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Hedonistic Fruit Bombs

Steven Shapin: How good is Château Pavie?, 3 February 2005

by Robert Parker.
Dorling Kindersley, 1244 pp., £45, December 2003, 1 4053 0566 5
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The Wine Buyer’s Guide 
by Robert Parker and Pierre-Antoine Rovani.
Dorling Kindersley, two volumes, £50, December 2002, 0 7513 4979 8
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directed by Jonathan Nossiter.
November 2004
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... of all nations, has bowed down lowest in his presence. The ‘24-carat taste buds’ belong to Robert Parker, a 57-year-old former Baltimore lawyer, who started the bimonthly subscription-only Wine Advocate in 1978, and whose many books on the world’s wines – Bordeaux, The Wines of the Rhône Valley and Provence (1987) and various editions of the ...

Within the Pale

Naomi Shepherd, 8 February 1990

Memoirs of a Jewish Revolutionary 
by Hersh Mendel, translated by Robert Michaels.
Pluto, 367 pp., £19.50, February 1989, 0 7453 0264 5
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by Shlomo Avineri.
Peter Halban, 126 pp., £10.95, March 1989, 1 870015 23 1
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Golda Meir: The Romantic Years 
by Ralph Martin.
Piatkus, 416 pp., £15, April 1989, 0 86188 864 2
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... Jewish ‘bourgeoisie’ hardly appears in the memoir, save perhaps in one scathing reference to a Rothschild philanthropic enterprise in Paris, where Mendel briefly learned carpentry. Mendel’s memoir is nomadic, an account of physical suffering in the cause of some distant liberation, of emotional revulsion at the repeated betrayal of ideals and the ...

Counting weapons

Rudolf Peierls, 5 March 1981

Britain and Nuclear Weapons 
by Lawrence Freedman.
Papermac, 160 pp., £3.25, September 1980, 0 333 30511 6
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Countdown: Britain’s Strategic Forces 
by Stewart Menual.
Hale, 188 pp., £8.25, October 1980, 0 7091 8592 8
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The War Machine 
by James Avery Joyce.
Quartet, 210 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 7043 2254 4
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Protest and Survive 
edited by E.P. Thompson and Dan Smith.
Penguin, 262 pp., £1.50, October 1980, 0 14 052341 3
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... to have been less thorough than one might wish, to judge by a number of minor slips, such as that Robert Oppenheimer escaped from Germany, or that the Uranium-235 bomb is started by firing two hemispherical pieces together. He blames Alexander, Minister of Defence in 1947, for basing military planning on the ill-conceived assumption that there would be no ...

The Thought of Ruislip

E.S. Turner: The Metropolitan Line, 2 December 2004

Metro-Land: British Empire Exhibition Number 
by Oliver Green.
Southbank, 144 pp., £16.99, July 2004, 1 904915 00 0
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... heavy pressure to do so. Metroland’s chief thruster was the railway company’s general manager, Robert Hope Selbie. His task, in Jackson’s words, was to see those unspoiled arcadias ‘comfortably populated, preferably with a high percentage of first-class season ticket-holders and their families. And if in making that possible the scenery should become ...


Christian Lorentzen: Homo Trumpiens, 3 November 2016

... without ethnic or geographic cohesion are ideological libertarians. Wisconsin was the home of Robert La Follette Sr, the Senate’s greatest progressive, and of Joseph McCarthy, its most infamous reactionary. It has voted for Democratic presidential candidates in every election since 1988. But off-year elections with low voter turnout – and ...

Look over your shoulder

Christopher Hitchens, 25 May 1995

... plagiarism from classic European anti-semitism. In Robertson’s world view, it is the Warburg and Rothschild families, the Freemasons and the Illuminati, all over again. Yet nobody ever calls Gingrich on it; ever asks him, on the record, if these characters and these ideas are really part of the ‘big tent’ that is said to enclose Republicanism. A couple ...

Subsistence Journalism

E.S. Turner, 13 November 1997

‘Punch’: The Lively Youth of a British Institution, 1841-51 
by Richard Altick.
Ohio State, 776 pp., £38.50, July 1997, 0 8142 0710 3
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... from the classics, which all readers above the rank of ragamuffin were expected to recognise. Sir Robert Peel (Sir Rhubarb Pill) did duty as Pandora, Ceres, Phaeton and Sisyphus. However, when the Duke of Buckingham was shown as ‘The Modern Eresicthon’ preparing to eat his own head, the magazine thought fit to explain that Eresicthon of Thessaly, having ...

