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Either Side of the Barbed-Wire Border

Maria Margaronis: Sotiris Dimitriou

25 April 2002
May Your Name Be Blessed 
by Sotiris Dimitriou, translated by Leo Marshall.
Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham, 84 pp., £8, May 2000, 0 7044 2189 5
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... Albanian sister-in-law. For all these reasons the stories are almost untranslatable, though Leo Marshall’s English versions in Woof, Woof, Dear Lord (Kedros, 1995) give something of their flavour. Dimitriou’s first novel, May Your Name Be Blessed, is a more likely candidate for cultural migration: history is more explicitly present than it is ...

Refuge of the Aristocracy

Paul Smith: The British Empire

21 June 2001
Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire 
by David Cannadine.
Allen Lane, 264 pp., £16.99, May 2001, 0 7139 9506 8
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... among all classes. But informed interest and enthusiasm cannot safely be inferred. The 13-year-old Leo Amery, delighting his Harrow master by citing the Nizam of Hyderabad’s offer of money and troops to the Queen in the event of trouble with Russia as the most important political event of the summer holidays, was in a class of his own. Further down the ...

Talking with Alfred

Steven Shapin: Mr Loomis’s Obsession

15 April 2004
Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science that Changed the Course of World War Two 
by Jennet Conant.
Simon and Schuster, 330 pp., £9.99, July 2003, 0 684 87288 9
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... Enrico Fermi, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Robert Wood, E.O. Lawrence, George Kistiakowsky, Leo Szilárd, the Compton brothers (Arthur and Karl) and Albert Einstein. One newspaper columnist observed Loomis’s odd form of philanthropy: ‘In Tuxedo Park, his home, he has built the Loomis Laboratories, and any scientist who wishes to devote a week to a ...

Crowing

Michael Rogin

5 September 1996
Imagineering Atlanta 
by Charles Rutheiser.
Verso, 324 pp., £44.95, July 1996, 1 85984 800 1
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... 1915 première of The Birth of a Nation and after the respectable citizens of Cobb County lynched Leo Frank. (Stirred up by anti-semitic hysteria, an Atlanta jury wrongly convicted the Jewish pencil factory manager of molesting and murdering a white female employee.) Atlanta was the headquarters of the powerful Twenties’ Klan, which augmented the ...

Boy Gang

Peter Prince

19 January 1984
Minor Characters 
by Joyce Johnson.
Collins, 262 pp., £7.95, May 1983, 0 00 272511 8
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Neurotica: The Authentic Voice of the Beat Generation 1948-1951 
edited by Jay Landesman and G. Legman.
Jay Landesman, 535 pp., £19.95, July 1981, 0 905150 26 0
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Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac 
by Gerald Nicosia.
Grove, 767 pp., £14.95, October 1983, 0 394 52270 2
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... perished in New York at the end of 1951. It carried the early work of such future luminaries as Marshall McLuhan, Anatole Broyard, Allen Ginsberg, Kenneth Patchen, Chandler Brossard. But out of over eighty ‘authentic’ voices, exactly nine were female, and none of these was destined for future fame. As Joyce Johnson remembers it, these were voices that ...

When in Bed

David Blackbourn

19 October 1995
Reflections on a Life 
by Norbert Elias.
Polity, 166 pp., £35, October 1994, 0 7456 1383 7
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The Civilising Process 
by Norbert Elias.
Blackwell, 558 pp., £50, March 1994, 0 631 19222 0
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... version that was re-exported back to post-war West Germany as the intellectual make-weight in the Marshall Aid package. Elias tells us much about contemporary debates (over the sociology of knowledge, for example), less about the growing politicisation of university life. While sympathetic to the Left, he remained strikingly aloof from politics – compare ...
14 May 1992
Modernity and Identity 
edited by Scott Lash and Jonathan Friedman.
Blackwell, 448 pp., £45, January 1992, 0 631 17585 7
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Fundamentalisms Observed 
edited by Martin Marty and Scott Appleby.
Chicago, 872 pp., $40, November 1991, 0 226 50877 3
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The Post-Modern and the Post-Industrial 
by Margaret Rose.
Cambridge, 317 pp., £35, July 1991, 0 521 40131 3
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Under God: Religion and American Politics 
by Garry Wills.
Simon and Schuster, 445 pp., £17.99, February 1992, 0 671 65705 4
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... in Weber’s interpretation, the cloak a cage) and what, if anything, lies within. Some, like Marshall Berman, in his naive and strangely inspiring study, All that is solid melts into air (1982), have reversed the paradigm and argued that the process was one of evaporation rather than condensation. But this (as Berman admits in Modernity and Identity) is ...

