Into Oblivion: The Biafra Conflict

Adéwálé Májà-Pearce, 1 June 2023

History was expunged from the national school curriculum more than a decade ago because, it was claimed, there was no interest in it. Evidently, the political establishment continues to fear that knowledge...

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Belonging to No Nation

Abigail Green, 2 March 2023

As Jessica Marglin argues, the Shamama case offers an ‘insight into the way legal belonging was proved – not only in the Shamama lawsuit but in countless cases both before and since: as a narrative’....

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On Tom Nairn

Neal Ascherson, 16 February 2023

Unlike Althusser’s, Tom Nairn’s Marxism would grow almost unrecognisably open and eclectic. Many on the left never forgave him for writing that ‘the theory of nationalism represents Marxism’s great...

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Opium of the Elite: Hayek in England

Jonathan Rée, 2 February 2023

Markets were, as Friedrich Hayek put it with uncharacteristic exuberance, a ‘marvel’, co-ordinating economic decisions in ‘a process in which the individual plays a part which he can never fully...

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Isaac Deutscher’s contributions to Workers’ Fight in 1940 fall short of an unambiguous rejection of revolutionary defeatism; it is possible that Tamara Deutscher altered her husband’s words, but...

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Not Even a Might-Have Been: Chips’s Adventures

Geoffrey Wheatcroft, 19 January 2023

To accuse Henry ‘Chips’ Channon of snobbery or social climbing is almost absurd: society was what gave his life meaning, and it’s thanks to his fascination with the rich and the grand that he left...

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George Michael was the biggest selling musician in the world in 1988. He was 25 and seemed ready to outdo Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Prince and Madonna. In Freedom Uncut, Liam Gallagher describes...

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Diary: Carmen Callil’s Causes

Marina Warner, 15 December 2022

When​ Carmen Callil chose the name Virago for the publishing house she founded in 1973, she was daring all comers in a spirit of defiant wit (with an accompanying gleeful cackle). Grasping an...

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You have to take it: Elizabeth Hardwick’s Style

Joanne O’Leary, 17 November 2022

Elizabeth Hardwick had a great command of pattern and some of her characterisations jingle like a good ad: Frost was ‘malicious and capricious’; New York, a ‘restless monster of possibility and liability’;...

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On Mike Davis

T.J. Clark, 17 November 2022

Marx, Mike Davis says near the beginning of Old Gods, New Enigmas: Marx’s Lost Theory, ‘never wrote a single word about cities, and his passionate interests in ethnography, geology and mathematics...

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We live in a world, as Stuart Hall put it, in which one can be just as ‘committed’ a revolutionary as Marx or Lenin, but ‘every now and then – Saturday mornings, perhaps, just before the demonstration...

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A Million Shades of Red: Growing Up Gay

Adam Mars-Jones, 8 September 2022

Gay men beginning to act on their desires in the 1950s faced any number of difficulties and dangers but could benefit from a certain invisibility. Their status was unspeakable, but at least it was unspoken.

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Things Ill-Done and Undone: T.S. Eliot’s Alibis

Helen Thaventhiran, 8 September 2022

Sounding out phrases in letters as well as in verse kept things going for T.S. Eliot: he needed a low level of compositional hum. Like a secular spiritual exercise, the letters to Emily Hale sustained...

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Chimps and Bulldogs: The Huxley Inheritance

Stefan Collini, 8 September 2022

It can be hard to grasp how ambitious the synthesis that Julian Huxley tried to provide actually was. In his hands, evolution became emphatically a story of progress, especially human progress. ‘Because...

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Memory Safari: Perpetual Reclamation

Daniel Trilling, 8 September 2022

Poring over family stories to give meaning to our lives is something most of us do. For the descendants of people who have survived traumatic historical events, it takes on an added intensity – and,...

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Think outside the bun: Quote Me!

Colin Burrow, 8 September 2022

The most bizarre aspect of the ‘quotation’ as we now understand it is that words uttered by King Lear when he’s mad are ascribed to Shakespeare, and that words attributed with some irony to a character...

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Yoga, whose New Agey message wouldn’t have been out of place in the 1970s, is about the struggle to accept the fact that you can’t mute your ego, either in the interest of peace and love, or in the...

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Diary: Hoardiculture

Jon Day, 8 September 2022

Hoarding is a modern malady. The excessive accumulation of objects was once considered a moral failure or a species of sin, but it was still thought to be fundamentally rational: in a world without much...

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