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Whose Nuremberg Laws?

Jeremy Waldron: Race

19 March 1998
Seeing a Colour-Blind Future: The Paradox of Race 
by Patricia Williams.
Virago, 72 pp., £5.99, April 1997, 1 86049 365 3
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Colour Conscious: The Political Morality of Race 
by Anthony Appiah and Amy Gutmann.
Princeton, 200 pp., £11.95, May 1998, 0 691 05909 8
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Race: The History of an Idea in the West 
by Ivan Hannaford.
Johns Hopkins, 464 pp., £49.50, June 1996, 0 8018 5222 6
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... connections that nourish hope, can survive such injustice unscathed and reappear magically to vindicate the good intentions of those whose ancestors did their best to destroy it. In 1997, PatriciaWilliams, a colleague of mine at Columbia Law School, was invited to deliver the Reith Lectures. Before she gave them, she was targeted by sections of the British media as ‘a militant black feminist who ...

The Dirty Dozens

Terence Hawkes

21 July 1994
Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars 
by Henry Louis Gates.
Oxford, 199 pp., £15, October 1993, 0 19 507519 6
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The Alchemy of Race and Rights 
by Patricia Williams.
Virago, 263 pp., £7.99, September 1993, 1 85381 674 4
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... way of life, language, cultural inheritance and historical and political perceptions of the world at large, are obviously at stake, and in their engagements with these, both Henry Louis Gates and PatriciaWilliams offer despatches from various front lines of what have been called the ‘culture wars’. What is at stake is the meaning of the term ‘America’, and Gates and Williams take their place ...
27 May 1993
Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes 
by Helen Benedict.
Oxford, 309 pp., £22.50, February 1993, 0 19 506680 4
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Reproducing Rape: Domination through Talk in the Courtroom 
by Gregory Matoesian.
Polity, 256 pp., £45, February 1993, 0 7456 1036 6
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... would produce a more civil society if translated into everyday behaviour. But this transformation hasn’t happened yet, and activists are becoming impatient. Who would imagine, Richard Perry and PatriciaWilliams ask, ‘that the brave people who faced fire hoses and police dogs and who sat-in at lunch counters in the Fifties and Sixties were after nothing more than, say, the market freedom of an ...

How do they see you?

Elizabeth Spelman: Martha Nussbaum

16 November 2000
Sex and Social Justice 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Oxford, 476 pp., £25, July 1999, 0 19 511032 3
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Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach 
by Martha Nussbaum.
Cambridge, 312 pp., £17.95, May 2000, 0 521 66086 6
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... enjoying their fruits for the first time – powerfully put forward by what have come to be called ‘critical race legal theorists’. One particularly prominent feminist legal scholar among them is PatriciaWilliams (see for example The Alchemy of Race and Rights, 1991). It just isn’t fair to ignore relevant literature and then be cross about its absence and present oneself as filling in the gap ...

Getting on with it

Patricia​ Beer

15 August 1991
Lives in the Shadow with J. Krishnamurti 
by Radha Rajagopal Sloss.
Bloomsbury, 336 pp., £17.99, May 1991, 0 7475 0720 1
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... us of one proposition: that Krishnamurti was less Chaste than his followers assumed him to be. Specifically, he is said to have had a long affair with Mrs Sloss’s mother, Rosalind Rajagopal, née Williams – an American devotee both when he was operating under the aegis of the Theosophical Society and later when he went freelance. This rather moth-eaten scenario of a spiritual leader going to bed ...

The View from Here and Now

Thomas Nagel: A Tribute to Bernard Williams

11 May 2006
The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy 
by Bernard Williams, edited by Myles Burnyeat.
Princeton, 393 pp., £26.95, March 2006, 0 691 12477 9
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In the Beginning Was the Deed: Realism and Moralism in Political Argument 
by Bernard Williams, edited by Geoffrey Hawthorn.
Princeton, 174 pp., £18.95, October 2005, 0 691 12430 2
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Philosophy as a Humanistic Discipline 
edited by Bernard Williams and A.W. Moore.
Princeton, 227 pp., £22.95, January 2006, 0 691 12426 4
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... Bernard Williams had a very large mind. To read these three posthumously published collections of essays (there will be a fourth, on opera) is an overwhelming reminder of his incandescent and all-consuming ...

