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Jihad

James Wood

5 August 1993
TheNew Poetry 
edited by Michael Hulse, David Kennedy and David Morley.
Bloodaxe, 352 pp., £25, May 1993, 1 85224 244 2
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Who Whispered Near Me 
by Killarney Clary.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1993, 1 85224 149 7
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Sunset Grill 
by Anne Rouse.
Bloodaxe, 64 pp., £5.95, March 1993, 1 85224 219 1
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Half Moon Bay 
by Paul Mills.
Carcanet, 95 pp., £6.95, February 1993, 9781857540000
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Shoah 
by Harry Smart.
Faber, 74 pp., £5.99, April 1993, 0 571 16793 4
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The Autonomous Region 
by Kathleen Jamie.
Bloodaxe, 79 pp., £7.95, March 1993, 9781852241735
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Collected Poems 
by F.T. Prince.
Carcanet, 319 pp., £25, March 1993, 1 85754 030 1
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Stirring Stuff 
by Selwyn Pritchard.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 145 pp., £8.99, April 1993, 9781856193085
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News from the Brighton Front 
by Nicki Jackowska.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 86 pp., £7.99, April 1993, 1 85619 306 3
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Translations from the Natural World 
by Les Murray.
Carcanet, 67 pp., £6.95, March 1993, 1 85754 005 0
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... Didsbury has ‘The sky is like an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary.’ The editors are right in one respect, though: something is happening in recent British and Irish poetry. Poets like Paul Durcan, Ian McMillan and Peter Didsbury (all well represented here) are pushing the form towards performance and gaudy narrative. Many of the poets are writing long, stringy lines reminiscent of the ...
26 November 1998
The Restraint of Beasts 
by Magnus Mills.
Flamingo, 215 pp., £9.99, September 1998, 0 00 225720 3
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... for his first novel. Although the real advance was soon discovered to be substantially smaller, Brixton bus garage was besieged by reporters and photographers hoping to catch a glimpse of Magnus Mills, perhaps scribbling in the cab of his Routemaster, or discussing Joyce in rhyming slang. We have since been bombarded with features, interviews and increasingly laborious jokes, usually along the ...

Should we say thank you?

Hugh Wilford: The Overrated Marshall Plan

30 April 2009
The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Reconstruction of Postwar Europe 
by Greg Behrman.
Aurum, 448 pp., £25, February 2008, 978 1 84513 326 9
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Winning the Peace: The Marshall Plan and America’s Coming of Age as a Superpower 
by Nicolaus Mills.
Wiley, 290 pp., £15.99, August 2008, 978 0 470 09755 7
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... American achievement, Behrman’s book is built around portraits of the five leaders principally responsible for devising the ERP and ensuring it was carried out: Marshall himself, William Clayton, Paul Hoffman, Richard Bissell and Arthur Vandenberg. All are portrayed as extraordinarily talented, dedicated and selfless individuals who acted out of a classical sense of republican virtue and, like ...

I Love You Still

Russell Jacoby

9 February 1995
Intellectuals in Exile: Refugee Scholars and the New School for Social Research 
by Claus-Dieter Krohn, translated by Rita Kimber and Robert Kimber.
Massachusetts, 255 pp., $15.95, July 1994, 0 87023 864 7
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... which tells the story of the Office of Strategic Services – the predecessor to the CIA that employed a bevy of refugee leftist intellectuals like Marcuse, Franz Neumann, Otto Kirkheimer and Paul Baran. Recent books include poignant accounts like Gabrielle Edgcomb’s From Swastika to Jim Crow, about the sixty-odd German Jewish professors who found refuge at black colleges in the American ...

Tea-Leafing

Duncan Campbell

19 October 1995
The Autobiography of a Thief 
by Bruce Reynolds.
Bantam, 320 pp., £15.99, April 1995, 0 593 03779 0
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... France’ not only tells us that Mrs Fordham has travelled but cloaks old Charlie Wilson – shot dead by a hit-man in Spain in 1990 – in a rather different aura, more Gauloise than Craven A. Piers Paul Read’s The Train Robbers (1978) was another one: ‘the evil ... which I had sought in the train robbers can be found in any one of us and has little to do with the law of the land. There was both ...

Heads and Hearts

Patrick Parrinder

28 May 1992
Underworld 
by Peter Conrad.
Chatto, 252 pp., £14.99, April 1992, 0 7011 3895 5
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A Case of Curiosities 
by Allen Kurzweil.
Hamish Hamilton, 358 pp., £14.99, March 1992, 0 241 13235 5
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Rotten Times 
by Paul​ Micou.
Bantam, 266 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 593 02621 7
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The Republic of Love 
by Carol Shields.
Fourth Estate, 366 pp., £14.99, March 1992, 1 872180 88 4
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... novel set in pre-Revolutionary France, it shares with Lawrence Norfolk’s recent Lemprière’s Dictionary the knowledge of some hitherto unsuspected developments in 18th-century robotics. In Paul Micou’s Rotten Times the main character suffers from a hyperactive access of memory, known as Tourraine’s Syndrome, brought on while he was shaving in an aircraft flying through a thunderstorm ...

Is Berlusconi finished?

