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Deadly Embrace

Jacqueline Rose: Suicide bombers, 4 November 2004

My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing 
by Christoph Reuter, translated by Helena Ragg-Kirkby.
Princeton, 246 pp., £15.95, May 2004, 0 691 11759 4
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Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers 
by Barbara Victor.
Robinson, 321 pp., £8.99, April 2004, 1 84119 937 0
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... a Palestinian in the Occupied Territories. (She condemned the bombings.) When Cherie Blair said in June 2002, ‘As long as young people feel they have got no hope but to blow themselves up you are never going to make progress,’ Downing Street apologised. What need never be apologised for is the violence of state power. But perhaps there is a logic here. If ...

Agents of Their Own Abuse

Jacqueline Rose: The Treatment of Migrant Women, 10 October 2019

... for its various failings in housing asylum seekers, its contract was renewed by the Home Office in June.) The women were demanding an end to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, minors, pregnant women, and survivors of torture, rape and trafficking, a practice that is sanctioned in no European country apart from the UK; in the US, it was introduced ...

Diary of a Dead African

Chuma Nwokolo, 22 February 2001

... Name: Meme Jumai. Occupation: Farmer. Residence: Ikerre-Oti, Delta State, Nigeria. Date of Birth: 5 June 1950. Date of Death: 15 June 2000. Cause of Death: Awaiting Inquest. 1 June 2000. When I woke, I was sweating as if I were on the farm. Yet it wasn’t the sweat of hard work that wet my bed-sheet so ...

When the Balloon Goes up

Michael Wood, 4 September 1997

Enduring Love 
by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 247 pp., £15.99, September 1997, 0 224 05031 1
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... Jeremy, the narrator of Black Dogs, is writing a memoir about his wife’s parents, Bernard and June, ex-Communists who took off in opposite directions, towards emphatic rationality and passionate faith. They can’t live with each other and can’t stop thinking about each other, feeding greedily off hearsay, fuelling their favourite myths. They seem ...


Chris Mullin: A report from Westminster, 25 June 2009

... part in it. Then Douglas Carswell, the Tory backwoodsman who has tabled a motion of no confidence, rose and demanded that time be made available for a debate. ‘It’s not a substantive motion,’ the Speaker replied. ‘Oh yes it is,’ came voices from all sides. Extraordinary. I’ve never seen the Speaker heckled before. It was like watching Ceausescu’s ...

Wait and See

Richard J. Evans: The French Resistance, 3 November 2016

The French Resistance 
by Olivier Wieviorka, translated by Jane Marie Todd.
Harvard, 569 pp., £31.95, April 2016, 978 0 674 73122 6
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... On 18 June​ 1940 Charles de Gaulle, speaking from London, where he had arrived the previous day, denounced the new government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, which had called for an armistice after the comprehensive defeat of France’s armed forces at the hands of the Wehrmacht. ‘Nothing is lost for France,’ he declared ...

Manila Manifesto

James Fenton, 18 May 1989

... Ativan gang In Alabang By the Superhighway, South. ‘For seven days and seven nights Your voice rose o’er the fray And you would tremble had you heard The things I heard you say.’ *** I saw Emily Dickinson in a vision, and asked if it was merely by coincidence that so much of her poetry could be sung to the tune of ‘The Yellow ...

Book Reviewing

Stefan Collini: On the ‘TLS’, 5 November 2020

... to death as the TLS has ever come, but it has continued to have its ups and downs. Circulation rose through the 1920s to 30,000, then dropped sharply, down to 23,000 by 1934, and Richmond despaired of arresting the decline: ‘Even among my own relations I know three households that have given it up.’ He did not believe, however, that ‘“new ...


Tobias Jones: The politics of football, 7 May 1998

... even represented. In this, at least, the Finals which begin next month will be different. On 10 June, Scotland will play Brazil at the Stade de France in the opening game. For the first time in eight years, English supporters, too, will be able to admire, or rail at, their team on the most important international stage. The media and advertising bonanza ...

Fatal Non-Readers

Hilary Mantel: Marie-Antoinette, 30 September 1999

The Wicked Queen: The Origins of the Myth of Marie-Antoinette 
by Chantal Thomas, translated by Julie Rose.
Zone, 255 pp., £17.95, June 1999, 0 942299 39 6
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... In June this year the BBC showed a documentary called Diana’s Dresses. It was about the auction which took place at Christie’s in New York two months before the Princess’s descent into the Paris underpass. The purchasers spoke reverentially of Diana when she was alive, but her death turned glad rags into relics ...


William Rodgers, 30 March 1989

European Diary 1977-1981 
by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 698 pp., £25, March 1989, 0 00 217976 8
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... across Whitehall from my office in the Ministry of Defence to see the Home Secretary. Roy Jenkins rose from his chair and said: ‘Well, it’s all over, Callaghan is appointing Crosland.’ He nodded to a handwritten envelope addressed to the President of the French Republic. I knew that it contained a letter declaring his willingness to become President of ...

World’s Greatest Statesman

Edward Luttwak, 11 March 1993

Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blake and Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... was an inveterate war-lover who flatly refused to consider a negotiated exit from the June 1940-June 1941 Anglo-German war. That Churchill was addicted to war is certainly beyond dispute. One reading of his often brilliant observations about nuclear weapons (the 1955 ‘Balance of Terror’ speech ...


Adam Shatz: Elections in Egypt, 19 July 2012

... that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces would try to pass Shafiq off as the winner. Until 24 June, when Morsi’s victory was announced by the electoral commission, nothing was certain, even whether the former president was alive or dead. As the train reached the station at Alexandria, my fixer, Magdy, got a call from his boss, a reporter for the ...

In Senegal

Ken Silverstein, 5 January 2012

... that believes its protests can force the court to reject the president’s legal request – last June Wade had to withdraw an electoral reform bill tied to his re-election bid in the face of widespread protests and rioting. The first president of Senegal was Léopold Sédar Senghor, a poet and intellectual who served from independence until 1980. A leftist ...

Fighting Men

D.A.N. Jones, 2 February 1984

Ring of Truth 
by Vernon Scannell.
Robson, 342 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 86051 244 4
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The Tiger and the RoseAn Autobiography 
by Vernon Scannell.
Robson, 197 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 86051 221 5
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Man of War 
by John Masters.
Joseph, 314 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 7181 2360 3
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The Notebook of Gismondo Cavalletti 
by R.M. Lamming.
Cape, 248 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 224 02141 9
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The Rape of Shavi 
by Buchi Emecheta.
Ogwugwu Afor, 178 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 9508177 1 6
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Thomas Lyster: A Cambridge Novel 
by David Wurtzel.
Brilliance, 215 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 946189 30 7
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Don’t Swing a Cat 
by Eva Bolgar.
Bachman and Turner, 143 pp., £7.50, November 1983, 0 85974 098 6
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... at boxing-matches?) The well-timed reissue of his autobiography of 1970, The Tiger and the Rose, gives us some excuse to consider his life and character – helpful toward the appreciation of his writing (as with Byron and Graves, again). None of the women in Ring of Truth can appreciate boxing: Scannell sets up women characters to argue ...

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