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Like Cutting a Cow

Adam Kuper: Ritual killings in southern Africa, 6 July 2006

Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis 
by Colin Murray and Peter Sanders.
Edinburgh, 493 pp., £50, May 2006, 0 7486 2284 5
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... area, while taking a more sceptical view of witchcraft. Now Colin Murray, an anthropologist, and Peter Sanders, a historian, provide a study of an earlier panic about medicine murders in the small British colony of Basutoland (now Lesotho) in the late 1940s. They have tracked down all the available records of medicine murder in the colonial period and ...

And That Rug!

Michael Dobson: Images of Shakespeare, 6 November 2003

Shakespeare’s Face: The Story behind the Newly Discovered Portrait 
by Stephanie Nolen.
Piatkus, 365 pp., £18.99, March 2003, 0 7499 2391 1
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Imagining Shakespeare: A History of Texts and Visions 
by Stephen Orgel.
Palgrave, 172 pp., £25, August 2003, 1 4039 1177 0
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Shakespeare in Art 
by Jane Martineau et al.
Merrell, 256 pp., £29.95, September 2003, 1 85894 229 2
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In Search of Shakespeare 
by Michael Wood.
BBC, 352 pp., £20, May 2003, 9780563534778
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... a small heraldic badge to indicate his lineage. This is the painting which has become known as the Sanders portrait, after Thomas Sanders, the man who in 1908 took it to Marion Henry Spielmann, author of the pioneering Portraits of Shakespeare (1907), claiming that a hitherto undocumented family tradition identified it as a ...

Proust? Ha!

Michael Hofmann, 21 August 1997

A Book of Memories 
by Péter Nádas, translated by Ivan Sanders and Imre Goldstein.
Cape, 706 pp., £16.99, August 1997, 9780224035248
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... I couldn’t face getting hold of the German version at least to compare translations – but Sanders and Goldstein haven’t done badly, though they haven’t been above such things as ‘back on track’ or ‘total eating pleasure’ or the description of a flaccid penis ‘lying on my thigh with infantine disinterest’. The impression they give ...

Carnival Time

Peter Craven, 18 February 1988

The Remake 
by Clive James.
Cape, 223 pp., £10.95, October 1987, 0 224 02515 5
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In the Land of Oz 
by Howard Jacobson.
Hamish Hamilton, 380 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 0 241 12110 8
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... sits in piles In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs. Of course there are sage heads (Peter Porter’s, for instance) who will defend James’s serious verse-making as poised and Larkinesque. He is also (when he confines himself to what he knows) a fine literary critic. As a critic, James not only has his charm, he burns very ...

Florey Story

Peter Medawar, 20 December 1979

Howard Florey: The Making of a Great Scientist 
by Gwyn Macfarlane.
Oxford, 396 pp., £7.95
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... paper on the subject in the Lancet, by Chain, Florey, Gardner, Heatley, Jennings, Orr-Ewing and Sanders – the names are in alphabetical order – stated: ‘The results are clear-cut and show that penicillin is active in vivo against at least three of the organisms inhibited in vitro.’Macfarlane’s account of the animal experiments and the first ...

A World of Waste

Philip Horne, 1 September 1983

The Proprietor 
by Ann Schlee.
Macmillan, 300 pp., £8.95, September 1983, 0 333 35111 8
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Slouching towards Kalamazoo 
by Peter De Vries.
Gollancz, 241 pp., £7.95, August 1983, 0 575 03306 1
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Marcovaldo 
by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver.
Secker, 121 pp., £7.95, August 1983, 0 436 08272 1
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The Loser 
by George Konard, translated by Ivan Sanders.
Allen Lane, 315 pp., £8.95, August 1983, 0 7139 1599 4
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... outside the restriction of their lives and are lost to themselves. Slouching towards Kalamazoo by Peter De Vries, is about sexual liberation and the 19th century’s heritage: its first half jokily replays the situation of The Scarlet Letter in a small Mid-Western town in the late 1950s. The narrator is Tony Thrasher, the precociously witty and allusive son ...

Lunch

Jon Halliday, 2 June 1983

In the Service of the Peacock Throne: The Diaries of the Shah’s Last Ambassador to London 
by Parviz Radji.
Hamish Hamilton, 343 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 241 10960 4
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... people she had invited to dinner had refused to come because Radji was going to be there (George Sanders was right – always check out your fellow guests). Radji slams her for ‘tactlessness’. But this is just the sort of thing he needed to know. An interesting case of the discriminating guest is Anthony Howard, then editor of the New Statesman, who ...

Psychoneural Pairs

A.J. Ayer, 19 May 1988

A Theory of Determinism: The Mind, Neuroscience and Life-Hopes 
by Ted Honderich.
Oxford, 656 pp., £55, May 1988, 9780198244691
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... close approximations, ascribing their discrepancies to ‘observational errors’. But, as Charles Sanders Peirce pointed out, this was simply a term of art: there was seldom any good reason to believe that there was anything wrong with the experiments. In his view, and in mine, the deviations were a matter of chance, and I follow him in taking chance to be an ...

