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That sh—te Creech

James Buchan: The Scottish Enlightenment

5 April 2007
The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in 18th-Century Britain, Ireland and America 
by Richard Sher.
Chicago, 815 pp., £25.50, February 2007, 978 0 226 75252 5
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... In March 1776, James Boswell and Samuel Johnson visited Pembroke College, Oxford and called on the master, William Adams. According to RichardSher, Boswell wrote in his journal how dismayed he had been to see in the master’s library a copy of the quarto edition of David Hume’s Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects of 1758, handsomely ...

Worse than a Defeat

James Meek: Shamed in Afghanistan

18 December 2014
The Good War: Why We Couldn’t Win the War or the Peace in Afghanistan 
by Jack Fairweather.
Cape, 488 pp., £20, December 2014, 978 0 224 09736 9
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Investment in Blood: The True Cost of Britain’s Afghan War 
by Frank Ledwidge.
Yale, 287 pp., £10.99, July 2014, 978 0 300 20526 8
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British Generals in Blair’s Wars 
edited by Jonathan Bailey, Richard​ Iron and Hew Strachan.
Ashgate, 404 pp., £19.95, August 2013, 978 1 4094 3736 9
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An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict 1978-2012 
by Mike Martin.
Hurst, 389 pp., £25, April 2014, 978 1 84904 336 6
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... We needed to prove that we remained a crucial strategic partner,’ Fry told Fairweather. ‘We needed salvation.’ In 2009, in a speech at Chatham House, the then chief of the general staff, Richard Dannatt, said: There is recognition that our national and military reputation and credibility, unfairly or not, have been called into question at several levels in the eyes of our most important ally ...

Beach Scenes

Gavin Millar

1 August 1985
A Man with a Camera 
by Nestor Almendros, translated by Rachel Phillips Belash.
Faber, 306 pp., £9.95, June 1985, 0 571 13589 7
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Players of Shakespeare: Essays in Shakespearian Performance by 12 Players with the Royal Shakespeare Company 
edited by Philip Brockbank.
Cambridge, 179 pp., £12.50, June 1985, 0 521 24428 5
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Year of the King 
by Anthony Sher.
Chatto, 208 pp., £10.95, June 1985, 0 7011 2926 3
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... Polonius. Anyone interested in Shakespeare, the theatre or acting couldn’t fail to find this slim volume absorbing. You would have to be a greenroom nut or a stage-door Johnny to follow Antony Sher through every day of the year of his king (Richard III) without occasionally finding your breath unbaited. This ‘Actor’s Diary and Sketchbook’ offers us Mr Sher’s every waking thought, and a ...
28 April 1994
... The good news’, said the man from the 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 ...

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