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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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... and New Critics. In the minds of both its antagonists, humanism is represented by people like Martin Marty, Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Professor of the History of Modern Christianity at the University of Chicago, and one of the editors of Fundamentalisms Observed. According to one critic, Marty is guilty of ...

Was Weber wrong?

Malise Ruthven, 18 August 1994

The Revenge of God: The Resurgence of Islam, Christianity and Judaism in the Modern World 
by Gilles Kepel.
Polity, 200 pp., £39.50, December 1993, 0 7456 0999 6
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Pious Passion: The Emergence of Modern Fundamentalism in the United States and Iran 
by Martin Riesebrodt.
California, 272 pp., £30, September 1993, 0 520 07463 7
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... nurturing new religious movements, only secular Western Europe and Australia – areas that Martin Marty, the American historian of religion, calls ‘the spiritual ice-belt’ – appear to be conforming to Weberian predictions. And even in Western Europe, as Gilles Kepel’s study of neo-Catholic movements indicates, there are symptoms of ...

Understanding Forwards

Michael Wood: William James, 20 September 2007

William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism 
by Robert Richardson.
Mariner, 622 pp., £15, September 2007, 978 0 618 43325 4
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... science, or at least the undogmatic science that ultimately interests James, into a set of wagers. Martin Marty, in an introduction to The Varieties of Religious Experience, suggests James ‘seems at times to be someone who has come to believe in believing’, and indeed James often does say something like this. But the formulation, even when it is ...


Stephen Frears: That's Hollywood, 20 December 1990

... When I said I knew nothing of the Mafia, they said nobody did except, possibly, ‘your friend Marty’. I had known nothing of the 18th century or indeed of Pakistanis, but Hanif Kureishi had said: ‘Don’t worry – they’re exactly like you.’ Donnie Brasco is about an undercover agent who infiltrated the Mob, became alienated from his family and ...


Frank Kermode, 24 July 1986

The Moronic Inferno and Other Visits to America 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 208 pp., £9.95, July 1986, 0 224 02385 3
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... Martin Amis begins this collection of ‘left-handed’ (i.e. journalistic) pieces by deploying two standard topoi. The first is the modesty topos, duly described by Curtius, though under the tendentious title of ‘affected modesty’: ‘I am inadequate to the subject; I haven’t really done enough work, etc.’ ‘Oh, no doubt I should have worked harder,’ writes Amis, ‘made the book more representative, more systematic, et cetera ...

Blue Suede Studies

Hugh Barnes, 19 December 1985

Elvis and Me 
by Priscilla Beaulieu Presley and Sandra Harman.
Century, 320 pp., £9.95, October 1985, 0 7126 1131 2
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Are you lonesome tonight? 
by Alan Bleasdale.
Faber, 95 pp., £3.95, September 1985, 0 571 13732 6
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Elvis and Gladys 
by Elaine Dundy.
Weidenfeld, 353 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 9780297782100
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The Johnny Cash Discography 
by John Smith.
Greenwood, 203 pp., £29.95, May 1985, 0 313 24654 8
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Horse’s Neck 
by Pete Townshend.
Faber, 95 pp., £6.95, May 1985, 9780571138739
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Like Punk Never Happened 
by Dave Rimmer.
Faber, 191 pp., £4.95, October 1985, 0 571 13739 3
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Starlust: The Secret Fantasies of Fans 
by Fred Vermorel and Judy Vermorel.
Comet, 253 pp., £4.95, August 1985, 0 86379 004 6
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The Beatles 
by Hunter Davies.
Cape, 498 pp., £12.95, December 1985, 0 224 02837 5
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... and the NBC show forms the backbone of Alan Bleasdale’s play. ‘Older Presley’ – played by Martin Shaw in purple pyjamas – clutches an attaché case of medications to his side, ceasing abruptly from soliloquy and self-pity to gaze spellbound at his lithesome former self. At one point, Presley, who is attended around the clock by minions, halts the ...

Antic Santa

James Francken: Nathan Englander, 28 October 1999

For the Relief of Unbearable Urges 
by Nathan Englander.
Faber, 205 pp., £9.99, May 1999, 0 571 19691 8
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... complaint of an apostate: ‘no sensible man would get up to greet a dawn that never came.’ Marty, from another story, ‘Reunion’, is in and out of psychiatric hospitals, estranged from his wife and at odds with the self-satisfactions of his community. ‘You are a man without boundaries,’ concludes the blithely uncompromising rabbi he ...


Ian Penman, 2 July 2015

Sinatra: London 
Universal, 3 CDs and 1 DVD, £40, November 2014Show More
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... Joseph P. Kennedy. Jacobs paraphrases the Rat Pack’s foreign minister without portfolio, Dean Martin: ‘Wops, nigs, hebes, what the fuck was the difference? We were all up against the wall and fucking well better stick together.’As with Elvis Presley and Charlie Parker, you feel Destiny’s real leg-up was provided by the ferocious will of Sinatra’s ...

Female Bandits? What next!

Wendy Doniger: The incarnations of Robin Hood, 22 July 2004

Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography 
by Stephen Knight.
Cornell, 247 pp., £14.50, May 2003, 0 8014 3885 3
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... money to another, presumably poor, guy, Porky is still not convinced. (As a song in Mel Brooks and Marty Feldman’s 1975 When Things Were Rotten put it, ‘They laughed, they loved, they fought, they drank, they jumped a lot of fences . . . stole from the rich, gave to the poor – except what they kept for expenses!’) When the moral and economic questions ...

The Nominee

Andrew O’Hagan: With the Democrats, 19 August 2004

... the bar to his appeal. The 1960s were everywhere at this Convention, in references to Vietnam and Martin Luther King, but also in notions of protest and togetherness. A priest stood up in the Cathedral Church of St Paul’s in Tremont Street. ‘Don’t let people rob us of a legacy,’ he said. ‘That religion and progressiveness can be something not just ...

Ready to Go Off

Jenny Turner, 18 February 2021

A Handful of Earth, a Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia Butler 
by Lynell George.
Angel City, 176 pp., $30, November 2020, 978 1 62640 063 4
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‘Kindred’, Fledgling’, Collected Stories’ 
by Octavia E. Butler, edited by Gerry Canavan and Nisi Shawl.
Library of America, 790 pp., $31.50, January 2021, 978 1 59853 675 1
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... the March on Washington, the Watts uprising and Vietnam, the moon landing and the assassination of Martin Luther King; whose inspiration for Xenogenesis, her great biopolitical trilogy of the 1980s, was both the then recent revelation that scientists had stolen cancer cells from Henrietta Lacks’s body without her family’s knowledge, and Ronald Reagan’s ...

Under the Sign of the Interim

Perry Anderson, 4 January 1996

The European Rescue of the Nation-State 
by Alan Milward.
Routledge, 506 pp., £17.99, May 1994, 0 415 11133 1
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The Frontier of National Sovereignty: History and Theory 1945-1992 
by Alan Milward.
Routledge, 248 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 0 415 11784 4
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Jean Monnet: The First Statesman of Interdependence 
by François Duchêne.
Norton, 278 pp., $35, January 1995, 0 393 03497 6
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... person were misleading. Monnet is a figure more out of the world of André Mal-raux than of Roger Martin du Gard. The small, dapper Charentais was an international adventurer on a grand scale, juggling finance and politics in a series of spectacular gambles that started with operations in war procurements and bank mergers, and ended with schemes for ...

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