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Seven Days

R.W. Johnson

4 July 1985
The Pick of Paul JohnsonAn Anthology 
Harrap, 277 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 245 54246 9Show More
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... PaulJohnson does not, as they say, need much introduction. Whatever one thinks of his opinions, one has to admire his frenetic energy. From 1955 to 1970 he poured forth strong left-wing views in the New ...
17 August 1989
Intellectuals 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 385 pp., £14.95, October 1988, 0 297 79395 0
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CounterBlasts No 1: God, Man and Mrs Thatcher 
by Jonathan Raban.
Chatto, 72 pp., £2.99, June 1989, 0 7011 3470 4
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... are intellectuals who have wished to change the world, and a very few who have managed to do so: but some intellectuals have been thought to have difficulty in changing their socks. Bertrand Russell, PaulJohnson reports, was unable to make himself a cup of tea. The term came to currency with the classifications employed in the Marxist system, and has been used to deplore the scarcity in this country ...
4 August 1988
A History of the Jews 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 643 pp., £8.95, April 1988, 0 297 79366 7
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The Burning Bush: Anti-Semitism and World History 
by Barnet Litvinoff.
Collins, 493 pp., £17.50, April 1988, 0 00 217433 2
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Living with Anti-Semitism: Modern Jewish Responses 
edited by Jehuda Reinharz.
Brandeis/University Press of New England, 498 pp., £32.75, August 1987, 9780874513882
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... or not this picture of the Jewish origins of a taste for eschatological history is exactly right, it is certainly the picture that dominates most attempts to write a general history of the Jews. PaulJohnson, already the author of a History of Christianity and a History of the English People, starts his third excursus into universal history with some self-interrogation. ‘Why have I written a ...
11 December 1997
A History of the American People 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 925 pp., £25, October 1997, 0 297 81569 5
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... PaulJohnson is one of the most indefatigable writers on either side of the Atlantic. In the past twenty years, the former editor of the New Statesman turned ardent Thatcherite has produced, among other books ...
1 September 1988
Picasso: Creator and Destroyer 
by Arianna Stassinopoulos Huffington.
Weidenfeld, 559 pp., £16, June 1988, 0 02 977935 9
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... on the ‘mysterious quality of inexhaustibility bursting forth’, or were they seduced by Huffington’s glamour (it bursts forth from the dust jacket)? If so, they are in respectable company. PaulJohnson (described in this paper some years ago by Lord Blake as the greatest living British journalist) has declared in the Spectator that he found the book ‘morbidly compulsive from start to ...

Wild Words

Stuart Hampshire

18 August 1983
A History of the Modern World: From 1917 to the 1980s 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 832 pp., £16.50, April 1983, 0 297 78226 6
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... Coolidge is a hero in PaulJohnson’s eyes, and Franklin Roosevelt a villain. The former is quoted with approval: business ‘has for its main reliance truth and faith and justice. In its larger sense it is one of the greatest ...
25 February 1993
Studded with Diamonds and Paved with Gold: Miners, Mining Companies and Human Rights in South Africa 
by Laurie Flynn.
Bloomsbury, 358 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 7475 1155 1
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... during periods of recession and crisis by maintaining the owners’ income at the highest practicable level.’ The history of Consolidated Goldfields, incidentally, has been written for a fat fee by PaulJohnson, former editor of the New Statesman and later chief jester at the court of Margaret Thatcher. Laurie Flynn tells us that Johnson managed to complete his panegyric without a single interview ...
21 August 1980
We and They, Civic and Despotic Cultures 
by Robert Conquest.
Temple Smith, 252 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 0 85117 184 2
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The Recovery of Freedom 
by Paul Johnson.
Blackwell, 232 pp., £8.50, August 1980, 0 631 12562 0
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... In reviewing one of these books, I must ‘declare an interest’. PaulJohnson’s is a volume in the Mainstream Series of which I am an editor, although I have had no connection with this collection of essays other than strongly approving in principle that he should publish ...

Permissiveness

Paul​ Addison

23 January 1986
The Writing on the wall: Britain in the Seventies 
by Phillip Whitehead.
Joseph, 438 pp., £14.95, November 1985, 0 7181 2471 5
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... or nothing to do with a passion for social justice was seldom appreciated by ideologues, though it was perfectly obvious to the general public. At the zenith of the inflationary wage spiral in 1975 PaulJohnson observed: Free collective bargaining necessarily excludes huge sections of society. They are not organised. They cannot be organised. Rapid inflation inflicts the greatest possible suffering ...
12 September 1991
The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 1095 pp., £25, September 1991, 0 297 81207 6
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... PaulJohnson’s thousand-page book is geared to the present age of long print runs and mass marketing. It is one of the currently popular narrative histories written by Britons who position themselves mid ...

