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David Bromwich: Mueller Time, 18 April 2019

... in the 2016 election and its possible connection with the Trump campaign, submitted his report to William Barr, the US attorney general. Two days later, Barr sent a letter to Congress summarising the two main conclusions of the report. First, he quoted Mueller’s conclusion that the inquiry ‘did not establish that ...

Heavy Sledding

Chauncey Loomis, 21 December 1989

The Arctic Grail: The Quest for the Northwest Passage and the North Pole, 1818-1909 
by Pierre Berton.
Viking, 672 pp., £16.95, May 1989, 0 670 82491 7
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Overland to Starvation Cove: With the Inuit in Search of Franklin 1878-1880 
by Heinrich Klutschak and William Barr.
Toronto, 261 pp., £17.50, February 1988, 0 8020 5762 4
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Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition 
by Owen Beattie and John Geiger.
Bloomsbury, 180 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 7475 0101 7
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... the search for Franklin began, and 1859, when M’Clintock discovered some grisly remains on King William Island, almost thirty naval and overland expeditions joined the search. A writer has to juggle the names of explorers, famous in their day, but now known only to Arctic buffs, such as John and James Clark ...

Short Cuts

Mattathias Schwartz: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness, 16 July 2020

... between disagreement and disloyalty. But I think there is more to it. How do you get someone like William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, to torch their own reputation and suborn themselves to your will? The real question of the relationship between the mad king and his clever, upright ministers is not about the abuse that the ministers suffer, or the ...

House-Cleaning

David Bromwich: I met a Republican, 7 March 2019

... subpoenaed by Mueller. Some protection may be afforded Trump by his nominee as attorney general, William Barr, a right-wing Republican who believes in a strong chief executive; on 14 February Barr was confirmed by the Republican Senate, and he will work to keep Trump in office. The interesting question is whether he ...

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger, 4 June 2020

... absolutely do so without dictating to people how they should worship God.’ The attorney general, William Barr, defending churches that are insisting on holding services despite lockdown orders, is invoking a law authorising him to sue to eliminate any ‘pattern or practice’ of unconstitutional conduct – in this case, against ‘freedom of ...

One Summer in America

Eliot Weinberger, 26 September 2019

... crises, the drain on resources and political instability. He is forbidden to appear by William Happer, senior director of the National Security Council.Happer, who is also the founder of an organisation called the CO2 Coalition, believes that carbon dioxide stimulates plant growth and actually reduces the greenhouse effect. He has stated that ...

Britishmen

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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... Ireland is another example of this sapping of legality and so, too, is the case of Constable William McCaughey. Along with a police sergeant called Weir, McCaughey was tried and convicted of murdering a Catholic shopkeeper in revenge for an attack by the Provisional IRA. Both policemen were also convicted of kidnapping and threatening to murder a ...

Keeping up the fight

Paul Delany, 24 January 1991

D.H. Lawrence: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Macmillan, 446 pp., £19.95, August 1990, 0 333 49247 1
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D.H. Lawrence 
by Tony Pinkney.
Harvester, 180 pp., £30, June 1990, 0 7108 1347 3
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England, My England, and Other Stories 
by D.H. Lawrence, edited by Bruce Steele.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £37.50, March 1990, 0 521 35267 3
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The ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ Trial (Regina v. Penguin Books Limited) 
edited by H. Montgomery Hyde.
Bodley Head, 333 pp., £18, June 1990, 0 370 31105 1
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Boy 
by James Hanley.
Deutsch, 191 pp., £11.99, August 1990, 0 233 98578 6
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D.H. Lawrence: A Literary Life 
by John Worthen.
Macmillan, 196 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 333 43352 1
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... of Lawrence you thought were dead, and the first published photo of Lawrence’s supposed lover, William Henry Hocking. This is surely the most readable, judicious and authoritative scholarly biography of Lawrence yet written. Yet it also presses hard against the limitations of its single-volume narrative format. By embracing Jessie Chambers’s formula that ...

Whose century?

Adam Tooze: After the Shock, 30 July 2020

Schism: China, America and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System 
by Paul Blustein.
McGill-Queen’s, 356 pp., £27.99, September 2019, 978 1 928096 85 6
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Superpower Showdown: How the Battle between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War 
by Bob Davis and Lingling Wei.
Harper, 480 pp., £25, June, 978 0 06 295305 6
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Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace 
by Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis.
Yale, 288 pp., £20, June, 978 0 300 24417 5
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The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Metropolitan Elite 
by Michael Lind.
Atlantic, 224 pp., £14.99, February, 978 1 78649 955 4
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... from Bernie Sanders that question wouldn’t be surprising. But it was more remarkable to hear William Barr, Trump’s attorney general, describe American business as ‘part of the problem’ because its corporate leaders are too focused on their stock options and have lost sight of the ‘national view’ and the need to ensure that ‘that the next ...

