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How powerful was the Kaiser?

Christopher Clark: Wilhelm II, 22 April 2015

Wilhelm II: Into the Abyss of War and Exile, 1900-41 
by John Röhl, translated by Sheila de Bellaigue and Roy Bridge.
Cambridge, 1562 pp., £45, February 2014, 978 0 521 84431 4
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... eloquent and sometimes passionate prose, superbly translated this time by Sheila de Bellaigue and Roy Bridge. Beyond the biography, Röhl has illuminated the people and structures of the imperial court in dozens of books and essays; his first book, Germany without Bismarck (1967), a pioneering work of archival reconstruction, remains the go-to text for ...

Crisis at Ettrick Bridge

William Rodgers, 12 October 1989

A Short History of the Liberal Party 1900-88 
by Chris Cook.
Macmillan, 216 pp., £9.95, August 1989, 0 333 44884 7
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Against Goliath 
by David Steel.
Weidenfeld, 318 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 9780297796787
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Labour’s Decline and the Social Democrats’ Fall 
by Geoffrey Lee Williams and Alan Lee Williams.
Macmillan, 203 pp., £29.50, July 1989, 0 333 46541 5
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Penhaligon 
by Annette Penhaligon.
Bloomsbury, 262 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 7475 0501 2
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Citizens’ Britain: A Radical Agenda for the 1990s 
by Paddy Ashdown.
Fourth Estate, 159 pp., £5.95, September 1989, 1 872180 45 0
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... An alternative charge against David Steel stems from the crisis meeting at his home at Ettrick Bridge in the Scottish Lowlands ten days before polling in 1983. In the previous week, as the Alliance campaign seemed to falter, sources close to Steel canvassed support for the idea that he should supplant Roy Jenkins as ...
... To the west of the Isle of Dogs, a mile or so towards the City of London, a Victorian bridge spans the entrance canal to the Limehouse Basin. Ten years ago, London’s docklands were still largely derelict, and few vehicles passed that way on a Sunday. So there was no problem for the reporters and television crews who blocked the bridge in the pale sunshine of a winter’s afternoon ...
On Historians 
by J.H. Hexter.
Collins, 310 pp., £6.95, September 1979, 0 00 216623 2
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... sciences’ so much as the ‘human sciences’, which, simply on the lexical plane, establishes a bridge between the young sociology (for example) and the old, but still valid, Humanities of our grandparents. On the whole, Hexter’s positive assessment of this French superiority (for once!) seems to me pertinent, though pleasantly flattering too to my ...

Colloquially Speaking

Patrick McGuinness: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945, 1 April 1999

The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945 
edited by Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford.
Viking, 480 pp., £10.99, September 1998, 0 670 86829 9
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The Firebox: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945 
edited by Sean O’Brien.
Picador, 534 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 0 330 36918 0
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... We will not find, on the one hand, poets such as J.H. Prynne and Iain Sinclair, or (apart from Roy Fisher) any of the poets collected in Andrew Crozier and Tim Longville’s 1987 anthology, A Various Art. Nor, at the other end of the spectrum, will we find poets such as Peter Robinson, Robert Wells or Clive Wilmer, or the Carcanet poets from the days when ...

At the Hayward

Peter Campbell: Roy Lichtenstein, 18 March 2004

... installation currently give the Hayward Gallery an of-our-own-time presence. But the paintings by Roy Lichtenstein which line the walls – the early ones anyway – are now so well established as an ironic commentary on pop culture that they read as decoration, as conventional and period-flavoured in their way as chintz.* The general effect of the show is ...

Porter for Leader

Jenny Diski, 8 December 1994

London: A Social History 
by Roy Porter.
Hamish Hamilton, 429 pp., £20, October 1994, 0 241 12944 3
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A City Full of People: Men and Women of London, 1650-1750 
by Peter Earle.
Methuen, 321 pp., £25, April 1994, 9780413681706
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... the city in its dirty yellow light. The authentic Londoner’s lament can be heard throughout Roy Porter’s history of London, which has, in addition, the other great metropolitan quality of cunning built into its very structure. What looks for all the world like yet another coffee-table picture book is in reality fat-full of angry words building to a ...

