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7 July 1983
William Wordsworth: The Borders of Vision 
by Jonathan​ Wordsworth.
Oxford, 496 pp., £25, February 1983, 0 19 812097 4
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William Wordsworth: The Poetry of Grandeur and of Tenderness 
by David Pirie.
Methuen, 301 pp., £14.95, March 1982, 0 416 31300 0
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Benjamin the Waggoner 
by William Wordsworth, edited by Paul Betz.
Cornell/Harvester, 356 pp., £40, September 1981, 0 85527 513 8
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... One evening, declares Jonathan Wordsworth as he begins his new critical book, a poet happened to be walking along a road, when the peasant who was with him pointed out a striking sight:         ’Twas a horse, that stood ...

Under the Staircase

Karl Whitney: Hans Jonathan, Runaway Slave

18 October 2017
The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan 
by Gisli Palsson, translated by Anna Yates.
Chicago, 288 pp., £19, October 2016, 978 0 226 31328 3
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... In the spring​ of 1801 a young man called Hans Jonathan left the mansion in Copenhagen where he worked as a slave. Going for a walk was allowed: despite his status, he had a degree of autonomy within the walls of the city, then a thriving port with around ...


Terry Eagleton

28 April 1994
What a Carve Up! 
by Jonathan​ Coe.
Viking, 512 pp., £15.50, April 1994, 0 670 85362 3
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... Gothic horror tale, detective mystery, autobiography, political history: Jonathan Coe’s appealingly ambitious new novel involves a promiscuous intermingling of literary genres, as a potted social history of Thatcherism is tucked inside some meta-textual high jinks. An anatomy of ...
14 May 1992
Modernity and Identity 
edited by Scott Lash and Jonathan​ Friedman.
Blackwell, 448 pp., £45, January 1992, 0 631 17585 7
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Fundamentalisms Observed 
edited by Martin Marty and Scott Appleby.
Chicago, 872 pp., $40, November 1991, 0 226 50877 3
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The Post-Modern and the Post-Industrial 
by Margaret Rose.
Cambridge, 317 pp., £35, July 1991, 0 521 40131 3
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Under God: Religion and American Politics 
by Garry Wills.
Simon and Schuster, 445 pp., £17.99, February 1992, 0 671 65705 4
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... as something else the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque. The pattern might have been expected to continue indefinitely, and yet it has not, for with the appearance of the oxymoronic prefix ‘post-’, modernity has been exiled from the future and consigned, perhaps irrevocably, to history. In return, modernity has gained the right to use its own name, and so the modern, like the man in the ...
9 July 1992
The Economic Legacy 1979-1992 
edited by Jonathan​ Michie.
Academic Press, 384 pp., £25, March 1992, 0 12 494060 9
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The Godley Papers: Economic Problems and Policies in the 1980s and 90s 
by Wynne Godley.
New Statesman and Society, £2
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Full Employment in the 1990s 
by John Grieve Smith.
Institute for Public Policy Research, 68 pp., £7.50, March 1992, 1 872452 48 5
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... that has changed. The norm for unemployment has risen five or sixfold from about half a million to nearly three million; growth is slow and uneven, inflation is stubbornly higher than in the early post-war period; the provision of public services has markedly deteriorated; and new disparities in the distribution of income and wealth have opened up. Instead of being shocked by these changes, many ...

Don’t laugh

Amit Chaudhuri: Hari Kunzru

8 August 2002
The Impressionist 
by Hari Kunzru.
Hamish Hamilton, 435 pp., £12.99, April 2002, 0 241 14169 9
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...  its streets, restaurants, homes and red-light areas – is a realm of possibility allowing Bobby to exchange one identity for another. Towards the end of the section we find Bobby walking with Jonathan Bridgeman, a bibulous young man who has grown up in the colonies. His parents are dead and he has no other family to speak of. He is soon to sail to England, to attend a public school and then Oxford ...

