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Ahead of the Game

Daniel Finn: The Official IRA, 7 October 2010

The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers’ Party 
by Brian Hanley and Scott Millar.
Penguin, 658 pp., £9.99, April 2010, 978 0 14 102845 3
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... be more receptive than them to republican principles.’ With the help of a new intellectual guru, Roy Johnston (the son of an Ulster Presbyterian who had supported Home Rule before the First World War), the Goulding-led IRA based its strategy for Northern Ireland on civil rights and equality for Catholics and Protestants within the existing state. They joined ...

Perpetual Sunshine

David Cannadine, 2 July 1981

The Gentleman’s Country House and its Plan, 1835-1914 
by Jill Franklin.
Routledge, 279 pp., £15.95, February 1981, 0 7100 0622 5
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... has turned to autumn: the creeper has withered and the sunshine faded. The death toll recorded by Roy Strong, Marcus Binney and John Harris in The Destruction of the English County House tops nine hundred, and few writers set contemporary novels in country houses as they did only a generation ago. One gratifying consequence ...

Fear and Loathing in Limehouse

Richard Holme, 3 September 1987

Campaign! The Selling of the Prime Minister 
by Rodney Tyler.
Grafton, 251 pp., £6.95, July 1987, 0 246 13277 9
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Battle for Power 
by Des Wilson.
Sphere, 326 pp., £4.99, July 1987, 0 7221 9074 3
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David Owen: Personally Speaking 
by Kenneth Harris.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 0 297 79206 7
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... disclosing an observation made at an Alliance strategy meeting in 1985 – was well expressed by Roy Jenkins, who said that with the British electoral system a hung Parliament might be a statistical outcome, but that it could not be a political objective. The second was that the strategy immediately invited the question: ‘With whom would the Alliance ...

Madness and Method

Mark Philp, 3 April 1986

The Anatomy of Madness: Essays in the History of Psychiatry Vol. I: People and Ideas, Vol. II: Institutions and Society 
edited by W.F. Bynum, Roy Porter and Michael Shepherd.
Tavistock, 316 pp., £19.95, November 1985, 0 422 79430 9
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Madness, Morality and Medicine: A Study of the York Retreat 1796-1914 
by Anne Digby.
Cambridge, 323 pp., £27.50, October 1985, 0 521 26067 1
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... considerable flair. While most pieces have some virtues, some are really exceptionally good. Ruth Harris’s account in Volume Two of the feud between Charcot’s Paris school and Bernheim’s coterie at Nancy, over the value (and risks) of hypnosis and the nature of the hypnotic state, moves elegantly from an account of one of France’s more sordid ...

Bevan’s Boy

John Campbell, 20 September 1984

The Making of Neil Kinnock 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 256 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 571 13266 9
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Neil Kinnock: The Path to Leadership 
by G.M.F. Drower.
Weidenfeld, 162 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 297 78467 6
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... so: it is the first great piece of luck on which his career has flourished. The second, as Robert Harris points out, was the date of his birth: Kinnock is just old enough to have imbibed at first hand from his parents, uncles and grandparents vivid memories of the hardship and degradation of Tredegar between the wars, but just young enough to have benefited ...

Coalition Monsters

Colin Kidd, 6 March 2014

In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government 
by Matthew D’Ancona.
Penguin, 414 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 670 91993 2
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... to participate on both sides of the debate. The cross-party Britain in Europe campaign was led by Roy Jenkins, then Labour home secretary, and supported by moderate consensus Tories such as Whitelaw and Maudling, the former Liberal leader Jo Grimond and middle-of-the-road Labour politicians like Cledwyn Hughes. On the other side of the argument were the ...

Partnership of Loss

Roy Foster: Ireland since 1789, 13 December 2007

Ireland: The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006 
by Paul Bew.
Oxford, 613 pp., £35, August 2007, 978 0 19 820555 5
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... the counterfactual fantasy of Ireland’s future under the Third Reich awaits its Robert Harris, but there is plenty of material to hand. Bew needed a volume, not a chapter, for the story of the two Irelands between 1923 and 1966, and much goes unavoidably missing, including the resistant strains of Irish liberalism and dissidence which survived ...

Diary

Robert Walshe: Bumping into Beckett, 7 November 1985

... down the details. Long thin legs clad in long thin trousers, immaculately pressed. Orange-coloured Harris tweed jacket, immaculately cut, but not in the shapeless fashion of the day. Clearly he had taken it out of mothballs and hung it over a steaming bathtub before setting out for the Théâtre de l’Odéon where the jackets are out at the elbows and the ...

