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Whistle-Blowers

Frank Honigsbaum, 4 October 1984

Roche versus Adams 
by Stanley Adams.
Cape, 236 pp., £8.95, January 1984, 9780224021807
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Prescriptions for Death: The Drugging of the Third World 
by Milton Silverman, Philip Lee and Mia Lydecker.
California, 186 pp., £13.55, November 1982, 0 520 04721 4
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The Pharmaceutical Industry and Dependency in the Third World 
by Gary Gereffi.
Princeton, 291 pp., £21.60, November 1983, 0 691 07645 6
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Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry 
by John Braithwaite.
Routledge, 440 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 7102 0049 8
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... is vital to the Swiss economy because of the country’s dependence on its banking system. As Karl Otto Pohl, President of West Germany’s Bundesbank, once put it, ‘Switzerland is not a country, it’s a bank’ – and Roche’s two leading officials had been senior officers with the Union Bank of Switzerland, the country’s largest bank, before joining ...

Raiding Joyce

Denis Donoghue, 18 April 1985

James Joyce 
by Patrick Parrinder.
Cambridge, 262 pp., £20, November 1984, 9780521240147
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James Joyce and Sexuality 
by Richard Brown.
Cambridge, 216 pp., £19.50, March 1985, 0 521 24811 6
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Joyce’s Dislocutions: Essays on Reading as Translation 
by Fritz Senn, edited by John Paul Riquelme.
Johns Hopkins, 225 pp., £22.20, December 1984, 0 8018 3135 0
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Post-Structuralist Joyce: Essays from the French 
edited by Derek Attridge and Daniel Ferrer.
Cambridge, 162 pp., £20, January 1985, 9780521266369
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... Patience is a mark of the classic, according to Frank Kermode. ‘King Lear, underlying a thousand dispositions, subsists in change, prevails, by being patient of interpretation.’ It follows that a work of art is not a classic if it insists, apparently, on being read in one way. By that criterion, Ulysses would appear to be a classic ...

War on Heisenberg

M.F. Perutz, 18 November 1993

Heisenberg’s War: The Secret History of the German Bomb 
by Thomas Powers.
Cape, 610 pp., £20, April 1993, 0 224 03641 6
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Operation Epsilon: The Farm Hall Transcripts 
introduced by Charles Frank.
Institute of Physics, 515 pp., £14.95, May 1993, 0 7503 0274 7
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... an Austrian physicist working at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, persuaded her colleague Otto Hahn, a radiochemist, to join her in a further study of these ‘transuranic’ elements. They collaborated until Austria’s occupation by German troops in March 1938 robbed Lise Meitner of her protection from anti-Jewish persecution and caused her to flee ...

The Wrong Stuff

Christopher Hitchens, 1 April 1983

The Purple Decades 
by Tom Wolfe.
Cape, 396 pp., £8.95, March 1983, 0 224 02944 4
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... Panthers at the Bernsteins made this general theory, for Wolfe, easy of illustration. So when Otto Preminger raised some awkward Middle Eastern question with Panther leader Don Cox, Wolfe was onto it like a lynx: ‘Most people in the room don’t know what the hell Preminger is driving at, but Leon Quat and the little gray man know right away. They’re ...

Traffaut’s Heroes

Richard Mayne, 4 September 1980

The Films in My Life 
by François Truffaut, translated by Leonard Mayhew.
Allen Lane, 358 pp., £6.95, May 1980, 0 7139 1322 3
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... including not only Lubitsch, Hawks, Hitchcock and Orson Welles, but also Robert, Aldrich, Frank Tashlin, Robert Wise and Nicholas Ray. Characteristically, his best remarks about them home in on technique. ‘Hitchcock’s mastery of the are grows greater with each film and he constantly needs to invent new difficulties for himself. He has become the ...

Seething

Colin McGinn, 21 March 1996

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Cambridge Letters 
edited by Brian McGuinness and Georg Henrik von Wright.
Blackwell, 349 pp., £45, November 1995, 0 631 19015 5
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... you imagined I might be some day). This thought was very disagreeable to me. Wittgenstein to Frank Ramsey: A thing which is of much greater importance to me & was so on Saturday evening, is, that I still can’t understand how, being my supervisor & even – as I thought – to some extent my friend, having been very good to me you couldn’t care two ...

At the Whitney

Paul Keegan: Andy Warhol, 7 March 2019

... Warhol brand. The allusive early drawings and collages are out-takes from his time at the salon of Otto Fenn, the fashion photographer whose studio on 58th Street was, in the early 1950s, a refuge, a space for collaboration and a dry run for Warhol’s Factory. But an air of wistful insufficiency clings to the drawings of an impossibly remote Truman ...

