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John Kerr, 23 March 1995

The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement 
by Richard Noll.
Princeton, 387 pp., £19.95, January 1995, 0 691 03724 8
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... It has taken the entire century to bring Freud to the judgment of history. Whatever shall we do about Jung? His beginnings were not promising and his father frankly worried about him. Dominated by a mother at once unreliable and eerily intimate, the child was an asocial miscreant, rejected by his peers. Home was no better – the atmosphere was ‘unbreathable’ – and when he could not escape to the countryside the boy began to explore his own interior ...
A Most Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud and Sabina Spielrein 
by John Kerr.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 608 pp., £25, February 1994, 1 85619 249 0
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... Psychoanalysis, says John Kerr, is ‘in a period of institutional decline’: ‘Candidacies are down, patients are harder to come by’ and other therapeutic disciplines are clamouring for attention. The seeds of this sorry situation were sown during the six-year partnership between Freud and Jung, when ‘historical accuracy first came to be less important than ideological correctness ...

Bob Hawke’s Australia

Michael Davie, 6 October 1983

... in circumstances that had a lasting effect. On 11 November 1975 the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, dismissed Whitlam as Prime Minister, dissolved both houses of parliament, and installed the leader of the opposition, Malcolm Fraser, as head of a caretaker government pending immediate elections. It was the gravest crisis in Australian ...

Dreamtime with Whitlam

Michael Davie, 4 September 1986

The Whitlam Government 1972-1975 
by Gough Whitlam.
Viking, 788 pp., £17.95, July 1986, 0 670 80287 5
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... voters in 1945; or a better comparison might be with the United States in 1960, when the dazzling John F. Kennedy seemed to represent the beginning of a new age after what his supporters saw as the suffocating and mediocre years of President Eisenhower. The under-forties in particular, in Australia in 1972 as in the United States in 1960, suddenly felt ...

Meritocracy v. Democracy

Bruce Ackerman: What to do about the Lords, 8 March 2007

... speak for the Australian electorate? The impasse proved too much for the governor-general, Sir John Kerr. Although his authority was constitutionally questionable, Kerr broke the stalemate by ousting Whitlam, dissolving both houses of parliament, and calling a new election. The shock waves from this (ab)use of the ...


C.K. Stead, 15 October 1981

Flaws in the Glass: A Self-Portrait 
by Patrick White.
Cape, 272 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 9780224029247
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... making speeches, supporting dismissed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam against Governor-General Sir John Kerr (whom he describes as ‘a rorty farting old Falstaff’), declaring himself a Republican, and writing a play with strong social over-tones. But when the Nobel Prize was awarded to him in 1973 he refused to go to Stockholm to receive it, and the ...

Art’ll fix it

John Bayley, 11 October 1990

The Penguin Book of Lies 
edited by Philip Kerr.
Viking, 543 pp., £15.99, October 1990, 0 670 82560 3
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... but a good author is always an eyewitness. My random instances show what a bright idea Philip Kerr has had in investigating modes of lying, by deploying quotation, anecdote, gossip and history, over which ‘literary effect’ is always tentatively hovering. On the question of who discovered America Emerson wrote that Amerigo Vespucci ‘managed in this ...

On the Pitch

Emma John, 4 August 2022

... of the 20th century.One of the most popular women’s teams was formed in 1917 at the Dick, Kerr and Co. munitions factory in Preston. Women workers joined male apprentices playing in the factory yard during their breaks; one day, the women beat the men, and decided to establish Dick, Kerr Ladies. The plan was to play ...

On Spanking

Christopher Hitchens, 20 October 1994

AGuide to the Correction of Young Gentlemen or, The Successful Administration of Physical Discipline to Males, by Females 
by a Lady, with illustrations by a Former Pupil.
Delectus, 140 pp., £19.95, August 1994, 1 897767 05 6
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... of the humiliation of some over-mighty cabinet colleague – Geoffrey Howe, say, or Jim Prior or John Moore or Francis Pym – I could picture the scene only too well:I can do no better at this stage than describe my own punishment chamber, which I call the Lady Chapel.   This is not blasphemy on my part. It is a chapel to the Lady (the Lady I serve) in ...

Waldorf’s Birthday Present

Gabriele Annan: The Lovely Langhornes, 7 January 1999

The Langhorne Sisters 
by James Fox.
Granta, 612 pp., £20, November 1998, 1 86207 071 7
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... Nancy met and married Waldorf Astor, who owned the Observer and was MP for Plymouth; his brother John owned the Times. The Astors were so rich that occasionally it embarrassed her: ‘My dear what do you think Mr Astor’ – her father-in-law William, later the first Lord Astor – ‘has done,’ she wrote to Phyllis. ‘Don’t breathe it even to Reggie ...
Talking Blues: The Police in their Own Words 
by Roger Graef.
Collins Harvill, 512 pp., £15, May 1989, 0 00 272436 7
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... covering the case of a teenage boy who had been beaten up by a policeman in Thurso, which is near John o’Groats. There was the most fearful hullabaloo based on the belief that this sort of thing could only happen in the wilderness of the Far North. The press demanded that this errant policeman be brought to justice. There was a similar furore a year or two ...

Education and Exclusion

Sheldon Rothblatt, 13 February 1992

Hutchins’ University: A Memoir of the University of Chicago 1929-1950 
by William McNeill.
Chicago, 194 pp., $24.95, October 1991, 0 226 56170 4
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Robert M. Hutchins: Portrait of an Educator 
by Mary Ann Dzuback.
Chicago, 387 pp., $24.95, November 1991, 0 226 17710 6
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Jews in the American Academy 1900-1940: The Dynamics of Intellectual Assimilation 
by Susanne Klingenstein.
Yale, 248 pp., £22.50, November 1991, 0 300 04941 2
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... In the 1960s President Clark Kerr of the University of California explained why the multiversity can absorb dreamers and utopians without exciting affection. The ‘idea’ of a multiversity is that it has no conception of ‘essence’. The multiversity has a long nave with plentiful seating and many smaller circumjacent chapels ...

Hitler’s Common Market

Philip Purser, 6 August 1992

by Robert Harris.
Hutchinson, 372 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 09 174827 5
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... the United States of America is suddenly a possibility. The aged President Kennedy (Joseph P., not John F.) plans to fly to Berlin for a summit meeting. Since all this is conjecture as to how things might have turned out, it can only be assessed against your own, or other people’s, conjectures. The two best-known novels based on the premise of a German or ...

The Vice President’s Men

Seymour M. Hersh, 24 January 2019

... In May 1983 he was promoted to assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John Vessey, and over the next couple of years he oversaw a secret team – operating in part out of the office of Daniel Murphy, Bush’s chief of staff – which quietly conducted at least 35 covert operations against drug trafficking, terrorism and, most ...

Round the (Next) Bend

Simon Adams: Sir Walter Ralegh, 6 July 2000

The Letters of Sir Walter Raleigh 
edited by Agnes Latham and Joyce Youings.
Exeter, 403 pp., £45, July 1999, 0 85989 527 0
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... than anyone else alive. Elsewhere her touch is not as sure as it might be. Describing Sir Robert Kerr (anglicised to Carr), James I’s favourite, who obtained Ralegh’s estate, as ‘a penniless Scotsman from Roxburghshire’ does not tell us a great deal and it misses the irony that Kerr was no more and no less than the ...

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