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18 November 1982
The 1982 Budget 
edited by John​ Kay.
Blackwell, 147 pp., £10, July 1982, 0 631 13153 1
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Money and Inflation 
by Frank Hahn.
Blackwell, 116 pp., £7.95, June 1982, 0 631 12917 0
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Public Enterprise in Crisis: The Future of the Nationalised Industries 
by John​ Redwood.
Blackwell, 211 pp., £5.25, May 1982, 0 631 13053 5
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Controlling Public Industries 
by John​ Redwood and John Hatch.
Blackwell, 169 pp., £12, July 1982, 0 631 13078 0
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... tradition) reminds us that the PSBR is, after all, only a residual between two big and unpredictable numbers. (A sympathetic echo is struck in Controlling Public Industries, where Redwood and Hatch, while accepting that the concept of the PSBR may function as a crude check on official profligacy in an imperfect world, go so far as to admit that in an ideal world ‘the PSBR, as currently ...

Hot Dogs

Malcolm Bull

14 June 1990
Mine eyes have seen the glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America 
by Randall Balmer.
Oxford, 246 pp., $19.95, September 1989, 0 19 505117 3
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In God’s Country: Travels in the Bible Belt, USA 
by Douglas Kennedy.
Unwin Hyman, 240 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 0 04 440423 9
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The Divine Supermarket 
by Malise Ruthven.
Chatto, 336 pp., £14.95, August 1989, 0 7011 3151 9
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The Democratisation of American Christianity 
by Nathan Hatch.
Yale, 312 pp., £22.50, November 1989, 0 300 44470 2
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Religion and 20th-Century American Intellectual Life 
edited by Michael Lacey.
Cambridge/Woodrow Wilson Centre for Scholars, 214 pp., £27.50, November 1989, 0 521 37560 6
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New Religions and the Theological Imagination in America 
by Mary Farrell Bednarowski.
Indiana, 175 pp., $25, November 1989, 0 253 31137 3
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... Christianity presents an alternative hypothesis. In this perceptive and carefully-researched study of popular preaching in the Methodist, Christian, Baptist, Mormon and Afro-American Churches, Nathan Hatch argues that the Second Great Awakening did not effect a consolidation, but a shift from ‘classical republican values to those of vulgar democracy and entrepreneurial individualism’. Hatch’s ...

Feeling Right

Will Woodward: The Iowa Straw Poll

16 September 1999
... We’re waiting on the front porch of Jack and Sonia Hatch’s three-storey home in Sherman Hill, a desirable district of Des Moines, Iowa. Pillars, parquet flooring, leftish middle-class clutter. It’s a fantastic, warm evening. About sixty of us, a ...

Short Cuts

Jon Day: The Journey of the Eel

10 August 2016
... d just got back from a trip around Britain to collect the seeds of native trees for preservation in a doomsday vault in Svalbard in case of ‘apocalyptic extinction events’, as he called them. John was wearing a plaid shirt and a poacher’s jacket; his moustache drooped and his teeth were furred with plaque. He said he was a hunter and forager. I asked him what this involved and he told me he ...

Diary

John​ Lloyd: In Moscow

12 September 1991
... hijacked petrol tankers. Now, with the heaviest vehicle in the lead, they were trying to break out of the trap. Molotov cocktails were thrown, one young hero lept on a tank and tried to get down the hatch: he was shot. The soldiers in the tanks which had tried to storm the barricades got out of the tanks, and gave themselves up (though there was no evidence that the crowd was armed). The other three ...

Clean Poetry

John​ Bayley

18 August 1983
Collected Poems 1970-1983 
by Donald Davie.
Carcanet, 172 pp., £5.95, May 1983, 0 85635 462 7
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... his intellectual future. But as well as these English inspirations – Cambridge, Barnsley, the shires of Hardy and Betjeman – there was also the bright American world of the New Criticism, John Crowe Ransom, I.A. Richards, Allen Tate, and young up-and-coming members like Randall Jarrell, a world in which the academic and the poet were entering together a new world of feeling and technique ...

Southern Virtues

Frank Kermode

4 May 1989
A Turn in the South 
by V.S. Naipaul.
Viking, 307 pp., £14.95, April 1989, 0 670 82415 1
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Allen Tate: A Recollection 
by Walter Sullivan.
Louisiana State, 117 pp., $16.95, November 1988, 0 8071 1481 2
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Self-Consciousness 
by John​ Updike.
Deutsch, 245 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 233 98390 2
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... through the South of the United States he will always carry with him his own origins in Trinidad; properly studied, those beginnings, as Shakespeare suggests in the following lines, may foretell the hatch and brood of time. The book is dedicated to the memory of his father. It is Naipaul’s way to offer an objective account of what, as a traveller, he sees and hears, yet he is always, quite ...

