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A Kind of Integrity

Jonathan Barnes, 6 November 1986

Philosophical Apprenticeships 
by Hans-Georg Gadamer, translated by Robert Sullivan.
MIT, 198 pp., £13.95, October 1985, 0 262 07092 8
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The Idea of the Good in Platonic-Aristotelian Philosophy 
by Hans-Georg Gadamer, translated by Christopher Smith.
Yale, 182 pp., £18, June 1986, 0 300 03463 6
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... the more so in that Heidegger would lecture at seven in the morning, while Hartmann never rose before midday and only flourished after midnight. Moreover, the circumstances of a young privatdozent were severe: a meagre salary had to be eked out by tuition money, and tuition money depended wholly on the skill of the tutor in attracting pupils. In any ...

No Gentleman

Jonathan Parry, 23 June 1994

Joseph Chamberlain: Entrepreneur in Politics 
by Peter Marsh.
Yale, 725 pp., £30, May 1994, 0 300 05801 2
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... in order to help keep trade routes open, were snubbed at home and abroad. Once again, the bile rose within Chamberlain. Sharing, in intensified form, the general post-war concern for Imperial security and economic competitiveness, and angered by the continuing complacency at the top of the Conservative Party, he launched ‘one last battle for a united ...

Spiv v. Gentleman

Jonathan Barnes: Bickering souls in Ancient Greece and China, 23 October 2003

The Way and the Word: Science and Medicine in Early China and Greece 
by Geoffrey Lloyd and Nathan Sivin.
Yale, 348 pp., £25, February 2003, 0 300 09297 0
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... proof, I say, is a cognitive syllogism’ (Posterior Analytics 71b18). Shares in Stagirite plc rose sharply. That is how the authors of The Way and the Word imply that things happened. Of course, it isn’t what they really think. Aware that ‘some would . . . argue that relating these concepts to the social, political and institutional factors that we ...

Breathtaking Co-ordination

Jonathan Wright: Hitler’s Wartime Economy, 19 July 2007

The Third Reich in Power 
by Richard J. Evans.
Penguin, 941 pp., £12.99, May 2006, 0 14 100976 4
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The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy 
by Adam Tooze.
Penguin, 800 pp., £12.99, August 2007, 978 0 14 100348 1
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... Tooze shows that in the first year of the war the share of national output going to the military rose by 60 per cent. Hitler resisted pressure from his advisers to prepare for a long war because he believed – correctly – that Germany could not win a long war. Instead, he insisted on the massive expansion of programmes for aircraft production, ammunition ...

Something of His Own

Jonathan Rée: Gotthold Lessing, 6 February 2014

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: His Life, Works and Thought 
by H.B. Nisbet.
Oxford, 734 pp., £85, September 2013, 978 0 19 967947 8
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... because his death had left his followers stupefied, staring ‘in amazement at the place where he rose up and disappeared’. A biography published in 1793 by Lessing’s brother Karl Gotthelf started a tradition of indiscriminate but baffled admiration that has continued ever since. Friedrich Schlegel claimed that Lessing had a historic significance far ...


Jonathan Steele: In Transdniestria, 14 May 2009

... the slogans did not reflect that. The protests looked more like an amateur effort to replicate the Rose Revolution in Georgia or the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, although in both these countries there had been strong evidence of significant election fraud, which there wasn’t in Moldova. The April protests subsided as quickly as they began. It would be wrong ...

The Young Man One Hopes For

Jonathan Rée: The Wittgensteins, 21 November 2019

Wittgenstein’s Family Letters: Corresponding with Ludwig 
edited by Brian McGuinness, translated by Peter Winslow.
Bloomsbury, 300 pp., £20, November 2018, 978 1 4742 9813 1
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... of pleasure? Is our awareness of pain more like listening, or hearing? When you imagine a red rose, how do you know it’s really red, and why might we think that blue is closer to green than red? ‘Say what you really think,’ he told his students, and ‘don’t try to be intelligent.’ The classes often ‘felt like the day of judgment’, as one ...

Adrenaline Junkie

Jonathan Parry: John Tyndall’s Ascent, 21 March 2019

The Ascent of John Tyndall: Victorian Scientist, Mountaineer and Public Intellectual 
by Roland Jackson.
Oxford, 556 pp., £25, March 2018, 978 0 19 878895 9
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... join him in Germany and study for a PhD, using his savings from railway surveying. In Marburg, he rose at 5 a.m., sitting in the cold in a dressing gown lined with cat fur, and worked on German, physics, chemistry and maths until ten at night. Having finished his dissertation on screw surfaces by early 1850, he discovered a more promising research area: the ...

