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They called her Lady Di

James Buchan, 18 August 1994

Thinking Green! Essays on Environmentalism, Feminism and Non-Violence 
by Petra Kelly.
Parallax, 168 pp., £15, April 1994, 0 938077 62 7
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... On the evening of 19 October 1992, the decomposed bodies of Petra Karin Kelly and Gerd Bastian were found by police in the bedroom of the small house they shared in the village of Tannenbusch on the outskirts of Bonn. They had been dead for about three weeks. Both had been shot in the head with bullets from a little Derringer pistol ...

Short Cuts

Mattathias Schwartz: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness, 16 July 2020

... One​ of the enduring mysteries of the relationship between Donald Trump and John Bolton, his third national security adviser, is how the two men ever came to terms in the first place. Bolton, an unreconstructed Cold Warrior, once canvassed for the arch-conservative Barry Goldwater and interned in the Nixon White House ...

Dreadful Sentiments

Tom Paulin, 3 April 1986

The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats. Vol. I: 1865-1895 
edited by John Kelly and Eric Domville.
Oxford, 548 pp., £22.50, January 1986, 0 19 812679 4
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... will enable new writing, new politics, unblemished by Irishness, but securely Irish.’ Opening John Kelly and Eric Domville’s scrupulous and magnificent edition of Yeats’s letters, I readied myself to take a sling-shot at the great Cuchulain – the impulse dissolved in helpless love, chortles, delight. The old boy, I realised, has managed here ...

Spooky

Terry Eagleton, 7 July 1994

The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats. Vol. III: 1901-1904 
edited by John Kelly and Ronald Schuchard.
Oxford, 781 pp., £35, May 1994, 0 19 812683 2
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Modern Irish Literature: Sources and Founders 
by Vivian Mercier.
Oxford, 381 pp., £30, April 1994, 0 19 812074 5
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... moment is Yeats’s dishevelled plea to his sweetheart Maud Gonne not to marry the loutish John MacBride, who was to become one of the executed rebels of the Easter Rising. Here, under intense emotional pressure, Yeats’s spelling packs up almost completely, along with his grammar and syntax, collapsing into a garbled semiosis which Julia Kristeva ...

I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place

David Runciman: In the White House, 11 October 2018

Fear: Trump in the White House 
by Bob Woodward.
Simon & Schuster, 448 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 1 4711 8129 0
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... pick,” Kellyanne Conway said on television, promising “big impact”.’ Meanwhile, John Bolton didn’t make the grade after his interview for the role of national security adviser, despite giving just the kind of responses that Trump preferred to hear. ‘His answers were fine, but Trump did not like his big, bushy moustache. He didn’t look ...

Glittering Fiend

Ian Hamilton: John Berryman, 9 December 1999

Berryman's Shakespeare 
edited by John Haffenden.
Farrar, Straus, 396 pp., $35, February 1999, 0 374 11205 3
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John Berryman’s Personal Library: A Catalogue 
by Richard Kelly.
Lang, 433 pp., £39, March 1999, 0 8204 3998 3
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... In one of John Berryman’s more lucid dream songs (No. 364), there is amusing reference to the reading habits of Henry, the song sequence’s screwed up protagonist: O Henry in his youth read many things he gutted the Columbia – the Cambridge libraries – Widener – Princeton – the British Museum – the Library of Congress but mostly he bought books to have as his own cunningly, like extra wings ...

Englishmen’s Castles

Gavin Stamp, 7 February 1980

The Victorian Country House 
by Mark Girouard.
Yale, 470 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 300 02390 1
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The Artist and the Country House 
by John Harris.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, 376 pp., £37.50, November 1980, 0 85667 053 7
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National Trust Studies 1980 
edited by Gervase Jackson-Stops.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, 175 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 85667 065 0
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... for, doubtless with an eye to their principal business, Messrs Sotheby Parke Bernet have carried John Harris’s research in a heavy and lavish volume with 419 plates – some a little grey, alas, but there are 26 good ones in colour. This may not be the first book on the subject, but it is a scholarly work of great scope and interest. As Mr Harris explains ...