Paul​ Ginsborg: The Italian Election

6 April 2006
... or framed pictures of Pope John XXIII, which were so common in Italian shops and homes in the 1960s and 1970s, have slowly disappeared. They have less often been replaced by representations of John Paul II, perhaps more respected than loved in Italy, than by those of Padre Pio, the charismatic southern Italian Capuchin friar who claimed to have received the stigmata, and who was made a saint, in ...

Diary

Elaine Showalter: On the Phi Beta Kappa Tour

10 March 1994
... hotline, which for the all-night toga party, which for the lecture on feminist theory or the talk by Minister Farakhan. Some campuses, like Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, and Macalester, in St Paul, Minnesota, are served by bookstore-cafés, which double as literary salons; others inhabit a wasteland of thrift shops and greasy spoons. Faculty lifestyles and manners vary widely as well. At ...

77 Barton Street

Dave Haslam: Joy Division

3 January 2008
Juvenes: The Joy Division Photographs of Kevin Cummins 
To Hell with Publishing, 189 pp., £200, December 2007Show More
Joy Division: Piece by Piece 
by Paul​ Morley.
Plexus, 384 pp., £14.99, December 2007, 978 0 85965 404 3
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Control 
directed by Anton Corbijn.
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... of The Smiths would later write songs about these places, about ‘Rusholme ruffians’ and a ‘rented room in Whalley Range’, about iron bridges and ‘a river the colour of lead’. In May 1983, Paul Slattery – who had photographed Joy Division in 1979, too, beside an industrial estate in Stockport – took some shots for Sounds of The Smiths standing in the ruins of Central Station, once the ...

Mizzlers

Patrick Parrinder

26 July 1990
The Sorrow of Belgium 
by Hugo Claus, translated by Arnold Pomerans.
Viking, 609 pp., £14.99, June 1990, 0 670 81456 3
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Joanna 
by Lisa St Aubin de Teran.
Virago, 260 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 1 85381 158 0
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A Sensible Life 
by Mary Wesley.
Bantam, 364 pp., £12.95, March 1990, 9780593019306
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The Light Years 
by Elizabeth Jane Howard.
Macmillan, 418 pp., £12.95, June 1990, 0 333 53875 7
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... The question of collaboration amongst intellectuals in the occupied nations has again become a talking-point, thanks largely to the posthumous revelations about the Belgian-American literary theorist Paul de Man. But what about the ordinary people of the Low Countries? Hugo Claus’s The Sorrow of Belgium, a novel first published in Holland in 1983, presents a world in which collaboration with the ...

At the Met

David Hansen: Richard Serra

30 June 2011
... structural materials and actions, also seems to allude to drawing in some way. In Hands Tied, the knotted string from which the artist’s hands struggle to escape is the punitive opposite of Paul Klee’s bouncy, cheerful ‘taking a line for a walk’. In Hand Lead Fulcrum the artist’s arm drops slowly down off the horizontal, neatly allegorising the weight of pigment, while also ...

The Groom Stripped Bare by His Suitor

Jeremy Harding: John Lennon

4 January 2001
Lennon Remembers 
by Jann Wenner.
Verso, 151 pp., £20, October 2000, 1 85984 600 9
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... interview seemed to round off the 1960s nicely – or nastily, come to that. Many things seemed to do the same, of course, but in this case the dating was pretty precise. It was ten years since John, Paul, George and Ringo had recorded their first session together at the Akustik, a small studio in Hamburg (apparently a single 78 rpm copy of ‘Summertime’ still survives); and Lennon’s declaration ...
20 August 1992
Claire clairmont and the Shelleys 
by Robert Gittings and Jo Manton.
Oxford, 281 pp., £20, April 1992, 0 19 818594 4
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Mab’s Daughters 
by Judith Chernaik.
Pan, 229 pp., £5.99, July 1992, 0 330 32379 2
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... Of Russia she prophesied with startling accuracy: ‘Through the straw-berry picking and the mushroom expeditions, the sledge drives by moonlight and the rides to drink milk at the estate saw mills, those who had ears might have heard the clang of hammer and sickle.’ Nor was she hoodwinked or hypnotised, as Mary was, by the apparent security and comforts of middle-class Early Victorian ...

Just Like Cookham

Neal Ascherson: Stanley Spencer in China

19 May 2011
Passport to Peking: A Very British Mission to Mao’s China 
by Patrick Wright.
Oxford, 591 pp., £20, October 2010, 978 0 19 954193 5
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... by levelling the city walls and demolishing the traditional hutong houses. The British delegations thought they were seeing the new China rising. But what they were really witnessing, between steel mills and river dams, were the remaining sights and cultural landscapes and habits of an old China about to be swept away for ever. Were these visitors just useful idiots, in their excitement at seeing a ...

Bottom

Richard Jenkyns: George Grote’s ‘A History of Greece’

9 August 2001
A History of Greece: From the Time of Solon to 403 BC 
by George Grote, edited by J.M. Mitchell and M.O.B. Caspari.
Routledge, 978 pp., £60, September 2000, 0 415 22369 5
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... a sage, partly because his work has not been easily accessible. Routledge’s reissue of an Edwardian abridgment of his 12-volume History of Greece, prefaced with an illuminating new introduction by Paul Cartledge, provides the best chance that there is likely to be of bringing him to a modern readership. He is one of those Victorians with an astonishing range and energy. Though he got a solid ...

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