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The best one can hope for

John Lloyd, 22 October 1992

Soviet Politics, 1917-1991 
by Mary McAuley.
Oxford, 132 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 19 878066 4
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What went wrong with perestroika? 
by Marshall Goldman.
Norton, 282 pp., £12.95, January 1992, 0 393 03071 7
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Boris Yeltsin: A Political Biography 
by Vladimir Solovyov and Elena Klepikova.
Weidenfeld, 320 pp., £18.99, April 1992, 0 297 81252 1
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... the character, concerns and whims of the supreme leader to determine the style of government. Marshall Goldman, in What went wrong with perestroika?, quotes Gorbachev as saying, in December 1991: ‘A General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was a dictator who knew no equal in the world at that time. No one possessed more ...

Ed Tech Biz

Matthew Bennett, 22 September 2016

... 34 schools – five are hedge fund managers. None has any background in education. The chair, Paul Marshall, is the co-founder of Marshall Wace Asset Management Ltd, originally domiciled in the Cayman Islands until, in response to an EU directive, the bulk of the fund was moved to Ireland; the firm was briefly in the public ...

Is the Soviet Union over?

John Lloyd, 27 September 1990

Moving the Mountain: Inside the Perestroika Revolution 
by Abel Aganbegyan, translated by Helen Szamuely.
Bantam, 248 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 593 01818 4
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Gorbachev’s Struggle for Economic Reform: The Soviet Reform Process 
by Anders Aslund.
Pinter, 219 pp., £35, May 1989, 0 86187 008 5
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... and the zero or negative growth of recent years so resistant to cure, that, according to Professor Marshall Goldman of Harvard’s Russian Research Centre, ‘unless something changes soon, the country’s economy will break.’ What this means, exactly, even distinguished prophets of doom do not say: but presumably a ‘broken’ economy is one which, as ...

Foursomes and so on

Steven Mithen: Prehistory of Inequality, 11 April 2013

The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery and Empire 
by Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus.
Harvard, 631 pp., £29.95, May 2012, 978 0 674 06469 0
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... and ‘civilisation’; the second was Evolution and Culture (1960), edited by Elmen Service and Marshall Sahlins, which posited four stages: ‘bands’, ‘tribes’, ‘chiefdoms’ and ‘states’. Flannery and Marcus set out to address two of the criticisms made of these earlier works: first, that they imposed the anthropological present onto the ...

Mary, Mary

Christopher Hitchens, 8 April 1993

Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover 
by Anthony Summers.
Gollancz, 576 pp., £18.99, March 1993, 0 575 04236 2
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... ashamed of being queer (seeking ‘therapy’ and ‘counselling’ from the Washington expert Dr Marshall Ruffin as early as the Forties, before he became ashamed of that too). He was also terrified of being black. Gore Vidal has a distinct recollection of a tarbrush rumour about Hoover’s family that extended back at least to the Depression. ‘People said ...

Diary

Deborah Friedell: The Heart and the Fist, 24 May 2018

... how Sheena and I came to England together, on a plane with all the other Americans who’d won a Marshall Scholarship. Some of them were politically ambitious: ‘No photos!’ they’d say at parties. Sheena and I weren’t like that, but then I don’t remember going to many parties. Instead, we drove around Scotland, and went to a lot of plays – my ...

Seeing Stars

Alan Bennett: Film actors, 3 January 2002

... and in the 1940s you could find her presiding over the counters of the smarter shops – Marshall and Snelgrove, Matthias Robinson or, in my aunties’ case, Manfield’s Shoe Shop and White’s Ladies Gowns. The Davis manner, bored, sceptical, sarcastic, was particularly effective when ‘chalking people off’, as Mam called it. It was something ...

If on a winter’s night a cyclone

Thomas Jones: ‘The Great Derangement’, 18 May 2017

The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable 
by Amitav Ghosh.
Chicago, 176 pp., £15.50, September 2016, 978 0 226 32303 9
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... large labour force. ‘Fear of working-class militancy was one of the reasons a large part of the Marshall Plan’s funds went toward effecting the switch from coal to oil.’Ghosh makes a valiant effort to argue that the affluent and educated are at as great a risk from the effects of climate change as the poor and unschooled. After the 2004 Indian Ocean ...

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