In the Opposite Direction

David Blackbourn: Enzensberger

25 March 2010
The Silences of Hammerstein 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Seagull, 465 pp., £20, 1 906497 22 2
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... was especially influenced by Benjamin) and contained some memorable stabs at the ‘charlatan’ Marshall McLuhan, but they were also scathing about radical media critics who couldn’t get beyond the adjective ‘manipulative’. His 1969 account of the Cuban revolution was notably unromantic. An essay four years later on ‘tourists of the ...

Spinoza got it

Margaret Jacob: Radical Enlightenment

8 November 2012
A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy 
by Jonathan Israel.
Princeton, 276 pp., £13.95, September 2011, 978 0 691 15260 8
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... described by historians such as Cassirer, Gay, Daniel Mornet, Franco Venturi, Robert Darnton, John Marshall (and myself) – dissolves in Israel’s dialectical thinking. Israel sees two Enlightenments, one radical and good, the other moderate and of mixed value at best. Born and educated in Britain, now teaching in the United States, he finds little of value ...

Picasso and Cubism

Gabriel Josipovici

16 July 1981
Pablo Picasso: A Retrospective 
edited by William Rubin.
Thames and Hudson, 464 pp., £10.95, July 1980, 0 500 23310 1
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Picasso: His Life and Work 
by Roland Penrose.
Granada, 517 pp., £9.99, May 1981, 0 7139 1420 3
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Portrait of Picasso 
by Roland Penrose.
Thames and Hudson, 128 pp., £3.95, June 1981, 0 500 27226 3
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Viva Picasso: A Centennial Celebration, 1881-1981 
by Donald Duncan.
Allen Lane, 152 pp., £12.95, May 1981, 0 7139 1420 3
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Picasso: The Cubist Years, 1907-1916 
by Pierre Daix and Joan Rosselet.
Thames and Hudson, 376 pp., £60, October 1979, 9780500091340
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Picasso’s Guernica: The Labyrinth of Vision 
by Frank Russell.
Thames and Hudson, 334 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 0 500 23298 9
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... it as ‘the fusion of various views of a figure or an object into one coherent whole’; and Marshall McLuhan sums up received opinion on the subject by saying that ‘Cubism, by giving the inside and outside, the top, bottom, back and front and the rest, in two dimensions, drops the illusion of perspective in favour of an instant sensory awareness of ...

Patriotic Work

M.F. Perutz

27 September 1990
Memoirs 
by Andrei Sakharov, translated by Richard Lourie.
Hutchinson, 776 pp., £19.99, July 1990, 0 09 174636 1
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... they certainly are – then the victims of that testing, or any other victims, don’t matter. Marshall Vasilevsky told him: ‘There is no need to torture yourselves. Army manoeuvres always result in casualties – twenty or thirty deaths can be considered normal.’ When the physicists said that the bomb’s force had reached that predicted for a ...

Making Up People

Ian Hacking: Clinical classifications

17 August 2006
... 1992 sense, ‘infantile autism’, was a transfer from the first sense and was introduced by Leo Kanner in 1943. The 2000 definition is about as good as you can do with so few words. It could have added the obsession with literalness, the obsession with order and keeping things the same, the terrible tantrums, biting and hitting that follow when things ...
9 March 1995
... to North West Water. British Aerospace and Cable and Wireless are both clients of Sir Michael Marshall. Sir Giles Shaw is a director of British Steel. It is not surprising that the privatised industries should feel so open to the employment of Conservative MPs. Of the companies mentioned above, the enormous increases in remuneration for the heads of ...

Moderation or Death

Christopher Hitchens: Isaiah Berlin

26 November 1998
Isaiah Berlin: A Life 
by Michael Ignatieff.
Chatto, 386 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 7011 6325 9
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The Guest from the Future: Anna Akhmatova and Isaiah Berlin 
by György Dalos.
Murray, 250 pp., £17.95, September 2002, 0 7195 5476 4
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... into a rare and uncharacteristic expression of dislike’. That’s good, and good to know. (Leon Wieseltier, in his gushing goodbye to Berlin last year in the New Republic, could not have been more wrong than in depicting him as a medieval Jewish sage.) There are probably two additional and reinforcing reasons for Berlin’s disdain. One is that the ...

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