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‘My God was bigger than his’

Colin Kidd: The Republicans, 4 November 2004

The Right Nation: Why America Is Different 
by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge.
Allen Lane, 450 pp., £14.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9738 9
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Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet 
by James Mann.
Penguin, 448 pp., $16, September 2004, 0 14 303489 8
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Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image 
by David Greenberg.
Norton, 496 pp., £9.99, November 2004, 0 393 32616 0
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America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism 
by Anatol Lieven.
HarperCollins, 274 pp., £18.99, October 2004, 0 00 716456 4
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... at the start of 1980. Yet as an undergraduate at Cornell Wolfowitz had come under the influence of Allan Bloom (later to attain notoriety as the author of The Closing of the American Mind), and, as a postgraduate at Chicago, of Bloom’s own mentor, the conservative philosopher Leo Strauss. Although Strauss, a German ...

Just one more species doing its best

Richard Rorty, 25 July 1991

The Later Works 1925-1953. Vol. XVII: Miscellaneous Writings, 1885-1953 
by John Dewey, edited by Jo Ann Boydston.
Southern Illinois, 786 pp., $50, August 1990, 0 8093 1661 7
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by J.E. Tiles.
Routledge, 256 pp., £35, December 1988, 0 415 00908 1
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John Dewey and American Democracy 
by Robert Westbrook.
Cornell, 608 pp., $32.95, May 1991, 0 8014 2560 3
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Beloved Community: The Cultural Criticism of Randolph Bourne, Van Wyck Brooks, Waldo Frank and Lewis Mumford 
by Casey Blake.
North Carolina, 370 pp., $38.45, November 1990, 0 8078 1935 2
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... death: for example, in his 1987 back-to-the-Greeks book. The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom called Dewey ‘a big baby’. Childishness – in the form of a lack of humility and a tendency to power-worship – continues to be the most frequent charge brought against post-Deweyan pragmatist philosophers. The whole tradition from Peirce ...

The Garden, the Park and the Meadow

David Runciman: After the Nation State, 6 June 2002

The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History 
by Philip Bobbitt.
Allen Lane, 960 pp., £25, June 2002, 0 7139 9616 1
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Reordering the World: The Long-Term Implications of 11 September 
edited by Mark Leonard.
Foreign Policy Centre, 124 pp., £9.95, March 2002, 1 903558 10 7
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... at times indeed slightly unhinged. It may well make him rich and famous, in the manner of Allan Bloom, Samuel Huntingdon and other purveyors of the slightly unhinged academic diagnostic blockbuster. But the arguments he musters and the warnings he issues are curiously similar to those that have been coming out of one corner of the British Foreign ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2000, 25 January 2001

... to the end of Ravelstein, Saul Bellow’s novel supposedly based on his friend and associate Allan Bloom. I’m never entirely comfortable with (and never unaware of) Bellow’s style, which puts an almost treacly patina on the prose – designer prose it is, good, tasteful and self-evidently rich. In this book he writes about the rich ...


David Craig: In the Barra Isles, 30 October 1997

... a day or two, and from Rosinish you could see through the rising layers of it, hazy blue as the bloom on grapes, island after island in line ahead to the north: Sandray, cleared by eviction in the 1830s, looking always sunlit in the yellow of its many dunes; the vivid, idyllic green pastures of Vatersay, scene of the first famous squatting by landless ...


Galen Strawson: Brain Chic, 25 March 2010

36 Arguments for the Existence of God 
by Rebecca Goldstein.
Atlantic, 402 pp., £12.99, March 2010, 978 1 84887 153 3
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... who thinks ‘Goethe … settled for being a genius’ and could have gone further, has, like Bloom (Harold, not Allan), an eidetic memory. And if Goldstein is caught up in the erotics of mental power, so the female protagonist in The Mind-Body Problem thinks (as her best friend observes) that ‘the male sexual organ ...

A New Interpretation of Dreams

Jeffrey Saver, 4 August 1988

The Dreaming Brain 
by Allan Hobson.
Basic Books, 319 pp., $22.95, March 1988, 0 465 01703 7
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... Allan Hobson is a leading Harvard neuroscientist who has figured prominently in the breakthroughs which have occurred over the past three decades in the neurophysiology and neuropsychology of sleep and dreams. Long known within the field for his provocative views on the philosophical implications of sleep research, Hobson in this much-awaited volume addresses himself for the first time to a general audience ...

Down with DWEMs

John Sutherland, 15 August 1991

ProfScam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education 
by Charles Sykes.
St Martin’s, 304 pp., $9.95, December 1989, 0 312 03916 6
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Tenured Redicals: How politics has corrupted our Higher Education 
by Roger Kimball.
HarperCollins, 222 pp., $9.95, April 1991, 0 06 092049 1
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... was grossly anti-semitic. Public alarm on the subject was signalled less by the publication of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind (1987) than by that ponderous pro-German tract’s making the New York Times best-seller list for 31 weeks. There are always jeremiads on the theme of ‘why Johnny can’t read’ or squibs like Frederick ...

The Person in the Phone Booth

David Trotter: Phone Booths, 28 January 2010

... mouthpieces frequently containing debris with a more or less bad odour.’ In June, Dr Francis Allan, a medical officer of the City of Westminster, reported the results of tests done on swabs taken from the mouthpieces of transmitters in public call boxes. One had attached to it a ‘mass of whitish-grey viscid substance’. The viscid substance was ...

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