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America Explodes

Adam Shatz, 18 June 2020

... to police violence against black people, but the protests against the killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray were mostly confined to the cities in which the deaths had occurred. Obama was seen as sympathetic to BLM’s concerns, even if he offered little more than memorable speeches. Floyd’s death not only follows the killings of ...

Putting the Manifesto before the Movie

Ryan Gilbey: Ken Loach, 31 October 2002

Sweet Sixteen 
directed by Ken Loach.
October 2002
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The Cinema of Ken Loach: Art in the Service of the People 
by Jacob Leigh.
Wallflower, 192 pp., £13.99, May 2002, 1 903364 31 0
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... films when we can hear the feet mounting the soapbox are as disruptive to the drama as a boom-mike dipping into shot or a cameraman’s reflection in a patio door. Too often, Loach seems unable to think in political and cinematic terms simultaneously; in Hidden Agenda (a retelling of the Stalker affair) and Bread and Roses (a film concerning a strike by ...

At MoMA

Hal Foster: Sigmar Polke, 19 June 2014

... and he passed it on to subsequent artists who were also wayward performers, such as the German Martin Kippenberger and the American Mike Kelley. Appropriately, the Polke retrospective currently on view at MoMA is called Alibis (it will open at Tate Modern in October and move to the Ludwig Museum in Cologne early next ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: #tevezexcuses, 20 October 2011

... with an ample-figured blonde. Why is this news? Because the player was the England captain, Mike Tindall, who a few weeks before had married Zara Phillips, Princess Anne’s daughter and 13th in line to the throne. As several commentators observed, it’s hard for the tabloids to go wrong with a story which features the following terms: mystery ...

Shakers

Denis Donoghue, 6 November 1986

Write on: Occasional Essays ’65-’85 
by David Lodge.
Secker, 211 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 436 25665 7
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... book about the ‘Catholic sensibility’ of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Blake Morrison’s The Movement, Martin Amis’s Success, Tony Tanner’s Adultery in the Novel, Graham Greene’s Ways of Escape, Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song, Truman Capote’s Music for Chameleons, the Oxford American Dictionary, two books – by Dan Jacobson and Robert Alter – on ...

Diary

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

... for the Mission Continues, which has received donations from Bank of America, Disney, Lockheed Martin, Goldman Sachs, Starbucks, as well as thousands of people. (This becomes important later.) I won’t go on about how wonderful he seemed. Not because there’s a lack of material. Here’s Eric talking to another talk-show host, Charlie Rose: ‘Oxford had ...

Porndecahedron

Christopher Tayler: Nicholson Baker, 3 November 2011

House of Holes 
by Nicholson Baker.
Simon and Schuster, 262 pp., £14.99, August 2011, 978 0 85720 659 6
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... studied, and David Foster Wallace. Yet Howie isn’t void-struck or an object of satire. Like Mike, the narrator of Baker’s second novel, Room Temperature (1990), he just wants to get things ‘correctly situated in the felt periphery of life’. ‘What oft was thought, but ne’er etc’ is listed, between ‘Paper towel dispensers’ and ‘People ...

Muted Ragu Tones

Michael Hofmann: David Szalay, 21 April 2016

All That Man Is 
by David Szalay.
Cape, 437 pp., £14.99, April 2016, 978 0 224 09976 9
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... of’, ‘Number still work?’ An encounter might go: ‘Been watching the snooker, Martin?’ ‘Not really.’ ‘No? Fair enough.’ Or: ‘Alright, Mossy,’ Simon says. ‘How are you? Alright?’ Mossy says something. ‘Yeah alright,’ Simon says. The whole of Spring can be summarised as James’s effort to find out whether he ...

Motorised Youth Rebellion

Andy Beckett: Radical LA, 18 February 2021

Set the Night on Fire: LA in the Sixties 
by Mike Davis and Jon Wiener.
Verso, 788 pp., £25, April 2020, 978 1 78478 022 7
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... left the sense of 1960s LA as an apolitical place largely undisturbed.With Set the Night on Fire, Mike Davis and Jon Wiener attempt to change that. The book documents a whole world of interconnected, often forgotten rebellions that took place on the streets, on campuses, in schools, on beaches, in churches, at workplaces, in radical newspapers and ...

The poet steamed

Iain Sinclair: Tom Raworth, 19 August 2004

Collected Poems 
by Tom Raworth.
Carcanet, 576 pp., £16.95, February 2003, 1 85754 624 5
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Removed for Further Study: The Poetry of Tom Raworth 
edited by Nate Dorward.
The Gig, 288 pp., £15, March 2003, 0 9685294 3 7
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... finally, the last rites for serious poetry-grazing, Compendium in Camden Town (Nick Kimberley, Mike Hart). The system worked. The managers knew what they had and knew what to recommend. They took poetry books from obscure presses (run by poets) as trade. No money changed hands. Three of my titles for one of yours. ‘Manner,’ Ed Dorn says in his ...

At Miss Whitehead’s

Edward Said, 7 July 1994

The Sixties: The Last Journal, 1960-1972 
by Edmund Wilson, edited by Lewis Dabney.
Farrar, Straus, 968 pp., $35, July 1993, 0 374 26554 2
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... book, but for some years I had been impressed with the fact that many people I admired then – Martin Luther King, Reinhold Neibuhr, the Kennedys, Isaiah Berlin and Wilson himself – were also dedicated Zionists, totally opposed to anything like a Palestinian side. Wilson himself was a philo-semite, and particularly enthusiastic about scholar-warriors ...

Thatcher’s Artists

Peter Wollen, 30 October 1997

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection 
by Norman Rosenthal.
Thames and Hudson, 222 pp., £29.95, September 1997, 0 500 23752 2
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... of, more as contributors to a loose art ‘scene’ with a complex pattern of interaction. Then Martin Maloney gives an insider view, writing as a painter whose own work is represented in the show, as well as a prolific art journalist (Art Forum, Flash Art etc). Brooks Adams is an American an journalist based in New York, who follows up with an outsider’s ...

Stupid Questions

Laleh Khalili: Battlefield to Boardroom, 24 February 2022

Risk: A User’s Guide 
by Stanley McChrystal and Anna Butrico.
Penguin, 343 pp., £20, October 2021, 978 0 241 48192 9
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... later, Obama asked him to resign. It didn’t help that McChrystal and his staff – including Mike Flynn, who went on to be Trump’s national security adviser – had made indiscreet comments to a Rolling Stone reporter about the inadequacies of Joe Biden, Richard Holbrooke and Obama himself. Despite Flynn’s later contempt for Hillary Clinton – he ...

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 ...

Whoopers and Shouters

James Morone: William Jennings Bryan, 21 February 2008

A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan 
by Michael Kazin.
Anchor, 374 pp., $16.95, March 2007, 978 0 385 72056 4
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... to alms would reverberate for the next eighty years, most famously through Roosevelt and, later, Martin Luther King’s social gospel sermons. Bryan’s spirit remained vital until Ronald Reagan finally dropped the curtain on all that pandering. Still, the Populists looked backwards as much as they anticipated the future. Their common man lived in the ...

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