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What did Khrushchev​ say?

Miriam Dobson: ‘Moscow 1956’

2 November 2017
Moscow 1956: The Silenced​ Spring 
by Kathleen​ E. Smith.
Harvard, 448 pp., £23.95, April 2017, 978 0 674 97200 1
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... inveterate Stalinist about her work helping victims of terror gain rehabilitation. Mátyás Rákosi and Elena Stasova in 1956 This striking photograph, unearthed from the Russian archives by KathleenSmith and presented in Moscow 1956, offers a glimpse behind the scenes at the congress, which brought together leading figures from the international communist movement and high-profile figures from ...
19 November 1992
Epstein: Artist against the Establishment 
by Stephen​ Gardiner.
Joseph, 532 pp., £20, September​ 1992, 9780718129446
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... and limbs and crimson-dyed hair, and she had a very strong Scottish accent.’ Her distresses make more poignant reading than Epstein’s critical reverses. At one point she invited his mistress Kathleen round to talk things over. When they were alone ‘she said, “I am going to kill you” ... produced a gun from inside her ankle-length skirt, went on talking and then fired.’ No charges were  ...

How Do You Pay?

Bee​ Wilson: Falling for Michael Moore

1 November 2007
Citizen​ Moore: An American Maverick 
by Roger​ Rapoport.
Methuen, 361 pp., £8.99, July 2007, 978 0 413 77649 5
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Manufacturing Dissent 
directed​ by Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk.
October​ 2007
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Sicko 
directed​ by Michael​ Moore.
October​ 2007
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... Voice, a local alternative rag which took on such subjects as police brutality and the looming presence of General Motors. In 1983, this morphed into the Michigan Voice, where Moore met his wife,Kathleen Glynn, who has produced all his films. Next came his disastrous editorship of Mother Jones, the muckraking San Francisco magazine, from which he was fired after five months (Moore says that there was ...

Jihad

James​ Wood

5 August 1993
TheNew​ Poetry 
edited​ by Michael​ Hulse, David Kennedy and David Morley.
Bloodaxe,​ 352 pp., £25, May 1993, 1 85224 244 2
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Who Whispered​ Near Me 
by Killarney​ Clary.
Bloodaxe,​ 64 pp., £5.95, February 1993, 1 85224 149 7
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Sunset​ Grill 
by Anne Rouse.
Bloodaxe,​ 64 pp., £5.95, March 1993, 1 85224 219 1
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Half Moon Bay 
by Paul Mills.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, February 1993, 9781857540000
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Shoah 
by Harry Smart.
Faber, 74 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16793 4
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The Autonomous Region 
by Kathleen​ Jamie.
Bloodaxe,​ 79 pp., £7.95, March 1993, 9781852241735
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Collected​ Poems 
by F.T. Prince.
Carcanet, 319 pp., £25, March 1993, 1 85754 030 1
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Stirring Stuff 
by Selwyn Pritchard.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 145 pp., £8.99, April 1993, 9781856193085
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News from the Brighton Front 
by Nicki Jackowska.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 86 pp., £7.99, April 1993, 1 85619 306 3
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Translations from the Natural World 
by Les​ Murray.
Carcanet, 67 pp., £6.95, March 1993, 1 85754 005 0
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... hugging every good cause in sight – but these two quotes can only mean this: that poetry is always political; that the worst kind of poetry is that which doesn’t own up to its politics (e.g. Larkin); and therefore that the best will proclaim its politics with pride. (The manoeuvre will be familiar to readers of contemporary literary theory.) This is clearly an inadequate conception of ...
8 February 1996
The Poetry of Scotland: Gaelic, Scots and English 1380-1980 
edited​ and introduced by Roderick Watson.
Edinburgh, 752 pp., £19.95, May 1995, 0 7486 0607 6
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... Sorley MacLean’s voice to accompany MacDiarmid’s? To the best of my knowledge, nobody has been asked to do a new Oxford anthology, though the youngest poet in their extant volume, Iain Crichton Smith, is now a sprightly 68. Watson’s model is not the Oxford or the Penguin, but Hugh MacDiarmid’s Golden Treasury of Scottish Poetry, first published in 1940 and reissued by Canongate in 1993. This ...

Protestant Country

George Bernard

14 June 1990
Humanism, Reform and the Reformation: The Career​ of Bishop John Fisher 
edited​ by Brendan Bradshaw and Eamon Duffy.
Cambridge,​ 260 pp., £27.50, January 1989, 0 521 34034 9
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The Blind Devotion of the People: Popular Religion and the English Reformation 
by Robert Whiting.
Cambridge,​ 302 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 521 35606 7
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The Reformation of Cathedrals: Cathedrals in English Society, 1485-1603 
by Stanford Lehmberg.
Princeton, 319 pp., £37.30, March 1989, 0 691 05539 4
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Bonfires​ and Bells: National Memory and the Protestant Calendar in Elizabethan and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Weidenfeld, 271 pp., £25, October​ 1989, 0 297 79343 8
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The Birthpangs of Protestant England: Religious and Cultural Change in the 16th and 17th Centuries 
by Patrick Collinson.
Macmillan, 188 pp., £29.50, February 1989, 0 333 43971 6
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Life’s Preservative against Self-Killing 
by John Sym, edited​ by Michael​ MacDonald.
Routledge,​ 342 pp., £29.95, February 1989, 0 415 00639 2
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Perfection ProclaimedLanguage and Literature in English Radical Religion 1640-1660 
by Nigel Smith.
Oxford, 396 pp., £40, February 1989, 0 19 812879 7
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... Humanists as proto-Puritans – which weakens his claim that it was Puritan divines who held a distinctively Puritan attitude to the family. Moreover, he is led into caricaturing the approach of Kathleen Davies, the author of a pioneering article on the alleged novelty of Puritan attitudes, who ‘seems to think there is nothing new under the sun,’ since she has found similar attitudes in 14th ...

