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Ruthless Enthusiasms

Michael Ignatieff, 15 July 1982

The Brixton Disorders: Report of an Inquiry by the Rt Hon. the Lord Scarman 
HMSO, 168 pp., £8, November 1981, 0 10 184270 8Show More
Punishment, Danger and Stigma: The Morality of Criminal Justice 
by Nigel Walker.
Blackwell, 206 pp., £9.95, August 1980, 0 631 12542 6
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Punishment: A Philosophical and Criminological Inquiry 
by Philip Bean.
Martin Robertson, 215 pp., £12.50, August 1981, 0 85520 391 9
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Dangerousness and Criminal Justice 
by Jean Floud and Warren Young.
Heinemann, 228 pp., £14.50, October 1981, 0 435 82307 8
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The Abuse of Power: Civil Liberties in the United Kingdom 
by Patricia Hewitt.
Martin Robertson, 295 pp., £15, December 1981, 0 85520 380 3
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... rather than the beneficiaries of social change, by the working class rather than the thrusting young professionals. Yet in this economic twilight, not even the fortunate can afford to be sanguine about the future of civility in public places. If anxiety about crime is a displaced expression of a more general historical pessimism about the future of civic ...

A Cheat, a Sharper and a Swindler

Brian Young: Warren Hastings, 24 May 2001

Dawning of the Raj: The Life and Trials of Warren Hastings 
by Jeremy Bernstein.
Aurum, 319 pp., £19.99, March 2001, 1 85410 753 4
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... Early in his career as the first Governor-General of the East India Company in Bengal, Warren Hastings instituted an annual dinner for fellow old boys of Westminster School. He paced his own contribution to these occasions superbly; while other ‘Westminsters’ drank to potentially dangerous degrees of excess in a forbidding climate, the abstemious Hastings consumed only small quantities of diluted wine along with many glasses of water ...

Art and Men

Michael Shelden, 5 December 1991

Bachelors of Art: Edward Perry Warren and the Lewes House Brotherhood 
by David Sox.
Fourth Estate, 296 pp., £18.99, September 1991, 1 872180 11 6
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... Rich and eccentric, Edward Perry Warren was used to indulging his whims. After seeing Rodin’s The Kiss in 1900, he was determined to have a replica carved by the sculptor himself. It was to be exact in every respect except one. He asked Rodin to provide a full view of the nude man’s genitals. Four years later the piece was completed and delivered to its new owner ...

The Obdurate Knoll

Colin Kidd: The Obdurate Knoll, 1 December 2011

Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan 
by Jeff Greenfield.
Putnam, 434 pp., £20.25, March 2011, 978 0 399 15706 6
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11.22.63 
by Stephen King.
Hodder, 740 pp., £19.99, November 2011, 978 1 4447 2729 6
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... of assassination buffs. Why have so many Americans been unable to accept the conclusions of the Warren Commission Report, which exhaustively described the circumstances of the Kennedy assassination? Why has the assassination exerted such a hold on the American imagination? Why has it inspired such feats of ingenuity? Instead of there being a single ...

Southern Comfort

Claude Rawson, 16 April 1981

Jefferson Davis gets his citizenship back 
by Robert Penn Warren.
Kentucky/Transatlantic Book Service, 114 pp., £4.85, December 1980, 0 8131 1445 4
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Being here: Poetry 1977-1980 
by Robert Penn Warren.
Secker, 109 pp., £4.95, October 1980, 0 436 36650 9
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Ways of light: Poems 1972-1980 
by Richard Eberhart.
Oxford, 68 pp., £5.95, January 1981, 9780195027372
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... In 1979 Robert Penn Warren – novelist, critic, and dean of American poets – returned to his native Todd County, Kentucky, to attend ceremonies in honor of another native son – Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, whose United States citizenship had just been restored, ninety years after his death, by a special act of Congress ...

Deathward

Adam Begley, 24 November 1988

Libra 
by Don DeLillo.
Viking, 456 pp., £11.95, November 1988, 0 670 82317 1
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... The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known familiarly as the Warren Commission, issued its report a little less than a year later. In the report, members of the commission allowed that certain questions remained unanswered, but their conclusion left no room for doubt: ‘The commission has found no evidence that either Lee ...

Short Cuts

Christian Lorentzen: ‘Head Shot’, 24 May 2012

... else there were two assassins. For the former scenario – the single-bullet theory posited in the Warren Commission Report – to hold up, ‘it would oblige the bullet, angling downward as determined at the official autopsy, to reverse direction inside Kennedy’s body and reflect backward up from inside his back toward his neck bones, striking a ...

