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Dropping Their Eggs

Patrick Wright: The history of bombing

23 August 2001
A History of Bombing 
by Sven Lindqvist, translated by Linda Haverty Rugg.
Granta, 233 pp., £14.99, May 2001, 1 86207 415 1
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The Bomber War: Arthur Harris and the Allied Bomber Offensive 1939-45 
by Robin Niellands.
Murray, 448 pp., £25, February 2001, 0 7195 5637 6
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Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War 
by Frances FitzGerald.
Touchstone, 592 pp., $17, March 2001, 0 7432 0023 3
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... didn’t choose a target and bomb it. At five years of age I was already a seasoned bombardier.’ This is an unusual way of embarking on an analysis of modern warfare and its technologies, but then SvenLindqvist has long been writing history in his own way. Oral historians know him as the author of Dig Where You Stand: How to Research a Job, a combined manifesto and manual published in 1978, based ...

Diary

James Wood: These Etonians

4 July 2019
... himself: ‘As the solemn men’s voices sang the old words of “Abide with Me” … to the uncertain harmonies of a Sudanese band, a tear was seen to roll down [his] brown and flinchless cheek.’ SvenLindqvist, in his 1992 book about the genocidal roots of European colonialism, Exterminate All the Brutes, describes the battle of Omdurman from the other side: ‘At the battle of Omdurman, the ...

Try It on the Natives

James C. Scott: Colonial Intelligence Agencies

9 October 2008
Empires of Intelligence: Security Services and Colonial Disorder after 1914 
by Martin Thomas.
California, 428 pp., £29.95, October 2007, 978 0 520 25117 5
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... value without the local knowledge supplied by intelligence officers on the ground. Until the modern bombsight was developed even low-level bombing was a very blunt instrument indeed in crowded areas. SvenLindqvist’s Exterminate All the Brutes: One Man’s Odyssey to the Heart of Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide (1996) and A History of Bombing (2001), both say far more about the ...

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