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Magic Thrift

J.P. Stern, 16 September 1982

Thomas Mann: The Making of an Artist 1875-1911 
by Richard Winston.
Constable, 325 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 09 460060 0
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... Richard and Clare Winston are well-known as the authors of elegant and accurate translations of some of Thomas Mann’s essays and correspondence, including The Letters of Thomas Mann, 1889-1955. While annotating that selection, Richard Winston began assembling material for what he intended to be an extensive biography of the writer ...

With Constantinople as Its Objective

Richard Prior and Trevor Wilson: Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill, 14 January 2002

Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill: The Dardanelles Commission Part I, 1914-15 
Stationery Office, 218 pp., £6.99, April 2000, 0 11 702423 6Show More
Defeat at Gallipoli: The Dardanelles Commission Part II, 1915-16 
Stationery Office, 319 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 11 702455 4Show More
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... of the search for an alternative to what he called ‘chewing barbed wire in Flanders’ was Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, who in December 1914 began proposing schemes which bypassed the Western Front. None found favour, so he came up with a different idea, proposing to knock Turkey out of the war using just an elderly section of ...

Enjoying every moment

David Reynolds: Ole Man Churchill, 7 August 2003

Churchill 
by John Keegan.
Weidenfeld, 181 pp., £14.99, November 2002, 0 297 60776 6
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Man of the Century: Winston Churchill and His Legend since 1945 
by John Ramsden.
HarperCollins, 652 pp., £9.99, September 2003, 0 00 653099 0
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Clementine Churchill: The Revised and Updated Biography 
by Mary Soames.
Doubleday, 621 pp., £25, September 2002, 0 385 60446 7
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Churchill at War 1940-45 
by Lord Moran.
Constable, 383 pp., £9.99, October 2002, 1 84119 608 8
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Churchill’s Cold War: The Politics of Personal Diplomacy 
by Klaus Larres.
Yale, 583 pp., £25, June 2002, 0 300 09438 8
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... In August 1940, Winston Churchill likened the relationship between Britain and America to the Mississippi: ‘It just keeps rolling along,’ he told the Commons, ‘full flood, inexorable, irresistible, benignant.’ In the car afterwards he sang ‘Ole Man River’ (out of tune) on the way back to Number Ten. Sixty years later, one might say the same about Ole Man Churchill, whose reputation just keeps rolling along ...

ODQ

Richard Usborne, 24 January 1980

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations 
Oxford, 908 pp., £12.50, November 1980, 9780192115607Show More
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... seems to me a thoroughly good buy. Nine hundred-plus pages and thirty-plus quotations per page (Winston Churchill’s entries include ‘It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations’; also ‘Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash!’). The first issue of the ODQ was in 1941, the ...

Wafted to India

Richard Gott: Unlucky Wavell, 5 October 2006

Wavell: Soldier and Statesman 
by Victoria Schofield.
Murray, 512 pp., £30, March 2006, 0 7195 6320 8
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... his career, or had rejected his strategic advice, were regarded as the enemy. Top of the list was Winston Churchill, who couldn’t help second-guessing his generals, and sought endlessly to persuade them to perform miracles with troops and equipment that they often did not possess. Second was Clement Attlee, who dismissed Wavell as viceroy in 1947 for ...

Mount Amery

Paul Addison, 20 November 1980

The Leo Amery Diaries 
edited by John Barnes and David Nicholson, introduced by Julian Amery.
Hutchinson, 653 pp., £27.50, October 1980, 0 09 131910 2
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... not so much politicians as sublime social columnists who happened to sit in the House of Commons. Richard Crossman and Barbara Castle were heavyweights and professionals, and the eternal grind of committee life is reflected in their accounts. Yet both were writing with the special excitement of socialist voyeurs. Determined to expose the secrets of Whitehall ...

Starting up

Peter Clarke, 6 November 1986

The German Slump: Politics and Economics 1924-1936 
by Harold James.
Oxford, 469 pp., £30, March 1986, 0 19 821972 5
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The Making of Keynes’s General Theory 
by Richard Kahn.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £20, May 1984, 9780521253734
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Towards the Managed Economy: Keynes, the Treasury and the Fiscal Policy Debate of the 1930s 
by Roger Middleton.
Methuen, 244 pp., £25, September 1985, 0 416 35830 6
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Keynes and his Contemporaries 
edited by G.C. Harcourt.
Macmillan, 195 pp., £22.50, October 1985, 0 333 34687 4
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The Policy Consequences of John Maynard Keynes 
edited by Harold Wattel.
Macmillan, 157 pp., £29.50, April 1986, 0 333 41340 7
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... been identified as the ‘Treasury View’. As Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1929, Winston Churchill gave it classic utterance. ‘It is the orthodox Treasury dogma, steadfastly held,’ he assured the House of Commons, ‘that whatever might be the political or social advantages, very little additional employment and no permanent additional ...

Going on the air

Philip French, 2 May 1985

Orwell: The War Broadcasts 
edited by W.J. West.
Duckworth/BBC, 304 pp., £12.95, March 1985, 0 7156 1916 0
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... and John Morris (both of whom wrote elegant memoirs of Orwell at the BBC); he employed Nye Bevan, Richard Acland, J.B.S. Haldane, T.S. Eliot, Quintin Hogg, Bernard Shaw; he led a BBC party, that included Guy Burgess, to a special de-briefing by Stafford Cripps on his abortive mission to India. Working for the BBC gave Orwell the experience, however ...

