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Symbolism, Expressionism, Decadence

Frank Kermode, 24 January 1980

Romantic Roots in Modern Art 
by August Wiedmann.
Gresham, 328 pp., £8.50, July 1980, 0 905418 51 4
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by Robert Goldwater.
Allen Lane, 286 pp., £12.95, November 1980, 9780713910476
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Decadence and the 1890s 
edited by Ian Fletcher.
Arnold, 216 pp., £9.95, July 1980, 0 7131 6208 2
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... grander, the Weltanschauung rather than the style. The period under discussion by Wiedmann and Goldwater abounded in isms trying to make this leap: leaving aside the better-known, such as Futurism, Vorticism, Symbolism, Expressionism, De Stijl, Constructivism etc, we have still to contend with ...

At Tate Modern

Peter Campbell: Louise Bourgeois, 29 November 2007

... came late to Louise Bourgeois. Born in France in 1911, she married the American art historian Robert Goldwater in 1938 and moved to New York, where she worked first as a painter and then, after 1940, mainly as a sculptor and assembler of installations. The catalogue of the exhibition of her work at Tate Modern (until 20 January) consists mainly of ...

Love and Hate, Girl and Boy

Juliet Mitchell: Louise Bourgeois, 6 November 2014

... Louise encouraged him. She helped with the visa and said that he could come to live with her, Robert and their children. Pierre sold his maternal inheritance – a garage in Clamart – and with the money booked his passage from France to the US. But Louise balked, and asked their father to stop Pierre leaving, without letting Pierre know she had ...

In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts

Thomas Sugrue: Barry Goldwater, 3 January 2008

The Conscience of a Conservative 
by Barry Goldwater.
Princeton, 144 pp., £8.95, June 2007, 978 0 691 13117 7
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... in eliminating Jim Crow. All of them pegged their hopes on the Arizona Republican senator Barry Goldwater. ‘Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice,’ Goldwater thundered at the 1964 Republican National Convention, as he accepted his party’s nomination for the presidency. ‘Moderation in the pursuit of ...

Big Stick Swagger

Colin Kidd: Republican Conspiracism, 6 January 2022

A Conspiratorial Life: Robert Welch, the John Birch Society and the Revolution of American Conservatism 
by Edward H. Miller.
Chicago, 456 pp., £24, January, 978 0 226 44886 2
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... eccentric margins of American conservatism have become part of the mainstream. Miller’s study of Robert Welch, the founder of the John Birch Society, presents a plausible account of America’s slow descent from the 1950s into the abyss of post-truth politics. Welch has tended to be written off as a not particularly successful ‘candyman’. But this is ...

History’s Revenges

Peter Clarke, 5 March 1981

The Illustrated Dictionary of British History 
edited by Arthur Marwick.
Thames and Hudson, 319 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 500 25072 3
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Who’s Who in Modern History, 1860-1980 
by Alan Palmer.
Weidenfeld, 332 pp., £8.50, October 1980, 0 297 77642 8
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... xxii, 1-2). We are well clear of Adam Smith by now, and still going strong, but the next hop, to Robert Lowe, marks the turn for home. For Lowe is introduced as a radical Utilitarian administrator (see Utilitarianism). Utilitarianism naturally leads us to Jeremy Bentham, and Bentham equally naturally back to Utilitarianism. This makes no difference ...

Short Cuts

Mattathias Schwartz: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness, 16 July 2020

... place. Bolton, an unreconstructed Cold Warrior, once canvassed for the arch-conservative Barry Goldwater and interned in the Nixon White House. He made his career talking up threats from Iran, North Korea and Venezuela to fill the void left by the Soviet Union. He has consistently urged US policymakers to take the hardest possible line, up to and including ...

Rising Moon

R.W. Johnson, 18 December 1986

L’Empire Moon 
by Jean-Francois Boyer.
La Découverte, 419 pp., August 1986, 2 7071 1604 1
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The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection 
by Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead.
Sheridan Square, 255 pp., $19.95, May 1986, 0 940380 07 2
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... had won the willing patronage of numerous conservative Congressmen and Senators – including Robert Michel, the Republican Minority Leader, Barber Conable (now head of the World Bank) and Jesse Helms. The real high point came, however, when President Nixon, warmed by the Moonies’ unconditional support for him during Watergate, invited Moon to the White ...


