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Last Victorian

José Harris, 10 November 1994

Selected Writings. Vol. I: Crime and the Penal System 1 
by Barbara Wootton, edited by Vera Seal and Philip Bean.
Macmillan, 158 pp., £42.50, November 1992, 0 333 56676 9
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Selected Writings. Vol. II: Crime and the Penal System 2 
by Barbara Wootton, edited by Vera Seal and Philip Bean.
Macmillan, 185 pp., £42.50, November 1992, 0 333 56677 7
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Selected Writings. Vol. III: Social and Political Thought 
by Barbara Wootton, edited by Vera Seal and Philip Bean.
Macmillan, 195 pp., £42.50, November 1992, 0 333 56678 5
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Selected Writings. Vol. IV: Economic and Methodological Thought 
by Barbara Wootton, edited by Vera Seal and Philip Bean.
Macmillan, 199 pp., £42.50, November 1992, 0 333 56679 3
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... Eminent social scientists are not normally household names, but in the middle decades of the 20th century Barbara Wootton was well-known far outside the dim corridors of universities. Paradoxically for one who lived an intensely private life, she was perhaps best known as the lady professor who had flashed across the tabloid headlines by marrying a taxi-driver ...

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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... 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 ...

Inferno: Canto I

Philip Terry, 3 April 2014

... Rhode Island, a Korean vet. Once I was a poet, I wrote           of bean spasms,       was anthologised in Fuck You.’ ‘You’re never Berrigan, that spring Where all the river of style freezes?’ I ask, awe all over my facials. ‘I’m an American       Primitive,’ he says, ‘I make up each verse as it ...

Subject, Spectator, Phantom

J. Hoberman: The Strangest Personality Ever to Lead the Free World, 17 February 2005

Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief 
by Mark Feeney.
Chicago, 422 pp., £19.50, November 2004, 0 226 23968 3
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... with skin as biliously green as the Wicked Witch of the West and, in a riotous series of drawings, Philip Guston transformed the president’s ski nose and heavy jowls into a glumly expressive set of male genitalia. Nixon’s personality was even richer. Gore Vidal parodied him in his 1960 play The Best Man and, beginning in the late 1960s, an impressive ...

Wolfish

John Sutherland: The pushiness of young men in a hurry, 5 May 2005

Publisher 
by Tom Maschler.
Picador, 294 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 330 48420 6
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British Book Publishing as a Business since the 1960s 
by Eric de Bellaigue.
British Library, 238 pp., £19.95, January 2004, 0 7123 4836 0
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Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Viking, 484 pp., £25, May 2005, 0 670 91485 1
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... household names in Britain until he published them at Jonathan Cape. His stable has included Philip Roth, García Márquez, McEwan, Martin Amis, Barnes, Rushdie, Vonnegut, Chatwin, Fowles, Deighton and, Maschler does not fear to admit, Jeffrey Archer. The title he was most excited to publish was Catch 22, a novel he took on after more myopic others had ...

Mrs Stitch in Time

Clive James, 4 February 1982

Lady Diana Cooper 
by Philip Ziegler.
Hamish Hamilton, 336 pp., £9.95, September 1981, 0 241 10659 1
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... Diana Cooper is capable of saying anything, if she thinks you are dumb enough to swallow it. Philip Ziegler has reason to consider himself astute, but he perhaps ruled out too soon the possibility that the queen of the put-on had spotted the ideal patsy. The chief lacuna in an otherwise interesting book is its failure adequately to convey the heroine’s ...

Let’s get the hell out of here

Patrick Parrinder, 29 September 1988

The Satanic Verses 
by Salman Rushdie.
Viking, 547 pp., £12.95, September 1988, 0 670 82537 9
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The Lost Father 
by Marina Warner.
Chatto, 277 pp., £11.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3220 5
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Nice Work 
by David Lodge.
Secker, 277 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 436 25667 3
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... voices on the TV Aliens Show, and in advertisements featuring talking crisp-packets and baked-bean cans-Saladin is now a suspected illegal immigrant and a virtual outlaw. Thrown out by his wife, he goes to ground in Brickhall, an Asian district of Inner London. Here racial tension mounts, as Saladin becomes a cull-hero while awaiting his opportunity for ...

Men in Aprons

Colin Kidd: Freemasonry, 7 May 1998

Who’s Afraid of Freemasons? The Phenomenon of Freemasonry 
by Alexander Piatigorsky.
Harvill, 398 pp., £25, August 1997, 1 86046 029 1
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... of King Solomon’s murdered builder Hiram Abiff – proved congenial to English Jacobites, while Philip Jenkins detects a distinctive Jacobite and Country hue in Welsh Masonry. On the other hand, John Money, a keen student of provincial clubbability, notes that while the political stance of Masonry remained broadly Whiggish, in practice the lack of ...

Small Special Points

Rosemary Hill: Darwin and the Europeans, 23 May 2019

Correspondence of Charles Darwin: Vol. 26, 1878 
edited by Frederick Burkhardt, James Secord and the editors of the Darwin Correspondence Project.
Cambridge, 814 pp., £94.99, October 2018, 978 1 108 47540 2
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... the age.For most of 1878 Darwin was at home in Down House in Kent, observing his onions, his bean radicles and the ‘seedling plants’ that ‘at present are my delight’. He was particularly interested in their response to external stimuli. ‘Should you ever be able to observe a sensitive Mimosa whilst it [is]raining hard & is hot weather,’ he ...

Tables and Chairs

Christopher Tayler: J.M. Coetzee, 21 March 2013

J.M. Coetzee: A Life in Writing 
by J.C. Kannemeyer, translated by Michiel Heyns.
Jonathan Ball, 710 pp., R 325, October 2012, 978 1 86842 495 5
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Here and Now: Letters 2008-11 
by Paul Auster and J.M. Coetzee.
Viking, 256 pp., $27.95, March 2013, 978 0 670 02666 1
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The Childhood of Jesus 
by J.M. Coetzee.
Harvill Secker, 210 pp., £16.99, March 2013, 978 1 84655 769 9
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... however things might look from Adelaide, he, Auster, does not have a similar status in New York to Philip Roth’s. Coetzee, in turn, never seems condescending or even to notice Auster’s relative non-nimbleness: Auster is a fellow novelist with similar modernist allegiances, and, one imagines, good company at public events where others might be either ...

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