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Can you give my son a job?

Slavoj Žižek: China’s Open Secret, 21 October 2010

The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers 
by Richard McGregor.
Allen Lane, 302 pp., £25, June 2010, 978 1 84614 173 7
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... to be a non-person. Compare these events with the Chinese way of breaking with the Maoist past. As Richard McGregor shows in The Party, Deng Xiaoping’s ‘reforms’ proceeded in a radically different way. In the organisation of the economy (and, up to a point, the culture), what is usually perceived as ‘Communism’ was abandoned, and the gates were ...

Bobbing Along

Ronald Stevens: The Press Complaints Commission, 7 February 2002

A Press Free and Responsible: Self-Regulation and the Press Complaints Commission 1991-2001 
by Richard Shannon.
Murray, 392 pp., £25, September 2001, 0 7195 6321 6
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... So the Council went under, and the PCC opened for business on 1 January 1991, with Lord McGregor of Durris, chairman of the third Royal Commission, at its head. It was a lesser creature than its predecessor. For example, it had nothing to do but deal with complaints, whereas the old Council had also had a responsibility to promote press ...

On the Rant

E.P. Thompson, 9 July 1987

Fear, Myth and History: The Ranters and the Historians 
by J.C. Davis.
Cambridge, 208 pp., £22.50, September 1986, 0 521 26243 7
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... like ‘loony Left’, a term invented by opponents. It is not likely that Coppe or Bauthumley or Richard Coppin would have assented to the sobriquet. As for the historians, perhaps Cohn, in The Pursuit of the Millennium, was a little credulous, since his thesis required that millennial sects be seen at their most crazy. But Morton, Hill and others have ...

Frisks, Skips and Jumps

Colin Burrow: Montaigne’s Tower, 6 November 2003

Michel de Montaigne: Accidental Philosopher 
by Anne Hartle.
Cambridge, 303 pp., £45, March 2003, 0 521 82168 1
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... have been and are many philosophers of a wide range of political shadings (Michael Oakeshott, Richard Rorty, Bernard Williams, Martha Nussbaum) who breathe the air of the tower far more easily than they do that of the stove. Maybe if this tendency continues, Montaigne will one day come to seem as significant a figure in the history of philosophy as ...

What he did

Frank Kermode, 20 March 1997

W.B. Yeats: A Life. Vol. I: The Apprentice Mage 
by R.F. Foster.
Oxford, 640 pp., £25, March 1997, 0 19 211735 1
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... obese, epicene, frantically Catholic’), the impostor poet ‘Fiona Macleod’, the manic McGregor Mathers, Scots Jacobite romantic (‘the comte de Glenstrae’), and Florence Farr, the actress for whose favours he competed for a while with Shaw and others, and for whom he had Dolmetsch make psalteries to accompany the chanting of verse. Foster has ...

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