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Joshua Kurlantzick: Indonesia since Suharto

3 March 2011
My Friend the Fanatic: Travels with a Radical Islamist 
by Sadanand Dhume.
Skyhorse, 271 pp., $24.95, April 2009, 978 1 60239 643 2
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Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power 
by Robert​ Kaplan.
Random House, 384 pp., £21, October 2010, 978 1 4000 6746 6
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Understanding Islam in Indonesia: Politics and Diversity 
by Robert Pringle.
Hawaii, 220 pp., $22, April 2010, 978 0 8248 3415 9
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... to find many ethnic Chinese businesspeople beginning to participate in politics, which they would never have done in the past, for fear of being targeted if they took up public positions. And as Robert Kaplan records in Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power, it is Indonesia’s growing stability that has made it an increasingly attractive partner for both China and the US ...
21 August 1980
The Great Fortune, The Spoilt City, Friends and Heroes 
by Olivia Manning.
Penguin, 287 pp., £1.25, March 1980, 0 14 003543 5
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... all-embracing violence as too grotesque to be viewed in any terms except those of fantasy. There are no British novels that, like Catch 22, approach war as lunacy made real, or implicitly ask, like Robert Stone’s Dog Soldiers, why running dope is worse than killing unarmed Vietnamese. Such a mixture of the macabre and the grotesque with a touch of anarchy is not a British vein. There are ...

Fortunes of War

Graham Hough

6 November 1980
The Sum of Things 
by Olivia Manning.
Weidenfeld, 203 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 297 77816 1
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The Viceroy of Ouidah 
by Bruce Chatwin.
Cape, 155 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 224 01820 5
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The Sooting Party 
by Isabel Colegate.
Hamish Hamilton, 181 pp., £5.95, September 1980, 0 241 10473 4
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An Ancient Castle 
by Robert​ Graves.
Owen, 69 pp., £3.95, October 1980, 0 7206 0567 9
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... world still that of British Council lecturers, minor embassy officials and lefty journalists, with the fighting, now farther away, still rumbling in the background. The key characters Guy and Harriet Pringle found their marriage pretty well on the rocks at the end of the last volume, and for most of this one they are separated. It is supposed that Harriet has been drowned at sea, torpedoed on her way ...

Get the placentas

Gavin Francis: ‘The Life Project’

1 June 2016
The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives 
by Helen Pearson.
Allen Lane, 399 pp., £20, February 2016, 978 1 84614 826 2
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... coffee helped Butler to get his funding. She does tell us that he spent his evenings writing begging letters to the worthies listed in Who’s Who, and that he managed to get money from the likes of Robert Maxwell, Cliff Richard and Twiggy. Since 1958 Butler had been the co-ordinator of a perennially impoverished study which began by examining the medical, social and economic circumstances of 17,000 ...

A Cousin of Colonel Heneage

Robert​ Crawford: Was Eliot a Swell?

18 April 2019
The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Volume VIII: 1936-38 
edited by Valerie Eliot and John Haffenden.
Faber, 1100 pp., £50, January, 978 0 571 31638 0
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... family of languages – and readers of this volume of letters will note Eliot’s enthusiasm for Dunbar – but Eliot’s fine sense of naming in poetry owes more to 19th-century precedents. Robert Browning, who called one of his lippiest poems not ‘Filippo Lippi’ (the name by which the artist was usually known) but ‘Fra Lippo Lippi’, had the name-gift, and some of his finest poems bear ...
6 May 1982
The Young Rebecca: Writings of Rebecca West 1911-17 
by Jane Marcus.
Macmillan, 340 pp., £9.95, April 1982, 0 333 25589 5
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The Harsh Voice 
by Rebecca West, introduced by Alexandra Pringle.
Virago, 250 pp., £2.95, February 1982, 0 86068 249 8
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The Meaning of Treason 
by Rebecca West.
Virago, 439 pp., £3.95, February 1982, 0 86068 256 0
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1990 
by Rebecca West.
Weidenfeld, 190 pp., £10, February 1982, 9780297779636
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... fact to emerge from the article. I call ‘The Gospel according to Mrs Humphry Ward’ an article and not a review deliberately, and in this its title supports me, for, though West is discussing Robert Elsmere, The Case of Richard Meynell and Daphne, the ethos that Mrs Humphry Ward puts forward is the only thing that really interests her. Even when she comments that on every relevant page the face ...

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