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The Voice from the Hearth-Rug

Alan Ryan: The Cambridge Apostles

28 October 1999
The Cambridge Apostles 1820-1914: Liberalism, Imagination and Friendship in British Intellectual and Professional Life 
by W.C. Lubenow.
Cambridge, 458 pp., £35, October 1998, 0 521 57213 4
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... The Apostles – the semi-secret society that George Tomlinson (a future Bishop of Gibraltar) and II of his friends at St John’s College, Cambridge founded in 1820 – occupies a distinctive niche in British social mythology. Or, rather, it occupies several niches, according to the taste of the mythologiser. In the eyes of ...
19 May 1988
War and the Image of Germany: British Academics 1914-1918 
by Stuart Wallace.
John​ Donald, 288 pp., £20, March 1988, 0 85976 133 9
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... of German extraction were watched for signs of disaffection. Russell’s Trinity College lectureship was discontinued, and he was snubbed at high table. His Principia Mathematica collaborator A.N. Whitehead could hardly be expected to remain on amicable terms with him after losing a younger son in battle. These and other examples of volte-face, rationalisation and sabre-rattling are dismaying. How ...

Scientific Antlers

Steven Shapin: Fraud in the Lab

4 March 1999
The Baltimore Case: A Trial of Politics, Science and Character 
by Daniel Kevles.
Norton, 509 pp., £21, October 1998, 0 393 04103 4
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... of-control independent counsel is not Kenneth Starr but a posse partly made up of the self-appointed scientific fraud-busters Walter Stewart and Ned Feder and their patron, the Democratic Congressman John Dingell. For the excellent Linda Tripp with her concealed tape-recorder read Imanishi-Kari’s young Irish-American co-worker at MIT, Margot O’Toole, and the 17 pages of laboratory entries she ...

Plain English

Denis Donoghue

20 December 1984
Nineteen Eighty-Four: Facsimile Edition 
by George Orwell, edited by Peter Davison.
Secker, 291 pp., £25, July 1984, 9780436350221
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Nineteen Eighty-Four 
by George Orwell, edited by Bernard Crick.
Oxford, 460 pp., £17.50, March 1984, 0 19 818521 9
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Inside the Myth. Orwell: Views from the Left 
edited by Christopher Norris.
Lawrence and Wishart, 287 pp., £12.50, November 1984, 0 85315 599 2
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The Crystal Spirit: A Study of George Orwell 
by George Woodcock.
Fourth Estate, 287 pp., £5.95, November 1984, 0 947795 05 7
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Orwell’s London 
by John​ Thompson.
Fourth Estate, 119 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 947795 00 6
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... Orwell, compiled by Stephen Wadhams, introduced by George Woodcock (Penguin, 227 pp., £2.95, 27 September, 0 14 007458 9), Nineteen Eighty-Four and All’s Well? by Tom Winnifrith and William Whitehead (Macmillan, 104 pp., £15 and £5.95, 4 April, 033 33493 0), Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (Secker, new edition, 241 pp., £7.95, 3 January, 0 436 35019 X), Nineteen-Eighty-Four by George ...

The Court

Richard Eyre

23 September 1993
The Long Distance Runner 
by Tony Richardson.
Faber, 277 pp., £17.50, September 1993, 0 571 16852 3
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... I haven’t had that feeling in the years following George Devine’s death as I’ve watched the plays of Edward Bond directed by Bill Gaskill, or David Storey’s directed by Lindsay Anderson, or John Osborne’s titanic hymn to misanthropy, Inadmissible Evidence, or for that matter, Alpha Beta by Ted Whitehead, Veterans by Charles Wood, The Arbour by Andrea Dunbar, or Caryl Churchill’s plays ...


Iain Sinclair

6 June 1996
... never met Corso. I’d seen him, in the tweed sports jacket of a young academic, performing, sober, at the famous Albert Hall ‘Wholly Communion’ readings on 11 June 1965. I’d watched the Peter Whitehead video. American poets in those days, with their crisper sense of history and occasion, wore suits and ties. I’d read the free-wheeling interviews in fugitive magazines, such as Arthur and Kit ...
29 August 1991
Russell’s Idealist Apprenticeship 
by Nicholas Griffin.
Oxford, 409 pp., £45, January 1991, 0 19 824453 3
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Philosophical Papers 
by F.P. Ramsey, edited by D.H. Mellor.
Cambridge, 257 pp., £30, August 1990, 0 521 37480 4
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The Philosophy of F.P. Ramsey 
by Nils-Eric Sahlin.
Cambridge, 256 pp., £27.50, November 1990, 0 521 38543 1
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... work on pure mathematics is fascinating to anyone interested in the genesis and development of that great work. He begins with an analysis of the quantity view of mathematics, held by Russell until Whitehead’s Universal Algebra shook him out of it in 1898. Before that, Russell, always prolific, had got some way with his proposed book ‘On Quantity and Allied Conceptions: An Inquiry into the Subject ...
16 June 1983
... There might appear to be something inherently unscientific in the designation ‘Marxist social science’. Following Whitehead’s dictum that ‘a science which hesitates to forget its founders is lost,’ one could argue that Marxism – the valuable parts of Marxism – should simply merge with the mainstream of social ...

Strenuous Unbelief

Jonathan Rée: Richard Rorty

15 October 1998
Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in 20th-Century America 
by Richard Rorty.
Harvard, 107 pp., £12.50, May 1998, 9780674003118
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Truth and Progress: Philosophical Papers, Vol. III 
by Richard Rorty.
Cambridge, 355 pp., £40, June 1998, 0 521 55347 4
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... of philosophy’s ‘tedious roundabouts’, to borrow another phrase from Bergmann: by putting ‘the entire philosophical tradition, from Parmenides through Descartes and Hume to Bradley and Whitehead, on the defensive’, Rorty said, it had launched one of ‘the great ages in the history of philosophy’. Puzzled, Rorty adopted Bergmann’s description of the revolution-that-was-not-one as the ...

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