Leave them weeping

Colin Grant: Frederick Douglass, 1 August 2019

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom 
by David Blight.
Simon and Schuster, 892 pp., £30, November 2018, 978 1 4165 9031 6
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... original sin.The Constitution had classified a black man as three-fifths of a person. Like John Brown, with whom he corresponded, Douglass believed that this could only be atoned for, and abolition achieved, by the use of force. But he drew back when Brown encouraged him to join the doomed and bloody anti-slavery raid at Harpers Ferry in ...

What Fred Did

Owen Bennett-Jones: Go-Betweens in Northern Ireland, 22 January 2015

... sending the message stating that “our war is over” which started the correspondence with John Major, and it is pretty clear in retrospect that one of the intermediaries in the chain between the government and the IRA did in fact embellish the message.’ The peace process, Tony Blair’s former chief of staff is suggesting, began with an ...

The Trouble with Nowhere

Martin Jay, 1 June 2000

The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in an Age of Apathy 
by Russell Jacoby.
Basic Books, 256 pp., £17.95, April 1999, 0 465 02000 3
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Utopias: Russian Modernist Texts 1905-40 
edited by Catriona Kelly.
Penguin, 378 pp., £9.99, September 1999, 0 14 118081 1
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The Faber Book of Utopias 
edited by John Carey.
Faber, 560 pp., £20, October 1999, 9780571197859
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The Nazi War on Cancer 
by Robert Proctor.
Princeton, 390 pp., £18.95, May 1999, 0 691 00196 0
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... a different future, there is no dearth of attempts to do so in the recent anthologies edited by John Carey and Catriona Kelly. Like all such collections of snippets from a wide variety of sources, they inevitably reflect their editors’ predilections rather than a canonical list of candidates for inclusion. The ...

Smell of Oil

Fred Halliday, 6 November 1980

Arabia, the Gulf and the West 
by J.B. Kelly.
Weidenfeld, 530 pp., £15, May 1980, 0 297 77759 9
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... been exhausted. To explain these matters, at a censorious distance from them, is the task J.B. Kelly has set himself in this book, subtitled ‘a critical view of the Arabs and their oil policy’. Author of two previous works on the Gulf and a former professor of British imperial history, Mr Kelly sets out in combative ...
... of an F15 or a smart missile. Note also that with the sudden disappearance of April Glaspie and John Kelly, the present war-making Administration has been run without a single professional who has any real knowledge or experience of the Middle East, its languages or its peoples. Such as it was, Iraq’s case against Kuwait – a case to some degree ...

Iraq, 2 May 2005

Andrew O’Hagan: Two Soldiers, 6 March 2008

... that day at the crimes of England and her associated military reprobates. One who did so was Major John C. Spahr, an executive officer with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323, based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, but serving during the spring of 2005 in the Persian Gulf on the USS Carl Vinson. Major Spahr was 6 feet 3 inches tall and did a ...

Act One, Scene One

David Bromwich: Don’t Resist, Oppose, 16 February 2017

... who warmly sympathised with Hitler’s politics. (How many of these people also know that John F. Kennedy was an early supporter of America First?) But the underlying question was not whether Trump was giving a secret signal to anti-Semites – among his biggest supporters are the prime minister of Israel and the mayor of Jerusalem – but rather what ...

The President and the Bomb

Adam Shatz, 16 November 2017

... the US ‘on the path to World War Three’. Corker is one of a handful of Republicans, along with John McCain and Jeff Flake, who now seem more afraid of what Trump might do to the world than of what he might do to them. What sort of war does Trump risk detonating? The most frightening scenario is war between ‘Rocket Man’ and ‘the Dotard’ (as Kim ...

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