would regret having fallen for it. Yet it had been clear for some time ...

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