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Propaganda of the Deed

Steve Fraser: Emma Goldman

26 February 2009
Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years Vol I: Made for America, 1890-1901 
edited by Candace Falk.
Illinois, 659 pp., $35, August 2008, 978 0 252 07541 4
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Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years Vol. II: Making Speech Free, 1902-1909 
edited by Candace Falk.
Illinois, 641 pp., £35, August 2008, 978 0 252 07543 8
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... From the 1870s, when members of a secret organisation of Irish coalminers, the Molly Maguires, were executed for allegedly assassinating Pennsylvania mine owners and their henchmen, to the summer’s day in 1920 when an Italian anarchist called Mario Buda ignited his dynamite-laden horse-drawn wagon outside the Morgan bank on Wall Street, killing more than 30 bystanders, America was wracked by extraordinary ...

Thanks to the Tea Party

Steve Fraser: 1970s America

17 March 2011
Pivotal Decade: How the United States Traded Factories for Finance in the 1970s 
by Judith Stein.
Yale, 367 pp., £25, May 2010, 978 0 300 11818 6
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Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class 
by Jefferson Cowie.
New Press, 464 pp., £19.99, September 2010, 978 1 56584 875 7
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... Half a century ago it would have come as no surprise to find demonstrating workers from both the public and the private sectors occupying the state house in Madison, Wisconsin along with students, community organisations and church groups. And it isn’t only in Wisconsin – much the same is happening in Ohio and Indiana and elsewhere. Legislative action in Wisconsin has come to a halt as the Democratic ...

The Long Con

Jackson Lears: Techno-Austerity

15 July 2015
The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organised Wealth and Power 
by Steve Fraser.
Little, Brown, 466 pp., £21.99, February 2015, 978 0 316 18543 1
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... car industries traded their control over shop-floor rules in return for security and steady wages. No one can deny the democratisation of affluence that flowed from the ‘Treaty of Detroit’, as SteveFraser calls it in The Age of Acquiescence. But the hidden cost of the agreement was the erosion of any notion that organised labour could foster an ethos of solidarity – an alternative to the ...

El Casino Macabre

James Morone: Rebellion of the Rich

21 June 2007
Wall Street: A Cultural History 
by Steve Fraser.
Faber, 656 pp., £12.99, April 2006, 0 571 21829 6
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Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors 
by Charles S. Maier.
Harvard, 373 pp., £18.95, May 2006, 0 674 02189 4
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... empire? And if so, should we cheer, lament or simply get on with imperial business? Both describe an empire of material desire, of consumption, of get rich now. You might call it an empire of greed. SteveFraser is a fine New Deal historian whose biography of the union leader Sidney Hillman, wistfully entitled Labour Will Rule, chronicled labour’s ascent into the top ranks of the Democratic Party in ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Flashman

9 May 2002
... Amazon.co.uk hasn’t even heard of it.) It’s a different matter for young Tom’s Voldemort, ‘that blackguard Flashman, who never speaks to one without a kick or an oath’. George MacDonald Fraser’s series of novels about him – known collectively as The Flashman Papers, the first of which appeared in 1969 – are, I would guess, read much more widely than their worthy Victorian forebear ...

Diary

Karl Miller: Football Tribes

1 June 1989
...  family against family, clan against clan, ain folk against the world. They are to be found in the Middle Ages among the fighting families of the Anglo-Scottish Border, as George MacDonald Fraser’s book The Steel Bonnets makes clear.* His synonymous reivers, raiders or riders used to get off their horses and play the football that became soccer and rugby, and they were not afraid of a few ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough

21 October 2015
... White, Martin Kettle, Peter Hain, Alan Johnson, Tony Blair (twice), Jonathan Jones, Frank Field, David Miliband (whose razor-sharp instinct for leadership contests led him to back Liz Kendall), Steve Coogan, Matthew D’Ancona, Betty Boothroyd. Papers aren’t just papers any longer. A lot of these commentaries appeared online, some of them only online, where they are now archived among the ...

Where the Apples Come From

T.C. Smout: What Makes an Oak Tree Grow

29 November 2007
Woodlands 
by Oliver Rackham.
Collins, 609 pp., £25, September 2006, 0 00 720243 1
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Beechcombings: The Narratives of Trees 
by Richard Mabey.
Chatto, 289 pp., £20, October 2007, 978 1 85619 733 5
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Wildwood: A Journey through Trees 
by Roger Deakin.
Hamish Hamilton, 391 pp., £20, May 2007, 978 0 241 14184 7
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The Wild Trees: What if the Last Wilderness Is above Our Heads? 
by Richard Preston.
Allen Lane, 294 pp., £20, August 2007, 978 1 84614 023 5
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... numbers of people who visited the countryside and had a serious curiosity about what it contained. It included such early classics as R.S.R. Fitter on the natural history of London, and Frank Fraser Darling on the Scottish Highlands. Rackham has all their verve and learning, the same immediacy in the telling, but an even greater wish to involve the reader in a problem and its solving. It is, he ...

Rising Moon

R.W. Johnson

18 December 1986
L’Empire Moon 
by Jean-Francois Boyer.
La Découverte, 419 pp., August 1986, 2 7071 1604 1
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The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection 
by Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead.
Sheridan Square, 255 pp., $19.95, May 1986, 0 940380 07 2
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... Straight after the coup Kim Jong Pil, with the help of the CIA, set up the KCIA, which, from that day to this, has remained the real power centre of the Korean regime. One key Moonie sympathiser, Steve Kim, left the Army immediately to join the KCIA and became Kim Jong Pil’s indispensable aide, acting as the intermediary between the KCIA and CIA. Another young Moonie officer, Aka Bud Han, also ...

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