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Ian Buruma

9 March 1995
The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War 
by Lynn Nicholas.
Macmillan, 498 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 333 62652 4
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... after the defeat of the Boxer rebellion in China. The second took place during the Rape of Nanking by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1937. And the third, described by William Shirer, and quoted by LynnNicholas, is about the Germans in Vienna after the Anschluss in 1938. It is probably right to conclude from these and many other examples that looting is as natural to human beings as raping and ...

At Tate Britain

Nicholas​ Penny: Pre-Raphaelite works on paper

3 May 2017
... seems to anticipate (although it clearly didn’t influence) the daring aesthetic discomforts devised by ‘Modern British’ artists, even the wiry, tortured sculptures of a hundred years later by Lynn Chadwick or Reg Butler. Ford Madox Brown’s ‘Mauvais Sujet’ (1863) This drawing, and the finished study by Millais for Christ in the House of His Parents (also of 1849) which hangs beside ...


Julian Loose

25 June 1992
Crystal Rooms 
by Melvyn Bragg.
Hodder, 342 pp., £14.99, June 1992, 0 340 56409 1
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... Hello! magazine; as a member of the June 20 Group he is lampooned by Private Eye; as ‘television’s most charming editor-presenter of the arts’ he rates the accolade of his own Spitting Image. Lynn Barber may have famously delineated his ‘awful smug matey blokiness’ in the pages of the Independent on Sunday, but perhaps that only demonstrates what an inviting target Bragg has become. As a ...


Linda Colley: Global History

26 September 2013
The French Revolution in Global Perspective 
edited by Suzanne Desan, Lynn​ Hunt and William Max Nelson.
Cornell, 240 pp., £16.50, April 2013, 978 0 8014 7868 0
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... perspectives? Although the global turn in history has become more prominent in recent decades, its impact remains limited, and is more pronounced in the United States than in Europe. Two historians, Nicholas Guyatt of the University of York and Luke Clossey of Simon Fraser University, have compiled a fascinating report on this, an extract from which recently appeared in the American Historical ...

Lucky Boy

Kevin Kopelson

3 April 1997
directed by Scott Hicks.
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Shine: The Screenplay 
by Jan Sardi.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £7.99, January 1997, 0 7475 3173 0
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The Book of David 
by Beverley Eley.
HarperCollins, 285 pp., £8.99, March 1997, 0 207 19105 0
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Love You to Bits and Pieces: Life with David Helfgott 
by Gillian Helfgott, with Alissa Tanskaya.
Penguin, 337 pp., £6.99, January 1997, 0 14 026546 5
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... Miaouw! I’m going to pounce-bounce! I’m going to scrunch-munch! I’m going to chew-poo my little mouse-wouse!’ The Shine screenplay makes the connection for us. Gay piano teacher Ben Rosen (Nicholas Bell), in a scene cut from the film, describes David’s father, Peter (Armin Mueller-Stahl), as a ‘poor man’s Leopold Mozart’. Pianospeak, we’re to believe, indicates mental illness. Mozart ...

The Next Fix

Lara Pawson: African Oil

7 February 2008
Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil 
by Nicholas​ Shaxson.
Palgrave, 280 pp., £15.99, May 2007, 978 1 4039 7194 4
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Oil Wars 
edited by Mary Kaldor, Terry Lynn​ Karl and Yahia Said.
Pluto, 294 pp., £17.99, March 2008, 978 0 7453 2478 4
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Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil 
by John Ghazvinian.
Harcourt Brace, 320 pp., $25, April 2007, 978 0 15 101138 4
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... China now imports more than a quarter of its oil from African countries and Angola has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become its chief supplier. In Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil, Nicholas Shaxson argues that these developments are alarming. While the people who live in Africa’s big oil-producing countries are getting poorer and angrier, their leaders ‘have a rising tide of money ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1999

20 January 2000
... the Chicago Degas of the woman having her hair brushed, which is another exercise in red. Ingres is supposed to have said it was the best thing he ever did and it could be taken for an early Picasso. Lynn points out how bony and articulated the hands are in the drawings whereas in the paintings the hands become fat, boneless and almost claw-like. Dame Iris Murdoch dies and gets excellent reviews, all ...


Alan Bennett: Finding My Métier

4 January 2018
... Marsh for a weekend. I’d no notion that, as recounted in the obituary, Sam had had a late flowering and that in his nineties he had figured in one of the Harry Potter films. The obituary written by Nicholas de Jongh.14 July. I am reading as a bedside book The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell. Simply an account of the customers and the (sometimes meagre) takings of a bookshop in Wigtown in Scotland ...

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