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Richard Tuck, 16 July 1981

Social Justice in the Liberal State 
by Bruce Ackerman.
Yale, 392 pp., £11, October 1980, 0 300 02439 8
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Justice and Liberty 
by David Raphael.
Athlone, 192 pp., £13, November 1980, 0 485 11195 0
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... The refutation of utilitarianism, and its replacement by some new and comprehensive alternative, has become one of the major Anglo-American growth industries. The problem of how to live with a liberal and mildly interventionist state if we no longer accept the premisses upon which such a state was originally founded has rightly exercised philosophers on both sides of the Atlantic, though it is striking how difficult it has proved for them fully to disentangle themselves from the old ways of thinking ...


Richard Tuck, 19 February 1987

Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life 
by Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer.
Princeton, 475 pp., £40, February 1986, 0 691 08393 2
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... Scientists’ in our culture are (in many disciplines) people who perform ‘experiments’ in ‘laboratories’ and ‘testify’ about them to a wider community of like-minded people who then try to draw conclusions from the ‘facts’ put before them. The subject of this entertaining and important study is in effect the emergence of this practice and the removal of quotation-marks from these hitherto contentious or puzzling terms ...

Active, Passive, or Dead?

Martin Loughlin: Sovereignty, 16 June 2016

The Sleeping Sovereign: The Invention of Modern Democracy 
by Richard Tuck.
Cambridge, 295 pp., £17.99, February 2016, 978 1 107 57058 0
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... sovereignty is absolute, perpetual and indivisible; to divide or share it is to destroy it. Richard Tuck’s new book, based on the Seeley Lectures he delivered at Cambridge in 2012, was conceived long before the EU referendum was tabled. But although he doesn’t engage with the present debate, he does identify the correct method of trying to ...

Why Not Eat an Eclair?

David Runciman: Why Vote?, 9 October 2008

Free Riding 
by Richard Tuck.
Harvard, 223 pp., £22.95, June 2008, 978 0 674 02834 0
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... to have felt that voting might be a special case that needed further consideration. However, as Richard Tuck points out in his fascinating new book about the strange hold that the free rider problem has had on political science ever since Olson, such misgivings have not stopped many of his followers from treating voting as the paradigmatic case of the ...


John Dunn, 2 October 1980

Natural Rights Theories 
by Richard Tuck.
Cambridge, 192 pp., £10.50, December 1979, 0 521 22512 4
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Natural Law and Natural Rights 
by John Finnis.
Oxford, 425 pp., £15, February 1980, 0 19 876110 4
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A Discourse on Property 
by James Tully.
Cambridge, 208 pp., £10.50, July 1980, 0 521 22830 1
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... and genuinely original. The most striking and in some ways the most ambitious of the three is Richard Tuck’s. But it is also the shortest and, because of a certain shift of focus and an almost wilfully enigmatic ending, in some ways the least satisfying. Tuck begins from the wish to resolve a number of problems ...

The War on Tax

Corey Robin: Downgrading Obama, 25 August 2011

... drew on arguments the kings themselves had to make in order to raise taxes and fund their wars. As Richard Tuck has suggested, it may have been Charles himself who opened the door to democracy in England. Levying an ancient tax on coastal towns (ship money) to fund a naval expedition against the Dutch, the Crown made the claim that the people’s safety ...

Citizen Hobbes

Noel Malcolm, 18 October 1984

De Cive: The Latin Version 
by Thomas Hobbes, edited by Howard Warrender.
Oxford, 336 pp., £35, March 1984, 0 19 824385 5
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De Cive: The English Version 
by Thomas Hobbes, edited by Howard Warrender.
Oxford, 300 pp., £35, March 1984, 0 19 824623 4
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... context. It is, nevertheless, from a work which is in some ways close in spirit to Skinner, Richard Tuck’s Natural Rights Theories, that the most penetrating recent criticism of Warrender has come. Of the trio of Hobbes scholars I mentioned above, Oakeshott is the one whose ideas stand most in need of further development today, for he is one of ...

What do we mean by it?

J.G.A. Pocock, 7 January 1993

The Cambridge History of Political Thought: 1450-1700 
edited by J.H. Burns and Mark Goldie.
Cambridge, 798 pp., £60, August 1991, 0 521 24716 0
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... which only a jus gentium could alleviate. In the next two chapters – ‘Grotius and Selden’ (Richard Tuck) and ‘Hobbes and Spinoza’ (Noel Malcolm) – we see these demands being met by theorists operating for the most part in Netherlands and English political contexts which are depicted in sufficient detail to let us understand the movement out ...

