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Heavy Sledding

Chauncey Loomis

21 December 1989
The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and the North Pole, 1818-1909 
by Pierre Berton.
Viking, 672 pp., £16.95, May 1989, 0 670 82491 7
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Overland to Starvation Cove: With the Inuit in Search of Franklin 1878-1880 
by Heinrich Klutschak and William Barr.
Toronto, 261 pp., £17.50, February 1988, 0 8020 5762 4
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Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition 
by Owen Beattie and John Geiger.
Bloomsbury, 180 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 7475 0101 7
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... on King William Island, almost thirty naval and overland expeditions joined the search. A writer has to juggle the names of explorers, famous in their day, but now known only to Arctic buffs, such as John and James Clark Ross, Rae, Pullen, Collinson, M’Clure, Austin, Ommanney, Richardson, Penny, DeHaven, Kane, Forsyth, Bellot, Kennedy, Belcher, Inglefield, M’Clintock – and names of ships, such ...
9 May 1996
John​ Wayne: American 
by Randy Roberts and James Olson.
Free Press, 738 pp., £17.99, March 1996, 0 02 923837 4
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... booted, spurred and bigger than life, his enormous, holstered six-shooter set just below the eye-level of passers-by, welcoming travellers to Orange County. He used to straddle the entrance to the John Wayne International Airport; now, so as not to suffer the weatherbeaten fate of the original, the cowboy statue has sought protection from the elements and taken shelter indoors. Florence has David ...

Best Remain Seated

Jeremy Harding: Travel guides

1 January 1998
Kenya 
by Hugh Finlay and Geoff Crowther.
Lonely Planet, 376 pp., £11.99, April 1997, 0 86442 460 4
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Borneo 
by Robert Pelton Young.
Fielding, 632 pp., £13.95, December 1995, 1 56952 026 7
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Asia's Top Dive Sites 
edited by Fiona Nichols and Michael Stachels.
Fielding, 228 pp., £13.95, December 1996, 1 56952 129 8
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South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 
by Jon Murray et al.
Lonely Planet, 658 pp., £13.99, January 1998, 0 86442 508 2
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Southern Africa 
by Richard Cox.
Thornton Cox, 474 pp., £11.95, July 1995, 0 7818 0388 8
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The World's Most Dangerous Places 
by Robert Pelton Young.
Fielding, 1048 pp., £13.95, December 1997, 1 56952 104 2
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South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland 
by Barbara McCrea et al.
Rough Guides, 697 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 1 85828 238 1
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The Good Honeymoon Guide 
by Lucy Horne.
Trailblazer, 320 pp., £11.95, March 1997, 1 873756 12 7
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Amnesty International Report 1997 
Amnesty International, 378 pp., £18, June 1997, 0 86210 267 7Show More
Morocco 
by Barnaby Rogerson.
Cadogan, 596 pp., £12.99, December 1997, 1 86011 043 6
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... the matter of shopping. I’m going to need a white cotton shirt with long sleeves, a few short-sleeved numbers, ‘a lightweight sweater’ and shorts. The place to go for all this is Willis and Geiger (head office: Madison, Wisconsin), ‘the firm which outfitted Ernest Hemingway, Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable’ for their tours on the Dark Continent. The person I’d prefer to look like is ...

Forever Unwilling

Bernard Wasserstein

13 April 2000
A People Apart: The Jews in Europe 1789-1939 
by David Vital.
Oxford, 944 pp., £30, June 1999, 0 19 821980 6
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... the index. These omissions reflect lacunae in the text, which provides only vague, passing references to these centrally important movements. Similarly absent are such significant figures as Abraham Geiger, Nachman Krochmal and Joseph Perl. The historian must select, but one may legitimately query the principles of selection that lead to such omissions. The policy seems all the more strange given the ...

Wormwood

Walter Patterson

29 October 1987
Sarcophagus 
by Vladimir Gubaryev, translated by Michael Glenny.
Penguin, 81 pp., £3.50, April 1987, 0 14 048214 8
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The Star Chernobyl 
by Julia Voznesenskaya.
Quartet, 181 pp., £10.95, August 1987, 0 7043 2631 0
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Chernobyl: A Novel 
by Frederick Pohl.
Bantam, 355 pp., £4.95, September 1987, 0 553 05210 1
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Mayday at Chernobyl 
by Henry Hamman and Stuart Parrott.
Hodder, 278 pp., £2.95, April 1987, 0 450 40858 2
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State of the World 1987: A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress toward a Sustainable Society 
by Lester Brown.
Norton, 268 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 393 02399 0
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... from the State Prosecutor, and ten patients. Nine are from Chernobyl: a stroppy cyclist, a confused and worried peasant woman, a fireman, a general and his driver, a control-room operative, a Geiger-counter operator, a physicist, and the director of the station. The tenth patient is a long-term resident, recuperating against the odds from a massive radiation overdose received at another nuclear ...

Diary

Christopher Turner: Summerhill School and the real Orgasmatron

3 June 2004
... were stamped with the nuclear power station’s logo. The owner of the BampersandlandB had been given a free jumper after one of his own, hung out on the line, had tested dangerous during a random Geiger counter inspection. While I was there I discovered that an Orgone Energy Accumulator had once been used at the school. The machine – essentially a wooden cupboard, about the size of a telephone box ...

Prussian Blues

Fredric Jameson

17 October 1996
Ein weites Feld 
by Günter Grass.
Steidl, 784 pp., DM 49.80, August 1995, 3 88243 366 3
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... to divide the United States down the middle into two zones with two decidedly different regimes of military occupation. In Fire on the Mountain Terry Bissell posits a world in which a successful John Brown’s raid sets off a black revolution in the American South which leads to the formation of a socialist state, ultra-modern and prosperous, in contrast with the shabby private-enterprise North ...
2 October 1997
... that would never arrive. As we picked our way over the impacted dust, the hot conglomerate, I wondered if I’d been a bit hasty in turning down the rubber boots. Too late. I’d forgotten my Geiger counter. The problem was, that if you weren’t here for the snapshots, there was nowhere to go and nothing to see. The key icon of the Thatcher era was the pinstripe suit and hard hat ensemble ...

Diary

Thomas Laqueur: My Dead Fathers

7 September 2006
... in the Great War. My father looks as if he is taking pleasure in having graduated during the 400th anniversary of a school that one of Luther’s followers wrested away from the monastery of St John in 1529 and renamed the Johanneum. Great figures of the German Enlightenment had taught or studied there; C.P.E. Bach and Telemann had been music masters during the 18th century. All this is to make ...

Murder in Mayfair

Peter Pomerantsev

30 March 2016
A Very Expensive Poison: The Definitive Story of the Murder of Litvinenko and Russia’s War with the West 
by Luke Harding.
Faber, 424 pp., £12.99, March 2016, 978 1 78335 093 3
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... a metal four hundred times more radioactive than uranium and which can only be manufactured in a nuclear plant. It had very nearly been the perfect assassination: polonium isn’t picked up by Geiger counters and doctors had followed many false leads – ricin? thallium? – in trying to identify the mystery poison. When polonium was first suggested by urine tests it was dismissed as an anomaly ...

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