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Policing the Police

Fredrick Harris: The Black Panthers

20 June 2013
Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party 
by Joshua Bloom and Waldo Martin.
California, 539 pp., £24.95, January 2013, 978 0 520 27185 2
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... confronted the authorities with the backing of ordinary black people and the support of white allies on the left. In Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party, JoshuaBloom and Waldo Martin trace the origins, rise and decline of a mostly misunderstood political movement. Angela Davis, who was an ally of the Panthers and a member of the Communist Party, complains that ...

Let every faction bloom

John Patrick Diggins

6 March 1997
For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism 
edited by Joshua​ Cohen.
Beacon, 154 pp., $15, August 1996, 0 8070 4313 3
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For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism 
by Maurizio Viroli.
Oxford, 214 pp., £22.50, September 1995, 0 19 827952 3
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Bonds of Affection: Americans Define Their Patriotism 
edited by John Bodnar.
Princeton, 352 pp., £45, September 1996, 0 691 04397 3
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Buring the Flag: The Great 1989-90 American Flag Desecration Controversy 
by Robert Justin Goldstein.
Kent State, 453 pp., $39, July 1996, 0 87338 526 8
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... The classical, imperial dictum of divide and rule has given way to a new dictum of divide and prevail by virtue of the demands of differential recognition. Identity politics lets every faction bloom while patriotism, now seen as the snare of subordination, perishes. During the Sixties, when the Vietnam War was raging, many young Americans made sure that they stayed in school in order to enjoy ...

At the National Portrait Gallery

Peter Campbell: Thomas Lawrence

6 January 2011
... Thelwall, that shows every sign of being done swiftly, but delicately, on the spot; portraits like that of Mary Hamilton, made in 1789, show his flattering response to pretty women in full, early bloom. A study for Satan as the Fallen Angel shows why Reynolds told him to look to nature for inspiration: the talent his friend Fuseli had for doing the sinister with relish escaped him. In many of the ...

No one hates him more

Joshua​ Cohen: Franzen on Kraus

7 November 2013
The Kraus Project 
by Jonathan Franzen.
Fourth Estate, 318 pp., £18.99, October 2013, 978 0 00 751743 5
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... Franzen’s most dangerous interlocutor: it’s Franzen himself. He writes about his loneliness on his Fulbright trip to Germany; about his relationships with women, and with the spectres of Harold Bloom and Pynchon. He writes about envy, and how it encourages productivity, and how it limits productivity, and about the folly of the very notion of artistic productivity. He writes against blogs, yet ...

Silly Willy

Jonathan Bate

25 April 1991
William Blake: His Life 
by James King.
Weidenfeld, 263 pp., £25, March 1991, 0 297 81160 6
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... think and escape Nietzsche’ is just the sort of thing: ‘how profound!’ and ‘what nonsense!’ we think at one and the same time, just as we do when we read Blake’s own annotations to Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Discourses or Swedenborg’s Wisdom of Angels. What you shouldn’t do is begin your biography with a paragraph like this: William Blake, poet and artist, is one of the most important ...

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