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A Gutter Subject

Neal Ascherson: Joachim Fest

25 October 2012
Not Me: Memoirs of a German Childhood 
by Joachim Fest, translated by Martin​ Chalmers.
Atlantic, 316 pp., £20, August 2012, 978 1 84354 931 4
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... school in Freiburg in the south-west. By now, the war had begun. The family’s Jewish friends, forbidden typewriters, bicycles and even pets, finally realised that it was too late to leave. Dr Meyer, who had privately tutored Joachim in German poetry and drama, told him not to come any more. His wife had died not long before, taking to her bed in despair and refusing to eat. ‘We have no future ...

Those Genes!

Charles Wheeler

17 July 1997
Personal History 
by Katharine Graham.
Weidenfeld, 642 pp., £25, May 1997, 9780297819646
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... They became, successively, the most influential publishers in the world: Philip Graham, who inherited the Washington Post from his father-in-law, Eugene Meyer, and his shy, self-effacing wife, Katharine, who took over the company when her husband shot himself in 1963. It was Philip Graham who induced John Kennedy to choose Lyndon Johnson as his running ...

Frank knew best

Martin​ Pawley

7 April 1994
Frank Lloyd Wright. The Lost Years, 1910-1922: A Study of Influences 
by Anthony Alofsin.
Chicago, 456 pp., £43.95, March 1994, 0 226 01366 9
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... and apartment blocks. All European Modernist housing was, as Wright saw it, urban. Its characteristic form was the rectangular, flat-roofed ‘German worker’ housing of Walter Gropius and Adolf Meyer, arranged in serried ranks, like lines of trenches. Wright found wholly unacceptable such drastic European practices as the orienting of housing according to sun angles and wind directions, without ...

On Trying to Be Portugal

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Zionist Terrorism

6 August 2009
‘A Senseless, Squalid War’: Voices from Palestine 1945-48 
by Norman Rose.
Bodley Head, 278 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 224 07938 9
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Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain’s War against Jewish Terrorism 1945-48 
by David Cesarani.
Heinemann, 290 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 434 01844 4
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... solution. Even the most moderate Arabs, such as the scholar Albert Hourani, insisted on an independent Arab state, ‘with full rights for the Jewish citizens’, while the most eirenic Jews, such as Martin Buber and Judah Magnes, hoped for a binational state, ‘a common motherland for these two semitic peoples’, as Magnes called it, though he too expected large-scale Jewish immigration. Richard ...
3 April 1986
The Anatomy of Madness: Essays in the History of Psychiatry Vol. I: People and Ideas, Vol. II: Institutions and Society 
edited by W.F. Bynum, Roy Porter and Michael Shepherd.
Tavistock, 316 pp., £19.95, November 1985, 0 422 79430 9
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Madness, Morality and Medicine: A Study of the York Retreat 1796-1914 
by Anne Digby.
Cambridge, 323 pp., £27.50, October 1985, 0 521 26067 1
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... saw the identification of a number of organically-based mental diseases, while the early 20th century saw the development of a scientific psychological medicine, informed by the writings of both Meyer and Freud, which could integrate non-organic factors into the aetiological picture of the various conditions. More recently, the development of ECT and the post-war chemotherapy revolution have made ...
6 March 1986
Ancient History: Evidence and Models 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 131 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 7011 3003 2
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... history – in Italy and elsewhere. To understand his repudiation of those whom we might consider to be his natural allies we have to understand something of Finley’s background. Whether or not Martin Jay is correct in The Dialectical Imagination in crediting the Frankfurt Institut für Sozialforschung with such an influential part in the revitalisation of Marxism in the Thirties and Forties ...
30 September 1999
Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War 
by Frances Stonor Saunders.
Granta, 509 pp., £20, July 1999, 1 86207 029 6
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... and the late Eqbal Ahmad, no one in ‘the movement’ wanted anything to do with me or my interest in violations of Palestinian rights as a result of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Martin Peretz and Michael Walzer wrote their ‘Israel Is Not Vietnam’ article, Ramparts was closed, and soon the American ‘Left’, with Walzer and Irving Howe leading the vociferously pro-Israel shift ...
20 November 1986
News from Nowhere 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 403 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 241 11920 0
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O-Zone 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 469 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 241 11948 0
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Ticket to Ride 
by Dennis Potter.
Faber, 202 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780571145232
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... Richard goes off to become a foreign correspondent in rebel Rhodesia. Here he is drawn into clandestine alliance with ZANLA and his destiny intertwines with the cause’s Joan of Arc, Esther Meyer. She seduces, uses and betrays Richard. Professionally, Richard is taken under the wing of a veteran hard-bitten journalist, Leonard Tanner, who (you’ve guessed it) betrays him, leaving him to be ...

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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... his mincing gait, Hoover must have winced at the sly references to his crinkly hair and darker-than-usual skin. This in turn might go some way to explaining his psychopathic, prurient hatred for Martin Luther King. Hoover was compulsive in his taping and bugging of King’s highly virile private life, and in his campaign to use the tapes for blackmail. He officiated in the twisted plan to send King ...

Excellence

Patrick Wright

21 May 1987
Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy and change in the New Age 
by Craig Hickman and Michael Silva.
Allen and Unwin, 305 pp., £12.50, April 1985, 0 04 658252 5
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Intrapreneuring: Why you don’t have to leave the corporation to become an entrepreneur 
by Gifford Pinchot.
Harper and Row, 368 pp., £15.95, August 1985, 0 06 015305 9
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The IBM Way: Insights into the World’s Most Successful Marketing Organisation 
by Buck Rodgers.
Harper and Row, 224 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 06 015522 1
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Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage 
by Richard Foster.
Macmillan, 316 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 333 43511 7
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Ford 
by Robert Lacey.
Heinemann, 778 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 434 40192 7
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Company of Adventurers: The Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company 
by Peter Newman.
Viking, 413 pp., £14.95, March 1986, 0 670 80379 0
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Augustine’s Laws 
by Norman Augustine.
Viking, 380 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 9780670809424
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Peak Performers: The New Heroes in Business 
by Charles Garfield.
Hutchinson, 333 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 09 167391 7
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Going for it: How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur 
by Victor Kiam.
Collins, 223 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 00 217603 3
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Take a chance to be first: The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success 
by Warren Avis.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 02 504410 9
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The Winning Streak 
by Walter Goldsmith and David Clutterbuck.
Weidenfeld/Penguin, 224 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 297 78469 2
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The Roots of Excellence 
by Ronnie Lessem.
Fontana, 318 pp., £3.95, December 1985, 0 00 636874 3
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The New Management of Local Government 
by John Stewart.
Allen and Unwin, 208 pp., £20, October 1986, 0 00 435232 7
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... Bryan Carsberg of Oftel smiles up in soft brown light as he dangles in the mirror on a green office wall. Michael Meyer of Emess Lighting is dissected by the blinds that cut across him and then reassembled from outside – his shirtsleeved figure looming like a target in the formulaic eye of some Hollywood assassin ...

History as a Bunch of Flowers

James Davidson: Jacob Burckhardt

20 August 1998
The Greeks and Greek Civilisation 
by Jacob Burckhardt, edited by Oswyn Murray, translated by Sheila Stern.
HarperCollins, 449 pp., £24.99, May 1998, 0 00 255855 6
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... The first (posthumous) publication of the lectures entitled Greek Cultural History (1898-1902) produced a chorus of loud indifference from the likes of Theodor Mommsen, Julius Beloch, Eduard Meyer and Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, alleging that Burckhardt had written a non-existent book – ‘incapable of saying anything either of Greek religion or of the Greek state which deserves a ...

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