Terrorism

Ian Gilmour

23 October 1986
Britain’s Civil Wars: Counter-Insurgency in the 20th Century 
by Charles Townshend.
Faber, 220 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 0 571 13802 0
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Terrorism and the Liberal State 
by Paul​ Wilkinson.
Macmillan, 322 pp., £25, May 1986, 0 333 39490 9
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Terrorism: How the West can win 
edited by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Weidenfeld, 254 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 79025 0
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Political Murder: From Tyrannicide to Terrorism 
by Franklin Ford.
Harvard, 440 pp., £24.95, November 1985, 0 674 68635 7
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The Financing of Terror 
by James Adams.
New English Library, 294 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 0 450 06086 1
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They dare to speak out: People and institutions confront Israel’s lobby 
by Paul​ Findley.
Lawrence Hill (Connecticut), 362 pp., $16.95, May 1985, 0 88208 179 9
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... anti-terrorism the fashionable crusade, and few stop to consider the wisdom of the course the US is pursuing. In this country sensible discussion of terrorism is still possible. Charles Townshend, Paul Wilkinson and James Adams are immune to the hysteria that has afflicted Reagan’s America. Performing a miracle of compression, Mr Townshend tells the story of British ‘counter-insurgency’ in ...
22 January 1981
Ireland: Land of Troubles 
by Paul Johnson.
Eyre Methuen, 224 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 413 47650 2
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Acts of Union 
by Anthony Bailey.
Faber, 221 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 571 11648 5
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Neighbours 
by Conor Cruise O’Brien.
Faber, 96 pp., £2.95, November 1980, 0 571 11645 0
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Ireland: A History 
by Robert Kee.
Weidenfeld, 256 pp., £9.95, December 1980, 0 297 77855 2
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... 1790s, when modern notions of nationalism, republicanism and revolution seem firmly to have been implanted? Is the Irish obsession with the past a mere romantic consolation, or a practical method, as Johnson has emphasised elsewhere, of prescribing change by reference to an ancient, largely fictitious ‘golden age’ – De Valera’s method of enlisting the imagery of Cathleen ni Houlihan while ...

Everlasting Stone

Patrick Wormald

21 May 1981
The Enigma of Stonehenge 
by John Fowles and Barry Brukoff.
Cape, 126 pp., £6.95, September 1980, 0 224 01618 0
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British Cathedrals 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 275 pp., £12.50, September 1980, 0 297 77828 5
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... that commands respect, and both have original and unorthodox cases to put. Both, in short, are the offspring of the educated English eccentric’s ongoing affair with the English heritage. Mr Johnson’s volume on British Cathedrals may be in a well-established tradition, but it has unusual features. His criterion of selection is simply that a building must have been, or become, the seat of a ...

Papers

Paul​ Driver

9 October 1986
The Beethoven Sketchbook: History, Reconstruction, Inventory 
by Douglas Johnson, Alan Tyson and Robert Winter, edited by Douglas Johnson.
Oxford, 611 pp., £60, January 1986, 0 19 315313 0
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... reverenced and used. Now, for the first time since the sketchbooks, lovingly protected by Beethoven, passed into the hands of early collectors (Dominic Artaria, Ludwig Landsberg, Friedrich Grasnick, Paul Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Anton Schindler), before being scattered to the European winds, serious students are in possession of the bibliographical information they need. Our authors supply the fullest ...
3 October 1996
The Quest for God: A Personal Pilgrimage 
by Paul Johnson.
Weidenfeld, 216 pp., £14.99, March 1996, 0 297 81764 7
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Is There a God? 
by Richard Swinburne.
Oxford, 144 pp., £20, February 1996, 0 19 823544 5
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God in Us: A Case for Christian Humanism 
by Anthony Freeman.
SCM, 87 pp., £5.95, September 1993, 0 344 02538 1
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Robert Runcie: The Reluctant Archbishop 
by Humphrey Carpenter.
Hodder, 401 pp., £20, October 1996, 0 340 57107 1
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... considered itself ‘charismatic’. These code words seem dated now; at the time they meant that the church felt itself to have been visited by the Holy Spirit, and to be making fresh use of what St Paul called ‘spiritual gifts’ or ‘the manifestation of the Spirit’: speaking in tongues, dancing in the spirit, ecstatic worship, healing, miracles, prophecies. This movement had its roots in ...

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