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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, £ ...

Social Policy

Ralf Dahrendorf

3 July 1980
Understanding Social Policy 
by Michael Hill.
Blackwell, 280 pp., £12, April 1980, 0 631 18170 9
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Poverty and Inequality in Common Market Countries 
edited by Vic George and Roger Lawson.
Routledge, 253 pp., £9.50, April 1980, 0 7100 0424 9
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Planning for Welfare: Social Policy and the Expenditure Process 
edited by Timothy Booth.
Blackwell, 208 pp., £12, November 1980, 0 631 19560 2
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The City and Social Theory 
by Michael​ Peter Smith.
Blackwell, 315 pp., £12, April 1980, 9780631121510
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The Good City: A Study of Urban Development and Policy in Britain 
by David Donnison.
Heinemann, 221 pp., £4.95, April 1980, 0 435 85217 5
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The Economics of Prosperity: Social Priorities in the Eighties 
by David Blake and Paul Ormerod.
Grant Mclntyre, 230 pp., £3.95, April 1980, 0 86216 013 8
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... of Polaris rockets and those who are slightly embarrassed when asked where they propose to get the money from which they want to spend on doing good. But social policy? It is probably unfair to cite MichaelHill’s Understanding Social Policy as an example of why the subject is so likely to produce a yawn. But he manages throughout to reduce subjects of considerable interest to many individuals to a ...
4 April 1985
Geoffrey HillEssays on his Work 
edited by Peter Robinson.
Open University, 259 pp., £18, March 1985, 0 335 10588 2
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... Geoffrey Hill’s second collection of poems, King Log, was published in 1968, that year of student radicalism and disappointment. Hill’s title is reactionary in its implications and derives from Aesop’s fable of the frogs who desired a king. In my edition of L’Estrange’s royalist version of Aesop the fable runs like this ...
13 September 2012
... alone in her studio all day, shades drawn, two cats, writing these songs of tortured love, up to the tips of her waders in self-immolation, often keeping at it well into the night? Celine Dion, Cher, Michael Bolton, Faith Hill, Toni Braxton – knocking you back one after another, all morning and afternoon, at least until the men arrive after work. I don’t know why. Perhaps it has to do with the ...

Two Poems

Michael​ Longley

19 February 2004
... To find a body: it sat on the windowsill Through a long evolutionary autumn Until you came across the unimaginable – The frame of a motorbike (and a side-car’s) Hidden by snow and heather up a hill Near Ullapool, a twenties Blackburn of course, Skeleton recognising skull, and soul A monkey’s soul amalgamated with yours ...

Daddy’s Boy

Michael​ Ignatieff

22 December 1983
The Shoemaker: Anatomy of a Psychotic 
by Flora Rheta Schreiber.
Allen Lane, 432 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 7139 1636 2
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... count among the compensations of homicide as a moral career. In the wake of his conviction for murdering and dismembering six lonely young men at that dreaded address, Cranley Gardens, Muswell Hill, Dennis Nilsen must have basked in the thought that, even behind bars, he was still free to roam through the darker corners of the minds of all those people who had scorned or ignored him when he was ...
2 March 1989
Louis MacNeice: A Study 
by Edna Longley.
Faber, 178 pp., £4.95, August 1988, 0 571 13748 2
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Louis MacNeice: Selected Poems 
edited by Michael​ Longley.
Faber, 160 pp., £4.95, August 1988, 0 571 15270 8
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A Scatter of Memories 
by Margaret Gardiner.
Free Association, 280 pp., £15.95, November 1988, 1 85343 043 9
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... to new potatoes in April speckled with chopped parsley or to the lights at night on the Thames of Battersea Power House, or to cars sweeping their shadows from lamp-post to lamp-post down Haverstock Hill or to brewer’s drays or to lighthouses and searchlights or to a newly cut lawn or to a hot towel or a friction at the barber’s or to Moran’s two classic tries at Twickenham in 1937 or to the ...

