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I used to work for them myself

David Leigh, 4 August 1983

British Intelligence and Covert Action: Africa, the Middle East and Europe since 1945 
by Jonathan Bloch, Patrick Fitzgerald and Philip Agee.
Junction, 284 pp., £5.95, May 1983, 0 86245 113 2
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Through the Looking-Glass: British Foreign Policy in an Age of Illusions 
by Anthony Verrier.
Cape, 400 pp., £12.50, February 1983, 0 224 01979 1
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... States, which is Britain’s richer, bigger, crasser partner in the Secret Service business. Bloch and Fitzgerald’s book is the logical culmination of the process that began then, and indeed it has a polemical preface by the renegade CIA agent, Philip Agee, who started the thing off, to be followed by other renegades like John Stockwell. Memoirs and ...

Sacred Crows

John Skorupski, 1 September 1983

Marxism and Anthropology 
by Maurice Bloch.
Oxford, 180 pp., £9.50, January 1983, 0 19 876091 4
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Death and the Regeneration of Life 
edited by Maurice Bloch and Jonathan Parry.
Cambridge, 236 pp., £18.50, January 1983, 0 521 24875 2
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... 1960s to examine the possibility of applying Marxist ideas to pre-industrial societies. Maurice Bloch’s Marxism and Anthropology is, among other things, an excellent survey of some of the results. Bloch, who teaches anthropology at the London School of Economics, is one of the leaders in the middle generation of ...


Jonathan Lethem: Theatre of Injury, 15 December 2016

... the possibility that Trump and his fierce devotees are intersectional too, in the sense that Ernst Bloch describes in his essay on ‘Nonsynchronism’, from 1932: Not all people exist in the same Now. They do so only externally, by virtue of the fact that they may all be seen today. But that does not mean that they are living at the same time with ...

The Exotic West

Peter Burke, 6 February 1986

The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci 
by Jonathan Spence.
Faber, 350 pp., £15, April 1985, 0 571 13239 1
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Chine et Christianisme: Action et Réaction 
by Jacques Gernet.
Gallimard, 342 pp., frs 154, May 1982, 2 07 026366 5
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... to be told yet again, it really needs to be presented from a fresh angle. This is what Professor Jonathan Spence is almost uniquely qualified to do. I am no Sinologist, but all the same I have followed Spence’s career as a historian with the greatest interest since the publication, in 1974, of his Emperor of China, a portrait of K’ang-Hsi, a contemporary ...

Which Face?

Sheila Fitzpatrick: Emigrés on the Make, 6 February 2020

Cold War Exiles and the CIA: Plotting to Free Russia 
by Benjamin Tromly.
Oxford, 329 pp., £75, September 2019, 978 0 19 884040 4
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The Dissidents: A Memoir of Working with the Resistance in Russia, 1960-90 
by Peter Reddaway.
Brookings, 337 pp., £25.50, February, 978 0 8157 3773 5
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... West. The only scruples about pro-dissident bias mentioned by Reddaway came from the Guardian’s Jonathan Steele (a Cambridge friend and one of the Land Rover group back in 1961), who, in public debate with Reddaway in 1975, suggested that ‘reporters should not be either propagandists for a government point of view or for a minority dissident point of ...

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