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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Captain America: Civil War’, 16 June 2016

Captain America: Civil War 
directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.
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... America calls on Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Iron Man recruits Spiderman (Tom Holland). There is a great free-for-all at Berlin airport – lots of planes crumpled but no loss of human life – and then the story adjourns to an old Russian fortress where the real killer is hiding among the ice. His plot, like everyone else’s at ...

On Liking Herodotus

Peter Green, 3 April 2014

The Histories 
by Herodotus, translated by Tom Holland.
Penguin, 834 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 0 7139 9977 8
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Herodotus: Vol. I, Herodotus and the Narrative of the Past 
edited by Rosaria Vignolo Munson.
Oxford, 495 pp., £40, August 2013, 978 0 19 958757 5
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Herodotus: Vol. II, Herodotus and the World 
edited by Rosaria Vignolo Munson.
Oxford, 473 pp., £40, August 2013, 978 0 19 958759 9
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Textual Rivals: Self-Presentation in Herodotus’ ‘Histories’ 
by David Branscome.
Michigan, 272 pp., £60.50, November 2013, 978 0 472 11894 6
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The Invention of Greek Ethnography: From Homer to Herodotus 
by Joseph Skinner.
Oxford, 343 pp., £55, September 2012, 978 0 19 979360 0
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... through accidents of war, unquestionably belonged. As Paul Cartledge writes in his introduction to Tom Holland’s new translation of Herodotus, the resemblance Thucydides’ merciless analysis of civil war on Corfu bears to Orwell’s reading of totalitarianism, complete with doublespeak, was exploited to some purpose by Thucydideans in recent times; and ...

The Mechelen Incident

Tom Paulin, 24 August 2000

... and string – allowed their sturdy all-weather plane to get blown across the Rhine and a chunk of Holland by an eastnortheast wind – not a wind a mere breeze of 9 to I2 knots before they crashlanded near the main road between Lindenheuvel and Maastricht they tried and failed to set fire to the courier pouches with paper and damp sticks behind some leafless ...


Tom Paulin, 5 November 1981

Too Long a Sacrifice: Life and Death in Northern Ireland since 1969 
by Jack Holland.
Columbus, 217 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 396 07934 2
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A History of Northern Ireland 
by Patrick Buckland.
Gill and Macmillan, 195 pp., £3.95, April 1981, 0 7171 1069 9
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... Joshua Hassan who believes that the Rock is indissolubly part of the United Kingdom. Although Jack Holland ignores Cairns’s rich insight, he does explore the confused nature of Loyalist identity. In a revealing anecdote he describes a train journey towards the Loyalist stronghold of Larne. Three youths were clowning about, throwing cans and bottles out of ...

Mixed Blood

D.A.N. Jones, 2 December 1982

Her Victory 
by Alan Sillitoe.
Granada, 590 pp., £8.95, September 1982, 0 246 11872 5
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This Earth of Mankind 
by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, translated by Max Lane.
Penguin, 338 pp., £2.50, August 1982, 9780140063349
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... friendless housewife in Nottingham, trying to get away from her husband; the second is about Tom, a bored, friendless Merchant Navy officer making his way to the flat of his dismal maiden aunt. In the third chapter, ‘Meeting’, Tom finds Pam in a dreary North Kensington flat, trying to gas herself with an unlit ...
Citizen Lord: Edward Fitzgerald 1763-98 
by Stella Tillyard.
Chatto, 336 pp., £16.99, May 1997, 0 7011 6538 3
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... compared to them; while his devoted mother and aunt gave a picture of him to his first biographer, Tom Moore, which insisted that ‘the friends he was entangled with pushed his destruction forward, screening themselves behind his valuable character.’ Stella Tillyard is the author of the excellent study Aristocrats, the first of a historical trilogy in which ...

Short Cuts

Tom Crewe: The State of Statuary, 21 September 2017

... by the Dukes of Bedford, and the statue was the work of Richard Westmacott, artist-in-residence at Holland House, the Whigs’ political base. At the other end of Bedford Place, directly opposite Fox in front of Russell Square, is a statue of Francis Russell, fifth duke of Bedford, erected in 1809 and also by Westmacott. He was a devoted Foxite. Approached ...