Toxin in the System

Michael Peel: In Nigeria

5 February 2015
... Nigeria’s​ general election, which takes place on 14 February, is expected to be the most closely contested for 35 years or more. President Goodluck Jonathan and his People’s Democratic Party (PDP) are riding on the back of a decade of decent economic growth and there is evidence of better governance in some areas. Jonathan’s supporters claim that if ...
5 June 1986
Agate: A Biography 
by James Harding.
Methuen, 238 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 413 58090 3
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Subsequent Performances 
by Jonathan​ Miller.
Faber, 253 pp., £15, April 1986, 0 571 13133 6
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... of the past, gathered from the often extravagant panegyrics of contemporaries.’ These Time-conscious remarks, though they will seem truisms to many actors, are distanced, as in a time-warp, from Jonathan Miller’s handsome, thoughtful book about ‘directors’ theatre’, Subsequent Performances. This book is, among other things, an apologia for Miller’s own work as a drama director and an essay ...

When you’d started a world war

Blake Morrison: Walter Kempowski

20 June 2019
by Walter Kempowski, translated by Charlotte Collins.
Granta, 240 pp., £14.99, November 2018, 978 1 78378 352 6
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... World War, and/or with the history of his family, that Homeland initially looks like a departure: it’s not about his ancestors and it’s set at the time he was writing it, in the late 1980s. Jonathan Fabrizius, its central figure, is 43 years old and lives comfortably enough, in small part thanks to his earnings as a freelance journalist but chiefly thanks to the uncle who brought him up after ...

The Lobby Falters

John Mearsheimer: Charles Freeman speaks out

26 March 2009
... views of the Middle East, he said, ‘are what you would expect in the Saudi Foreign Ministry, with which he maintains an extremely close relationship’. Prominent pro-Israel journalists such as Jonathan Chait and Martin Peretz of the New Republic, and Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, quickly joined the fray and Freeman was hammered in publications that consistently defend Israel, such as the ...

Was it better in the old days?

Jonathan​ Steele: The Rise of Nazarbayev

28 January 2010
Nazarbayev and the Making of Kazakhstan 
by Jonathan​ Aitken.
Continuum, 269 pp., £20, July 2009, 978 1 4411 5381 4
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... thrust on them. It was only after the USSR had broken apart that they gradually started on the long road to nation-building. Kazakhstan was the last of the 15 republics to declare independence. Jonathan Aitken is an unlikely candidate to write a book on this subject. Since emerging from prison after his conviction for perjury in 1999 he has written books about himself and other public figures who ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott

23 May 2019
by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... the flashbulb daze and glaze of downtown party animals as they moved from table to table, sofa to sofa, cameras capturing their full range of blank expression, the Parsnip and Pimpernel of the post-punk demi-monde. They were compadres but very different writers. McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City, a tale of coke squalor and eventual redemption, had a big schmaltzy heart beating in its pigeon ...

On the highway

Jonathan​ Coe

24 March 1994
by Joseph O’Connor.
Flamingo, 426 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 00 224301 6
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Resurrection Man 
by Eoin McNamee.
Picador, 233 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 330 33274 0
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by Emma Donoghue.
Hamish Hamilton, 232 pp., £9.99, January 1994, 0 241 13442 0
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... Hence he undermines another of the fantasies which English novelists like to fall back on. Look how much good writing, we plead, has come out of oppressive regimes (Eastern Europe, South America) or post-colonial societies (India, Ireland). By comparison, what sort of inspiration are we supposed to find in our own nostalgia for empire and stagnant parliamentary democracy? What do we have to chafe ...

Trouble at the FCO

Jonathan​ Steele

27 July 2016
... on the Whitehall radar. The Foreign Office never produced a reliable forecast of the likely aftermath of the war, and it failed to predict the religious and sectarian tensions that came to bedevil post-Saddam politics. The Whitehall papers and internal memos disclosed by Chilcot contain a rag-bag of vague and sometimes contradictory assessments. A long paper called ‘Scenarios for the Future of ...

On the Make

Thomas Jones: Jonathan​ Lethem

6 September 2001
Gun, with Occasional Music 
by Jonathan​ Lethem.
Faber, 262 pp., £5.99, August 2001, 0 571 20959 9
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... Jonathan Lethem’s first novel is set at an indeterminate time in the not too distant future. The United States – and possibly the whole world – is now run by the Inquisition, also known as the Office ...

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