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The Great Sorting

Ben Rogers: Urban Inequality, 26 April 2018

The New Urban Crisis: Gentrification, Housing Bubbles, Growing Inequality and What We Can Do about It 
by Richard Florida.
Oneworld, 352 pp., £20, September 2017, 978 1 78607 212 2
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... Richard Florida​ has been having second thoughts. In 2002 he argued in The Rise of the Creative Class that the future of advanced economies lay not in manufacturing but in high-skilled areas of the service sector: engineering, design, fashion, media, finance, medicine and law. The industrial revolution had largely originated in cities, but in the 20th century, industry started to move away from them ...

The Rise of Richard Adams

Graham Hough, 4 December 1980

The Girl in a Swing 
by Richard Adams.
Allen Lane, 397 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 7139 1407 6
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... The remarkable literary career of Richard Adams began only eight years ago, but it has already reached substantial dimensions. Watership Down in 1972 was followed by two other works of mystery and imagination, relying more or less heavily on the animal world, and now by The Girl in a Swing, which is ostensibly about human beings ...

The Great US Election Disaster

Hal Foster, 30 November 2000

... this man as its President? (That is, if it did elect him: we still don’t know what happened in Florida, and we may never really know.) Back then, even if you despised Reagan for his politics, you had to acknowledge his charisma, or at least that others felt its sway. It’s the same with Clinton today: even if you loathe him for his duplicity, you have to ...

Vertigo

Richard Rudgley: Plant obsessions, 15 July 1999

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession 
by Susan Orlean.
Heinemann, 348 pp., £12.99, April 1999, 0 434 00783 8
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The Tulip 
by Anna Pavord.
Bloomsbury, 438 pp., £30, January 1999, 0 7475 4296 1
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Plants of Life, Plants of Death 
by Frederick Simoons.
Wisconsin, 568 pp., £27.95, September 1998, 0 299 15904 3
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... vegetable kingdom and ourselves. Susan Orlean approaches the shadowy world of orchid fanatics in Florida as an outsider, but one mindful of the inherent danger in her attempt to understand the nature of obsession. She is quick to pass on orchids given to her by addicts in case she, too, comes under their spell. Anna Pavord has no such reservations: she is a ...

A Kind of Gnawing Offness

David Haglund: Tao Lin, 21 October 2010

Richard Yates 
by Tao Lin.
Melville House, 206 pp., £10.99, October 2010, 978 1 935554 15 8
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... The title of Tao Lin’s sixth book and second novel is an act of mild provocation. Richard Yates belongs to a biography, not a novel – certainly not one in which Yates himself doesn’t appear. One character in the book steals a copy of The Easter Parade; another reads Disturbing the Peace; a third tells an anecdote about a reading Yates once gave ...
Digging Deeper: Issues in the Miners’ Strike 
edited by Huw Beynon.
Verso, 252 pp., £3.95, March 1985, 0 86091 820 3
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Policing the Miners’ Strike 
edited by Bob Fine and Robert Millar.
Lawrence and Wishart, 243 pp., £4.95, March 1985, 0 85315 633 6
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The Strike: An Insider’s Story 
by Roy Ottey.
Sidgwick, 157 pp., £7.95, March 1985, 9780283992285
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Scargill and the Miners 
by Michael Crick.
Penguin, 172 pp., £2.95, March 1985, 0 14 052355 3
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The Great Strike: The Miners’ Strike of 1984-5 and its Lessons 
by Alex Callinicos and Mike Simons.
Socialist Worker, 256 pp., £3.95, April 1985, 0 905998 50 2
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... typifies the abrasive commercialism of new-style public-sector management heads. (Ironically this Florida voter, with his anti-union reputation, admiration for Tory economics, and even greater private wealth than Thatcher, was brought to Britain by her Labour predecessor.) MacGregor was not a media success. But despite some criticism of the style of the NCB ...

The Candidates

Chris Lehmann: Scott, Rick, Ted, Marco and Jeb, 18 June 2015

... flailing clarifications. Jeb Bush’s own track record is terrible. He was elected as governor of Florida in 1998, touting his ambitious plan to ‘reform’ – i.e. privatise – the state’s underperforming schools. The actual returns of his ‘education miracle’ are equivocal at best: it’s hard to tell how individual schools are performing because ...

