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Nixon: A Study in Extremes of Fortune 
by Lord Longford.
Weidenfeld, 205 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 297 77708 4
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... Longford having taken it upon himself to set in train a sequence of events designed to process Richard Milhous Nixon through redemption to beatification and ultimately, I suppose, to canonisation, it is essential that his persecutors must first be made to see him as a martyr and recant the error of their own ways in failing to appreciate the blessedness of ...

Rose on the Run

Andrew O’Hagan: Beryl Bainbridge, 14 July 2011

The Girl in the Polka-Dot Dress 
by Beryl Bainbridge.
Little, Brown, 197 pp., £16.99, May 2011, 978 0 316 72848 5
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... right to the end: last year, The Girl in the Polka-dot Dress was sitting unfinished on her desk. Rose, the protagonist, is a girl from Kentish Town who is newly sprightly in 1968, and at the start of the novel she arrives in America with $47 in her purse. You get a quick idea of the kind of English girl Rose is when she ...


Arthur Marwick, 3 June 1982

The Wasting of the British Economy 
by Sidney Pollard.
Croom Helm, 197 pp., £11.95, March 1982, 0 7099 2019 9
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The Global 2000 Report to the President: Entering the 21st Century 
Penguin, 766 pp., £7.95, January 1982, 0 14 022441 6Show More
United Kingdom Facts 
by Richard Rose and Ian McAllister.
Macmillan, 168 pp., £30, February 1982, 0 333 25341 8
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... of the books under review presents a very different external appearance: fat (Global2000), flat (Rose and McAllister) and very slim (Pollard); each, however, is loaded with statistical tables. For Rose and McAllister, tables of facts compiled from unimpeachable sources form the essence of their book: ‘We focus attention ...

The Seven Dreams of Richard Spencer

Will Harris, 27 September 2018

... I thought I could walk between them, pressing my cheek against their cold surface, but a mansion rose about me several floors high and a voice called, telling me to leave. Father, I said, why have you forsaken me? I turned into a great eyeball, but still he looked away, so I turned into a frog and slipped without a sound into a millpond. 7 Once I was not ...

Northern Irish Initiatives

Charles Townshend, 5 August 1982

... of Ireland are therefore of particular significance in connection with the new initiative. In the Richard Dimbleby Lecture, under the title ‘Irish Identities’, he developed an approach to the problem more complex than that of any earlier nationalist leader. At the same time, he made very explicit his belief that ‘ultimately there has to be a ...


Richard Fortey, 2 October 1997

Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change 
by Richard Fisher, Grant Heiken and Jeffrey Hulen.
Princeton, 344 pp., £25, July 1997, 9780691012131
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... the fertile Campanian plains: ‘in spring the fields, having had an interval of rest, produce a rose with a far sweeter scent than the garden rose, so far is the earth never tired of giving birth.’ The term ‘Plinian’ indeed is still applied to a columnar kind of eruptive cloud, but that is a celebration of the ...
Wagner in Performance 
edited by Barry Millington and Stewart Spencer.
Yale, 214 pp., £19.95, July 1992, 0 300 05718 0
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Wagner: Race and Revolution 
by Paul Lawrence Rose.
Faber, 304 pp., £20, June 1992, 9780571164653
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Wagner Handbook 
edited by Ulrich Müller and Peter Wapnewski, translated by John Deathridge.
Harvard, 711 pp., £27.50, October 1992, 0 674 94530 1
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Richard Wagner’s Visit to Rossini and An Evening at Rossini’s in Beau-Séjour 
by Edmond Michotte, translated by Herbert Weinstock.
Quartet, 144 pp., £12.95, November 1992, 9780704370319
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... held court alone, as Syberberg’s chilling cinematic portrait of her attests. Hitler and Richard Strauss, Toscanini and Houston Stewart Chamberlain came there, as well as a whole host of lesser figures, sycophants, geniuses, philosophers, charlatans, and professional Wagnerians of every stripe and calibre. One says all this about the bewildering ...

