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Gravel in Jakarta’s Shoes

Benedict Anderson, 2 November 1995

Generations of Resistance 
by Steve Cox and Peter Carey.
Cassell, 120 pp., £55, November 1995, 9780304332502
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... text that accompanies the grim pictures taken in 1991 by the courageous British photographer Steve Cox. No anti-colonial guerrilla resistance had developed in this remote outpost of empire when the Salazarist dictatorship fell. Though the Portuguese had been there since the middle of the 16th century a modern system of roads and transportation ...

Aliens

John Sutherland, 21 January 1982

Brave Old World 
by Philippe Curval, translated by Steve Cox.
Allison and Busby, 262 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 407 0
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The Insider 
by Christopher Evans.
Faber, 215 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 571 11774 0
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Genetha 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 185 pp., £6.95, November 1981, 0 85031 410 0
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From the Heat of the Day 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 159 pp., £6.50, October 1979, 0 85031 325 2
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One Generation 
by Roy Heath.
Allison and Busby, 202 pp., £2.50, March 1981, 9780850312546
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Sardines 
by Nuruddin Farah.
Allison and Busby, 250 pp., £7.95, November 1981, 0 85031 408 9
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... In his history of the genre, Brian Aldiss suggests that most SF is what he calls ‘prodromic’: we must read it less as a prophecy of the future than as symptomatic of the present. By this rule 1984 will be 36 years out of date when we get there. A commoner view (on which Aldiss is naturally not so keen) holds that SF, like the Western, is an exclusively American line of fiction in which dabbling Europeans can easily make fools of themselves ...

The Problem of Reality

Michael Wood: Primo Levi, 1 October 1998

Primo Levi: The Tragedy of an Optimist 
by Myriam Anissimov, translated by Steve Cox.
Aurum, 452 pp., £25, September 1998, 1 85410 503 5
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... Myriam Anissimov’s biography of Primo Levi, first published in French two years ago, begins with a kind of stutter surrounding the writer’s end. The book’s Introduction, prologue and opening chapter all invoke his death, as if it were a threshold that had to be crossed but couldn’t be crossed without returning. ‘On 11 April 1987 Primo Levi plunged down the stairwell of the house where he was born and had always lived’; ‘It was this man who on an April morning, after a period of dreadful depression, suddenly “exited life by the window”, in the words of the Italian critic Cesare Cases’; ‘One Saturday morning in April 1987, a tragedy disrupted the peace and quiet of the Corso Re Umberto ...

A Piece of White Silk

Jacqueline Rose: Honour Killing, 5 November 2009

Murder in the Name of Honour 
by Rana Husseini.
Oneworld, 250 pp., £12.99, May 2009, 978 1 85168 524 0
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In Honour of Fadime: Murder and Shame 
by Unni Wikan, translated by Anna Paterson.
Chicago, 305 pp., £12.50, June 2008, 978 0 226 89686 1
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Honour Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed 
by Ayse Onal.
Saqi, 256 pp., £12.99, May 2008, 978 0 86356 617 2
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... violence, only shame!’ is the slogan of the Southall Black Sisters. Or, in the words of PC Steve Cox, a family liaison officer in Lancashire: ‘Honour is completely the wrong word … What is honourable about this?’ He had just seen a father who had set fire to his whole family pulled from the flames. In saying this, he is tearing the concept ...

You Are the Product

John Lanchester: It Zucks!, 17 August 2017

The Attention Merchants: From the Daily Newspaper to Social Media, How Our Time and Attention Is Harvested and Sold 
by Tim Wu.
Atlantic, 416 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78239 482 2
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Chaos Monkeys: Inside the Silicon Valley Money Machine 
by Antonio García Martínez.
Ebury, 528 pp., £8.99, June 2017, 978 1 78503 455 8
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Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google and Amazon have Cornered Culture and What It Means for All of Us 
by Jonathan Taplin.
Macmillan, 320 pp., £18.99, May 2017, 978 1 5098 4769 3
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... accompanied by the maxim ‘Don’t be evil,’ which has been the source of a lot of ridicule: Steve Jobs called it ‘bullshit’.1 Which it is, but it isn’t only bullshit. Plenty of companies, indeed entire industries, base their business model on being evil. The insurance business, for instance, depends on the fact that insurers charge customers more ...

What are we telling the nation?

David Edgar: Thoughts about the BBC, 7 July 2005

Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC 
by Georgina Born.
Vintage, 352 pp., £10.99, August 2005, 0 09 942893 8
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Building Public Value: Renewing the BBC for a Digital World 
BBC, 135 pp.Show More
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... multichannel universe can deliver quality, and that quality can trickle across channels. Following Steve Bochco’s reinvention of precinct drama in legal and police series like LA Law and NYPD Blues, and ABC’s bold decision to broadcast David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, American TV drama now regularly outguns the British equivalent, both on the networks (NBC’s ...

Iraq, 2 May 2005

Andrew O’Hagan: Two Soldiers, 6 March 2008

... and the heart, causing massive internal bleeding. He had no chance of survival. Captain Andrew Cox dispatched a helicopter to pick up the injured man and bring him back to base. The helicopter carried him to camp Abu Naji where he was ventilated, but his pupils became fixed and at 00.50 hrs on 2 May 2005, surrounded by medical officers, Guardsman Wakefield ...

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