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Born Again

Phillip Whitehead, 19 February 1981

Face the future 
by David Owen.
Cape, 552 pp., £12.50, January 1981, 0 224 01956 2
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... David Owen has had his prescription for Britain patronised by Grimond and Powell, dissected by Ken Coates, and treated like a first-year undergraduate’s essay by Professor Peter Townsend. With his publishers bringing its publication forward to catch the crisis, the book might look like a hastily-written manifesto for the alliance of born-again ...

Nuclear Argument

Keith Kyle, 18 April 1985

Objections to Nuclear Defence: Philosophers on Deterrence 
edited by Nigel Blake and Kay Pole.
Routledge, 187 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 7102 0249 0
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Reagan and the World: Imperial Policy in the New Cold War 
by Jeff McMahan.
Pluto, 214 pp., £3.95, August 1984, 0 86104 602 1
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A future that will work 
by David Owen.
Viking, 192 pp., £12.95, August 1984, 0 670 80564 5
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The Most Dangerous Decade: World Militarism and the New Non-Aligned Peace Movement 
by Ken Coates.
Spokesman, 211 pp., £15, July 1984, 9780851244051
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... at military targets. Three of the books under review, David Owen’s A future that will work and Ken Coates’s The Most Dangerous Decade as well as Objections to Nuclear Defence, cite with approval Lord Mountbatten’s famous Strasbourg speech of 11 May 1979, about which one of the most notable circumstances was that it was not reported at all in the ...

Counting weapons

Rudolf Peierls, 5 March 1981

Britain and Nuclear Weapons 
by Lawrence Freedman.
Papermac, 160 pp., £3.25, September 1980, 0 333 30511 6
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Countdown: Britain’s Strategic Forces 
by Stewart Menual.
Hale, 188 pp., £8.25, October 1980, 0 7091 8592 8
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The War Machine 
by James Avery Joyce.
Quartet, 210 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 7043 2254 4
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Protest and Survive 
edited by E.P. Thompson and Dan Smith.
Penguin, 262 pp., £1.50, October 1980, 0 14 052341 3
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... Kaldor discusses the conversion problems which would arise as a result of substantial disarmament. Ken Coates, restating the arguments against tactical nuclear war, claims that at one time US plans provided for the possibility of nuclear attacks against targets in allied countries ‘to deny their resources to Soviet troops’. This might perhaps be taken ...
... there is far more tangible policy in the anthology compiled by Benn’s friends and edited by Ken Coates, What went wrong. Led from the left, the party will have a sense of direction at last, but it will still be a coalition, and one whose leaders are very well aware that public opinion, in turning against the Government, is not turning socialist ...

Late Developer

Paul Foot, 22 February 1990

Against the Tide: Diaries 1973-1976 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 512 pp., £20, October 1989, 0 09 173775 3
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... Government in protest. All his most reliable political friends – Dennis Skinner, Audrey Wise, Ken Coates, most of the activists in his Bristol constituency, even his son Stephen – advised him to do so. Benn’s own belief, often expressed here, that the power and influence that mattered came from below, from the shop stewards and socialist ...

Different Speeds, Same Furies

Perry Anderson: Powell v. Proust, 19 July 2018

Anthony Powell: Dancing to the Music of Time 
by Hilary Spurling.
Hamish Hamilton, 509 pp., £25, October 2017, 978 0 241 14383 4
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... a tumble in the afternoon with the Irish writer Mary Manning; a ‘great passion’ for Marion Coates, wife of another architect, before his wedding to Violet Pakenham, sixth daughter of a Longford earl. All these set in an interwar landscape where bohemia and la bonne société – hostesses, adventurers, artists, intellectuals – overlapped as in the ...

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