Daisy Chains

Emma Hogan: Sappho 1900, 20 May 2021

No Modernism without Lesbians 
by Diana Souhami.
Head of Zeus, 464 pp., £9.99, February, 978 1 78669 487 4
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... Little Review, serialised the novel.) Bryher financially supported her lover H.D. and her husband Robert McAlmon, who published Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes and Ernest Hemingway. There is also the suggestion, never quite substantiated by Souhami, that the way these women lived, their promiscuity and outsized influence, could itself be considered uniquely ...

What sort of traitors?

Neal Ascherson, 7 February 1980

The Climate of Treason 
by Andrew Boyle.
Hutchinson, 504 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 9780091393403
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... Treason is not one of these hagiograms. They really talked: David Footman, Nicholas Elliott, Sir Robert Mackenzie, George Carey-Foster, Sir Frederick Warner, agents and diplomats on the security side, and a large anonymous group of Intelligence men from both branches of the service, retired and active. The reason can be guessed at. Boyle’s American ...

Queen Croesus

David Cannadine, 13 February 1992

Royal Fortune: Tax, Money and the Monarchy 
by Phillip Hall.
Bloomsbury, 294 pp., £18.99, February 1992, 0 7475 1133 0
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... finance: namely, that the monarch became a taxpayer. In 1842, the then Tory prime minister, Sir Robert Peel, reintroduced income tax, which had previously been levied on a temporary basis during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The Queen was determined – or advised, the documentation is incomplete – that ‘her own income should be subject to a ...

All There Needs to Be Said

August Kleinzahler: Louis Zukofsky, 22 May 2008

The Poem of a Life: A Biography of Louis Zukofsky 
by Mark Scroggins.
Shoemaker and Hoard, 555 pp., $30, December 2007, 978 1 59376 158 5
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... group’s appropriation, protested vigorously, as did an older generation of advocates such as Robert Duncan, whose work was heavily influenced by Zukofsky and who resented what he felt was brazen opportunism and a fundamental misreading of the poetry. There was quite a noisy back and forth for a while – great fun really. Scroggins discusses all this in ...


W.G. Runciman: Dining Out, 4 June 1998

... himself as having been Nolanised for a forthcoming quangoid appointment in succession to Jacob Rothschild and says it will stop people saying he got it because he was Tony Blair’s headmaster. My wife responds that if they’re going to say that, they’ll say it anyway – and we hadn’t even seen the famous ‘Teacher’ ad on TV. 9 February. News of ...

Sure looks a lot like conservatism

Didier Fassin: Macronisme, 5 July 2018

Revolution Française: Emmanuel Macron and the Quest to Reinvent a Nation 
by Sophie Pedder.
Bloomsbury, 297 pp., £25, June 2018, 978 1 4729 4860 1
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... by François Hollande’s disappointing presidency. Macron had been an investment banker at Rothschild and was minister of the economy for two years under Hollande. He appeared amenable both to a neoliberal approach and to the progressive programme of the socialists, although as a minister he was responsible for a pro-business turn. His much derided ...

The Sound of Voices Intoning Names

Thomas Laqueur, 5 June 1997

French Children of the Holocaust: A Memorial 
by Serge Klarsfeld.
New York, 1881 pp., $95, November 1996, 0 8147 2662 3
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... full murder mode. Historical information and interpretation, based largely on Michael Marrus and Robert Paxton’s Vichy France and the Jews, have also been added. The 2503 photographs themselves: these have been reproduced from identity cards and gravestones, from formal studio portraits and intimate snapshots, from school, camp and playground groups, from ...

Balfour, Weizmann and the Creation of Israel

Charles Glass: Palestine, 7 June 2001

One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate 
by Tom Segev, translated by Haim Watzman.
Little, Brown, 612 pp., £25, January 2001, 0 316 64859 0
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Ploughing Sand: British Rule in Palestine 1917-48 
by Naomi Shepherd.
Murray, 290 pp., £12.99, September 2000, 0 7195 6322 4
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... easy to exaggerate the international power of the Jews,’ the Foreign Office Under-Secretary Lord Robert Cecil said. Segev quotes a character in The Thirty-Nine Steps airing the common prejudice that ‘the Jew is everywhere . . . He’s the man who is ruling the world just now.’ Although Zionist leaders could turn these anti-semitic notions to their own ...

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