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Nicholas Spice, 6 July 1995

Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and its Effects on Music 
by Michael Chanan.
Verso, 204 pp., £39.95, May 1995, 1 85984 012 4
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Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak Easy Listening and other Moodsong 
by Joseph Lanza.
Quartet, 280 pp., £10, January 1995, 0 7043 0226 8
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... it.Chanan is an intellectual, and his ruminations on the meaning of his story are always sensible. Joseph Lanza despises intellectuals and has no more interest in being sensible than he has a talent for it. Elevator Music, subtitled ‘A Surreal History of Muzak Easy Listening and other Moodsong’, is a dotty book, a tireless and tiring panegyric to ...


Ian Penman, 2 July 2015

Sinatra: London 
Universal, 3 CDs and 1 DVD, £40, November 2014Show More
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... sizzle of racism from were a few Mafia bosses, and the dependably unpleasant monster-patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy. Jacobs paraphrases the Rat Pack’s foreign minister without portfolio, Dean Martin: ‘Wops, nigs, hebes, what the fuck was the difference? We were all up against the wall and fucking well better stick together.’As with Elvis Presley and ...

Poetry to Thrill an Oyster

Gregory Woods: Fitz-Greene Halleck, 16 November 2000

The American Byron: Homosexuality and the Fall of Fitz-Greene Halleck 
by John W.M. Hallock.
Wisconsin, 226 pp., £14.95, April 2000, 0 299 16804 2
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... were chosen as models.) So Halleck was the American Byron and his friend and collaborator Joseph Drake was the American Keats. Together, somewhat more compromisingly, Halleck and Drake were referred to as the Damon and Pythias of American poets. As one would expect of a man so highly honoured, Halleck could count major cultural figures among his ...

Qui êtes-vous, Sir Moses?

C.R. Whittaker, 6 March 1986

Ancient History: Evidence and Models 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 131 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 7011 3003 2
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... Modern for the New York Review of Books, Finley disappointed Italian Marxists like Di Benedetto, Lanza, and those looking for a ‘historian of revolutions’. He determinedly opposed the notion that there were quick and facile lessons to be applied from Athens or Rome in support of modern causes. More recently, his challenge to the relevance of the Marxist ...

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