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A Moustache Too Far

Danny Karlin: Melville goes under, 8 May 2003

Herman Melville: A Biography. Vol. II: 1851-91 
by Hershel Parker.
Johns Hopkins, 997 pp., £31, May 2002, 0 8018 6892 0
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... 1773, Peter for withstanding a British siege in 1777 (after which he was known as ‘the Hero of Fort Stanwyx’). Besides these republican credentials, the Gansevoorts and Melvills both laid claim to aristocratic and colonial distinction. As Melville noted sardonically in Pierre, ‘the great genealogical and real-estate dignity of some families in ...

Not Rocket Science

Alexander Nehamas, 22 June 2000

On Beauty and Being Just 
by Elaine Scarry.
Princeton, 134 pp., $15.95, September 1999, 0 691 04875 4
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Air Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy 
by Dave Hickey.
Art Issues, 216 pp., £15.95, September 1998, 0 9637264 5 5
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... Village Voice. He has written songs for a company in Nashville, art criticism for a newspaper in Fort Worth and has published a collection of short stories. He contributes a regular column to Art issues, but also, in order to get health insurance, he recently joined the faculty of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, an institution he loathes in a city he ...


Thomas Laqueur: Memories in German, 4 December 2003

... in New York. My mother’s brother – my Onkel Otto – and his wife lived in Manhattan near Fort Tryon Park, in the middle of a German-Jewish ghetto. Later, when we had settled in West Virginia, my mother visited them periodically and came back complaining how insular their world was. I think I understand what she meant: one couldn’t forget that one ...

Wrath of the Centurions

Max Hastings: My Lai, 25 January 2018

My Lai: Vietnam, 1968 and the Descent into Darkness 
by Howard Jones.
Oxford, 504 pp., £22.99, June 2017, 978 0 19 539360 6
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... that he had heard described in vivid detail by those who had participated in them. Private Tom Glen, a 21-year-old from Tucson, who served in another brigade of the Americal, wrote a brave letter to the US army’s commander-in-chief, Creighton Abrams, describing the dreadful deeds that he had been told other units in his division had committed. In ...


David Thomson: ‘Vertigo’ after Weinstein, 21 June 2018

... is a classmate who has far excelled Scottie in life. He’s American, but the actor playing him, Tom Helmore, is English and makes no attempt to hide it. In a tweed jacket, with a moustache and cool good manners, he could be a stand-in for Ronald Colman. He’s made it, he’s settled; he has a wife, Madeleine, who lives down the peninsula. But she’s a ...

Riot, Revolt, Revolution

Mike Jay: The Despards, 18 July 2019

Red Round Globe Hot Burning: A Tale at the Crossroads of Commons and Culture, of Love and Terror, of Race and Class and of Kate and Ned Despard 
by Peter Linebaugh.
California, 408 pp., £27, March 2019, 978 0 520 29946 7
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... an anomaly: a curious postscript to the 1790s radicalism inspired by the French revolution and Tom Paine, or an early harbinger of the next generation’s struggle for political reform. Despard’s cause was illuminated from a new direction by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker in The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of ...

Putting Religion in Its Place

Colm Tóibín: Marilynne Robinson, 23 October 2014

by Marilynne Robinson.
Virago, 261 pp., £16.99, October 2014, 978 1 84408 880 5
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... conversion to Christianity: I have had a most shameful and distressing interview with poor dear Tom Eliot, who may be called dead to us all from this day forward. He has become an Anglo-Catholic, believes in God and immortality, and goes to church. I was really shocked. A corpse would seem to me more credible than he is. I mean, there’s something obscene ...

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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... for example, had been ‘swept out’ from the Isle of Mull, and his mother from Corpach, near Fort William. As a young child she’d walked with her own mother all the way to Glasgow, around a hundred miles of rough mountainous country. Tom Johnston, founder and editor of Forward, which became the mouthpiece of the ...

One Summer in America

Eliot Weinberger, 26 September 2019

... purpose, which is to provide travellers with a welcoming hotel room.’It is planned to turn Fort Sill, Oklahoma, a Japanese American internment camp during the Second World War, into a concentration camp for 1400 children.*Total US student debt is $1.52 trillion and is owed by 44.2 million people. Total credit card debt is more than $1 trillion and is ...

Courage, mon amie

Terry Castle: Disquiet on the Western Front, 4 April 2002

... to walk just so: Feehan’s men – Guidetti, Goldbach and two other deputy commissioners, Tom McDonald and Tom Fitzpatrick – began rushing to the elevator. ‘Now, hold it, guys,’ said Feehan, wearing a wry smile, holding his arms to the side and waving his palms down, like a teacher calming rambunctious ...

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