Ponting bites back

Tam Dalyell, 4 April 1985

The Right to Know: The Inside Story of the ‘Belgrano’ Affair 
by Clive Ponting.
Sphere, 214 pp., £2.50, March 1985, 0 7221 6944 2
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... reasons Mr Ponting felt that he should steer clear of me. As Bruce Laughland, his counsel, and Jonathan Caplan, the deputy counsel, were to reiterate in court, they were counsel for Mr Ponting and not Mr Dalyell. There were differences. For example, before the trial Mr Ponting said he did not share my contention that the Belgrano was sunk, above all ...

Vases, Tea Sets, Cigars, His Own Watercolours

Christopher Clark: Nazi Toffs, 9 April 2009

High Society in the Third Reich 
by Fabrice d’Almeida.
Polity, 294 pp., £17.99, November 2008, 978 0 7456 4312 0
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... hungrily at the words like a dog at pieces of raw meat’. Eventually he rose to his feet and launched into a long, ranting monologue, all the while thwacking his boot with the riding whip. Franckenstein’s servants rushed in, thinking that their employer was being attacked. After Hitler had said his piece and left, there was a long ...

It took a Scot

Colin Kidd: English Nationalism, 30 July 2015

The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century 
by George Molyneaux.
Oxford, 302 pp., £65, May 2015, 978 0 19 871791 1
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The English and Their History 
by Robert Tombs.
Allen Lane, 1012 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 0 14 103165 1
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Conquests, Catastrophe and Recovery: Britain and Ireland 1066-1485 
by John Gillingham.
Vintage, 345 pp., £10.99, October 2014, 978 0 09 956324 2
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From Restoration to Reform: The British Isles 1660-1832 
by Jonathan Clark.
Vintage, 364 pp., £10.99, October 2014, 978 0 09 956323 5
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Britain since 1900: A Success Story? 
by Robert Skidelsky.
Vintage, 472 pp., £10.99, October 2014, 978 0 09 957239 8
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... of England’ frames the admirably quizzical histories of the British world since 1660 by Jonathan Clark and Robert Skidelsky. Clark is terrier-like, an anti-Whig revisionist who worries at every unexamined assumption he encounters. (While he distances himself from Whig mythologies, his preface was written from Callaly Castle, Northumberland, which ...
Modernity and Identity 
edited by Scott Lash and Jonathan Friedman.
Blackwell, 448 pp., £45, January 1992, 0 631 17585 7
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Fundamentalisms Observed 
edited by Martin Marty and Scott Appleby.
Chicago, 872 pp., $40, November 1991, 0 226 50877 3
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The Post-Modern and the Post-Industrial 
by Margaret Rose.
Cambridge, 317 pp., £35, July 1991, 0 521 40131 3
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Under God: Religion and American Politics 
by Garry Wills.
Simon and Schuster, 445 pp., £17.99, February 1992, 0 671 65705 4
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... in terms of the future rather than the past; as the architect Arthur Penty (quoted by Margaret Rose) observed in 1922, ‘Post-Industrialism connotes Medievalism.’ But theological modernists, like the English Catholic George Tyrrell, saw Medievalism as incompatible with modernity and banished it to the Middle Ages where it took on the static quality ...

Would he have been better?

John Gittings: Chiang Kai-shek, 18 March 2004

Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the China He Lost 
by Jonathan Fenby.
Free Press, 562 pp., £25, November 2003, 0 7432 3144 9
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... China and – in the phrase of anguished Americans who backed the wrong horse – he lost China. Jonathan Fenby starts his important new biography, the first of substance for a quarter of a century, in Xi’an in 1936 when Chiang, after his 50th birthday, was preparing to bash the Communists. Having ignored the local armed forces’ evident reluctance to ...

Just Two Clicks

Jonathan Raban: The Virtual Life of Neil Entwistle, 14 August 2008

... with Business Management from York. Rowed throughout my degree – proud to be that white rose. Showed those public school $%^&’s how to do it properly. Making bombs and other stuff for a living – would tell you more but I’d have to kill you. [A reference to his work for QinetiQ.] Getting married to the most amazing woman in the world this ...

Boys will be girls

Clive James, 1 September 1983

Footlights! A Hundred Years of Cambridge Comedy 
by Robert Hewison.
Methuen, 224 pp., £8.95, June 1983, 0 413 51150 2
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... give up their boas and beads if they could help it. The revues of the early Fifties which featured Jonathan Miller still had their quota of rouged youths. But at long last the IQ level of the Footlights rose into triple figures. Successively onto the scene came such butch illuminati as Miller, Michael Frayn and Peter ...

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