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‘My God was bigger than his’

Colin Kidd: The Republicans, 4 November 2004

The Right Nation: Why America Is Different 
by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge.
Allen Lane, 450 pp., £14.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9738 9
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Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet 
by James Mann.
Penguin, 448 pp., $16, September 2004, 0 14 303489 8
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Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image 
by David Greenberg.
Norton, 496 pp., £9.99, November 2004, 0 393 32616 0
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America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism 
by Anatol Lieven.
HarperCollins, 274 pp., £18.99, October 2004, 0 00 716456 4
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... intellectual groupings: ultra-traditionalist, Southern agrarian, Roman Catholic, libertarian, Ayn Rand atheist – ‘a tiny contrapuntal campus movement’, in the words of James Mann in Rise of the Vulcans, whose members were as defiantly countercultural as hippies and peaceniks. Together, white Southern Democrats and self-confessed conservatives shaped the ...

Here for the crunch

R.W. Johnson, 28 April 1994

... US Embassy, ‘is that there’s lots of money for voter education. The bad news is that we hear Richard Gere and Kim Basinger are coming out to spend it.’ ‘It’s getting like the late Sixties in Vietnam,’ said his colleague. ‘Last time I saw so many people working such frantic hours on politics. Didn’t make a damn bit of difference there in the ...

Like Colonel Sanders

Christopher Tayler: The Stan Lee Era, 2 December 2021

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee 
by Abraham Riesman.
Bantam, 320 pp., £20, February, 978 0 593 13571 6
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Stan Lee: A Life in Comics 
by Liel Leibovitz.
Yale, 192 pp., £16.99, June 2020, 978 0 300 23034 5
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... centre which Wertham opened in a church basement in Harlem in 1946 with help from Ellison and Richard Wright. Six years later Wertham was called as an expert witness for the NAACP in one of the cases reviewed in Brown v. Board of Education. With the evidence of his experiences treating traumatised children in Harlem, he persuaded a federal judge that ...

Who Won’t Be Voting for Trump

Eliot Weinberger: Anyone for Trump?, 20 October 2016

... When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.’ Rand Paul (responding at a Republican debate): ‘If you are going to kill the families of terrorists, realise that there’s something called the Geneva Convention we’re going to have to pull out of.’The Mathematically Precise Trump has tweeted that homicide ...

Strange, Angry Objects

Owen Hatherley: The Brutalist Decades, 17 November 2016

A3: Threads and Connections 
by Peter Ahrends.
Right Angle, 128 pp., £18, December 2015, 978 0 9532848 9 4
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Raw Concrete: The Beauty of Brutalism 
by Barnabas Calder.
Heinemann, 416 pp., £25, April 2016, 978 0 434 02244 1
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Space, Hope and Brutalism: English Architecture 1945-75 
by Elain Harwood.
Yale, 512 pp., £60, September 2015, 978 0 300 20446 9
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Concrete Concept: Brutalist Buildings around the World 
by Christopher Beanland.
Frances Lincoln, 192 pp., £18, February 2016, 978 0 7112 3764 3
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This Brutal World 
by Peter Chadwick.
Phaidon, 224 pp., £29.95, April 2016, 978 0 7148 7108 0
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Modern Forms: A Subjective Atlas of 20th-Century Architecture 
by Nicolas Grospierre.
Prestel, 224 pp., £29.99, February 2016, 978 3 7913 8229 6
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Modernist Estates: The Buildings and the People Who Live in Them 
by Stefi Orazi.
Frances Lincoln, 192 pp., £25, September 2015, 978 0 7112 3675 2
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Architecture an Inspiration 
by Ivor Smith.
Troubador, 224 pp., £24.95, November 2014, 978 1 78462 069 1
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... speculative capitalism that gave rise to the semi-Brutalist office and housing projects of Richard Seifert, such as the Anderston Centre in Glasgow, a half-finished and shoddily renovated sub-Barbican of monumental towers connected by walkways across a raised podium. Seifert, as Hugh Casson pointed out, had ‘loyalty to his clients’ where other ...

South African Stories

R.W. Johnson: In South Africa, 2 March 2000

... rands monthly subscription, 15 rands for the Mapogo sticker with the two leopard heads and a 500-rand fine for not having joined Mapogo before. I’m not paying for any of that, I said, you’ll have to borrow from your friends. My daughter must be safe, she said. Good God, I want her to be safe too, I said, but I don’t approve of vigilantes. Magolego is a ...

A Hard Dog to Keep on the Porch

Christopher Hitchens, 6 June 1996

... In the evenings, after dinner in hall, groups would take shape informally in the quad. There was Richard Cobb’s lot, making for the buttery and another round of worldly banter. There was this or that sodality, taking a cigarette break or killing time before revision. There was my own cohort, usually divided between the opposing tasks of selling the ...

The Candidates

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

... newly established charter schools were managed by for-profit companies. One such edubusiness, the Richard Milburn Academy, has been forced to close seven failing schools across the state since 2006, but is still allowed to operate two campuses in Daytona Beach with $2.8 million in tax subsidies. In all, 30 per cent of the state’s charter schools have gone ...

Bristling Ermine

Jeremy Harding: R.W. Johnson, 4 May 2017

Look Back in Laughter: Oxford’s Postwar Golden Age 
by R.W. Johnson.
Threshold, 272 pp., £14.50, May 2015, 978 1 903152 35 5
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How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming Crisis 
by R.W. Johnson.
Hurst, 288 pp., £12.99, July 2016, 978 1 84904 723 4
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... else could the art historian E.H. Gombrich be transformed by a feat of necromancy into his son Richard, and suddenly appear as ‘a distinguished Orientalist’? What other magical city could induct a wizard of Johnson’s calibre and pack him off to France to discover Jean-Marie Le Pen’s followers celebrating their Welsh origins (‘nos ancêtres les ...

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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... the 21st century’. This led to the birth of 21st-century statecraft, which aimed to address what Richard Holbrooke, then Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, identified as a fundamental anomaly in the struggle against terrorism: the most powerful nation on earth was ‘losing the communications battle to extremists who are living in ...

A Short History of the Trump Family

Sidney Blumenthal: The First Family, 16 February 2017

... the campaign he suggested he was an architectural genius. ‘Trump described himself as an Ayn Rand fan,’ an interviewer for USA Today reported. ‘He said of her novel The Fountainhead: “It relates to business [and] beauty [and] life and inner emotions. That book relates to … everything.” He identified with Howard Roark, the novel’s idealistic ...

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