Voice of America

Tony Tanner, 23 September 1993

Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices 
by Shelley Fishkin.
Oxford, 270 pp., £17.50, June 1993, 0 19 508214 1
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Black Legacy: America’s Hidden Heritage 
by William Piersen.
Massachusetts, 264 pp., £36, August 1993, 9780870238543
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Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism 
by Kenneth Warren.
Chicago, 178 pp., £21.95, August 1993, 0 226 87384 6
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... famous The Mind of the South: ‘in this society ... in which nearly the whole body of whites, young and old, had constantly before their eyes the example, had constantly in their ears the accent of the Negro, the relationship between the two groups was, by the second generation at least, nothing less than organic. Negro entered into white man as ...

So Much for Staying Single

Maya Jasanoff: 18th-Century Calcutta, 20 March 2008

Hartly House, Calcutta 
by Phebe Gibbes.
Oxford, 222 pp., £13.99, April 2007, 978 0 19 568564 0
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... Box. All had come to watch one of the great spectacles of the season: the impeachment trial of Warren Hastings, the former governor-general of Bengal, on charges of ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’. The Hastings trial represented the most sustained parliamentary effort to regulate the East India Company government in Bengal. By the end of its seven long ...

Anglophobics

Douglas Johnson, 25 April 1991

The Battle of France: Six weeks which changed the world 
by Philip Warner.
Simon and Schuster, 275 pp., £16, April 1990, 0 671 71030 3
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The Last War between Britain and France 1940-1942 
by Warren Tute.
Collins, 334 pp., £16, January 1990, 0 00 215318 1
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Darlan 
by Hervé Coutau-Bégarie and Claude Huan.
Fayard, 873 pp., frs 190, May 1989, 2 213 02271 2
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... little likelihood that they will ever agree about the navies. One might have expected that Mr Warren Tute would have tried to reconcile conflicting views, since he was a naval officer who served on the staffs of Eisenhower and Mountbatten, taking part in the North African, Sicilian and Normandy landings, who now lives in France and who writes ...

No Restraint

John Demos: Chief Much Business, 9 February 2006

White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America 
by Fintan O’Toole.
Faber, 402 pp., £20, August 2005, 0 571 21840 7
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... sunshine.’ Some months later, to fill the void left by parental death, they would offer him a young woman recently captured from an enemy tribe. The recipient of these demonstrations, for his own part, would know exactly how to respond – in their languages, and according to the traditional forms. Not a step would be missed on either side. This elaborate ...

Bristling with Diligence

James Wood: A.S. Byatt, 8 October 2009

The Children’s Book 
by A.S. Byatt.
Chatto, 617 pp., £20, May 2009, 978 0 7011 8389 9
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... There is what seems an interesting slip early in A.S. Byatt’s new novel. It is 1895. A young working-class man, Philip Warren, has been adopted by a liberal upper-class family, the Wellwoods. At the Kentish country home of Olive and Humphry Wellwood, a glorious Midsummer Party is in preparation ...

Saboteurs

Sylvia Clayton, 5 April 1984

Something Out There 
by Nadine Gordimer.
Cape, 203 pp., £8.50, March 1984, 0 224 02189 3
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My Search for Warren Harding 
by Robert Plunket.
Robin Clark, 247 pp., £8.95, March 1984, 0 86072 071 3
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West of Sunset 
by Dirk Bogarde.
Allen Lane, 248 pp., £8.95, March 1984, 9780713916324
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... offers a panoramic view of Johannesburg, where an ape-like animal is at large in the suburbs. Young Stanley snaps it with his camera, a barmitzvah present. The picture is printed in a newspaper; an elderly estate agent’s wife welcomes the headlines as a distraction from worse horrors. Doctors at the golf club are convinced it is a baboon. It startles a ...

Scarlet Woman

Michael Young, 1 September 1988

East End 1888: A Year in a London Borough among the Labouring Poor 
by William Fishman.
Duckworth, 343 pp., £18.95, June 1988, 0 7156 2174 2
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... are not what they should be.’ After that, the number of streetlamps is increased and Sir Charles Warren, the Police Commissioner, forced to resign. The extra streetlamps do nothing for the insides of the buildings, where people are even more on top of each other than they are outside in the streets. This is not what Victorian family life is supposed to ...

What Dettol Can’t Fix

Bee Wilson: A Life in Lists, 13 September 2018

Elisabeth’s Lists: A Family Story 
by Lulah Ellender.
Granta, 318 pp., £16.99, March 2018, 978 1 78378 383 0
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... In the spring​ of 1942, Elisabeth Young, a diplomat’s wife living in Surrey, began keeping a ‘register’ of eggs. Each day, she recorded the date and number of eggs laid by her flock of 12 hens, sometimes logging the name of the particular hen who had laid it. She noted whether the eggs were brown or white or ‘brownish’ and any that were double-yolked ...

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