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Let him be Caesar!

Michael Dobson: The Astor Place Riot, 2 August 2007

The Shakespeare Riots: Revenge, Drama and Death in 19th-Century America 
by Nigel Cliff.
Random House, 312 pp., $26.95, April 2007, 978 0 345 48694 3
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... During 2005, while Nigel Cliff was writing his wonderful book about the Astor Place riot, I too visited a couple of the archives he consulted, namely the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and the New York Historical Society. Long fascinated by the events of 10 May 1849, I couldn’t leave Manhattan without making a pilgrimage to Astor Place ...

Landlord of the Moon

David Craig: Scottish islands, 21 February 2002

Sea Room: An Island Life 
by Adam Nicolson.
HarperCollins, 391 pp., £14.99, October 2001, 0 00 257164 1
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... torc from near the islands’ western reefs. The bracelet is ‘as exotic as a silk dress on a cliff face, Audrey Hepburn, somehow, en route to the North Pole’. It was made in the Bronze Age, a period in which, according to Nicolson, ‘the human person is glorified and with his egotism comes his guilt. He carries remarkable weapons. He wears ...

In the bright autumn of my senescence

Christopher Hitchens, 6 January 1994

In the Heat of the Struggle: Twenty-Five Years of ‘Socialist Worker’ 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 288 pp., £12.50, November 1993, 0 906224 94 2
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Why You Should Join the Socialists 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 70 pp., £1.90, November 1993, 0 906224 80 2
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... ugly little gang (soon to magnetise the Redgraves), but it did have an éminence named Tony Cliff, the nom de guerre of a Palestinian Jewish exile born Ygael Gluckstein. Cliff was a great speaker and enthusiast and raconteur, who had laid bare the futility of orthodox Trotskyism and the persisting illusion that the ...

How bad can it get?

LRB Contributors, 15 August 2019

... clear demand to rally around (no deal), a strong sense of indignation, and a well-known spokesman (Nigel Farage). These resources, together with a background hum of Islamophobia, have succeeded in uniting Thatcherite retirees in the South-East with furious Tommy Robinson activists. For all the talk of Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Marxism’ and ‘terrorist ...

Why we go to war

Ferdinand Mount, 6 June 2019

... entire of itself.’ And no island is an island either. It was only when we peered over the cliff edge – first on 29 March and then on 11 April – that most of us realised something that should have been obvious from the start: a ‘no-deal Brexit’ was not so much a nightmare as a fantasy. The day after the UK finally leaves the EU, if there is no ...

Superman Falls to Earth

Ferdinand Mount: Boris Johnson’s First Year, 2 July 2020

... us any favours. And this will be the result of a freely chosen policy. We were not driven to the cliff edge by accident or incompetence, though this is sometimes the impression given. It was always the Brexiteers’ destination of choice. It’s a chilly place.And what is to be the first outing for Britain in its new role as ‘an independent actor and ...

Something Rather Scandalous

Jean McNicol: The Loves of Rupert Brooke, 20 October 2016

Rupert Brooke: Life, Death and Myth 
by Nigel Jones.
Head of Zeus, 588 pp., £12, April 2015, 978 1 78185 703 8
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Fatal Glamour: The Life of Rupert Brooke 
by Paul Delany.
McGill-Queen’s, 380 pp., £28.99, March 2015, 978 0 7735 4557 1
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The Second I Saw You: The True Love Story of Rupert Brooke and Phyllis Gardner 
by Lorna C. Beckett.
British Library, 216 pp., £16.99, April 2015, 978 0 7123 5792 0
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... sanitised. Christopher Hassall was asked to write the authorised biography in part because, as Nigel Jones notes in his own biography of Brooke, Hassall’s lengthy Life of Eddie Marsh had managed ‘to avoid the topic of his subject’s homosexuality’ and he could therefore be relied on to be discreet. (It’s unfair to say that Hassall doesn’t tell ...

The Leopard

James Meek: A Leopard in the Family, 19 June 2014

... lying among the blue flowers in the harsh sunshine at six thousand feet, at the edge of a great cliff stained with the droppings of generations of vultures, makes my great-uncle’s voice speed up and a self-consciously practical, unemotional man turn lyrical, like a mannered Victorian poet, even though, as he admits, he was recounting the memory of a ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture, 8 November 2012

... and readiness to help. But Gamlin lived his double life in the country that existed before Cliff Richard. On the back of his broadcasting fame, and his other interests, he became a spokesman on the tribulations of the Ovalteens. At the Albert Hall in 1949, he followed the Duke of Edinburgh and Clement Attlee in speaking at the Daily Mail Youth Forum ...
... about management in the 1960s, who was said to have coined the term ‘reprivatisation’. Nigel Lawson, a champion of privatisation, attributes the dropping of the ‘re-’ to a fellow Conservative, David Howell, one of the back-room Tory ideas men tinkering obscurely with economic models while Edward Heath and Harold Wilson squared off against the ...

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