Swanker

Ronald Bryden

10 December 1987
The Life of Kenneth Tynan 
by Kathleen​ Tynan.
Weidenfeld, 407 pp., £16.95, September​ 1987, 9780297790822
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... Kathleen Tynan says that she wavered for some time between writing a personal memoir of her 16 years with her husband Kenneth and embarking on a full-dress biography, embracing the 36 before they met. As she  ...

Diary

Elaine Mokhtefi: Panthers in Algiers

31 May 2017
... sector of Algiers towards the Victoria, a small, third-rate hotel. I climbed four flights of stairs and knocked. The door opened and there was Cleaver, and beyond him, flat out on the bed, his wife,Kathleen, eight months pregnant. The sense of awe I felt that day never left me. The shortcomings of the Black Panther Party are clear enough in retrospect, but they took the battle to the streets, demanded ...

Colloquially Speaking

Patrick McGuinness: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after​ 1945

1 April 1999
The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945 
edited​ by Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford.
Viking, 480 pp., £10.99, September​ 1998, 0 670 86829 9
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The Firebox: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after​ 1945 
edited​ by Sean O’Brien.
Picador, 534 pp., £16.99, October​ 1998, 0 330 36918 0
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... Welsh, Irish or Scottish Gaelic, accompanied by parallelEnglish translations. O’Brien is more Anglocentric: Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill is in facing-page English, but Sorley MacLean and Iain Crichton Smith, for example, occur only in English, and there is no Welsh-language poetry at all. On the other hand, O’Brien’s selection of English-language poetry casts a wider and more ambitious net. ‘Even ...

Seeing Stars

Alan Bennett: Film actors

3 January 2002
... to accommodate the rake, the auditorium itself was often not much more than a hangar, the aisle carpeted but the seats on lino or even bare concrete. Wartime meant there was no ice-cream but en route to the cinema we would call at a sweet shop and get what Dad called ‘some spice, provided, of course, we had the points, sweet rationing the most irksome of wartime restrictions and still ...

Excellent Enigmas

Christopher​ Reid

24 January 1980
Lies​ and Secrets 
by John Fuller.
Secker, 70 pp., £3.50, October​ 1980, 0 436 16753 0
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Crossing 
by John Matthias.
Anvil, 125 pp., £3.25, October​ 1980, 0 85646 035 4
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Growing Up 
by Michael​ Horovitz.
Allison and Busby, 96 pp., £4.95, October​ 1980, 0 85031 232 9
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Report to the Working Party. Asylum. Otiose [preceded​ by] After 
by Anthony Barnett.
Nothing Doing, 121 pp., £4.80, August 1980, 0 901494 17 8
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... and Pictures 1951 – 79’. The jacket of the book is crammed with testimonials, the way a Steinberg document carries paragraphs of flamboyant, but meaningless, calligraphy. Ginsberg, Beckett and Kathleen Raine, inter alios, seem to admire the man, but I found him a lazy word-spinner, unclear, hectically rhetorical, and too often mawkish or twee. The drawings are very much School of Stevie Smith, but ...

Watermonster​ Blues

William Wootten: Edwin Morgan

18 November 2004
Edwin Morgan: Inventions of Modernity 
by Colin Nicholson.
Manchester, 216 pp., £40, October​ 2002, 0 7190 6360 4
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Beowulf 
translated​ by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 118 pp., £6.95, November​ 2002, 1 85754 588 5
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Cathures 
by Edwin Morgan.
Carcanet, 128 pp., £6.95, November​ 2002, 1 85754 617 2
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... lay more stress on what poetry can be than on what it should be, that influence has occasioned remarkably little anxiety in the younger poets, such as Robert Crawford, Liz Lochead, W.N. Herbert, Kathleen Jamie and Jackie Kay, who have learned from him. In Edwin Morgan: Inventions of Modernity, Colin Nicholson tries to account for his many-sided subject by examining him facet by facet, but the result ...
17 March 1983
Caves​ of Ice 
by James​ Lees-Milne.
Chatto, 276 pp., £12.95, February 1983, 0 7011 2657 4
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... Lady Throckmorton whose nephew Nicholas Throckmorton, Robert’s heir, called.’ Midi Gascoigne and Timmie Buxton, her sister, get a mention, as do Emerald Cunard and Denis Rickett. Logan Pearsall Smith, aged 80, starts to tell a story of an American cousin of Henry James who ‘invited the novelist to sleep with him’ but he is overcome by a fit of coughing. By the end of the second page we have  ...

Woman/Manly

Kristin Dombek: Kim Gordon

19 March 2015
Girl in a Band 
by Kim Gordon.
Faber, 288 pp., £14.99, February 2015, 978 0 571 31383 9
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... where I went to grow up.Kim Gordon​ moved there in 1979, to the city that shed learned about in art school in LA – the New York of Judson Church and Yvonne Rainer, of Andy Warhol and Patti Smith and Lou Reed. It was disappearing as she arrived, as cities do. She wasn’t sure whether she should be a dancer or artist or filmmaker or writer or musician; what mattered was less what kind of ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015

7 January 2016
... believe every word. I come out not, I’m sure, having cheered them up, thankful that I can still at least mount my bike and cycle away. Sixty years since I first met him when he was a self-assuredex-paratrooper of an undergraduate at my college, his stutter used to emphasise his machine-gun wit, and already knowing everything there was to be known about films and quite definitely a man of the  ...

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