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Warhol’s Respectability

Nicholas Penny, 19 March 1987

The Revenge of the Philistines 
by Hilton Kramer.
Secker, 445 pp., £12.50, July 1986, 0 436 23687 7
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Gilbert and George 
by Carter Ratcliff.
Thames and Hudson, 271 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 500 27443 6
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British Art in the 20th Century 
edited by Susan Compton.
Prestel-Verlag (Munich), 460 pp., £16.90, January 1987, 3 7913 0798 3
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... In November of the following year he alerted his readers to the absence, in the art of David Hockney, of ‘the spiritual quest at the heart of modernism’. Several years later, in June 1981, he gave warning that the stained canvases of Morris Louis, the leading member of the ‘Washington Colour School’, did ...

Shoe-Contemplative

David Bromwich: Hazlitt, 18 June 1998

The Day-Star of Liberty: William Hazlitt’s Radical Style 
by Tom Paulin.
Faber, 382 pp., £22.50, June 1998, 0 571 17421 3
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... and how he keeps coming back. T.S. Eliot said he was guilty of ‘crimes against taste’. David Lodge made him a twee subject of nostalgic research for the English hero of Small World, Philip Swallow, hopelessly outgunned by the vulgar but irresistible American, Morris Zapp. Lodge had got his significant detail ...

Irrational Expectations

Barry Supple, 18 November 1982

The 1982 Budget 
edited by John Kay.
Blackwell, 147 pp., £10, July 1982, 0 631 13153 1
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Money and Inflation 
by Frank Hahn.
Blackwell, 116 pp., £7.95, June 1982, 0 631 12917 0
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Public Enterprise in Crisis: The Future of the Nationalised Industries 
by John Redwood.
Blackwell, 211 pp., £5.25, May 1982, 0 631 13053 5
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Controlling Public Industries 
by John Redwood and John Hatch.
Blackwell, 169 pp., £12, July 1982, 0 631 13078 0
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... comment by observing the more recent significance of the fine tuning of public borrowing, Nick Morris (much more decisively in the Keynesian tradition) reminds us that the PSBR is, after all, only a residual between two big and unpredictable numbers. (A sympathetic echo is struck in Controlling Public Industries, where Redwood and Hatch, while ...

Ariel the Unlucky

David Gilmour, 5 April 1990

Warrior: The Autobiography of Ariel Sharon 
by Ariel Sharon and David Chanoff.
Macdonald, 571 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 356 17960 5
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The Slopes of Lebanon 
by Amos Oz, translated by Maurie Goldberg-Bartura.
Chatto, 246 pp., £13.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3444 5
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From Beirut to Jerusalem 
by Thomas Friedman.
Collins, 541 pp., £15, March 1990, 0 00 215096 4
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Pity the nation: Lebanon at War 
by Robert Fisk.
Deutsch, 622 pp., £17.95, February 1990, 0 233 98516 6
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... of events and ignore the work of Israel’s best modern historians, such as Avi Shlaim and Benny Morris. Qibya was a disgusting incident which reminded the pro-Zionist New York Post of Lidice, but in Sharon’s autobiography it becomes almost an unlucky misunderstanding. One night in 1953 he took his commando unit into Jordan, killed a dozen members of the ...

Liberties

Brigid Brophy, 2 October 1980

Deliberate Regression 
by Robert Harbison.
Deutsch, 264 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 233 97273 0
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... comes into sight again when the ‘outstretched arms mechanically generated from each other’ in David’s ‘Oath of the Horatii’ are said to be (or at least have placed next to them, in apposition) ‘duplication which leads through democratic crowds to totalitarian unison’. I thought this was coming it a bit. There are only three outstretched arms in ...

All the difference

Avi Shlaim, 25 June 1992

The Road Not Taken: Early Arab-Israeli Negotiations 
by Itamar Rabinovich.
Oxford, 259 pp., £19.50, December 1991, 0 19 506066 0
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... what Israelis call their War of Independence. The authors of these books – Simha Flapan, Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé and myself – are sometimes collectively referred to as the ‘new historians’ or the ‘Israeli revisionists’. Revisionist historiography challenged the traditional Zionist version of the birth of Israel on a number of ...