Dangerously Insane

Deyan Sudjic: Léon Krier, 7 October 2010

The Architecture of Community 
by Léon Krier.
Island, 459 pp., £12.99, February 2010, 978 1 59726 579 9
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... of George W. Bush, now under construction in Texas. And Krier has disciples everywhere from Florida to Romania. He is the father of what his American followers call the New Urbanism, of which the Prince of Wales’s development project at Poundbury outside Dorchester is the prime British example. In argument, Krier takes no prisoners, and apparently ...

Southern Comfort

Claude Rawson, 16 April 1981

Jefferson Davis gets his citizenship back 
by Robert Penn Warren.
Kentucky/Transatlantic Book Service, 114 pp., £4.85, December 1980, 0 8131 1445 4
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Being here: Poetry 1977-1980 
by Robert Penn Warren.
Secker, 109 pp., £4.95, October 1980, 0 436 36650 9
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Ways of light: Poems 1972-1980 
by Richard Eberhart.
Oxford, 68 pp., £5.95, January 1981, 9780195027372
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... Upper Ontario, From Long Before’, is dedicated to that other Grand Old Man of American Letters, Richard Eberhart, almost exactly Warren’s coeval (Eberhart was born in 1904, Warren in 1905), who has also published a new book of poems. Eberhart, unlike Warren, loves highways: If I drive a thousand miles I feel good. All those cars none hitting the ...

Axeman as Ballroom Dancer

David Blackbourn, 17 July 1997

Rituals of Retribution: Capital Punishment in Germany 1600-1987 
by Richard J. Evans.
Oxford, 1014 pp., £55, March 1996, 0 19 821968 7
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... 1981, and the death penalty was not formally abolished until 1987. This is the capsule version of Richard Evans’s important new book, trying to do justice to which makes one feel like a hapless contestant in Monty Python’s summarising-Proust competition. The central theme is clear enough: capital punishment was and is the symbol of political ...

On the Beaches

Richard White: In Indian Country, 21 March 2002

Facing East from Indian Country: A Native History of Early America 
by Daniel Richter.
Harvard, 317 pp., £17.95, January 2002, 0 674 00638 0
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... Cronkite surrogate. The time is ‘Sunday, 25 May 1539’. The place is Tampa Bay on the Gulf of Florida. In my mind, I can hear the narrator: ‘What kind of a day was it? A day like all days . . .’ ‘We barely see,’ Richter writes, ‘the sails of nine Spanish ships anchored three miles or so off the coast.’ And then ‘we’ follow de Soto. But ...

Short Cuts

Norman Dombey: Iraq, Uranium and Forged Intelligence, 17 November 2005

... information. So why were the forged documents taken seriously? The answer was given by Sir Richard Dearlove, then head of MI6, in his note to Tony Blair which was leaked to the Sunday Times. Dearlove reported in July 2002 that ‘Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the ...

Erasures

Mark Ford: Donald Justice, 16 November 2006

Collected Poems 
by Donald Justice.
Anvil, 289 pp., £15, June 2006, 0 85646 386 8
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... poems. His work exhibits little of the ostentatious virtuosity of better-known formalists such as Richard Wilbur and Anthony Hecht, with whom he is so often, and rather unfortunately, grouped. Rather, Justice’s poems delicately induce the hypnotic state that Bishop described as her artistic ideal in a letter to Anne Stevenson: ‘What one seems to want in ...

Guess what? It’s raining

Deborah Friedell: Murder in Florida, 5 July 2012

Injustice: Life and Death in the Courtrooms of America 
by Clive Stafford Smith.
Harvill Secker, 376 pp., £18.99, July 2012, 978 1 84655 625 8
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... murder, it’s time to sell everything you have. ‘Have you been saving up for a rainy day?’ Richard Gere as the defence attorney asks in Primal Fear. ‘Guess what? It’s raining.’ In the course of his many appeals, Stafford Smith claimed that Maharaj had received ‘ineffective assistance at trial’, but though Hendon had been lousy, legally he ...

I have not heard her voice in a long, long time

Thomas Powers: Edna and Parker Ford, 5 October 2017

Between Them 
by Richard Ford.
Bloomsbury, 175 pp., £12.99, May 2017, 978 0 06 266188 3
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... disappears when you look inward. The chaos within is one of the major themes in the fiction of Richard Ford. What engages him is the churning of the conscious self, as changeable as the weather on an iffy day. What kind of a day is such a day? Soft or threatening? What kind of people were Ford’s mother and father, whose inner lives might offer strong ...

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