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Because We Could

David Simpson: Soldiers and Torture, 18 November 2010

None of Us Were Like This Before: American Soldiers and Torture 
by Joshua Phillips.
Verso, 237 pp., £16.99, September 2010, 978 1 84467 599 9
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... hard not to conclude that the disposition to torture is the rule, not the exception. The title of Joshua Phillips’s book is a quote, not an assertion. Those who find themselves acting as torturers really do think, when they speak about their actions, that they underwent some radical change of personality. It would have been possible to write a book ...

Wigs and Tories

Paul Foot, 18 September 1997

Trial of Strength: The Battle Between Ministers and Judges over Who Makes the Law 
by Joshua Rozenberg.
Richard Cohen, 241 pp., £17.99, April 1997, 1 86066 094 0
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The Politics of the Judiciary 
by J.A.G. Griffith.
Fontana, 376 pp., £8.99, September 1997, 0 00 686381 7
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... are the obvious people to intervene wherever ‘dysfunctions in the democratic process’ emerge. Joshua Rozenberg tells the story of the ‘trial of strength’ – ‘petulant squabble’ might have been more accurate – between the judges and Tory ministers in the final years of the Major Administration. At huge length he regurgitates the argument that ...

Malice

John Mullan: Fanny Burney, 23 August 2001

Fanny Burney: A Biography 
by Claire Harman.
Flamingo, 464 pp., £8.99, October 2001, 0 00 655036 3
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Fanny Burney: Her Life 
by Kate Chisholm.
Vintage, 347 pp., £7.99, June 1999, 0 09 959021 2
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Faithful Handmaid: Fanny Burney at the Court of King George III 
by Hester Davenport.
Sutton, 224 pp., £25, June 2000, 0 7509 1881 0
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... chief, comes to dinner (her brother James had been on Captain Cook’s second voyage). There is Joshua Reynolds and Richard Sheridan, and later Madame de Staël and Talleyrand. In her ostensibly private records of her life, Burney often keeps pace with current events and personalities, providing the biographer with the background as well as the foreground ...

No Trousers

Claude Rawson, 20 December 1990

The Writings and Speeches of Edmund Burke. Vol. VIII: The French Revolution 1790-1794 
edited by L.G. Mitchell.
Oxford, 552 pp., £65, March 1990, 0 19 822422 2
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Reflections on the Revolution in France 
by Edmund Burke, edited by J.G.A. Pocock.
Hackett, 236 pp., $5.95, January 1987, 0 87220 020 5
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APhilosophical Enquiry 
by Edmund Burke, edited by Adam Phillips.
Oxford, 173 pp., £4.95, June 1990, 0 19 281807 4
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... in an honorific sense, had been in circulation in the 19th century). Burke’s friend Sir Joshua Reynolds said in 1786 that painting ‘is, and ought to be ... strictly speaking, no imitation at all of external nature’, and ‘ought to be as far removed from the vulgar idea of imitation, as the refined civilised state in which we live, is removed ...

A Piece of White Silk

Jacqueline Rose: Honour Killing, 5 November 2009

Murder in the Name of Honour 
by Rana Husseini.
Oneworld, 250 pp., £12.99, May 2009, 978 1 85168 524 0
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In Honour of Fadime: Murder and Shame 
by Unni Wikan, translated by Anna Paterson.
Chicago, 305 pp., £12.50, June 2008, 978 0 226 89686 1
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Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed 
by Ayse Onal.
Saqi, 256 pp., £12.99, May 2008, 978 0 86356 617 2
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... complaint (Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women? is the title of a 1999 anthology edited by Joshua Cohen, Matthew Howard and Martha Nussbaum). ‘I failed her,’ Mona Sahlin, the Swedish minister for integration, said after Fadime’s death, ‘because I was afraid of fanning the flames of racism.’ Southall Black Sisters, the first group to raise the ...

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