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The Choice Was Real

David Runciman, 29 June 2017

... the province. Now, Westminster politics looks more like an extension of what happens in Northern Ireland. If a return to the early 1970s means British politics being overshadowed by entrenched divisions in Northern Ireland, then here we go again. But that isn’t what Brexit was designed to achieve. Liberating the British ...

His Peach Stone

Christopher Tayler: J.G. Farrell, 2 December 2010

J.G. Farrell in His Own Words: Selected Letters and Diaries 
edited by Lavinia Greacen.
Cork, 464 pp., €19.95, September 2010, 978 1 85918 476 9
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... out in the middle of nowhere’ – explicitly reflects the wider Empire, under attack both in Ireland (all that orange and green) and further afield (the encroaching indoor jungle), and crumbling ideologically as well as physically. The Major believes that the cause he recently fought for was just, ‘that throughout the world the great civilising power ...

Leaping on Tables

Norman Vance: Thomas Carlyle, 2 November 2000

Sartor Resartus 
by Thomas Carlyle, edited by Rodger Tarr and Mark Engel.
California, 774 pp., £38, April 2000, 0 520 20928 1
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... to Irish sufferings after the Famine, but almost equally sympathetic to Cromwellian ferocity in Ireland two centuries earlier. In the 1840s he was much admired by Marx and Engels. Both were deeply impressed by Past and Present (1843), his dramatic onslaught on the chaos and inhumanity of industrial England in the hungry 1840s. This text was a powerful ...

Help Yourself

R.W. Johnson: The other crooked Reggie, 21 April 2005

Reggie: The Life of Reginald Maudling 
by Lewis Baston.
Sutton, 604 pp., £25, October 2004, 0 7509 2924 3
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... over a long national decline about which it was completely fatalistic. Private Eye’s cartoonist Timothy caught the mood perfectly with his picture of an old buffer being swept down into a whirlpool, mumbling: ‘Tide of history, old man, tide of history.’ Maudling’s tastes were decidedly unTory: he was a Hegelian, a devotee of Keynes and Freud, and an ...

Bowling along

Kitty Hauser: The motorist who first saw England, 17 March 2005

In Search of H.V. Morton 
by Michael Bartholomew.
Methuen, 248 pp., £18.99, April 2004, 0 413 77138 5
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... earning £30,000 a year from his books, which by now included In Search of Scotland, In Search of Ireland, In Search of Wales, five books on London and a trilogy on the Middle East. The vision of a precious and enduring land which Morton’s books had done so much to promote found a new purpose in Home Front propaganda, and Morton himself was ...

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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... below closed canopies or those with small openings. Furthermore, Daniel Kelly has found that in Ireland young oaks in the open were worse affected by mildew than those under a canopy. Conversely, Rackham cites instances of regeneration in existing woods in the Middle Ages, but perhaps does not allow for the effect on the non-oak ‘underwood’ of coppicing ...

Among the Flutterers

Colm Tóibín: The Pope Wears Prada, 19 August 2010

The Pope Is Not Gay 
by Angelo Quattrocchi, translated by Romy Clark Giuliani.
Verso, 181 pp., £8.90, June 2010, 978 1 84467 474 9
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... that now remains. Belief as such has long gone. In considering a future in which the Church in Ireland would have no power at all, a future that has, due to the antics of its leadership, very quickly come to pass, McGahern quoted a letter Proust wrote in 1903, at the height of an anti-clerical wave which was sweeping through France: I can tell you that at ...

How bad can it get?

LRB Contributors, 15 August 2019

... warmed to that rosy new dawn, some hay was made of the fact that May and her top adviser, Nick Timothy, shared a political hero: Joseph Chamberlain. Chamberlain started out on the left of the Liberal Party in the 1870s and was in league with the Tories by the mid-1880s, never having had a middle phase. He was the first to try to weld together a concern for ...

Fugitive Crusoe

Tom Paulin: Daniel Defoe, 19 July 2001

Daniel Defoe: Master of Fictions 
by Maximilian Novak.
Oxford, 756 pp., £30, April 2001, 0 19 812686 7
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Political and Economic Writings of Daniel Defoe 
edited by W.R. Owens and P.N. Furbank.
Pickering & Chatto, £595, December 2000, 1 85196 465 7
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... excelled in that particular than of any school at that time. Here were produced of ministers, Mr Timothy Cruso, Mr Hannot of Yarmouth, Mr Nathaniel Taylor, Mr Owen and several others; and of another kind, poets Sam. Wesley, Daniel De Foe, and two or three of your Western martyrs that, had they liv’d, would have been extraordinary men of that ...

The Europe to Come

Perry Anderson, 25 January 1996

The Rotten Heart of Europe 
by Bernard Connolly.
Faber, 427 pp., £17.50, September 1995, 0 571 17520 1
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Orchestrating Europe: The Informal Politics of European Union 1973-93 
by Keith Middlemas.
Fontana, 821 pp., £27.50, November 1995, 0 00 255678 2
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... state of the EC: not just France, Germany, Italy or the UK, but also Belgium, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland are covered with dash and detail. (The only significant exception is the Netherlands, whose ambivalence between liberal economics and federal politics is consigned to an exasperated footnote.) Chauvinist convictions have produced a cosmopolitan tour de ...

Credibility Brown

Christopher Hitchens, 17 August 1989

Where there is greed: Margaret Thatcher and the Betrayal of Britain’s Future 
by Gordon Brown.
Mainstream, 182 pp., £4.95, May 1989, 1 85158 233 9
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CounterBlasts No 3: A Rational Advance for the Labour Party 
by John Lloyd.
Chatto, 57 pp., £2.99, June 1989, 0 7011 3519 0
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... moments of the Macmillan regime, they got a fair bit of ribbing from cartoonists like the great Timothy Birdsall, and a certain amount of ‘negative feedback’ from their own more fastidious supporters. The Labour Party in those days was sternly opposed to the pseudo-science of PR and polling, and to the political hucksterism (such as the interviewing of ...

The New World Disorder

Tariq Ali, 9 April 2015

... the global imperial power. When the Euro elite was offering a pitiful sum of money to the Greeks, Timothy Geithner, then US secretary of the treasury, had to intervene, and tell the EU to increase its rescue fund to €500 billion. They hummed and hawed, but finally did what the Americans wanted. All the hopes that had been raised, from the time the European ...

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