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26 January 1995
The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life 
by Richard​ Herrnstein and Charles Murray.
Free Press, 845 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 02 914673 9
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... Lane’s examination of some of the sources of statistical information in this book, sources closely connected with an Edinburgh publication, the Mankind Quarterly. Lane is particularly useful on RichardLynn, a professor at the University of Ulster, who is cited 24 times in the book, but whose research will strike many readers as questionable. The authors maintain that there is an accurate unitary ...
9 February 1995
The Classic of Changes: A New Translation of the I Ching as Interpreted by Wang Bi 
translated by Richard Lynn.
Columbia, 602 pp., £15.50, November 1994, 0 231 08294 0
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... the doctrine of the superior man, and ritual propriety; thus serving as a perfect vehicle of inculcation and legitimation for the new regime.It was essentially this edition which was translated by Richard Wilhelm into German in the early part of this century. Wilhelm downplayed or overlaid the Confucian moralising; he emphasised a spirituality derived from its being in touch with ‘timeless wisdom ...
21 March 1991
The Journalist and the Murderer 
by Janet Malcolm.
Bloomsbury, 163 pp., £12.99, January 1991, 0 7475 0759 7
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... kiss-and-tell story, or it can take the indirect form of ‘publicity’, which, after all, equals money if it brings more readers/viewers/listeners to the subject’s work. Thus when Kirk Douglas or Richard Adams or Melvyn Bragg ‘agrees to see me’ shortly before their new book comes out, they are not doing it out of the kindness of their hearts but in hopes of a socking great plug. And even if I say ...

Utterly in Awe

Jenny Turner: Lynn​ Barber

4 June 2014
A Curious Career 
by Lynn​ Barber.
Bloomsbury, 224 pp., £16.99, May 2014, 978 1 4088 3719 1
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... a child? How often do you phone your mum? What would you normally be doing at this moment, if you weren’t doing this? What do you do on your own in a hotel room? Why? Questions like this are what Lynn Barber uses to open up her celebrity interviews, and I think you can see why. They’re simple, direct, upfront and conversational, but also come at you from an angle. You’d start happily blurting ...

Mistrial

Michael Davie

6 June 1985
The Airman and the Carpenter: The Lindbergh Case and the Framing of Richard​ Hauptmann 
by Ludovic Kennedy.
Collins, 438 pp., £12.95, April 1985, 0 00 217060 4
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... The greatest story since the Resurrection was how Mencken described the 1935 trial of Bruno Richard Hauptmann for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby. Among the three hundred-odd reporters present, besides Mencken, were Damon Runyon, Ford Madox Ford, Edna Ferber, Alexander Woollcott ...

Laertes has a daughter

Bee Wilson: The Redgraves

6 June 2013
The Redgraves: A Family Epic 
by Donald Spoto.
Robson, 361 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84954 394 1
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The House of Redgrave: The Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty 
by Tim Adler.
Aurum, 336 pp., £20, July 2012, 978 1 84513 623 9
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... by the demands of the dialect, he found himself fishing for lines. Next came The Master Builder. As Solness, Redgrave, who was drinking heavily, forgot entire sections of the script. His daughter Lynn, who was also part of the National that year, recalled that ‘all of us in the company watched aghast as, again and again, Dad called “Line … Line … Line!”’ Redgrave himself remembered it ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bio Insecurity

5 November 2009
... ever feel moved to launch a biological attack on the Great Satan. In Breeding Bio Insecurity: How US Biodefence Is Exporting Fear, Globalising Risk and Making Us All Less Secure (Chicago, £19), Lynn Klotz and Edward Sylvester make a compelling case for a radical and immediate change in America’s biosecurity policy. Since 9/11, according to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, the ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2016

5 January 2017
... sitting up in the canteen recasting.’ Which indeed we were, with my first thought Alan Rickman, I suppose because the rasping quality in his voice echoed Auden’s harsh tones. However, because Richard Griffiths was available and indeed anxious to play the part, the role went to him. Emergency casting sessions such as the one Gambon knew we were holding are always mildly hysterical and often very ...