Is there a health crisis?

Roy Porter, 19 May 1988

The Public Health Challenge 
edited by Stephen Farrow.
Hutchinson, 160 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 09 173165 8
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The Truth about the Aids Panic 
by Michael Fitzpatrick and Don Milligan.
Junius, 68 pp., £1.95, March 1987, 9780948392078
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Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830 
by Frank Mort.
Routledge, 280 pp., £7.95, October 1987, 0 7102 0856 1
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Medicine and Labour: The Politics of a Profession 
by Steve Watkins.
Lawrence and Wishart, 272 pp., £6.95, May 1987, 0 85315 639 5
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... public health service thinks it’s all a scare, but because a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since early 1986, when the papers in this (otherwise fascinating) volume were written. It’s crucial to grasp, moreover, that medical politics plays its part in Aids-forecasting as well as in budgeting the NHS. Indeed, political rhetoric wears hardly a ...

Surviving the Reformation

Helen Cooper: Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 15 October 1998

The Beggar and the Professor: A 16th-Century Family Saga 
by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, translated by Arthur Goldhammer.
Chicago, 407 pp., £11.95, June 1998, 0 226 47324 4
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... began to have a reasonable chance of a decent lifespan. The hazards were daunting, however, and Le Roy Ladurie gives a graphic account of them. Thomas had his first narrow squeak as an infant in the Swiss Valais, when he wandered out from the house of the aunts who were raising him into the snow and almost froze to death; still a small child, he was hauled up ...

A Short History of the Trump Family

Sidney Blumenthal: The First Family, 16 February 2017

... sleaze that festered in a corner of New York City, a vindication of his mentor, the Mafia lawyer Roy Cohn, a figure unknown to the vast majority of enthusiasts who jammed Trump’s rallies and hailed him as the authentic voice of the people.The notion of a Trump literature begins, appropriately, with an imaginary novel, 1999: Casinos of the Third ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: Self-Exposure at the Football Terrace, 2 September 1982

... out of the language by assigning it such narrow, youthful duties? The three quotations are by 1. Roy Fuller, from Souvenirs,1 the first volume of his memoirs. The second, Vamp till ready,2 has recently appeared and its excellence shamed me into tracking down Vol. One. 2. Donald Davie, from his memoirs, just published under the title These the Companions.3 ...

At the British Library

Peter Campbell: The lie of the land, 20 September 2001

... into which German tanks would be unable to pursue partisan fighters, while mapping by General Roy after the ‘45 was a preliminary to driving roads into the Highlands to bring an earlier partisan force – the supporters of Charles Edward Stuart – under control. Roy’s survey can be seen as the beginning of British ...

What was meant by what was said

Roy Harris, 20 September 1984

Language, Sense and Nonsense 
by G.P. Baker and P.M.S. Hacker.
Blackwell, 397 pp., £22.50, April 1984, 0 631 13519 7
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... itself to be explained? One philosophically attractive proposal is the idea that an indisputable bridge linking different forms of words is the truth or falsity of what is said. Truth is what binds the answer ‘Frenchmen eat snails’ to the question ‘Do Frenchmen eat snails?’ in all cases where, as a matter of fact, Frenchmen do eat snails. Truth, it ...

This Sporting Life

R.W. Johnson, 8 December 1994

Iain Macleod 
by Robert Shepherd.
Hutchinson, 608 pp., £25, November 1994, 0 09 178567 7
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... impossible struggle to get to work in the morning after staying up into the wee hours playing bridge and poker at Crockfords. Sometimes he would have to write his father urgent letters asking him to bail him out of his card debts; but more often he won. He was earning £3 a week but sometimes won £100 at a sitting. After he got the sack he became a ...

Keeping Left

Edmund Dell, 2 October 1980

The Castle Diaries 
by Barbara Castle.
Weidenfeld, 778 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 297 77420 4
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... He was no longer the man he had been. Harold Lever is portrayed as a man too devoted to playing bridge with the Establishment – his membership of a Labour Cabinet was increasingly inappropriate. I myself disagreed frequently with Harold’s views on macro-economic policy, though perhaps from a point of view even more distasteful to Barbara. But I know of ...

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