Who’s the big one?

Irina Aleksander: Gary Shteyngart

21 May 2014
Little Failure: A Memoir 
by Gary Shteyngart.
Hamish Hamilton, 368 pp., £16.99, February 2014, 978 0 241 14665 1
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... do things like that,’ he informs his parents as an adult. ‘But in America …’ Nina: ‘You couldn’t do that in America?’ To flee the captivity of being Igor/Gary, he found the same escape hatch as he had back in Leningrad. After gorging on Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and American TV, he channelled them (along with the contempt of his family and peers) into his first English ...

See the Sights!

Gillian Darley: Rediscovering Essex

1 November 2007
The Buildings of England: Essex 
by James Bettley and Nikolaus Pevsner.
Yale, 939 pp., £29.95, May 2007, 978 0 300 11614 4
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... coach journey away for medieval and Tudor kings or, since the mid-19th century, a commute of an hour or less for City workers, not to mention Essex men and girls. After monarchs, ranging from King John, whose hunting lodge was at Writtle, to Henry VIII, who built New Hall at Boreham (still standing), came Elizabethan lord chancellors (one is buried at Saffron Walden, another at Felsted) and ...

Diary

Linda Colley: Anita Hill v. Clarence Thomas

19 December 1991
... close ties with Washington. This is the alma mater of Anita Hill, Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma, and of her adversary, Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas, and of his Senate sponsor, John Danforth, and of his most effective champion on the Senate Judicial Committee, the fearsomely-named and viciously forensic Arlen Spector. On 11 October, when Professor Hill began her televised ...

A Vast Masquerade

Deborah Cohen: Dr James Barry

2 March 2017
Dr James Barry: A Woman ahead of Her Time 
by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield.
Oneworld, 479 pp., £16.99, August 2016, 978 1 78074 831 3
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... in a dirt and paint-encrusted green baize coat with a tired old wig. But a bequest was the best hope for the two women, whose other male relatives had proven unreliable. Margaret’s brother, John, apprenticed to a Dublin lawyer, had already squandered the family property. Du Preez and Dronfield interpret the motivation behind Bulkley’s decision to take on the persona of James Barry much as ...
20 February 1986
Music and Civilisation: Essays in Honour of Paul Henry Lang 
edited by Edmond Strainchamps, Maria Rika Maniates and Christopher Hatch.
Norton, 499 pp., £35, March 1985, 0 393 01677 3
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The Farthest North of Humanness: Letters of Percy Grainger 1901-1914 
edited by Kay Dreyfus.
Macmillan, 542 pp., £25, December 1985, 0 333 38085 1
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Musicology 
by Joseph Kerman.
Collins/Fontana, 255 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 0 00 197170 0
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... beyond music itself, have followed Kerman’s and Lang’s cue and attempted to make use of techniques from other disciplines. But a dissection of The Rite of Spring adapting from linguistics, say, John Lyon’s version of the theory of semantic structure, or a semiotic analysis of Grainger’s Handel in the Strand are liable to end up, too, as involved technical explanations communicating less real ...

Errant Pinkies

Robert Macfarlane

1 June 2000
Waiting 
by Ha Jin.
Heinemann, 308 pp., £10, May 2000, 0 434 00914 8
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... places the novel is strikingly badly written. Why has it done so well? One reason is that the East, and China in particular, sells books in the West and always has done. Marco Polo knew this, as did John Mandeville, that great early impresario of the exotic. It has appealed at a general level as a substantial, unknown space into which, with the right promptings, the individual imagination could rush ...

In Finest Fig

E.S. Turner: The Ocean Greyhounds

20 October 2005
The Liner: Retrospective and Renaissance 
by Philip Dawson, foreword by Stephen Payne.
Conway Maritime, 256 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 85177 938 7
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... served unharmed as an Allied trooper while apparently remaining in Holland-America service. The Kungsholm, pride of neutral Sweden, was sold in mid-war to America, converted to trooping as the John Ericsson, then sold back after the war to her original owners. In a burst of postwar activity, before the jet age took over, the Americans made the running on the Atlantic. In 1952 the United States ...

Clubs of Quidnuncs

John​ Mullan

17 February 2000
The Dunciad in Four Books 
by Alexander Pope, edited by Valerie Rumbold.
Longman, 456 pp., £55, August 1999, 0 582 08924 7
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... bestiary for his literary foes. Passages marked up in the British Library volumes were duly to re-emerge as footnotes to the poem. (They are thickest among the writings of Pope’s lifelong enemy, John Dennis: ‘high voiced and never enough quoted’, as Pope has him.) And once the poem had first appeared to settle those stored-up scores, it would duly produce a further flurry of attacks and more ...

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