John Lanchester, 16 November 1995

Sons of Ezra: British Poets and Ezra Pound 
edited by Michael Alexander and James McGonigal.
Rodopi, 183 pp., $23.50, July 1995, 90 5183 840 9
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‘In Solitude, for Company’: W.H. Auden after 1940 
edited by Katherine Bucknell and Nicholas Jenkins.
Oxford, 338 pp., £40, November 1995, 0 19 818294 5
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by Richard Davenport-Hines.
Heinemann, 406 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 434 17507 2
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Wystan and Chester: A Personal Memoir of W.H. Auden and Chester Kallman 
by Thekla Clark.
Faber, 130 pp., £12.99, October 1995, 0 571 17591 0
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... helped by the untimely publication of his ditto. Graham Greenes (d. 1991) are on the way down, Robert Lowells (d. 1977, with the Collected Poems coming next year) are a good buy; stock in Anthony Burgess (d. 1993) should probably be held for a year or two; Borgeses (d. 1986) will surge once the editing and republishing are sorted out; James Merrills ...


Christopher Hitchens, 24 August 1995

To Renew America 
by Newt Gingrich.
HarperCollins, 260 pp., £18, July 1995, 9780060173364
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... which was radical in 1965, is uncontroversial today and we now know that it was even held by Robert McNamara at the very time he was ordering the carpet-bombing of Vietnam. Now here’s the interesting thing. Gingrich opposed the war and took a draft deferment every bit as opportunist as Clinton’s. He also supported the Martin Luther King movement, and ...

High Jinks at the Plaza

Perry Anderson, 22 October 1992

The British Constitution Now 
by Ferdinand Mount.
Heinemann, 289 pp., £18.50, April 1992, 0 434 47994 2
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Constitutional Reform 
by Robert Brazier.
Oxford, 172 pp., £22.50, September 1991, 0 19 876257 7
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Anatomy of Thatcherism 
by Shirley Letwin.
Fontana, 364 pp., £6.99, October 1992, 0 00 686243 8
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... of his country in the aftermath of the Nicaraguan earthquake. Winding it up came a warning from Robert Bork against the menace of the ‘clerisy of power’ now (under the Ford Presidency) steering the nation towards the shoals of equality and uniformity. The following bumper issue of the National Review, on 5 December, was mainly taken up with the text of ...

Who’s in charge?

Chalmers Johnson: The Addiction to Secrecy, 6 February 2003

Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers 
by Daniel Ellsberg.
Viking, 498 pp., $29.95, October 2002, 0 670 03030 9
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... Security Affairs, to join him in the Pentagon as his special assistant. The Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, had given McNaughton responsibility for co-ordinating strategy towards Vietnam, and he wanted Ellsberg to take charge of the day-to-day details. Ellsberg, then 33 years old, was appointed at the exalted civil service grade of GS-18, equivalent in ...

Between the Raindrops

David Bromwich: The Subtlety of James Stewart, 12 December 2002

James Stewart at the NFT 
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... liberal mainstream, when it was still the mainstream, and he endorsed the candidacies of Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan. There were other stars for whom that position became a major fact of life. Yet Stewart remained a friend through every disagreement with Henry Fonda – his housemate in New York in the early 1930s and in Brentwood after the war, and ...

Obama’s Delusion

David Bromwich: The Presidential Letdown, 22 October 2009

... through November 1963 unchastened, and attained a temporary climax with the nomination of Barry Goldwater as the Republican presidential candidate in 1964. It surfaced again in the run-up to the Clinton impeachment in 1996-97; but the fury of that time was allowed to take a detour through sex mania. Given the emotions he was up against, Clinton may have got ...

Hopi Mean Time

Iain Sinclair: Jim Sallis, 18 March 1999

Eye of the Cricket 
by James Sallis.
No Exit, 190 pp., £6.99, April 1998, 1 874061 77 7
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... 1978. Humphrey Bogart’s momentum, his Jacobean wit, is transformed by the passage of time into Robert Mitchum’s monumental disdain. Mitchum is breathless, sculptural. He moves with extreme reluctance, as if charging an excess tariff for every step. Sallis understands how it’s done, he’s been to the classes. He’s learnt how to assemble the ...

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