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I have nothing to say and I am saying it

Philip Clark: John Cage’s Diary, 15 December 2016

The Selected Letters of John Cage 
edited by Laura Kuhn.
Wesleyan, 618 pp., £30, January 2016, 978 0 8195 7591 3
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Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse) 
by John Cage, edited by Richard Kraft and Joe Biel.
Siglio, 176 pp., £26, October 2015, 978 1 938221 10 1
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... By 1963​ , John Cage had become an unlikely celebrity. Anyone who knew anything about music – who had perhaps followed the perplexed reviews in the New York Times – could tell you how he had managed to transform the piano into a one-man percussion ensemble by wedging nails, bolts and erasers between its strings; or how he had – ‘and you’re never gonna believe this’ – somehow composed silent music ...

Autoerotisch

Richard J. Evans: The VW Beetle, 12 September 2013

The People’s Car: A Global History of the Volkswagen Beetle 
by Bernhard Rieger.
Harvard, 406 pp., £20, April 2013, 978 0 674 05091 4
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... this series, though its official title was the Strength through Joy Car (KdF-Wagen), named after Kraft durch Freude, the leisure programme of the Labour Front, the Nazi successor to the trade unions (though to anyone who’s ever been in a Beetle, strength and joy don’t seem the appropriate terms). Above all, Hitler was determined to modernise the ...

Simply Doing It

Thomas Laqueur, 22 February 1996

The Facts of Life: The Creation of Sexual Knowledge in Britain 1650-1950 
by Roy Porter and Lesley Hall.
Yale, 414 pp., £19.95, January 1995, 0 300 06221 4
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... or ‘plebeian’ sexual knowledge and for this reason, among others, I wish they had included Richard and Jane Carlile and their Everywoman’s Book. (Richard Carlile, who had been a chemist’s boy and tinner’s apprentice, sold or printed a variety of ultraradical, republican newspapers in the 1810s, 20s and ...

You’ll Love the Way It Makes You Feel

Mark Greif: ‘Mad Men’, 23 October 2008

Mad Men: Season One 
Lionsgate Home Entertainment, £29.99, October 2008Show More
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... in the trash.) Great moments in the history of advertising are simply acted out, rather in the way Kraft Television Theater in its day might have dramatised scenes from the life of George Washington. All through the first episode, Draper, as creative director, is racking his brains for the right pitch to sell Lucky Strike cigarettes. Unable to bring even a ...

From Soixante-Huit to Soixante-Neuf

Glen Newey: Slack-Sphinctered Pachyderm, 29 April 1999

Collected Papers: Technology, War and Fascism 
by Herbert Marcuse, edited by Douglas Kellner.
Routledge, 278 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 415 13780 2
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The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy after the Holocaust 
by Norman Geras.
Verso, 181 pp., £15, June 1998, 1 85984 868 0
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... utterly irrational rage. I shall not repeat here the uncouth popular idiom which says as much ... [Richard] Hofstadter himself acquired the dogma from such ‘Frankfurt School’ followers of avowed arch-conspirator Georg Lukacs and the sometime OSS and CIA agent, sometime Communist, and active conspirator Herbert Marcuse, who used to begin his lectures with ...

Somerdale to Skarbimierz

James Meek, 20 April 2017

... the early years his cocoa got a warrant from Queen Victoria but by 1861, when his sons George and Richard took over the factory, now in different premises, the business was on the brink. A new product the Cadburys had been counting on to turn things around, a drink called Iceland Moss, made of cocoa mixed with lichen, failed to find favour with the public.The ...

Grim Eminence

Norman Stone, 10 January 1983

The Twilight of the Comintern 1930-1935 
by E.H. Carr.
Macmillan, 436 pp., £25, December 1982, 0 333 33062 5
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... us ‘just about where we were’. An American writer on British intervention in the Civil War, Richard Ullman, managed to offend Carr. He unearthed some minutes, written by Carr as a junior official in the Foreign Office, which spoke quite warmly of the White cause. He used these in footnotes, and Carr’s review responded: it went on and on about how ...

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