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9 September 1993
The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered 
by Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise.
Element, 286 pp., £14.95, November 1992, 0 85230 368 8
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... scholar Lawrence Schiffman has noted, so the rubric would be defensible only if the Eisenman and Wise interpretation were the first to qualify as ‘complete’. Then there is the question of whether many of these really are ‘key’ texts and whether they have been ‘withheld’ or rather, which strikes me as far more likely, left languishing through ...

Wharton the Wise

D.A.N. Jones

4 April 1985
The Missing Will 
by Michael Wharton.
Hogarth, 216 pp., £10.95, November 1984, 0 7011 2666 3
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... For 27 years Michael Wharton has written the ‘Peter Simple’ column in the Daily Telegraph. He was only 43 when he secured this good, steady job and now he has published an autobiographical account of his 43 apprentice years – dissident, drifting, bohemian years, marked by a lack of will-power, what the Greeks called aboulia ...
26 November 1987
The Korean War 
by Max Hastings.
Joseph, 476 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 9780718120689
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The Origins of the Korean War 
by Peter Lowe.
Longman, 256 pp., £6.95, July 1986, 0 582 49278 5
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Korea: The War before Vietnam 
by Callum MacDonald.
Macmillan, 330 pp., £25, November 1986, 0 333 33011 0
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... they attempted any further military interventions in the Third World. For a few years, under the wise guidance of Dwight Eisenhower, American leaders did so bear it in mind, and shaped their policy accordingly: they realised the unwisdom of becoming involved in a land conflict anywhere, especially in Asia. But only ten years after the truce was signed at ...

Three Poems

Michael Longley

27 June 2002
... with squeaky floors, Landings hung with pictures of lost relatives, Professors, station-masters, wise embroiderers. Driving along the Delaware my poet-host Stops to let two wild turkeys cross the road. Is that a third one dithering behind us? We wind the car windows up – a freshly Flattened skunk so pongily alive in death Even the magpies in the dogwood ...

On Michael Longley

Colin Burrow: Michael Longley

18 October 2017
... There are​ few contemporary poets as likeable as Michael Longley. That’s not because his poems are simply amiable, but because he looks at things hard and clearly and invites his readers to share his acts of seeing. In his new book, Angel Hill (Cape, £10), even a cataract operation is an opportunity to celebrate sharpness of vision: ‘My eyeball’s frozen ...

Opera Mundi

Michael Neve

1 December 1983
Out of Order 
by Frank Johnson.
Robson, 256 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 86051 190 1
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Frank Johnson’s Election Year 
by Frank Johnson.
Robson, 192 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 86051 254 1
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Enthusiasms 
by Bernard Levin.
Cape, 264 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 224 02114 1
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Poem of the Year 
by Clive James.
Cape, 79 pp., £4.95, November 1983, 0 224 02961 4
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The Original Michael Frayn 
by Michael Frayn.
Salamander, 203 pp., £8.50, October 1983, 0 907540 32 5
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... can’t trim bureaucratic overmanning. She cuts the social services instead. You needn’t be as wise as Pitt or Canning To see how malnutrition lies ahead. Now the decency in this is to propose that malnutrition does lie ahead. The cock-up is ‘wise as Pitt or Canning’, where the demands of the rhyme bring in on the ...

Short Cuts

David Runciman: Tony and Jeremy

19 April 2017
... a constant theme, and it is not just Benn himself who is drawn to the flame. Eric Heffer, Audrey Wise, Michael Meacher, Ken Livingstone and others feature in earnest discussions about whether the time is right for another attempt to capture the flag and how the forces are assembled. The votes of the unions and the ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Big Short’

18 February 2016
The Big Short 
directed by Adam McKay.
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... people who did. The difficulty with such a story is that the ones who know are likely to appear so wise as to be inhuman, and the ones who don’t know seem more ignorant than anyone can be. This is not a difficulty for Adam McKay in The Big Short, it’s his opportunity, his way of turning a film about the financial crash of 2008 into a very funny, if ...
25 June 1987
Our Conquest 
by Gert Hofmann, translated by Christopher Middleton.
Carcanet, 281 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 0 85635 687 5
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... adults in some mournful genre painting. Altklug is the German word: literally ‘old-clever’, as wise as the old, an old head on young shoulders, precocious. Their dialogue moves as purposefully as a flow diagram. They ask questions like scrupulous logicians: ‘For instance, which theatres have they played in, how long their longest applause lasted, what ...

Anti-Liberalism

Alan Brinkley

7 January 1988
Armed Truce 
by Hugh Thomas.
Hamish Hamilton, 667 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 241 11843 3
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The Wise Men 
by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas.
Faber, 853 pp., £15.95, January 1987, 0 571 14606 6
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Ike 
by Piers Brendon.
Secker, 478 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 436 06813 3
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May-Day 
by Michael Beschloss.
Faber, 494 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 571 14593 0
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... that does not so much challenge the arguments of the revisionists as ignore them altogether. The Wise Men is a graceful and intelligent portrait of the careers of six Americans who for more than twenty years were pillars of their country’s post-war foreign policy ‘establishment’: Dean Acheson, Charles Bohlen, George Kennan, Robert Lovett, John McCloy ...

Is it a crime?

P.N. Furbank

6 June 1985
Peterley Harvest: The Private Diary of David Peterley 
edited by Michael Holroyd.
Secker, 286 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 0 436 36715 7
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... or even Vermeer-forging, sense. Some gentlemanly code of ethics enfolds the activities of Thomas Wise and his fellows. As for purely literary, as opposed to bibliographical forgery, it receives no censure at all. Indeed, it receives rather high esteem. James Crossley, the distinguished 19th-century antiquarian and bibliographer, plumed himself on having ...

The Nephew

David Thomson

19 March 1981
Charmed Lives 
by Michael Korda.
Penguin, 498 pp., £2.50, January 1981, 0 14 005402 2
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... of Hungarian nerve, social bluff and show-business instinct once commanded the British cinema. In Michael Korda’s telling, however, the panorama of picture-making is not always alight with understanding or information. The author may have been born on the night in 1933 when his uncle Alexander Korda’s first great success, The Private Life of Henry ...

‘This in no wise omit’

Tom Bingham: Habeas Corpus

7 October 2010
Habeas Corpus: From England to Empire 
by Paul Halliday.
Harvard, 502 pp., £29.95, March 2010, 978 0 674 04901 7
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... aforesaid Nicholas is charged, before us at Westminster on Saturday next after eight days of Saint Michael, to undergo and receive whatever our court should then and there happen to order concerning him in this behalf, and this in no wise omit, upon the peril that may befall, and have there this writ. Witness, Sir John ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘A Dangerous Method’

8 March 2012
A Dangerous Method 
directed by David Cronenberg.
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... old-fashioned, undiluted shock would do them both a lot of good: Freud doesn’t need to be so wise, and Jung doesn’t need to be so eager. It’s hard to tell whether this is what the film wants us to think, or just a collateral effect of the set-up. The figures, including that of the young woman, Sabina Spielrein, are historical, but this is not a ...

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