The Glamour of Glamour

James Wood, 19 November 1992

The Secret History 
by Donna Tartt.
Viking, 524 pp., £9.99, October 1992, 0 670 84854 9
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A Thousand Acres 
by Jane Smiley.
Flamingo, 371 pp., £5.99, October 1992, 0 00 654482 7
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... own heartbeat: its sequence flatters you with what you want to hear. As the book’s narrator, Richard Papen, discovers the golden campus and its gang of five mysterious Classics students, so his yearning to find out more about this cosy world becomes identical with the reader’s, and a childish pact is joined (as in the best romances). Tartt’s writing ...

Most Curious of Seas

Richard Fortey: Noah’s Flood, 1 July 1999

Noah’s Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries about the Event that Changed History 
by William Ryan and Walter Pitman.
Simon and Schuster, 319 pp., £17.99, February 1999, 0 684 81052 2
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... a great roaring sound. Those who delayed were drowned. In a matter of weeks the water level rose four hundred feet. Those who took part in the desperate diaspora fled westwards along the Danube valley, or southwards and eastwards at the foot of the Caucasus. Others crossed the wild terrain far to the east, eventually to find haven around a lake that ...

The Cookson Story

Stefan Collini: The British Working Class, 13 December 2001

The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes 
by Jonathan Rose.
Yale, 534 pp., £29.95, June 2001, 0 300 08886 8
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... the middle of the 20th century. Can there be a proper history of working-class reading? Jonathan Rose believes that there can be, and after five hundred pages, 24 tables and more than 1600 footnotes it’s clear he has a point. His introduction (still more the publisher’s blurb) makes much of the book’s ‘innovative research techniques’, the need to ...

Life in the Colonies

Steven Rose, 20 July 1995

by Edward O.Wilson.
Allen Lane, 380 pp., £20, August 1995, 0 7139 9141 0
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Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration 
by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O.Wilson.
Harvard, 228 pp., £19.95, November 1994, 0 674 48525 4
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... time I was working, one floor below his, in collaboration with his formidable ideological critic Richard Lewontin – the second of the remarkable triumvirate who inhabit the Museum (the third, in the basement, is Stephen Jay Gould). Lewontin claims that when the conflict between them was at its most intense, Wilson wouldn’t even get into the lift between ...

Pissing in the Snow

Steven Rose: Dissidents and Scientists, 18 July 2019

Freedom’s Laboratory: The Cold War Struggle for the Soul of Science 
by Audra J. Wolfe.
Johns Hopkins, 302 pp., £22, January 2019, 978 1 4214 2673 0
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... other ex-communists, also contributed to The God That Failed, a 1949 book edited by the Labour MP Richard Crossman. He went on to foster a series of CIA-funded seminars, populated by Encounter contributors, in the Austrian ski resort of Alpbach.Koestler’s adventurous past in the Spanish Civil War, along with his explorations of cosmology (The ...

Never Mind the Bollocks

Hilary Rose and Steven Rose: Brains and Gender, 28 April 2011

Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences 
by Rebecca Jordan-Young.
Harvard, 394 pp., £25.95, September 2010, 978 0 674 05730 2
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... biologists whose work she builds on, and radical Marxist critics of genetic determinism such as Richard Lewontin, pioneered these more open theories of biological development. However, they saw ‘context’ as less circumscribed. For them, it encompassed the entire social framework in which science is embedded. These earlier scientist-critics sought to ...

At the Donmar

Jacqueline Rose, 4 December 2014

... was founded on a crime (he deposed, imprisoned and some would say caused the death of his cousin Richard II, who had once been his playmate). Caught between self-command and the most crushing self-doubt, Walter knew how to rise to this part and bring it down in the same breath. The king is wan with care and insomnia – he is guilty. He is also ...

Fear of Drying

Richard Eyre, 4 September 1986

Stage Fright: Its Role in Acting 
by Stephen Aaron.
Chicago, 156 pp., £13.95, July 1986, 0 226 00018 4
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... Israel, the only English actor in a cast of Americans. He was sitting in the hotel bar as the sun rose, accompanied by some local cronies and a bottle of vodka. Panting into the bar came two members of the cast, jogging at dawn. ‘Hi,’ they said. ‘Are you up to do your exercises?’ ‘I’m doing them,’ he said, raising his glass to the ...

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