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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... rights in place by building into it a resident population. He gives a curt depiction of the grim, short-term 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 ...
12 March 1992
Will this do? 
by Auberon Waugh.
Century, 288 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7126 3734 6
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Mr Wu and Mrs Stitch: The Letters of Evelyn Waugh and Diana Cooper 
edited by Artemis Cooper.
Hodder, 344 pp., £19.99, October 1991, 0 340 53488 5
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... campaigns: ‘The enemies we made were worth making, the battles we fought were worth fighting. I am happy and proud to have been given the chance to serve beside him.’ The comrade-in-arms here is Richard Ingrams, with whom Waugh is now serving on a new journal called the Oldie. Ingrams, we learn from a recent interview, also has a father-problem. He told Lynn Barber that ‘he could not have worked ...

Wide-Angled

Linda Colley: Global History

26 September 2013
The French Revolution in Global Perspective 
edited by Suzanne Desan, Lynn​ Hunt and William Max Nelson.
Cornell, 240 pp., £16.50, April 2013, 978 0 8014 7868 0
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... What is history for? What do we want it to do? In 1731, an obscure Kentish schoolmaster named Richard Spencer offered some answers. Properly to ascertain his position in geographical space, he reasoned, required not a single map, but access to a global atlas, one that would allow him to ‘see what ...

Lucky Boy

Kevin Kopelson

3 April 1997
Shine 
directed by Scott Hicks.
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Shine: The Screenplay 
by Jan Sardi.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £7.99, January 1997, 0 7475 3173 0
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The Book of David 
by Beverley Eley.
HarperCollins, 285 pp., £8.99, March 1997, 0 207 19105 0
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Love You to Bits and Pieces: Life with David Helfgott 
by Gillian Helfgott, with Alissa Tanskaya.
Penguin, 337 pp., £6.99, January 1997, 0 14 026546 5
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... fence I’ll kiss it – always, always, I will – didn’t I?’ His nearly final word, self-directed, is: ‘Stupstraight’. Julia Kristeva might call Helfgott’s way with words ‘semiotic’. Richard Alleva, in Commonweal, calls him ‘a manic babbler whose logical skips and leaps, wisecracks, speed-freak stutterings and surreal wordplays compose a weirdly poetic discourse’: a description that ...

You see stars

Michael Wood

19 June 1997
The House of Sleep 
by Jonathan Coe.
Viking, 384 pp., £16.99, May 1997, 0 670 86458 7
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... than golf; that a series of inspirational works recommended by Pope Paul VI are called Wet Knickers, Pussy Talk and Cream on My Face; that Jeffrey Archer is confused with Kingsley Amis, and Cliff Richard with Vera Lynn (‘Durable singer of uplifting ballads who has, for as long as most of us can remember, been regarded as one of the undisputed queens of British popular music’). But for me the ...
22 May 1980
... same way, Dad’s Army gave extra joy by the little documentary touches that recreated the minutiae of life during World War Two. And second, comedy also has an extra appeal – at least for Jonathan Lynn and me – when it is actually about something, in the sense that Butterflies and The Good Life are about something. Johnny and I were writing the first script of Yes, Minister at the time that I was ...

Over the Top

Michael Howard

8 February 1996
A Genius for War: A Life of General George Patton 
by Carlo D’Este.
HarperCollins, 977 pp., £25, November 1995, 0 00 215882 5
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... George could hardly wait to gird on a sword and join them in Valhalla. All this makes splendid material for biographers and Patton has had a dozen already, to say nothing of a film that brought Richard Nixon great consolation during the lonely watches of the Watergate nights. Only Erwin Rommel can match Patton in the publicity stakes, and he was a very much duller man. For the British, Patton may ...

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