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Little Dog

Alan Milward

5 January 1989
Munich: The Eleventh Hour 
by Robert​ Kee.
Hamish Hamilton, 242 pp., £14.95, September 1988, 0 241 12537 5
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Peace for Our Time 
by Robert Rothschild.
Brassey, 366 pp., £16.95, September 1988, 0 08 036264 8
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A Class Divided: Appeasement and the Road to Munich 1938 
by Robert​ Shepherd.
Macmillan, 323 pp., £16.95, September 1998, 0 333 46080 4
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... events the one that took up the most time and space was the Munich agreement of 1938, although it was subsequently driven off the centre pages by Kristallnacht and the Jewish pogroms in Germany. Robert Kee’s book has its origins in his commemorative TV documentary and the book by Robert Shepherd, producer of Channel 4’s A Week in Politics, reads like the script of another documentary. Robert ...

The money’s still out there

Neal Ascherson: The Scottish Empire

6 October 2011
To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland’s Global Diaspora, 1750-2010 
by T.M. Devine.
Allen Lane, 397 pp., £25, August 2011, 978 0 7139 9744 6
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The Inner Life of Empires: An 18th-Century History 
by Emma Rothschild.
Princeton, 483 pp., £24.95, June 2011, 978 0 691 14895 3
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... has been well punctured by recent Scottish research. They were indeed closer – by the length of a slave-driver’s lash. Scots, in that sense, were the non-commissioned officers of empire; even Robert Burns, a sentimental abolitionist, planned to take a job in Jamaica as an overseer of slaves. The same myth suggested that Gaelic emigrants raised in a clan system had a special rapport with ...

Honest Graft

Michael Brock

23 June 1988
Corruption in British Politics, 1895-1930 
by G.R. Searle.
Oxford, 448 pp., £19.50, November 1987, 0 19 822915 1
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... he would have been excluded from the list by royal command. These may be ranked as small imprudences, however, and when they are set beside Lord Randolph Churchill’s relationship with Lord Rothschild no decline in standards is discernible. If ‘corruption’ is used in the narrow sense to denote the impingement of private interests on public decisions, even Dr Searle’s researches reveal very ...

Diary

Mary-Kay Wilmers: Karl Miller Remembered

8 October 2014
... on my mind: that I hoped he wouldn’t have to leave before my review was published. I was never entirely forgiven for that. Karl was much given to leaving – ‘more of a born leaver’, he said of Robert Lowell, whose wife had made the mistake of calling him ‘a born joiner’. He started at the Treasury, had a short stint in television; became literary editor first of the Spectator, then the ...

Likeable Sage

Sheldon Rothblatt

17 September 1981
Matthew Arnold: A Life 
by Park Honan.
Weidenfeld, 496 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 297 77824 2
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... slights while prattling on about duty. Yes, the young Matthew Arnold, even the aging, egregiously corpulent Matthew Arnold, was a dandy who enjoyed titles, women in smart attire, the company of a Rothschild, the compliments of Disraeli, the wealth of a Hudson River estate (where in 1883 he went to see Delanos and Astors), and yes, it mattered to him that his famous lecture tour of the United States ...
9 March 1995
... 63,000 per annum. David Mellor received £8049 when he resigned. Michael Mates received £5137 when he stepped down. Even Norman Lamont got his £8049, supplemented soon afterwards by a job with N.M. Rothschild at a salary reputed to be in the region of £50,000 per annum. Mr Lamont has since become chair of the Taiwan Investment Trust, director of the First Philippine Trust and an occasional consultant ...
30 September 1999
Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War 
by Frances Stonor Saunders.
Granta, 509 pp., £20, July 1999, 1 86207 029 6
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... I swear Shils is Dr Pangloss reborn and without Dr Pangloss’s charm and innocence. I said so, in almost as many words, when I got into the fight myself. Another feature of the Congress was [Robert] Oppenheimer, who took me out to dinner and is, I discovered, completely and perhaps even dangerously mad. Paranoid megalomania and sense of divine mission ... [Oppenheimer] turned to Nicholas ...

Literary Man

J.I.M. Stewart

7 June 1984
Hilaire Belloc 
by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 398 pp., £12.95, April 1984, 0 241 11176 5
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... different editors.’ On the first of these stories Mr Wilson comments, very reasonably, that it ‘suggests an absence of personal piety’. On the second, research might be possible. According to Robert Speaight’s account of Chesterton’s death, the Times printed what Belloc ‘rightly described as a “crapulous” obituary’, but there was a ‘noble tribute’ in the Observer – and it was ...

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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... elements both in the government and the country’ in the late Forties. His historical research seems 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 ...

Jew d’Esprit

Dan Jacobson

6 May 1982
Disraeli’s Grand Tour: Benjamin Disraeli and the Holy Land 1830-31 
by Robert​ Blake.
Weidenfeld, 141 pp., £8.95, January 1982, 0 297 77910 9
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... which in some sense cuts him off from ordinary intercourse with society, Sidonia represents a curious and unexpected cultural transmutation of the Byronic hero. As it were: from Childe Harold to Rothschild, in a single generation. Here and elsewhere Disraeli was using his peculiar notions about the Jews and their role in history as a mode of self-advancement; or, to put the same point in another but ...

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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Arlosoroff 
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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... it affected not only workers’ wages but the rates the master could demand of the tradesmen. The 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 ...
25 October 1990
No Other Choice 
by George Blake.
Cape, 288 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 224 03067 1
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Inside Intelligence 
by Anthony Cavendish.
Collins, 181 pp., £12.95, October 1990, 9780002157421
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... David McNee, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, that Oldfield was a homosexual. Junor passed this on to the Prime Minister in a private letter. Eventually, someone (probably the old grass Lord Rothschild, a former intelligence chief who was prepared to go to any lengths to deflect attention from his own pro-Russian past) told Sir Maurice that his secret about positive vetting was known. Oldfield ...

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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... made an ideal viscount. In the early 1920s few people owned their houses, but they now came under 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 ...

How They Brought the Good News

Colin Kidd: Britain’s Napoleonic Wars

20 November 2014
In These Times: Living in Britain through Napoleon’s Wars, 1793-1815 
by Jenny Uglow.
Faber, 739 pp., £25, November 2014, 978 0 571 26952 5
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... ague … that I did not answer the call, whereby I lost my pension’. Uglow describes the farcical way that the news from Waterloo reached the government in London. Remarkably, the financier Nathan Rothschild was told of the victory only 24 hours after the battle. A courier brought him the news from Brussels, by way of Dunkirk and Deal; but when he informed the government the following day, he was not ...

Plonking

Ferdinand Mount: Edward Heath

22 July 2010
Edward Heath 
by Philip Ziegler.
Harper, 654 pp., £25, June 2010, 978 0 00 724740 0
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... desirable to spell out the full implications of British entry in any detail.’ That seems to me at least suppressio veri, with a whiff of suggestio falsi too. There was also in Heath’s manner what Robert Rhodes James, then a senior clerk in the House of Commons, diagnosed as ‘an ominous note of thinly veiled intellectual contempt for those in his party who opposed the application’. Neither then ...

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