The Atheists’ Picnic

Julian Bell: Art and Its Origins

10 June 2010
Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion 
by David Lewis-Williams.
Thames and Hudson, 320 pp., £18.95, March 2010, 978 0 500 05164 1
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... God’ and ‘man’ first arose? That seems to be the implication when, in the opening pages of Conceiving God: The Cognitive Origin and Evolution of Religion, the archaeologist David Lewis-Williams examines the earliest records of symbolic behaviour. It is unlikely we will ever pinpoint just when the human habit of investing objects with significance took hold. But for the moment, until fresh ...
1 October 1998
Bodies of Law 
by Alan Hyde.
Princeton, 290 pp., £39.50, July 1997, 0 691 01229 6
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... and above all, he invokes Monique Wittig and Julia Kristeva, and heats the whole by the halogen sparkle of the superanovae of the American cultural empyrean – Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Patricia J. Williams, Catherine MacKinnon. ‘Can we conceptualise people as people in relations?’ he asks. ‘Can we create a bodily discourse of pleasure, or sexuality? Can we develop a constitutional ...
2 April 1987
Randall Jarrell’s Letters 
edited by Mary Jarrell.
Faber, 540 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 571 13829 2
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The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore 
edited by Patricia​ Willis.
Faber, 723 pp., £30, January 1987, 0 571 14788 7
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... of delightful quaintness (‘“Heigh-ho,” cried the restive Prince, “where can she be? and why this infidel delay when she cares not a jack about me” ’). A totally conscientious editor, Patricia Willis lets no sparrow fall to the ground. One is impressed by the sheer volume of the reviews, done over a very long period, as editor of the Dial, and after that for every sort of periodical up to ...
7 November 1985
Savage Grace 
by Natalie Robins and Steven Aronson.
Gollancz, 473 pp., £10.95, October 1985, 0 575 03738 5
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... the book with biographical notes presumably contributed by themselves (if alive) like the entries in Who’s Who. There are some known names: Cecil Beaton, Jasper Johns, James Jones, John Mortimer, Patricia Neal, William Styron, Andy Warhol. Among the rest are antique dealers, decorators, magazine editors, a ‘freelance music co-ordinator for fashion shows’, a princess ‘internationally concerned ...
16 December 1993
Aren’t We Due a Royalty Statement? 
by Giles Gordon.
Chatto, 352 pp., £16.99, August 1993, 0 7011 6022 5
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Yesterday Came Suddenly 
by Francis King.
Constable, 336 pp., £16.95, September 1993, 9780094722200
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Excursions in the Real World 
by William Trevor.
Hutchinson, 201 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 09 177086 6
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... on a consistent act of not being able to remember a thing, which in the circumstances seems a ‘smidgen’, as he would say, foolish. He cannot recall the name of the funeral parlour where Tennessee Williams lay in state nor can he remember the venue (‘some pub in Fleet Street’) where he was to meet Gore Vidal. Probably it had been so with us had we been there, but we might not have thought it ...

Two Hares and a Priest

Patricia​ Beer: Pushkin

13 May 1999
Pushkin 
by Elizabeth Feinstein.
Weidenfeld, 309 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 297 81826 0
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... contempt: Anna Akhmatova, for example, often became vituperative about her. Comparatively little has been said about either Pushkin or his wife in this country, but in a recent broadcast Gwyn Williams described Natalya as a ‘good-natured bimbo’, not a very fierce comment but not a tribute one would choose to have on one’s tombstone. Well-informed about the problems of Natalya’s upbringing ...

New Women

Patricia​ Beer

17 July 1980
The Odd Women 
by George Gissing.
Virago, 336 pp., £2.50, May 1980, 0 86068 140 8
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The Beth Book 
by Sarah Grand.
Virago, 527 pp., £3.50, January 1980, 0 86068 088 6
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...  could rid herself of the debilitating idea that adversity was beneficial, especially for others. Much as Brontë and her sisters had suffered as governesses, she was capable of writing to Mr Williams, her publisher, when he consulted her about careers for his daughters: ‘A governess’s experience is frequently indeed bitter, but its results are precious; the mind, feeling, temper are there ...

Aviators and Movie Stars

Patricia​ Lockwood: Carson McCullers

18 October 2017
Stories, Plays and Other Writings 
by Carson McCullers.
Library of America, 672 pp., £33.99, January 2017, 978 1 59853 511 2
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... Carson biting her husband’s thumb the night he tried to choke her; Carson miscarrying, and her mother so afraid they would ‘put the baby back’ that she didn’t call a doctor; Tennessee Williams feeding whiskey to the hogs; a thin line of Annemarie Clarac-Schwarzenbach’s blood trickling out from under the bathroom door; Carson running out into the night with Gypsy Rose Lee in search of a ...

Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland

17 July 1980
Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia​ Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... notes, in support of this, the prominence in the novels of heroes like Gordon Comstock who break with their stultifying families. And it is interesting, in the light of the works reviewed here, that Patricia Highsmith also seems to have been one of those who felt the need to rename herself before going on to make a name for herself as a novelist. With George Eliot – the most famous nom de plume in ...

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