Shoot them to be sure

Richard Gott: The Oxford History of the British Empire, 25 April 2002

The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. I: The Origins of Empire 
edited by William Roger Louis and Nicholas Canny.
Oxford, 533 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924676 9
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The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. II: The 18th Century 
edited by William Roger Louis and P.J. Marshall.
Oxford, 639 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924677 7
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The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. III: The 19th Century 
edited by William Roger Louis and Andrew Porter.
Oxford, 774 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924678 5
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The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. IV: The 20th Century 
edited by William Roger Louis and Judith Brown.
Oxford, 773 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924679 3
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The Oxford History of the British Empire. Vol. V: Historiography 
edited by William Roger Louis and Robin Winks.
Oxford, 731 pp., £14.99, July 2001, 0 19 924680 7
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... and local peoples between 1875 and 1907, ‘both sides had modern weaponry.’ So they did, but Winston Churchill was appalled by the one-sided slaughter at the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, where the followers of the Mahdi had just two machine-guns, while Kitchener’s men had 55. The coercion and movement of labour is also underplayed. When indigenous ...

Hooked Trout

Geoffrey Best: Appeasement please, 2 June 2005

Making Friends with Hitler: Lord Londonderry and Britain’s Road to War 
by Ian Kershaw.
Allen Lane, 488 pp., £20, October 2004, 0 7139 9717 6
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... fired by rabid anti-semitism or inspired by Völkisch crankiness that figure on the fringes of Richard Griffiths’s Fellow Travellers of the Right (1980), a book to which Kershaw pays just tribute. A peer of his standing did not consort with plebs and outsiders. He was the most respectable, and because of his coalmines in County Durham the richest, of the ...

The Wonderfulness of Us

Richard J. Evans: The Tory Interpretation of History, 17 March 2011

... studied English history from the Anglo-Saxons to the 20th century, from Alfred the Great to Winston Churchill, or to put it in somewhat less heroic terms, Ethelred the Unready to Neville Chamberlain (we didn’t bother in those days with the Welsh or the Scots). But in practice, if we were going to learn how to do any thinking of our own, we had time ...

Flying Costs

Richard Adams: The great Ryanair Disaster, 2 September 2004

Aircraft 
by David Pascoe.
Reaktion, 240 pp., £14.95, September 2003, 1 86189 163 6
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Aviation Insecurity: The New Challenges of Air Travel 
by Andrew Thomas.
Prometheus, 263 pp., $21, May 2003, 1 59102 074 3
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Airline Survival Kit 
by Nawal Taneja.
Ashgate, 224 pp., £46.50, May 2003, 0 7546 3452 3
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Ryanair 
by Siobhán Creaton.
Aurum, 263 pp., £9.99, May 2004, 1 85410 992 8
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... War One, government-subsidised French airlines began successfully offering cross-Channel services. Winston Churchill, then secretary of state for air, told the fledgling British airlines in 1919 that they would have to ‘fly by themselves’ but it quickly became apparent that government intervention was needed to get the airline industry off the ground. By ...

When the beam of light has gone

Peter Wollen: Godard Turns Over, 17 September 1998

The Films of Jean-Luc Godard 
by Wheeler Winston Dixon.
SUNY, 290 pp., £17.99, March 1997, 0 7914 3285 8
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Speaking about Godard 
by Kaja Silverman and Harun Farocki.
New York, 256 pp., $55, July 1998, 0 8147 8066 0
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... unashamed fan of minor Hollywood pictures. Breathless, as Godard readily admitted, was inspired by Richard Quine’s Pushover and could be seen as the direct sequel to Otto Preminger’s Bonjour tristesse. The central character of the film, the petty criminal played by Belmondo, modelled his self-image on that of Humphrey Bogart in Mark Robson’s The Harder ...

Omnipresent Eye

Patrick Wright: The Nixon/Mao Show, 16 August 2007

Seize the Hour: When Nixon Met Mao 
by Margaret MacMillan.
Murray, 384 pp., £25, October 2006, 0 7195 6522 7
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... Chinese emperor, he summoned them in the afternoon. Nixon, Henry Kissinger and an aide called Winston Lord quickly got into a limousine with Zhou and set off, leaving Bob Haldeman, the White House chief of staff, frantic with worry over their security. They entered Mao’s house, finding it ‘simple and unimposing’, as Kissinger noted, and with a ...

Lunch

Jon Halliday, 2 June 1983

In the Service of the Peacock Throne: The Diaries of the Shah’s Last Ambassador to London 
by Parviz Radji.
Hamish Hamilton, 343 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 241 10960 4
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... people who have had information about themselves embargoed: Princess Ashraf, Alexander Haig and Richard (‘Dick’) Helms. Manifestly evasive though the diaries are, they are nonetheless exceptionally illuminating on two issues: on the last years of the Shah’s regime, seen from the inside; and on how to try to nobble Britain’s media intelligentsia and ...

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