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Welfare in America

William Plowden, 11 July 1991

American Social Welfare Policy: A Structural Approach 
by Howard Karger and David Stoesz.
Longman, 371 pp., £18.95, November 1990, 0 8013 0193 9
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America’s Misunderstood Welfare State 
by Theodore Marmor, Jerry Mashaw and Philip Harvey.
Basic Books, 268 pp., $22.95, October 1990, 9780465001224
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The American Prospect 
edited by Paul Starr and Robert Kuttner.
New Prospect, 168 pp., $31
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... Like other beliefs and forms of behaviour to be met with in this country in the course of the present century, much of the Thatcherite approach to social policy was imported from the United States. Joe Rogaly commented recently that if under Mrs Thatcher 10 Downing Street was attached ‘by threads of steel’ to right-wing think tanks such as the Centre for Policy Studies, the latter were attached ‘by underwater cable’ to their counterparts in New York and Washington ...

Pint for Pint

Thomas Laqueur: The Price of Blood, 14 October 1999

Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce 
by Douglas Starr.
Little, Brown, 429 pp., £20, February 1999, 0 316 91146 1
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... or unwittingly tainted with HIV – has renewed our interest in the sanguinary, and Douglas Starr has now set this interest in context. He describes his book as ‘the story of blood – the chronicle of a resource, the researchers who have studied it, the businessmen who have traded it, the doctors who have prescribed it, and the lay people whose lives ...

Dictionaries

Randolph Quirk, 25 October 1979

Collins Dictionary of the English Language 
by P. Hanks, T.H. Long and L. Urdang.
Collins, 1690 pp., £7.95
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... R.W. Burchfield and John Sykes) is comparatively stable. When work began on the new Collins, Paul Procter and Della Summers were young conductors under impresario Urdang, and they later moved on to make dictionaries for Longman. Patrick Hanks was recruited to complete the Collins when he had finished a somewhat similar job for Hamlyn. Both Urdang and ...

Stalin at the Movies

Peter Wollen: The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism by J. Hoberman, 25 November 1999

The Red Atlantis: Communist Culture in the Absence of Communism 
by J. Hoberman.
Temple, 315 pp., £27.95, November 1998, 1 56639 643 3
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... the Soviet Union’s most successful jazz band. ‘Like Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer,’ Frederick Starr observed in Red and Hot, his wonderful history of Soviet jazz, Utyosov ‘seized on the new American music as a means of establishing a niche for himself in the non-Jewish world’. In fact, according to a visiting British journalist, he eventually ...

Alcohology

Victor Mallet, 8 December 1988

Constructive Drinking: Perspectives on Drink from Anthropology 
edited by Mary Douglas.
Cambridge, 291 pp., £25, September 1987, 0 521 33504 3
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For Prayer and Profit: The Ritual, Economic and Social Importance of Beer in Gwembe District, Zambia, 1950-1982 
by Elizabeth Colson and Thayer Scudder.
Stanford, 147 pp., $32.50, August 1988, 0 8047 1444 4
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... for so many people in so many countries, was hardly likely to escape the attention of the likes of Paul Antze (contributor to Constructive Drinking), who says his research interests include ‘social theory, symbolic anthropology and ethno-psychiatry’. You are no longer safe from observation by alcohologists, whether in the snug of a London pub, the ...

Lennon’s Confessions

Russell Davies, 5 February 1981

... the allusion to songs about people in concrete flats seemed an unnecessarily explicit rejection of Paul McCartney, whose favoured vein that had sometimes been, in songs like ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘Penny Lane’. McCartney’s compassionate tableaux and jaunty ballads, to be sure, were usually light and occasionally trite as well, but they were at least ...

Born of the age we live in

John Lanchester, 6 December 1990

Stick it up your punter! The Rise and Fall of the ‘Sun’ 
by Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie.
Heinemann, 372 pp., £14.99, November 1990, 0 434 12624 1
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All played out: The True Story of Italia ’90 
by Pete Davies.
Heinemann, 471 pp., £14.99, October 1990, 0 434 17908 6
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Gazza! A Biography 
by Robin McGibbon.
Penguin, 204 pp., £3.99, October 1990, 9780140148688
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... half-hour-long bollockings on almost any pretext; creating front-page headlines like ‘FREDDIE STARR ATE MY HAMSTER’; protesting his reasonableness, during negotiations about the move to Wapping, with the remark that ‘If I bend over any further I’ll be in Gay News.’ One of Mackenzie’s ploys is his execution of a ‘reverse ferret’, a ...

The Bad News about the Resistance

Neal Ascherson: Parachuted into France, 30 July 2020

A Schoolmaster’s War: Harry Rée, British Agent in the French Resistance 
edited by Jonathan Rée.
Yale, 204 pp., £14.99, March, 978 0 300 24566 0
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... rebellion against the Nazi invaders. Our headmaster – how did he get hold of it ? – read us Paul Éluard’s heart-rending poem ‘Liberté’, smuggled across the Channel to the Free French in London. And two very different Resistance memoirs, published in the first year after the war, soon invaded and occupied my adolescent imagination. One was ...

Ten Typical Days in Trump’s America

Eliot Weinberger: Ten (More) Days in America, 25 October 2018

... is exempt from criminal indictment; the list of sexually graphic questions he prepared for Kenneth Starr to ask Bill Clinton during the Clinton impeachment proceedings; and the hundreds of thousands of pages of documents relating to his work in the Bush administration which the Republicans are refusing to release – covering, among other things, his role in ...

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