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At Tate Britain

Peter Campbell: Hamish Fulton, 9 May 2002

... runner’s art takes place in public – the physical experience is no easier to imagine than the walker’s but the facts are in full view. He or she can afford to be silent. Walkers have to let people know how the walk went, and no matter how modestly they phrase their stories, can find themselves in the awkward position of saying ‘this was a ...

Nuclear Power and its Opponents

Walter Patterson, 8 January 1987

Red Alert: The Worldwide Dangers of Nuclear Power 
by Judith Cook.
New English Library, 331 pp., £8.95, September 1986, 4 503 99905 2
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... As she says, ‘ministers of governments of all shades, energy ministers such as Tony Benn and Peter Walker, civil servants, employees of public utilities, have sat, like Jonson’s Puritans, open-mouthed and bemused, listening to the flood of jargon which has promised that the millennium is just around the corner. Billions of pounds of ...

On the Pitch

Ben Walker, 18 June 2020

... The people’s game without the people,’ the football commentator Peter Drury said on 12 March, introducing BT Sport’s coverage of the Europa League fixture between Wolverhampton Wanderers and the Greek side Olympiacos. ‘It’s not the same for you and it’s not the same without you.’ The match was taking place behind closed doors, as all sporting events will be for the foreseeable future ...

In Cambridge

Peter Campbell: The Cambridge Illuminations: Ten Centuries of Book Production in the Medieval West, 18 August 2005

... ivy bush. The illuminations of the 12th-century Bury Bible or the mid-12th-century manuscript of Peter Lombard’s Magna glossatura on the Psalms are equally brilliantly coloured, but stranger, less sweet, more stylised and more exciting. In these, illuminated initials articulate the work as well as decorating it, identifying layers of text, commentary, and ...

Falling Stars

Alan Coren, 5 November 1981

Richard Burton 
by Paul Ferris.
Weidenfeld, 212 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 297 77966 4
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Peter Sellers 
by Alexander Walker.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 297 77965 6
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... to determine which is the better book. Richard Burton was printed by Butler and Tanner Limited, Peter Sellers by the Fakenham Press, and since the one establishment is in Somerset and the other in Norfolk, it is fair to absolve both of them from the sort of catchpenny opportunist hustling which these days has the publishing world of London by the ...


R.W. Johnson: Britain and South Africa since the Boer War, 6 May 2004

The Lion and the Springbok: Britain and South Africa since the Boer War 
by Ronald Hyam and Peter Henshaw.
Cambridge, 379 pp., £45, May 2003, 0 521 82453 2
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... This book begins with real passion as Ronald Hyam and Peter Henshaw lash into those historians who they believe have made unwarranted assumptions about the links between Britain and South Africa: to wit, that Britain fought the Boer War to get its hands on the gold and that economic considerations remained the motivating force in its difficult relationship with South Africa thereafter ...

Tearing up the Race Card

Paul Foot, 30 November 1995

The New Untouchables: Immigration and the New World Worker 
by Nigel Harris.
Tauris, 256 pp., £25, October 1995, 1 85043 956 7
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The Cambridge Survey of World Migration 
edited by Robin Cohen.
Cambridge, 570 pp., £75, November 1995, 0 521 44405 5
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... on this subject are the two Michaels, Portillo and Howard, whose fathers were both immigrants, and Peter Lilley, whose holidays in his house in France enabled him to break into colloquial French in the course of a ludicrous comic turn about foreigners coming to this country to partake of the social services which he is assiduously dismantling. As always when a ...

Wadham and Gomorrah

Conrad Russell, 6 December 1984

The Poems of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester 
edited by Keith Walker.
Blackwell, 319 pp., £35, September 1984, 0 631 12573 6
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... sons of Wadham’, perhaps took part in writing an obscene farce called Sodom. Dr Walker drily observes that ‘to assert this twenty years ago would have damaged Rochester’s reputation as much as to deny it today.’ We are certainly more able than many of our predecessors to accept that this poetry was of some importance for its age. If we ...