Orwellspeak

Julian Symons, 9 November 1989

The Politics of Literary Reputation: The Making and Claiming of ‘St George’ Orwell 
by John Rodden.
Oxford, 478 pp., £22.50, October 1989, 0 19 503954 8
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... 1984 Nineteen Eighty-Four began to sell more than fifty thousand copies a day in the US, and in a Harris Poll 27 per cent of Americans claimed to have read it, though Rodden doubts the accuracy of the percentage. In Britain the sales during 1984 were 430,000, with Animal Farm not far behind. By the early Seventies the two books were selling nearly a million ...

Diary

Jenny Turner: ‘T2 Trainspotting’, 16 February 2017

... so you want hame. It’s the great rhythm of the Scottish diaspora from the Clearances to Calvin Harris, it’s a basic rhythm of the world’s migrating peoples, and it’s there in all the Trainspotting stories, deep down but dominant, like the Hunt Sales drumbeat on ‘Lust for Life’. Being Scottish myself and, like Welsh, an Iggy Pop fan from the ...

Le Roi Jean Quinze

Stefan Collini: Roy Jenkins and Labour, 4 June 2014

Roy Jenkins: A Well-Rounded Life 
by John Campbell.
Cape, 818 pp., £30, March 2014, 978 0 224 08750 6
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... released instead into the free upper air where good arguments are sovereign. It was the fate of Roy Jenkins more than of any other recent figure in British politics to serve, during his life and in some ways since his death in 2003, as the incarnation of these dreams. Over and above his actual achievements and failures, Jenkins carried the burden of ...

Social Policy

Ralf Dahrendorf, 3 July 1980

Understanding Social Policy 
by Michael Hill.
Blackwell, 280 pp., £12, April 1980, 0 631 18170 9
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Poverty and Inequality in Common Market Countries 
edited by Vic George and Roger Lawson.
Routledge, 253 pp., £9.50, April 1980, 0 7100 0424 9
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Planning for Welfare: Social Policy and the Expenditure Process 
edited by Timothy Booth.
Blackwell, 208 pp., £12, November 1980, 0 631 19560 2
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The City and Social Theory 
by Michael Peter Smith.
Blackwell, 315 pp., £12, April 1980, 9780631121510
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The Good City: A Study of Urban Development and Policy in Britain 
by David Donnison.
Heinemann, 221 pp., £4.95, April 1980, 0 435 85217 5
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The Economics of Prosperity: Social Priorities in the Eighties 
by David Blake and Paul Ormerod.
Grant Mclntyre, 230 pp., £3.95, April 1980, 0 86216 013 8
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... or fleeing their country in dinghies came to my mind: Caroline Atkinson, David Blake, Toby Harris, Oonagh McDonald, Paul Ormerod and Donald Roy are trying to counter the absurd radicalism of the economic policies of the Tories by its mirror image, without realising that the result will in both cases be the same ...

Wait a second what’s that?

August Kleinzahler: Elvis’s Discoverer, 8 February 2018

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ’n’ Roll 
by Peter Guralnick.
Weidenfeld, 784 pp., £16.99, November 2015, 978 0 297 60949 0
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... of the 1940s such as Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five, Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown and Wynonie Harris performed on what was called the ‘chitlin’ circuit’, clubs and dance halls across the rural South and in the black districts of northern and southern cities. Few whites listened to the music, and it certainly wasn’t played on white radio ...

Retripotent

Frank Kermode: B. S. Johnson, 5 August 2004

Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson 
by Jonathan Coe.
Picador, 486 pp., £20, June 2004, 9780330350488
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‘Trawl’, ‘Albert Angelo’ and ‘House Mother Normal’ 
by B.S. Johnson.
Picador, 472 pp., £14.99, June 2004, 0 330 35332 2
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... Johnson his special interests, which involve many darkly erudite meditations by the philosopher Roy Bhaskar. Johnson is credited with having employed a kind of analysis that permits ‘the multiple diffraction of dialectics as dialectics to accord with the complexities, angularities and nuances of our pluriversal world’. I cannot decide whether I think ...

Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... authoritative intellectual biography have been persuaded to contribute an epitome here – such as Roy Foster on Yeats or Ray Monk on Bertrand Russell – and some leading literary scholars have similarly written about their favourite critical subjects, such as Christopher Ricks on Tennyson or Marilyn Butler on Jane Austen. There are one or two notable ...

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