Crusoe and Daughter

Patricia Craig, 20 June 1985

Crusoe’s Daughter 
by Jane Gardam.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 241 11526 4
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The Tie that Binds 
by Kent Haruf.
Joseph, 246 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 7181 2561 4
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Hannie Richards, or The Intrepid Adventures of a Restless Wife 
by Hilary Bailey.
Virago, 265 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 9780860683469
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A Fine Excess 
by Jane Ellison.
Secker, 183 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 436 14601 0
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Victory over Japan 
by Ellen Gilchrist.
Faber, 277 pp., £9.95, May 1985, 0 571 13446 7
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... is at present something of a fashion for novels reflecting other novels, ironically and obliquely (Peter Ackroyd’s The Great Fire of London comes to mind, with Little Dorrit behind it; or even Flaubert’s Parrot, though biography, fiction and all inform that eccentric piece of writing). These, at best, are neither extensions nor offshoots, but playful and ...

Just about Anything You Want

Ben Jackson: Guerrilla Open Access, 5 October 2016

The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz 
by Aaron Swartz.
Verso, 368 pp., £15.99, February 2016, 978 1 78478 496 6
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... well down his list of priorities. ‘I don’t care about copyright law,’ he told his friend Peter Eckersley in 2010. ‘Healthcare, financial reform – those are the issues that I work on, not something obscure like copyright law.’ He had a change of heart about freedom of information more generally: he’d started to notice that the government and ...

Corbyn’s Progress

Tariq Ali, 3 March 2016

... a few well-known and intelligent social democrats – Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams, David Owen, Peter Jenkins and Polly Toynbee – but they were still destroyed by the electoral system and had to stave off obscurity by a political transplant, merging with the Liberals, an experiment that ended in disaster in 2015. Were they to try the same, the Blairites ...

Bare Bones

Steven Shapin: Rhinoceros v. Megatherium, 8 March 2018

The Rhinoceros and the Megatherium: An Essay in Natural History 
by Juan Pimentel, translated by Peter Mason.
Harvard, 356 pp., £21.95, January 2017, 978 0 674 73712 9
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... birth to evolution.’ ‘When a man desires ardently to know the truth,’ the pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce wrote at the close of the 19th century, ‘his first effort will be to imagine what that truth can be … It is not too much to say that next after the passion to learn there is no quality so indispensable to the successful prosecution of science ...

Whose century?

Adam Tooze: After the Shock, 30 July 2020

Schism: China, America and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System 
by Paul Blustein.
McGill-Queen’s, 356 pp., £27.99, September 2019, 978 1 928096 85 6
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Superpower Showdown: How the Battle between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War 
by Bob Davis and Lingling Wei.
Harper, 480 pp., £25, June, 978 0 06 295305 6
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Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace 
by Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis.
Yale, 288 pp., £20, June, 978 0 300 24417 5
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The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Metropolitan Elite 
by Michael Lind.
Atlantic, 224 pp., £14.99, February, 978 1 78649 955 4
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... such as the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Trump’s favourite economic adviser, Peter Navarro, the question is why the effort to enrol China in the world economy was undertaken in the first place, and who benefited from an experiment that has gone so badly wrong.The crude Trumpian take, which is perhaps also the kindest, is that the US ...

American Breakdown

David Bromwich, 9 August 2018

... of the left have continued to up the ante. Judd Apatow: ‘Trump is a Nazi. The debate is over.’ Peter Fonda: ‘We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with paedophiles.’ Advisers to the president and members of his cabinet have been mobbed and jeered, denied service in restaurants, and harassed at home; and more such ...

I am a knife

Jacqueline Rose: A Woman’s Agency, 22 February 2018

Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus 
by Vanessa Grigoriadis.
Houghton Mifflin, 332 pp., £20, September 2017, 978 0 544 70255 4
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Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus 
by Laura Kipnis.
HarperCollins, 245 pp., £20, April 2017, 978 0 06 265786 2
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Living a Feminist Life 
by Sara Ahmed.
Duke, 312 pp., £20.99, February 2017, 978 0 8223 6319 4
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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body 
by Roxane Gay.
Corsair, 288 pp., £13.99, July 2017, 978 1 4721 5111 7
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Difficult Women 
by Roxane Gay.
Corsair, 272 pp., £13.99, January 2017, 978 1 4721 5277 0
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... tweeted that they were part of a Democrat conspiracy. Pressed to produce evidence, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said: ‘The president has first-hand knowledge of what he did and didn’t do’ – as if the women did not. As Grigoriadis puts it, sexual assault is at once ‘the problem from hell’ and ‘the perfect crime’. One ...

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