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Stefan Collini: The Costs of University Privatisation

23 October 2013
Everything for Sale? The Marketisation of UK Higher Education 
by Roger Brown and Helen Carasso.
Routledge, 235 pp., £26.99, February 2013, 978 0 415 80980 1
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The Great University Gamble: Money, Markets and the Future of Higher Education 
by Andrew McGettigan.
Pluto, 215 pp., £16.99, April 2013, 978 0 7453 3293 2
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... well-informed books just how far-reaching are the changes now under way in British (or at least English) higher education. The provenance of their authors could hardly be more different. RogerBrown has been, successively, a senior civil servant, the chief executive of the Higher Education Quality Council, and vice-chancellor of Southampton Solent University; he is currently professor of higher ...
11 March 1993
The Long Night of White Chickens 
by Francisco Goldman.
Faber, 450 pp., £14.99, January 1993, 0 571 16098 0
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... One of the more disarming sentences in Francisco Goldman’s impressive first novel comes near the end, when his hero-narrator, Roger Graetz, takes a bus journey up into the Guatemalan highlands and stops off in a village just as the Indians are packing up their market in a dirt plaza. Brooding over what he knows about the village ...

Diary

Nicolas Freeling: On Missing the Detective Story

11 June 1992
... juggernaut was there to make the message felt. The heap of Crime Club volumes is now an Assyrian monument; would make a fine pyramid of skulls but who would be bothered? ‘Who cares who killed Roger Ackroyd?’ shouted Edmund Wilson, exasperated, but it would barely be a mutter today. For who, sleepless in the guest bedroom in even the dankest of shires, is going to pounce gleefully upon Freeman ...

Reproaches from the Past

Peter Clarke: Gordon Brown

1 April 2004
The Prudence of Mr Gordon Brown 
by William Keegan.
Wiley, 356 pp., £18.99, October 2003, 0 470 84697 6
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... that the present definition of the office was established through a process long characterised by ambiguity as well as ambition, with a premium on stealth as well as wealth. When Nigel, nephew of Roger, bishop of Salisbury, took on the job in 1126 (or thereabouts) he was simply called ‘the treasurer’. He resigned when made bishop of Ely in 1133 – not the sort of career progression to be ...

Fellow Freaks

Sam Thompson: Wells Tower

9 July 2009
Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned 
by Wells Tower.
Granta, 238 pp., £10.99, April 2009, 978 1 84708 048 6
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... failed entrepreneurs, bitter carnies, bullied children and men on the run. As the collection’s title suggests, they are prone to destructive acts. The protagonist of the opening story, ‘The Brown Coast’, is typical in that he has inflicted violence on his own life: after losing his job through incompetence, his inheritance due to rear-ending an attorney, and his wife by having an affair ...

What Is Great about Ourselves

Pankaj Mishra: Closing Time

20 September 2017
The Retreat of Western Liberalism 
by Edward Luce.
Little, Brown, 240 pp., £16.99, May 2017, 978 1 4087 1041 8
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The Fate of the West: Battle to Save the World’s Most Successful Political Idea 
by Bill Emmott.
Economist, 257 pp., £22, May 2017, 978 1 61039 780 3
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The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics 
by David Goodhart.
Hurst, 256 pp., £20, March 2017, 978 1 84904 799 9
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The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics 
by Mark Lilla.
Harper, 143 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 0 06 269743 1
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The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam 
by Douglas Murray.
Bloomsbury, 343 pp., £18.99, May 2017, 978 1 4729 4224 1
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... confidence to describe it.’ A year later, however, Goodhart felt that ‘Tony Blair has finally lost his Midas touch.’ In October 2004, he carried the first of a long series of eulogies to Gordon Brown, then ‘odds-on to be prime minister before the end of 2008’. ‘The Brown transition,’ Goodhart wrote, ‘could help to realise the centre-left’s dream of governing Britain for a generation ...

Tacky Dress

Dale Peck

22 February 1996
Like People in History: A Gay American Epic 
by Felice Picano.
Viking, 512 pp., $23.95, July 1995, 0 670 86047 6
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How Long Has This Been Going On? 
by Ethan Mordden.
Villard, 590 pp., $25, April 1995, 0 679 41529 7
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The Facts of Life 
by Patrick Gale.
Flamingo, 511 pp., £15.99, June 1995, 0 602 24522 2
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Flesh and Blood 
by Michael Cunningham.
Hamish Hamilton, 480 pp., £14.99, June 1995, 9780241135150
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... jail, a midnight quarrel in Central Park, an attempted suicide, a fist-fight, an ambulance ride, a fallen crane, a traffic pile-up and, finally, a death – and the 36 years of acquaintance between Roger Sansarc, the novel’s narrator, and his cousin Alistair Dodge, which lead up to that night. Picano’s story pauses in 1954, 1961, 1969, 1974, 1979 and 1985; these pauses are meant to reveal not ...

