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Knights of the King and Keys

Ian Aitken, 7 March 1991

A Dubious Codicil: An Autobiography by 
by Michael Wharton.
Chatto, 261 pp., £15.99, December 1990, 0 7011 3064 4
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The House the Berrys built 
by Duff Hart-Davis.
Hodder, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 3 405 92526 6
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Lords of Fleet Street: The Harmsworth Dynasty 
by Richard Bourne.
Unwin Hyman, 258 pp., £16.95, October 1990, 0 04 440450 6
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... Fascists, and his long-running support for Hitler. It would be an exaggeration to say that Richard Bourne’s book about the Harmsworth dynasty pillories the pre-war Daily Mail for this crime, but at least it records it. It recalls the Daily Mail’s leader of 15 January 1934, which trumpeted ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’, and described Italy ...

At the Brunei Gallery

Peter Campbell: Indian photography, 1 November 2001

... a certain stiffness and a high degree of conventionality. Things changed fast, though. Samuel Bourne, who was among the most prolific of the professionals, complained as early as 1870 – after his return to England – of the increasing use of equipment which produced small things ‘fit only for the scrap book’. He also said at one point (but later ...

Short Cuts

Daniel Soar: The Bourne Analogy, 30 June 2011

... study that at first glance resembles the Metaphor Program was carried out in the mid-1990s by Richard D. Anderson, a political scientist and Sovietologist at UCLA, who compared Brezhnev-era speeches by Politburo members with ‘transitional’ speeches made in 1989 and with post-1991 texts by post-Soviet politicians. He found, conclusively, that in the ...

Let every faction bloom

John Patrick Diggins, 6 March 1997

For Love of Country: Debating the Limits of Patriotism 
edited by Joshua Cohen.
Beacon, 154 pp., $15, August 1996, 0 8070 4313 3
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For Love of Country: An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism 
by Maurizio Viroli.
Oxford, 214 pp., £22.50, September 1995, 0 19 827952 3
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Bonds of Affection: Americans Define Their Patriotism 
edited by John Bodnar.
Princeton, 352 pp., £45, September 1996, 0 691 04397 3
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Buring the Flag: The Great 1989-90 American Flag Desecration Controversy 
by Robert Justin Goldstein.
Kent State, 453 pp., $39, July 1996, 0 87338 526 8
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... often a war’s first casualty. Before the First World War, the Greenwich Village rebels Randolph Bourne, Max Eastman and John Reed regarded themselves as nationalistic liberators willing to draw on the country’s intellectual traditions. Eastman defined himself as an ‘American lyrical socialist – a child of Walt Whitman reared by Karl Marx’. But with ...


Edward Pearce, 26 July 1990

A Sparrow’s Flight: Memoirs 
by Lord Hailsham.
Collins, 463 pp., £17.50, July 1990, 0 00 215545 1
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... The other, less flattering image comes from the gathering in the Queen’s Gallery to hear Richard von Weisaecker make an address. The President of West Germany, speaking a crystalline, virtually unaccented English, spoke for about half an hour with restraint, wisdom and the quiet earnest of a man gravely engaged upon serious things. He had been ...

Against Self-Criticism

Adam Phillips, 5 March 2015

... the moralist that prevents us from evolving a personal, more complex and subtle morality. When Richard III says, ‘O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!’ a radical alternative is being proposed: that conscience makes cowards of us all because it is itself cowardly. We believe in, we identify with, this starkly condemnatory and punitively ...

Jingo Joe

Paul Addison, 2 July 1981

Joseph Chamberlain: A Political Study 
by Richard Jay.
Oxford, 383 pp., £16.95, March 1981, 0 19 822623 3
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... embodied the restless, forward movements of his era, ‘the spirit of the age’. In his new book Richard Jay has explained how and why this happened. There have been several biographies and studies of Chamberlain, but this is the best analysis of the public man, finely wrought and exact, and undoubtedly demanding of the reader. Old politics can be very stale ...


Philip Booth, 20 July 1995

Drag: A History of Female Impersonation in the Performing Arts 
by Roger Baker.
Cassell, 284 pp., £35, December 1994, 0 304 32836 7
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... died before he could finish the book, but the revision was more or less complete. Peter Burton and Richard Smith have added chapters on film, the gay scene and rock music, for which Baker had left notes. The result is not just about drag, nor yet about female impersonation, and doesn’t even confine itself to the performing arts. Besides the contemporary ...

Reasons for thinking that war is a good thing

Eric Foner: The death of Liberalism, 27 June 2002

The Strange Death of American Liberalism 
by H.W. Brands.
Yale, 200 pp., £16, January 2002, 0 300 09021 8
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... words, is not why modern liberalism died, but how it survived for so long. ‘War,’ Randolph Bourne wrote when the United States entered World War One, ‘is the health of the state.’ It is also, for Brands, the seedbed of American liberalism. In wartime, Americans accept the necessity for vigorous national action to achieve common goals. When a war ...

Lace the air with LSD

Mike Jay: Brain Warfare, 4 February 2021

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control 
by Stephen Kinzer.
Henry Holt, 384 pp., £11.99, November 2020, 978 1 250 76262 7
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... men were caught breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in June 1972, Richard Helms, then director of the CIA, refused to help with the cover-up. In February 1973, after his re-election, Nixon fired Helms and replaced him with James Schlesinger. In an initiative to regain public trust as the crisis escalated, Schlesinger announced ...

Promises aren’t always kept

Jenny Diski: Goblin. Hobgoblin. Ugly Duckling, 8 October 2015

... most of my childhood was that I ought be a writer. Long before I’d ever heard of Doris Lessing, Bourne and Hollingsworth, the bins, psychiatric units, borderline personality disorder (and I never have found out whether it was the personality that was disordered, or a crack in the wall of personality that threatened to flood my self into nowhere if I ...

We came, we saw, he died

Jackson Lears: Clinton’s Creed, 5 February 2015

Hard Choices 
by Hillary Clinton.
Simon and Schuster, 635 pp., £20, June 2014, 978 1 4711 3150 9
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HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton 
by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes.
Hutchinson, 440 pp., £20, February 2014, 978 0 09 195448 2
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... But realism is a richer tradition than Kissinger’s example suggests. Stretching from Randolph Bourne and William James to George Kennan and William Fulbright, the pragmatic realist tradition in American diplomatic thought held that it was necessary to consider the consequences of ideas and had an outlook characterised by a humane, cosmopolitan restraint ...

Courage, mon amie

Terry Castle: Disquiet on the Western Front, 4 April 2002

... can be unnerving at the best of times. I have a picture in one of my books of Mahler and Richard Strauss stepping out into bright sunlight after a matinée of Salomé in Graz in 1906. The Old World sun glinting off the side of Mahler’s polished shoe, the sharp edge of Strauss’s boater, the geometric shadows thrown onto the wall behind them: these ...

Barely under Control

Jenny Turner: Who’s in charge?, 7 May 2015

... Most of them were developed under Andrew Adonis’s academies programme for New Labour: the Richard Rogers-designed Mossbourne Community Academy in Hackney, which opened in 2004, is one of these, as is Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton. The programme was launched in 2000 by the then education secretary, David Blunkett, who explained that if ...


James Meek, 5 April 2018

... more than 16 hours to be admitted. An A&E consultant at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, Dr Richard Fawcett, broadcast his frustration on Twitter. ‘It breaks my heart,’ he wrote, ‘to see so many frail and elderly patients in the corridor for hours and hours … I personally apologise to the people of Stoke for the Third World conditions of the ...

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