Prince and Pimp

Paul Foot, 1 January 1998

The Liar: The Fall of Jonathan Aitken 
by Luke Harding and David Leigh.
Penguin, 205 pp., £6.99, December 1997, 0 14 027290 9
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... of State for Defence Procurement, in January 1994. It was put to the then editor of the Guardian, Peter Preston. The words ‘we all’ referred to Aitken himself, his wife Lolicia and his faithful Arab friend Said Ayas. The answer to the question was ‘yes’. They were all bare-faced liars, but none more so than the debonair minister himself. Why did he ...

Loose Woven

Peter Howarth: Edward Thomas’s contingencies, 4 August 2005

Collected Poems 
by Edward Thomas, edited by R. George Thomas.
Faber, 264 pp., £12.99, October 2004, 0 571 22260 9
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... and free’, which enacts Thomas’s encounters with the contingent even as it narrates them. As Peter Sacks notes in his introduction, Frost’s influence was partly responsible for this formal discovery, but another reason was Thomas’s critical dissatisfaction with his contemporaries, a dissatisfaction which for many years got him bracketed as an ...

At the Hayward

Peter Campbell: Alexander Rodchenko, 24 April 2008

... contemporaries were making propaganda too – photographs of dams built by the TVA, for example. Walker Evans’s photographs for the Farm Security Administration – in their way, quite as formal as Rodchenko’s – also carried messages that are now subject to sceptical scrutiny. Rodchenko’s work was made with more editorial oversight than that of his ...

Political Purposes

Frances Spalding: Art in postwar Britain, 15 April 1999

New Art New World: British Art in Postwar Society 
by Margaret Garlake.
Yale, 279 pp., £35, July 1998, 0 300 07292 9
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Cultural Offensive: America’s Impact on British Art since 1945 
by John Walker.
Pluto, 304 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 7453 1321 3
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... of Joseph Herman’s images of Welsh miners, Joan Eardley’s Glasgow tenement scenes or Peter de Francia’s political paintings further weakens the realist cause. But Garlake’s assessment of Berger’s stance seems fair, recognising as it does the difficulty he had in formulating criteria to match his beliefs. He focused, she argues, on the ...

Ruthless Enthusiasms

Michael Ignatieff, 15 July 1982

The Brixton Disorders: Report of an Inquiry by the Rt Hon. the Lord Scarman 
HMSO, 168 pp., £8, November 1981, 0 10 184270 8Show More
Punishment, Danger and Stigma: The Morality of Criminal Justice 
by Nigel Walker.
Blackwell, 206 pp., £9.95, August 1980, 0 631 12542 6
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Punishment: A Philosophical and Criminological Inquiry 
by Philip Bean.
Martin Robertson, 215 pp., £12.50, August 1981, 0 85520 391 9
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Dangerousness and Criminal Justice 
by Jean Floud and Warren Young.
Heinemann, 228 pp., £14.50, October 1981, 0 435 82307 8
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The Abuse of Power: Civil Liberties in the United Kingdom 
by Patricia Hewitt.
Martin Robertson, 295 pp., £15, December 1981, 0 85520 380 3
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... in academic debates on the philosophy of punishment, by a revival of retributivism. As Nigel Walker and Philip Bean make clear in their lucid guides to these debates, it is Kant and Hegel, rather than Bentham and Beccaria, who are winning the arguments these days. Retributivism seems to speak to that yearning for society to speak as a moral actor. As an ...

Three Poems

Peter Porter, 20 December 1984

... things – thus Physics and Euripides alike are soon found under ‘Plots of the Operas’ by J. Walker McSpadden. The most to hope for is to hit something good when you’ve missed your target. A lot of learning is a dangerous thing, and leaves will turn and keep on falling. The trees are erudite. A Bag of Pressmints In the middle of a difficult ...

At the National Gallery of Scotland

Peter Campbell: Joan Eardley, 13 December 2007

... for the cinema, can also be seen in photographs taken by Eardley herself and by her friend Audrey Walker. The photographs give the look of one corner of postwar Britain in documentary black and white. Eardley’s paintings give it in colour; bright patches of clothing show up against dark, chalk-scrawled walls. The turn of a head, the angle of a leg, or the ...

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