Making doorbells ring

David Trotter: Pushing Buttons, 22 November 2018

Power Button: A History of Pleasure, Panic and the Politics of Pushing 
by Rachel Plotnick.
MIT, 424 pp., £30, October 2018, 978 0 262 03823 2
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... the gendering of fantasies of remote control. In an 1892 article on female circumcision, Dr Robert Morris declared that ‘the clitoris is a little electric button which, pressed by adhesions, rings up the whole nervous system.’ Dr Morris’s intervention provoked some panicky speculation as to the way that amount of ...

Yuh wanna play bad?

Christopher Tayler: Henry Roth, 23 March 2006

Redemption: The Life of Henry Roth 
by Steven Kellman.
Norton, 372 pp., $16.99, September 2005, 0 393 05779 8
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Call It Sleep 
by Henry Roth.
Picador US, 462 pp., $15, July 2005, 0 312 42412 4
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... his rediscovery, Roth took another thirty years to publish his second novel, A Star Shines over Mt Morris Park (1994), and during that time there was much speculation about the causes of his prolonged failure to write. A lot of it focused on Call It Sleep, which tells the story of a sensitive immigrant child growing up in Brooklyn and the Lower East ...

Did more mean worse?

Michael Brock, 23 October 1986

Government and the Universities in Britain: Programme and Performance 1960-1980 
by John Carswell.
Cambridge, 181 pp., £19.50, January 1986, 9780521258265
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... defective. Sir Edward Herbert died before the Report had been signed. Mr R.B. Southall and Sir David Anderson ‘belonged’, in Mr Carswell’s words, ‘to the silent minority’. All four members of the ‘inner group’, as Mr Carswell defines it, were academics. The most serious result of the under-representation of secondary education on the ...

Swaying at the Stove

Rosemary Hill: The Cult of Elizabeth David, 9 December 1999

Elizabeth DavidA Biography 
by Lisa Chaney.
Pan, 482 pp., £10, September 1999, 0 330 36762 5
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Waiting at the Kitchen Table. Elizabeth DavidThe Authorised Biography 
by Artemis Cooper.
Viking, 364 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 7181 4224 1
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... When Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food appeared in 1950, many of the ingredients it called for were unobtainable. But even after meat came off the ration, few people can have had much practical need for a traditional Turkish recipe for stuffing a whole sheep. That was not the point. Saturated with description, of figs and aubergines, of fishing boats at anchor in Marseille and paella pans left out to dry in Spanish courtyards, Mediterranean Food brought a beakerful of the warm South to chilly, postwar England ...

Rainbows

Graham Coster, 12 September 1991

Paradise News 
by David Lodge.
Secker, 294 pp., £14.99, September 1991, 0 436 25668 1
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... accepted Boeing’s tender for a massive new cargo aircraft for the United States Air Force, David Lodge would not have been able to write Paradise News. Instead, however, Lockheed got the contract, and Boeing were left with a redundant set of blueprints for the biggest furniture van never built. To save all that development money going to ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: Like a Prep School, 10 January 1991

... The publisher’s launching party for David Cannadine’s Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy in the Moses Room of the House of Lords on 22 October was the third occasion on which I had been inside that curious place since taking my seat as a hereditary member of it. The Moses Room is evidently so called because its walls depict, in tableaux more impressive for their size than their quality, the appropriate Old Testament scenes ...

At the Royal Academy

Daniel Soar: Hockney, 9 February 2012

... The vast David Hockney show at the Royal Academy (until 9 April) is deliberately overwhelming. What it most looks like is an overblown, hyped-up, hyperreal parody of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, that super-English annual gathering of the amateur art establishment, to which the buying public with large pocketbooks flock from the Home Counties and beyond ...

In Letchworth

Gillian Darley: Pevsner's Hertfordshire, 2 January 2020

... that his near neighbours were two of the most socially committed architects of postwar Britain, David and Mary Medd, who lived in a house they designed and built for themselves in the 1950s. The Medds were leading figures in the Hertfordshire county schools programme. Using a prefabricated system, first to build single-storey primary schools and then two ...

Hanging Offence

David Sylvester, 21 October 1993

... confront us from the back wall while in the middle of the floor, humped in silence, is Robert Morris’s big low cage of a steel sculpture of 1967 and to either side whitish paintings by Robert Ryman and Agnes Martin. No self-respecting museum would present a combination which was so insouciant art-historically, but it does look very good. The second room ...

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