On with the Pooling and Merging

Neal Ascherson: The Incomparable Tom Nairn, 17 February 2000

After Britain: New Labour and the Return of Scotland 
by Tom Nairn.
Granta, 336 pp., £15.99, January 2000, 1 86207 293 0
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... contribution occurs in the last section, ‘Epilogue: The Last Day’, a sort of diary of what Tom Nairn did and felt on the unforgettable rainy Thursday of 6 May 1999. It was the first polling day for the reconvened Scottish Parliament. As Nairn drove back from Fife, where he had gone to say goodbye to a dying friend, he passed through some shaggy ...

What nations are for

Tom Nairn, 8 September 1994

The Politics of Dispossession: The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination, 1969-1994 
by Edward Said.
Chatto, 400 pp., £20, July 1994, 0 7011 6135 3
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Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures 
by Edward Said.
Vintage, 90 pp., £4.99, July 1994, 0 09 942451 7
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... indeed its primary source was the nouveaux riches or upwardly mobile of Early Modern times, in Holland, England and France. However, their national-state politics only became national-ism later on, when these entrepreneurial societies inflicted their success on the rest of the world in the 19th century. This infliction was Progress, which caused the ...

Period Pain

Patricia Beer, 9 June 1994

by Stella Tillyard.
Chatto, 462 pp., £20, April 1994, 0 7011 5933 2
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... account of Sarah’s wedding to Charles Bunbury, in which after letting us know that the chapel in Holland House where it took place ‘was two storeys high with round arched windows down the east side and an Inigo Jones ceiling’, she quotes, entirely verbatim, substantial parts of the marriage service, the best-known parts, including ‘I will.’ There can ...

At the National Gallery

Julian Bell: Seduced by Art, 3 January 2013

... not however concerned with later ‘pictorialist’ photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz or F. Holland Day, who worked at the 20th century’s turn: still less with the 20th-century photographic mainstream, with its search for values specific to the medium. Instead, she leaps forward to the ‘photo-work’ that started in the 1970s – a return to ...

Little Brits

Tom Shippey: Murder on Hadrian’s Wall, 19 November 2015

The Real Lives of Roman Britain 
by Guy de la Bédoyère.
Yale, 241 pp., £20, May 2015, 978 0 300 20719 4
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... to death in mines and quarries, but slavery wasn’t racialised and inescapable as it is in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Husbands commemorated slave-wives, and freed slaves did the same for their former masters. Everyone I’ve mentioned so far was a member of the upper class, or at least was related to or owned by someone who had special status. Is there any sign of ...

Under Witchwood

Adam Thorpe, 10 September 1992

Power of the Witch: A Witch’s Guide to her Craft 
by Laurie Cabot, with Tom Cowan.
Arkana/Penguin, 294 pp., June 1992, 0 14 019368 5
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by Leslie Wilson.
Picador, 168 pp., £15.99, August 1992, 0 330 32427 6
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... By the closing pages, Alice – denuded of most of her mystery – has more than a whiff of Holland Barrett about her. There is even a touching if Bettelheimish childhood trauma to illuminate her nature. Yet some of the best moments in the book are the nightmarish visions of Satan, of bloodthirsty weasels, of Alice standing on her path in the sun ...

Carry on up the Corner Flag

R.W. Johnson: The sociology of football, 24 July 2003

Ajax, the Dutch, the War: Football in Europe during the Second World War 
by Simon Kuper.
Orion, 244 pp., £14.99, January 2003, 0 7528 5149 7
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Broken Dreams: Vanity, Greed and the Souring of British Football 
by Tom Bower.
Simon and Schuster, 342 pp., £17.99, February 2003, 9780743220798
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... is pure ‘Carry on up the Corner Flag’. Later, Kuper interviews the Preston North End winger Tom Finney about the Cup Final of 1941, when Preston beat Arsenal. Wasn’t it odd, he asks, to play the final in bombed-out London? ‘I wasn’t all that interested in the war when I was playing,’ Finney answers. ‘I was only 18. And the main concern was to ...

The Trouble with Trott

Gabriele Annan, 22 February 1990

A Good German: Adam von Trott zu Solz 
by Giles MacDonogh.
Quartet, 358 pp., £17.95, January 1990, 0 7043 2730 9
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... by his treasonable démarches in England and America before the war, and in Sweden, Switzerland, Holland and Turkey during it. He knew the death he faced would be peculiarly horrible. What he did he did for his country. He was a patriot. But was he also a nationalist? Grant Duff thought so, and their friendship came to grief over their differences. But the ...

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