Rescuing the bishops

Blair Worden, 21 April 1983

The Religion of Protestants: The Church in English Society 1559-1625 
by Patrick Collinson.
Oxford, 297 pp., £17.50, January 1983, 0 19 822685 3
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Reactions to the English Civil War 1642-1649 
by John Morrill.
Macmillan, 257 pp., £14, November 1982, 0 333 27565 9
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The World of the Muggletonians 
by Christopher Hill, Barry Reay and William Lamont.
Temple Smith, 195 pp., £12.50, February 1983, 0 85117 226 1
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The Life of John Milton 
by A.N. Wilson.
Oxford, 278 pp., £9.95, January 1983, 0 19 211776 9
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Complete Prose Works of John Milton. Vol. 8: 1666-1682 
edited by Maurice Kelley.
Yale, 625 pp., £55, January 1983, 0 300 02561 0
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The Poet’s Time: Politics and Religion in the Works of Andrew Marvell 
by Warren Chernaik.
Cambridge, 249 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 9780521247733
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... of its authors, who understand that provincial sentiment cannot explain everything. One of them, Richard Tuck, explores a subject which it could not explain, the hitherto perplexing decision of the great lawyer John Selden to support Parliament in the Civil War. A historian of political science, Tuck does not ...

Clashes and Collaborations

Linda Colley, 18 July 1996

Empire: The British Imperial Experience, from 1765 to the Present 
by Denis Judd.
HarperCollins, 517 pp., £25, March 1996, 9780002552370
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Cambridge Illustrated History of the British Empire 
edited by P.J. Marshall.
Cambridge, 400 pp., £24.95, March 1996, 0 521 43211 1
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Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain and France, c.1500-c.1800 
by Anthony Pagden.
Yale, 244 pp., £19.95, August 1995, 0 300 06415 2
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... readers? A few scholars have solved this difficulty by adopting a narrow geographical format. Richard White’s The Middle Ground (1991), for example, is a brilliant history of how the French, British and American empires interacted both with each other and with native Indians over two centuries in the Great Lakes region of North America. But what if one ...

The Breakaway

Perry Anderson: Goodbye Europe, 21 January 2021

... the political spectrum: Noel Malcolm of All Souls, editor of Leviathan for Oxford, on the right; Richard Tuck of Harvard, author of the finest contextualisation of Hobbes’s thought, on the left. Differing in outlook in so many ways, their convergence on Brexit is all the more arresting. For Malcolm, who intervened in 1991 before the Treaty of ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Meeting the Royals, 19 February 2015

... fun it is to be read to,’ Prince Charles said at the end. ‘It’s like bedtime.’ ‘I can tuck you in too, if you like,’ Gillian Anderson said. ‘Yes, please,’ he said. At which point, the smile disappeared from the duchess’s face and they went downstairs to a waiting Land Rover. Gillian and I were ushered into a car behind them and lights ...

Tea with Medea

Simon Skinner: Richard Cobb, 19 July 2012

My Dear Hugh: Letters from Richard Cobb to Hugh Trevor-Roper and Others 
Frances Lincoln, 240 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 7112 3240 2Show More
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... Who now, other than historians of modern France, remembers Richard Cobb? Cobb’s Wikipedia entry – the canonical index of posterity’s interest – measures three lines; by contrast, Hugh Trevor-Roper, his principal addressee in this collection, gets five thousand words. Yet Cobb, who died in 1996, was not only a historian of acknowledged genius ...

A horn-player greets his fate

John Kerrigan, 1 September 1983

by Barry Tuckwell.
Macdonald, 202 pp., £10.95, April 1983, 0 356 09096 5
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... and Richmond Park.On the Continent, meanwhile, things were changing fast. In Baroque Bohemia, as Tuck-well lucidly relates, the horn took a ‘great leap forward’ from the chase to the chamber group. In the early 1680s, a certain Franz Anton, Count von Sporck found himself so pleased by the cors de chasse at Louis XIV’s court that he took some horns home ...

Female Bandits? What next!

Wendy Doniger: The incarnations of Robin Hood, 22 July 2004

Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography 
by Stephen Knight.
Cornell, 247 pp., £14.50, May 2003, 0 8014 3885 3
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... Many people firmly believe there was. We owe the widespread belief that Robin lived in the time of Richard I (1157-1199) to William Stukeley (1687-1765), an eccentric scholar of ancient British history who fabricated for him a crazy family pedigree going back to the Normans. Knight argues that the search for the historical Robin is as quixotic as the search ...

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