Five Poems

Günter Eich, translated by Michael​ Hofmann

25 March 2010
... home leaves a white trail of dust. The moon shines in the willowherb, in concert with the evening star. How near you are, immortality – in the wings of bats, in pairs of headlights nosing down the hill Lvov 1. City on however many hills. A grizzled yellow. It gives you a memory of bells to take with you, audible in the jingle of your dog-tag. 2. Slopes, like fears, too many to count. The tramline ...

Short Cuts

Michael​ Grayshott: Topping up the Hereditaries

7 March 2013
... 1999. Each party caucus is responsible for the replenishment of its own ranks and only a handful of peers are elected by the whole house. The candidates’ mini-manifestos persist: ‘I have owned a hill farm in Cumbria for 34 years and understand the problems of hill farming’ (Earl of Carlisle, Lib Dem); ‘I run an equestrian/activity centre and am an international show-jumping judge’ (Lord ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett

24 June 1993
... as the Guildford Four. My first reaction was disbelief; later, the news confirmed and the cuts from London in my hands, I spent a long time pondering the implications. For almost fifteen years Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson had insisted they were innocent and had been framed by the police. I recalled that Sir Michael Havers, who led for the Crown in the 1975 trial ...

All Woman

Michael​ Mason

23 May 1985
‘Men’: A Documentary 
by Anna Ford.
Weidenfeld, 196 pp., £10.95, March 1985, 0 297 78468 4
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Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure 
by John Cleland, edited by Peter Sabor.
Oxford, 256 pp., £1.95, February 1985, 0 19 281634 9
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... behaviour of men, but family life in our culture. The quotation-marks on the jacket are, after all, deserved. John Cleland’s Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, generally known to the world as Fanny Hill, bases itself on a female sharing of emotions – more fictitiously, but not more factitiously, than ‘Men’. Each of the two sections of the book, which were published some four months apart in ...

At the Movies

Michael​ Wood: ‘Miami Vice’

17 August 2006
Miami Vice 
directed by Michael​ Mann.
August 2006
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... space with its own aura and co-ordinates. The world it has is enough, our world caught on a camera; or no world, just the set or the simulation where the conversations take place. When directors like Michael Mann, whose movie version of Miami Vice has just opened, say they want to make episodes of television series as if they were movies, they mean, among other things, that they want to create a world, a ...

Sucking up

Michael​ Rogin

12 May 1994
Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War 
by John MacArthur.
California, 274 pp., £10, January 1994, 0 520 08398 9
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Live from the Battlefield: From Vietnam to Baghdad – 35 Years in the World’s War Zones 
by Peter Arnett.
Bloomsbury, 463 pp., £17.99, March 1994, 0 7475 1680 4
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... in widespread mea culpas after it was over.) The media covered the story of Iraqi soldiers throwing hundreds of babies from Kuwaiti incubators. It ignored the story that the public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton, paid millions of dollars by Kuwait, had orchestrated the television testimonies to the alleged atrocity, that the unidentified female eyewitness was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ...

At the Movies

Michael​ Wood: At the Morelia Festival

3 November 2011
... They pack up their essential belongings and load them on a small cart, which the daughter pulls, the father pushing from the side, and with the horse tethered behind. They slowly reach the top of the hill at the back of the screen and disappear over it. We look for a long time at the empty landscape. Then father, daughter, cart and horse return, trundle back down the hill, unpack and settle into the ...

At the Movies

Michael​ Wood: ‘Playtime’

20 November 2014
Playtime 
directed by Jacques Tati.
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... and takes off for a trip of its own through the village and down a few country lanes. François races vainly after it. Then he has an idea. He can outwit the bike by taking a short cut over a hill, the bike will have to follow the road round. Yes, he is going to make it, he scrambles down the other side of the hill, the bike is approaching. No, there is a ditch between the hill and the road ...

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