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How frightened should we be?

John Lloyd, 10 February 1994

Russia 2010 
by Daniel Yergin and Thane Gustafson.
Random House, 302 pp., $32, October 1993, 0 679 42995 6
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What About the workers: Workers and the Transition to Capitalism in Russia 
by Simon Clarke.
Verso, 248 pp., £34.95, September 1993, 0 86091 650 2
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After the Soviet Union: From Empire to Nation 
edited by Timothy Colton and Robert Levgold.
Norton, 208 pp., $24.95, November 1992, 0 393 03420 8
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... by two of the century’s most ruthless and insouciant planners, Lenin and Stalin. ‘Stalin,’ Simon Clarke writes in the collection of neo-Marxist essays about the whirlwind which has hit Soviet workers, sought to overcome the economic weakness of his regime by expanding heavy industry as rapidly as possible. He sought to broaden the social base of ...

Althusser’s Fate

Douglas Johnson, 16 April 1981

The Long March of the French Left 
by R.W. Johnson.
Macmillan, 345 pp., £20, March 1981, 0 333 27417 2
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One-Dimensional Marxism 
by Simon Clarke and Terry Lovell.
Allison and Busby, 256 pp., £9.95, June 1980, 0 85031 367 8
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Communism and Philosophy 
by Maurice Cornforth.
Lawrence and Wishart, 282 pp., £8.95, July 1980, 0 85315 430 9
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The Crisis of Marxism 
by Jack Lindsay.
Moonraker, 183 pp., £7.95, March 1981, 0 239 00200 8
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Class in English History 1680-850 
by R.S. Neale.
Blackwell, 250 pp., £12, January 1981, 0 631 12851 4
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... on a totally different level, shared the uncertainty and hesitations of the rest of the Party. Simon Clarke, in a bitterly hostile account of Althusserian Marxism, recounts what he chooses to call its ‘sordid history’. He suggests that when Althusser undertook the important and radical task of counterposing Marx’s authority to that of the Party ...

Non-Party Man

Ross McKibbin: Stafford Cripps, 19 September 2002

The Cripps Version: The Life of Sir Stafford Cripps 
by Peter Clarke.
Allen Lane, 574 pp., £25, April 2002, 0 7139 9390 1
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... austerity or as the embodiment of fair-dealing and social equity. On these grounds alone Peter Clarke’s biography is welcome. His is not the first biography of Cripps. Patricia Strauss wrote one in 1942; but it just missed its moment, being published soon after Cripps was ejected from the War Cabinet. Eric Estorick, a strong admirer, wrote two, the ...

At the Crossroads Hour

Lewis Nkosi: Chinua Achebe, 12 November 1998

Chinua Achebe: A Biography 
by Ezenwa-Ohaeto.
Curry, 326 pp., £25, November 1997, 0 253 33342 3
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... a great favour by elevating him above his fellows and who, instead of gratitude, returned scorn, Clarke did not know what else to say. The more he spoke the more he became angry. In the end thanks to his considerable self-discipline and the breathing space afforded by talking through an interpreter Clarke was able to ...
Stafford Cripps: A Political Life 
by Simon Burgess.
Gollancz, 374 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 575 06565 6
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... watching him leave the room on one occasion: ‘There, but for the grace of God, goes God.’ Simon Burgess has seized the opportunity to present much the most rounded account to date of Cripps’s remarkable political career. This is a well-balanced and well-written book, developing its interpretation in an accessible and generally persuasive way. It ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Boycotting Bristol, 20 March 2003

... side, with or without a degree to show for it (and a very nice time most of them had of it, too). Simon Heffer in the Daily Mail took up his predictable cudgel on behalf of the beleaguered privileged classes. The head of the university funding council, however, has said that Bristol’s admissions policy is ‘fair and equitable’, and even Charles ...

This is America, man

Michael Wood: ‘Treme’ and ‘The Wire’, 27 May 2010

The Wire 
created by David Simon.
HBO/2002-2008
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Treme 
created by Eric Overmyer and David Simon.
HBO/April
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... 2004. Seasons Four and Five picked up just under two years later. The creator of The Wire is David Simon, who wrote many of the episodes and by the third season was executive producer. He is a reporter who became a full-time writer of books: Homicide (1991) and, with Ed Burns, The Corner (1997), both of which were turned into successful TV series. Both concern ...