It’s the plunge that counts

Heathcote Williams: Waterlog by Roger​ Deakin

19 August 1999
Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey through Britain 
by Roger​ Deakin.
Chatto, 320 pp., £15.99, May 1999, 0 7011 6652 5
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... Roger Deakin has swum through England. Instead of a travelogue, he has written a waterlog, and instead of being waterlogged, he has moved around the country untrammelled, and often naked. In this seductive ...

My Millbank

Seumas Milne

18 April 1996
The Blair Revolution: Can New Labour Deliver? 
by Peter Mandelson and Roger​ Liddle.
Faber, 274 pp., £7.99, February 1996, 0 571 17818 9
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... In politics, Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle explain for the benefit of their less worldly-wise readers, ‘getting your way can require a degree of intrigue and manoeuvring.’ The straight-dealing Tony Blair would, they say, prefer ...

Boys wearing wings

Nicholas Penny

15 March 1984
Caravaggio 
by Howard Hibbard.
Thames and Hudson, 404 pp., £22.50, May 1983, 0 500 09161 7
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Circa 1600: A Revolution of Style in Italian Painting 
by S.J. Freedberg.
Harvard, 125 pp., £21.25, January 1983, 0 674 13156 8
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Domenichino 
by Richard Spear.
Yale, 382 pp., £75, November 1982, 0 300 02359 6
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... a whole new class of cabinet picture all over Europe, but they may not have been as original as is now assumed. In Caravaggio’s early paintings clearly-defined areas of flesh colour, buff and sandy brown are contrasted with neat patterns of black and white and golden-brown clothing, and with the red of wine or cherries and the fresh green of vine leaves – all contained originally (as early ...

How stupid people are

John Sturrock: Flaubert

7 September 2006
Bouvard and Pecuchet 
by Gustave Flaubert, translated by Mark Polizzotti.
Dalkey Archive, 328 pp., £8.99, January 2006, 1 56478 393 6
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Flaubert: A Life 
by Frederick Brown.
Heinemann, 629 pp., £25, May 2006, 0 434 00769 2
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... on a wide range of disciplines that were unfamiliar to him: anatomy, chemistry, agriculture, archaeology and several more besides. In August 1873, writing to one of his favourite correspondents, Edma Roger des Genettes, he claimed that since the previous September he had read and made notes on 194 titles, and his final estimate was that he had consulted some 1500 in all – a research curriculum the ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bo yakasha.

4 January 2001
... of?) his indeterminate ethnicity, is not one of the speakers in a series of talks at the South Bank, beginning on 23 January, under the general title Team GB?: In Search of a British Identity. Roger Scruton, whose England: An Elegy will soon be reviewed in the LRB, is giving the first lecture, and he will be followed by, among others, Robert Crawford, Meg Bateman, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Billy ...

Short Cuts

Tariq Ali: So much for England

13 January 2020
... not. He will revert to that when things get tougher. (The exchanges in Parliament after Soleimani’s assassination are a case in point.) He often sounds like a character in a comic novel. His own. Roger Barlow in Seventy-Two Virgins is a self-portrait that reveals a surprising degree of self-awareness:Barlow’s thoughts of political extinction had taken a philosophical turn. Did it matter? Of ...

Eye Contact

Peter Campbell: Anthony van Dyck

16 September 1999
Anthony van Dyck 1599-1641 
by Christopher Brown and Hans Vlieghe.
Royal Academy, 360 pp., £22.50, May 1999, 9780847821969
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Anthony van Dyck: A Life, 1599-1641 
by Robin Blake.
Constable, 435 pp., £25, August 1999, 9780094797208
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... Sincerity and curiosity are virtues in painting; but so are grace, nobility and even the kindness that comes close to being flattery. ‘Van Dyck,’ Roger de Piles noted, ‘took his time to draw a face when it had its best looks on.’ He painted Charles I’s Queen, Henrietta Maria, as a handsome woman – without, it would seem, losing the likeness ...

The wind comes up out of nowhere

Charles Nicholl: On the trail of Arthur Cravan

9 March 2006
... name is not much known this side of the Channel, where there is as yet no biography of him or translation of his works. (A long-awaited life is in preparation by the leading Anglophone Cravaniste, Roger Lloyd Conover.) This lacuna is curious because although Cravan was Swiss by birth, and wrote exclusively in French, he was a mix of Irish and English by blood. I have long been fascinated by this ...

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