It’s Modern but is it contemporary?

Hal Foster, 16 December 2004

... are newcomers to MoMA).* Elderfield has worked in P&S for years, under the directorships of both William Rubin (1973-88) and Kirk Varnedoe (1988-2000). Yet Elderfield’s final show in the old building, Modern Starts (2000), was cause for concern: a post-historical hodgepodge of disparate works placed together in lookalike groupings under such generic titles ...

The Atmosphere of the Clyde

Jean McNicol: Red Clydeside, 2 January 2020

When the Clyde Ran Red: A Social History of Red Clydeside 
by Maggie Craig.
Birlinn, 313 pp., £9.99, March 2018, 978 1 78027 506 2
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Glasgow 1919: The Rise of Red Clydeside 
by Kenny MacAskill.
Biteback, 310 pp., £20, January 2019, 978 1 78590 454 7
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John Maclean: Hero of Red Clydeside 
by Henry Bell.
Pluto, 242 pp., £14.99, October 2018, 978 0 7453 3838 5
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... at Parkhead Forge is now a shopping centre), Weir’s (pumps, compressors), Albion Motors, and Barr and Stroud (rangefinders). There was a steep increase in the cost of living after war began, and the first trouble came early in 1915 when the engineers demanded a wage rise of tuppence an hour. A strike was called when it became known that Weir’s had been ...

Mother

Wendy Steiner, 19 October 1995

Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures 
by Renate Stendhal.
Thames and Hudson, 286 pp., £14.95, March 1995, 0 500 27832 6
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‘Favoured Strangers’: Gertrude Stein and Her Family 
by Linda Wagner-Martin.
Rutgers, 346 pp., $34.95, August 1995, 0 8135 2169 6
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... legend; she pleased herself, and others came round. When she wrote in a final exam for William James, ‘I am so sorry but really I do not feel a bit like an examination paper in philosophy today,’ James understood, and gave her the highest grade in the class. She eventually graduated from Radcliffe magna cum laude, published original ...

Change at MoMA

Hal Foster, 7 November 2019

... responded to the call of MoMA’s director, Glenn Lowry, to recapture the idea proposed by Alfred Barr, its first head, that 20th-century art be seen as one great experiment or ‘work in progress’ that continues into the 21st century. Of course, MoMA also needed more space for its permanent collection and temporary shows. It already has more modernist ...

The Misery of Not Painting like others

Peter Campbell, 13 April 2000

The Unknown Matisse: Man of the North, 1869-1908 
by Hilary Spurling.
Penguin, 480 pp., £12.99, April 2000, 0 14 017604 7
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Matisse: Father and Son 
by John Russell.
Abrams, 416 pp., £25, May 1999, 0 8109 4378 6
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Ruthless Hedonism: The American Reception of Matisse 
by John O’Brien.
Chicago, 284 pp., £31.50, April 1999, 0 226 61626 6
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Matisse and Picasso 
by Yve-Alain Bois.
Flammarion, 272 pp., £35, February 1999, 2 08 013548 1
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... nude in bright light, with the red-shirted painter seen in a mirror – it looks oddly like one of William Orpen’s sunlight-in-the-studio pictures. In 1904 there was an exhibition at Vollard’s. Vollard and Matisse were about the same age and, as Spurling puts it, ‘both great gamblers’, although ‘neither could give the other the secure base ...

Top Brands Today

Nicholas Penny: The Art World, 14 December 2017

The Auctioneer: A Memoir of Great Art, Legendary Collectors and Record-Breaking Auctions 
by Simon de Pury and William Stadiem.
Allen and Unwin, 312 pp., £9.99, April 2017, 978 1 76011 350 6
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Rogues’ Gallery: A History of Art and Its Dealers 
by Philip Hook.
Profile, 282 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78125 570 4
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Donald Judd: Writings 
edited by Flavin Judd and Caitlin Murray.
David Zwirner, 1054 pp., £28, November 2016, 978 1 941701 35 5
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... had a mission to educate and influence unlike that of any equivalent European institution. Alfred Barr, its first director, promoted an idea of modernity that was compatible with the corporate outlook of his chief supporter, Nelson Rockefeller.When MoMA was founded the trustees intended that when artworks were fifty years old they would be donated to the ...

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