I am a classical scholar, and you are not

Peter Clarke: Enoch Powell, 7 March 2013

Enoch at 100: A Re-evaluation of the Life, Politics and Philosophy of Enoch Powell 
edited by Lord Howard of Rising.
Biteback, 320 pp., £25, June 2012, 978 1 84954 310 1
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... alternative to the Heathite consensus in economic policy. The story painstakingly reconstructed in Simon Heffer’s massive biography of his hero, Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell (1998), is summarised here: ‘The ultimate vindication, however, came with the advent of the Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher in May 1979.’ Roger ...

Raining

Donald Davie, 5 May 1983

Later Poems 
by R.S. Thomas.
Macmillan, 224 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 333 34560 6
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Thomas Hardy Annual, No 1 
edited by Norman Page.
Macmillan, 205 pp., £20, March 1983, 0 333 32022 0
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Tess of the d’Urbervilles 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Juliet Grindle and Simon Gatrell.
Oxford, 636 pp., £50, March 1983, 0 19 812495 3
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Hardy’s Love Poems 
by Thomas Hardy, edited by Carl Weber.
Macmillan, 253 pp., £3.95, February 1983, 0 333 34798 6
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The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Hardy. Vol. I: Wessex Poems, Poems of the Past and the Present, Time’s Laughingstocks 
edited by Samuel Hynes.
Oxford, 403 pp., £19.50, February 1983, 0 19 812708 1
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... In my book I thought I came on Hardy’s tracks in the Scot MacDiarmid and the Irishman Austin Clarke. But we have seen that it’s no good looking for such tracks in the Welshman Thomas. So much the worse, I’d say. Largeness of soul, or something very like it, is what we’ve applauded in R.S. Thomas from the first: what was missing from the start, and ...

Nostalgia for the Vestry

James Buchan: Thatcherism, 30 November 2006

Thatcher and Sons: A Revolution in Three Acts 
by Simon Jenkins.
Allen Lane, 375 pp., £20, October 2006, 0 7139 9595 5
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... down: discord, harmony, error, truth, despair and hope, often at the same time. In doing so, Simon Jenkins argues in his new book, she set in train a pair of revolutions which continue to do whatever revolutions do – revolve? – today. The first revolution is the one everybody knows about and, with few exceptions, accepts as a precondition for the ...

Closed Material

Nicholas Phillips, 16 April 2014

... involving control orders heard in 2008, AF and Others v. Home Secretary. The majority, Sir Anthony Clarke, Master of the Rolls, and Lord Justice Waller, held that there is no principle that the hearing will be unfair in the absence of open disclosure to the controlee of an irreducible minimum of allegation or evidence. Alternatively, if there is, the ...

Radical Heritage

Conrad Russell, 1 September 1988

Bertrand Russell: A Political Life 
by Alan Ryan.
Allen Lane, 226 pp., £16.95, June 1988, 0 7139 9005 8
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... on the belief that the word ‘history’ stood for ‘hiss-Tory’, but the recent work of Peter Clarke, for example, has shown how much these difficulties were part of the central experience of a generation. The other great refuge of liberal optimism, in 1914 as in 1867, was education. It is hard to read Russell On Education without seeing that the subject ...

Diary

Conor Gearty: Reasons for Loathing Michael Howard, 31 October 1996

... demeaned by its occupant. Sixty years ago this month, the then Tory Home Secretary, Sir John Simon, chose to announce a new Public Order Bill in the course of an offensive and thoroughly partisan speech at Cleckheaton Town Hall which just happened to be delivered in the same week in which Labour’s annual conference was taking place. The effect of this ...

Here’s to the high-minded

Stefan Collini, 7 April 1994

After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain 
edited by Susan Pedersen and Peter Mandler.
Routledge, 265 pp., £40, February 1994, 0 415 07056 2
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... The book is a posthumous Festschrift for the Harvard historian John Clive (here fondly recalled by Simon Schama). Clive’s fascination with England and its history went back to the period in the late Thirties when, as a young German Jewish refugee (he arrived as Hans Kleyff), he was exposed to the rigours of a minor public school. For the rest of his life he ...

Perfect Companions

C.K. Stead, 8 June 1995

Christina Stead: A Biography 
by Hazel Rowley.
Secker, 646 pp., £12.99, January 1995, 0 436 20298 0
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... CS: We know how it was formed and this very gloomy background which is expressed by Marcus Clarke in For the Term of his Natural Life, you know that, everybody knows that ...? INT.: Yes. CS: ... forms a background, or did then, the background to an Australian’s thoughts. So she was able to see her Australian roots as making it easy for her to ...

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