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Into the Eisenshpritz

Elif Batuman: Superheroes, 10 April 2008

Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories 
by Will Eisner.
Norton, 493 pp., £18.99, November 2007, 978 0 393 06107 9
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by David B..
Cape, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 224 07920 4
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by Adrian Tomine.
Faber, 108 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23329 8
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Misery Loves Comedy 
by Ivan Brunetti.
Fantagraphics, 172 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 1 56097 792 6
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... is no better vantage-point from which to view these two trends than the new collection of Will Eisner’s autobiographical comics, entitled Life, in Pictures. Eisner’s career is a microcosm of the history of American comics, starting with the ‘golden age’ of the 1930s and 1940s. When he was 19, ...

The Politics of Good Intentions

David Runciman: Blair’s Masochism, 8 May 2003

... examples of this type in early 1919. The most prominent was the journalist turned politician Kurt Eisner, who had stumbled into power at the beginning of November the previous year when he declared Bavaria a republic, two days before a similar proclamation was made in Berlin, and four days before the official end of the war. ...

Deal of the Century

David Thomson: As Ovitz Tells It, 7 March 2019

Who Is Michael Ovitz? 
by Michael Ovitz.
W.H. Allen, 372 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 0 7535 5336 7
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... were beginning to be made off the internet. Executives I considered as my peers – Michael Eisner, Barry Diller – were raking in hundreds of millions in stock options. My appetite for corporate buccaneering grew as I worked with Herb Allen [a pioneer in corporate takeovers] and mingled with Fortune 50 CEOs in Sun Valley. It grew further whenever I ...

Thank you, Disney

Jenny Diski: The Town that Disney Built, 24 August 2000

The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney’s New Town 
by Andrew Ross.
Verso, 340 pp., £17, June 2000, 1 85984 772 2
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Celebration, USA: Living in Disney’s Brave New Town 
by Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins.
Holt, 342 pp., £18.99, September 1999, 0 8050 5560 6
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... was concerned, modern ended in the 1930s. The future as defined by the brochure from Michael Eisner’s Disney Corporation was to be found not in Walt’s skyscrapers and monorails, but in a long-lost past of white picket fences and pastel dormer windows, so lost that perhaps it was entirely mythic: There was once a place where neighbours greeted ...

The First Protest

Stephen Frears, 24 May 2018

... movies which in general were banned. He would hide films under his bed and at some point hid Lotte Eisner and the art director Alexandre Trauner, both refugees from Nazi Germany. After the war he had shown his films to the young people who became first the critics of Cahiers du Cinéma and then the directors of the Nouvelle Vague. He was ...

Dressed as an Admiral

Michael Wood: Neruda’s Hocus Pocus, 2 September 2004

by Pablo Neruda, translated by Hardie St Martin.
Souvenir, 370 pp., £12.99, June 2004, 9780285648111
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Isla Negra: A Bilingual Edition 
by Pablo Neruda, translated by Alastair Reid.
Souvenir, 416 pp., £14.99, June 2004, 0 285 64913 2
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The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems 
edited by Mark Eisner.
City Lights, 199 pp., $16.95, April 2004, 0 87286 428 6
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... Stephen Mitchell and Robert Hass (from one of which I have already quoted), and the editor, Mark Eisner. In some cases Eisner has reworked translations by others, notably John Felstiner and Stephen Kessler, and he includes a number of poems from the volumes translated by Reid. It’s hard to compress into a single instance ...

Who Betrayed Us?

Neal Ascherson: The November Revolution, 17 December 2020

November 1918: The German Revolution 
by Robert Gerwarth.
Oxford, 368 pp., £20, June 2020, 978 0 19 954647 3
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... and appealing character in the whole revolution: the bearded, middle-aged Berlin drama critic Kurt Eisner. At once a thrilling revolutionary orator and an intelligent political realist, Eisner was no Bolshevik. Unlike Ebert or Liebknecht, he saw that what the masses wanted was neither an improved status quo nor Lenin’s ...


Jonathan Steinberg, 18 December 1986

Strangers in their own Land: Young Jews in Germany and Austria Today 
by Peter Sichrovsky and Thomas Keneally.
Tauris, 177 pp., £10.95, May 1986, 1 85043 033 0
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Remnants: The Last Jews of Poland 
by Malgorzata Niezabitowska and Tomasz Tomaszewski, translated by William Brand and Hanna Dobosiewicz.
Friendly Press, 272 pp., £25, September 1986, 0 914919 05 9
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The Jews in Poland 
edited by Chimen Abramsky, Maciej Jachimczyk and Antony Polonsky.
Blackwell, 264 pp., £29.50, September 1986, 0 631 14857 4
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... in the Bolshevik Revolution and other radical movements. Trotsky, Parvus, Rosa Luxemburg, Kurt Eisner, Bela Kun came to stand for the ‘Jew Commie’ and, as Dr Datner explains to Niezabitowska, thereby proved to their Polish neighbours that they were ‘aliens’ after all. But one could hardly blame Jews for being attracted to a movement which solved ...

Brooksie and Faust

Angela Carter, 8 March 1990

Louise Brooks 
by Barry Paris.
Hamish Hamilton, 640 pp., £20, February 1990, 0 241 12541 3
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... reversals of fortune, a good deal of laughter, and fairly continuous intellectual activity. Lotte Eisner, the critic, first spotted Brooks on the set of Pandora’s Box, immersed in a volume of Schopenhauer’s Aphorisms. She thought it was a publicity stunt. Neither guilt nor remorse were items in Brooks’s repertoire. It was a life like a ...
... only Germans we could trust are those who repudiate German unity and advocate federal states, as Eisner did in 1919; and I find very few of these among the refugees. I do not denigrate the refugees. I only insist that we cannot trust them for our purpose, and that for their own purpose they are mistaken – they ought to advocate the dissolution of the ...

The Perfect Pattern of a Prelate

Eamon Duffy: Pius XII and the Jews, 26 September 2013

The Life and Pontificate of Pope Pius XII: Between History and Controversy 
by Frank Coppa.
Catholic University of America, 306 pp., £25.50, February 2013, 978 0 8132 2016 1
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The Pope’s Jews: The Vatican’s Secret Plan to Save Jews from the Nazis 
by Gordon Thomas.
Robson, 336 pp., £20, February 2013, 978 1 84954 506 8
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Soldier of Christ: The Life of Pope Pius XII 
by Robert Ventresca.
Harvard, 405 pp., £25, January 2013, 978 0 674 04961 1
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... cumulative. As nuncio in Munich he experienced the seizure of power by the communists, led by Kurt Eisner, who was Jewish. Pacelli had no time for contemporary racial theory and was not an anti-semite, but he undoubtedly shared the low-level anti-Judaism widespread in church and society in his day, and the belief that responsibility for the crucifixion of ...

Like Colonel Sanders

Christopher Tayler: The Stan Lee Era, 2 December 2021

True Believer: The Rise and Fall of Stan Lee 
by Abraham Riesman.
Bantam, 320 pp., £20, February, 978 0 593 13571 6
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Stan Lee: A Life in Comics 
by Liel Leibovitz.
Yale, 192 pp., £16.99, June 2020, 978 0 300 23034 5
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... Stanley went to DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, which had already educated Will Eisner, one of the most revered figures in American comics, and Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the creators of Batman. He wouldn’t have been very interested in these predecessors at the time. ‘The funny thing is, I never was a comic book reader,’ he later ...

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