Oh God, what have we done?

Jackson Lears: The Strange Career of Robert Oppenheimer, 20 December 2012

Inside the Centre: The Life of J. Robert Oppenheimer 
by Ray Monk.
Cape, 818 pp., £30, November 2012, 978 0 224 06262 6
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... toward Robert intensified when his little brother Lewis died in infancy. A third son, Frank, was born in 1912, too young to be a playmate for the lonely Robert, though they became companions as adults.* Isolated from other children at an early age, Robert developed keen intellectual abilities while his social skills remained stunted.That became ...

Victors’ Justice

Alan Donagan, 16 February 1984

Justice at Nuremberg 
by Robert Conot.
Weidenfeld, 593 pp., £15, October 1983, 0 297 78360 2
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The Nuremberg Trial 
by Ann Tusa and John Tusa.
Macmillan, 519 pp., £12.95, October 1983, 0 333 27463 6
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... But 16 of Hitler’s former ministers and governors of occupied countries were in Allied hands: Frank, Frick, Funk, Goering, Hess, Kaltenbrunner, Ley, Neurath, Papen, Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, Sauckel, Schacht, Schirach, Seyss-Inquart and Speer. Streicher, who had been in charge of the regime’s most disgusting antisemitic propaganda, was too notorious to ...

Self-Made Aristocrats

Adam Phillips: The Wittgensteins and Their Money, 4 December 2008

The House of Wittgenstein: A Family at War 
by Alexander Waugh.
Bloomsbury, 366 pp., £20, September 2008, 978 0 7475 9185 6
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... person had suddenly become famous and an intellectual giant in England.’ The philosophers Frank Ramsey, Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore are described by Waugh as having ‘fallen under the spell of Ludwig’s striking looks, manner and extraordinarily persuasive personality’. Waugh certainly hasn’t fallen under Ludwig’s spell: he is with the ...

This is a book review

Geoffrey Hawthorn: John Searle, 20 January 2011

Making the Social World: The Structure of Human Civilisation 
by John Searle.
Oxford, 208 pp., £14.99, January 2010, 978 0 19 957691 3
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... verified. This was at the heart of the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle for which Otto Neurath wrote the manifesto in 1929. And Neurath persuaded his colleagues (and the University of Chicago Press) that it was possible to bring all that was positively known into an International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. The unification would be ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1996, 2 January 1997

... leave it for a while to see if it catches a gull’s eye, then put it in the bin. 24 May. Run into Frank Dickens the cartoonist walking down the stalled escalator at Camden Town Tube. Says that in Bristow, his strip in the Standard, he’s about to introduce the concept of Desk Rage, with frenzied attacks on other people in the office. About the same age as ...

Devoted to Terror

Thomas Laqueur: How the Camps Were Run, 24 September 2015

KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps 
by Nikolaus Wachsmann.
Little Brown, 865 pp., £25, April 2015, 978 0 316 72967 3
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... it was forced emigration and extortion. The great majority of Jews were soon freed. My Uncle Otto, my mother’s brother, had his teeth knocked out, but was released when his wife managed to secure a visa for Ecuador. By 1939 the camps had a place within the Nazi system, although their growth had stalled: they contained 21,000 prisoners in September ...

Roaring Boy

Adam Phillips: Hart Crane, 30 September 1999

The Broken Tower: A Life of Hart Crane 
by Paul Mariani.
Norton, 492 pp., $35, April 1999, 0 393 04726 1
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O My Land, My Friends: The Selected Letters of Hart Crane 
edited by Langdon Hammer and Brom Weber.
Four Walls Eight Windows, 562 pp., $35, July 1997, 0 941423 18 2
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... Aeneid was not written in two years – nor in four,’ Crane wrote to his patron Otto Kahn, ‘and in more than one sense I feel justified in comparing the historical and cultural scope of The Bridge to that great work.’ Whether he was used by poets and critics alike to represent the more disabling trends of what became known as Modernism ...

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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... to Palestine later gave Leon Uris the title for his rubbishy 1958 novel Exodus, which was made by Otto Preminger into a lurid movie. Well before that, in September 1946, A Flag Is Born had opened in New York, a work of ‘blatant propagandist melodrama’, in Rose’s words, violently anti-British in tone, written by Ben Hecht, an ardent Irgun supporter, and ...

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