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Make Soap from the Ref!

Simon Kuper: Spartak Moscow, 10 June 2010

Spartak Moscow: A History of the People’s Team in the Workers’ State 
by Robert Edelman.
Cornell, 346 pp., £21.95, January 2010, 978 0 8014 4742 6
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... perhaps the most popular semi-autonomous institution in the state: the ‘people’s team’, as Robert Edelman calls it in this revealing and often funny microhistory. Thanks partly to the Starostins’ imprisonment, Spartak gained an aura of independence that still persists. For many, supporting the club was a small way of saying ‘no’ to the ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Ghost Writer’, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, 22 April 2010

The Ghost Writer 
directed by Roman Polanski.
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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 
directed by Niels Arden Oplev.
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... Ghost Writer, looks gleaming and beautiful throughout – the cameraman is Pawel Edelman, who also shot Polanski’s The Pianist, as well as Taylor Hackford’s glossy biography of Ray Charles. This is important, because the movie is mostly about the way it looks. It’s meant to be a political thriller – based on ...

Scenes from British Life

Hugh Barnes, 6 February 1986

Stroke Counterstroke 
by William Camp.
Joseph, 190 pp., £9.95, January 1986, 0 7181 2669 6
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Redhill Rococo 
by Shena Mackay.
Heinemann, 171 pp., £9.95, February 1986, 0 434 44046 9
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Striker 
by Michael Irwin.
Deutsch, 231 pp., £8.95, September 1985, 0 233 97792 9
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... continue to have this curious sense of fiction, the feeling that I am living in a Maurice Edelman novel.’ To be fair, Crossman’s unreality stemmed from the novelty of ministerial responsibility after the long years in opposition. Others must have experienced a similar sensation, for different and sometimes less agreeable reasons. Various ...

A Hard Dog to Keep on the Porch

Christopher Hitchens, 6 June 1996

... now I live in Washington and I see the old Rhodes Class of those years going about its business: Robert Reich running the Labour Department and Strobe Talbott managing US-Russian relations from Foggy Bottom and Ira Magaziner trying to recover from his moment as person-in-charge of Bill and Hillary’s health care ‘reform’.When I want to recall those ...

Nothing he hasn’t done, nowhere he hasn’t been

Adam Shatz: Claude Lanzmann, 5 April 2012

The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir 
by Claude Lanzmann, translated by Frank Wynne.
Atlantic, 528 pp., £25, March 2012, 978 1 84887 360 5
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... later Sartre’s secretary, shared his anger at a student protest in support of the Fascist writer Robert Brasillach, on trial for collaboration. (That Brasillach had once been a student at Louis-le-Grand counted more with their classmates than his anti-semitism.) Lanzmann and Cau formed a groupuscule with the future novelists Michel Tournier and Michel ...

Nothing Natural

Jenny Turner: SurrogacyTM, 23 January 2020

Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism against Family 
by Sophie Lewis.
Verso, 216 pp., £14.99, May 2019, 978 1 78663 729 1
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Making Kin Not Population 
edited by Adele Clarke and Donna Haraway.
Prickly Paradigm, 120 pp., £10, July 2018, 978 0 9966355 6 1
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... Bindel called it in 2018 when the Olympic diver Tom Daley announced the arrival of his baby son, Robert, by paid surrogate in California. ‘The interface between extreme capitalism and patriarchy.’ It’s interesting, as Lewis is quick to notice, that the clouds of pale and puffy human-rights speak come spiked with moments of body horror, as though ...

The Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: The Israel Lobby, 23 March 2006

... they believe, would be contrary to God’s will. Neo-conservative gentiles such as John Bolton; Robert Bartley, the former Wall Street Journal editor; William Bennett, the former secretary of education; Jeane Kirkpatrick, the former UN ambassador; and the influential columnist George Will are also steadfast supporters. The US form of government offers ...

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