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David Runciman: City Government, 18 June 2020

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World 
by Rahm Emanuel.
Knopf, 256 pp., £20.89, February 2020, 978 0 525 65638 8
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... a mayor was a big part of his national appeal. More pragmatism, less BS. It’s the same argument Rory Stewart gave for quitting national politics in order to run for mayor of London, before the pandemic put a stop to that. Being mayor was the only way you could be sure you were making a difference to people’s lives. Emanuel sums it up: city ...


Alan Bennett: What I Did in 2015, 7 January 2016

... March. This last week I finish reading Common Ground by Rob Cowen and The Places In Between by Rory Stewart, both books about wildernesses, Stewart’s in Afghanistan, Cowen’s in almost comical contrast in and around Harrogate. As he tells the story Stewart seems in regular ...


James Wood: These Etonians, 4 July 2019

... Exiting the European Union. Even the ranks of decency are stocked by old Etonians: Oliver Letwin, Rory Stewart and Hugo Dixon, editor in chief of the useful anti-Brexit website InFacts. (I remember Dixon, a King’s Scholar: skinny, super-bright, otherworldly.) I feel 13 again because the old questions reassert themselves. How did these people get ...

The Manners of a Hog

Christopher Tayler: Buchan’s Banter, 20 February 2020

Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps: A Life of John Buchan 
by Ursula Buchan.
Bloomsbury, 479 pp., £25, April 2019, 978 1 4088 7081 5
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... addicted to thirty-mile walks in his oldest tweeds, he might have been more at home with Rory Stewart, but there’s possibly a bit of Buchan’s vision in the Black Stone of Brexit, and a bit of Hannay in Johnson’s swagger. It can’t only be down to Hitchcock that The Thirty-Nine Steps has never been out of print, or that most bookshops ...

Who’s your dance partner?

Thomas Meaney: Europe inside Africa, 7 November 2019

The Scramble for Europe: Young Africa on Its Way to the Old Continent 
by Stephen Smith.
Polity, 197 pp., £15.99, April 2019, 978 1 5095 3457 9
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... took its bearings from a 14-page white paper by Gerald Knaus, who once co-wrote a book with Rory Stewart defending humanitarian intervention and now operates a think tank out of an apartment in the Kreuzberg neighbourhood of Berlin. Knaus’s suggestion was simple: Merkel had to offer Erdoğan and other gatekeepers a strong enough incentive to keep ...

On the Window Ledge of the Union

Colin Kidd: Loyalism v. Unionism, 7 February 2013

Belfast 400: People, Place and History 
edited by S.J. Connolly.
Liverpool, 392 pp., £14.95, November 2012, 978 1 84631 634 0
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Ulster since 1600: Politics, Economy and Society 
edited by Liam Kennedy and Philip Ollerenshaw.
Oxford, 355 pp., £35, November 2012, 978 0 19 958311 9
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The Plantation of Ulster: Ideology and Practice 
edited by Eamonn O Ciardha and Micheál O Siochrú.
Manchester, 269 pp., £70, October 2012, 978 0 7190 8608 3
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The End of Ulster Loyalism? 
by Peter Shirlow.
Manchester, 230 pp., £16.99, May 2012, 978 0 7190 8476 8
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... other community. Ulster is, and remains, a collage of confessional territories. As the late A.T.Q. Stewart remarked in his history of Ulster, The Narrow Ground (1977), every resident of the province carries around in his or her head a complex and detailed geography: they know which villages or streets are Protestant or Catholic, or mixed. These internalised ...


Alan Bennett: Selling my hair on eBay, 6 January 2022

... to go disastrously to Crusader Bible classes.12 September. The last few weeks I’ve been reading Rory Stewart’s Occupational Hazards, an account of his time serving in the coalition administration of Iraq. He is a courageous man, though it ought to be a depressing book, as for all Stewart’s tireless ...

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