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The New Select Committees: A Study of the 1979 Reforms 
edited by Gavin Drewry.
Oxford, 410 pp., £25, September 1985, 9780198227854
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Commons Select Committees: Catalysts for Progress? 
edited by Dermot Englefield.
Longman, 288 pp., £15, May 1984, 0 582 90260 6
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British Government and the Constitution: Text, Cases and Materials 
by Colin Turpin.
Weidenfeld, 476 pp., £25, September 1985, 0 297 78651 2
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Parliament in the 1980s 
edited by Philip Norton.
Blackwell, 208 pp., £19.50, July 1985, 0 631 14056 5
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... Sir) Edward du Cann, the committee’s chairman and a champion of the new system, and Sir Geoffrey Howe as Chancellor. In turn, this affected the way the committee’s reports were received by MPs and led to semi-public rumblings among senior Tories about a possible conflict of interest with du Cann’s other role as chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee ...

Longing for Mao

Hugo Young: Edward Heath, 26 November 1998

The Curse of My Life: My Autobiography 
by Edward Heath.
Hodder, 767 pp., £25, October 1998, 0 340 70852 2
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... have caused him some momentary inner difficulty, and he records his efforts to change the mind of Anthony Eden, the Prime Minister. Heath was, it seems, totally against the subterfuge. But he would not have considered resigning. A chief whip could never resign. His job, at all costs, was to hold the Party together. This subordination of means to ends, of ...

A Common Playhouse

Charles Nicholl: The Globe Theatre, 8 January 2015

Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle That Gave Birth to the Globe 
by Chris Laoutaris.
Fig Tree, 528 pp., £20, April 2015, 978 1 905490 96 7
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... countryman Mr Wm Shak would procure us monei … I will like of as I shall heare when & wheare & howe.’ Some fifty yards further along Carter Lane a curving street slopes down to the left: this marks the eastern boundary of the monastic precinct. It is now called St Andrew’s Hill but in Shakespeare’s day was known less salubriously as Puddle Wharf ...

I was the Left Opposition

Stuart Middleton: Max Eastman, 22 March 2018

Max Eastman: A Life 
by Christoph Irmscher.
Yale, 434 pp., £35, August 2017, 978 0 300 22256 2
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... on fire by the Colorado National Guard. He published caricatures showing the anti-vice campaigner Anthony Comstock in the nude, and as an enraged midget wielding a sword over a prone, unclothed woman. The Masses never had a large readership: it was kept alive by the donations Eastman extracted from the bourgeoisie its contributors mocked. But its influence ...

The Finchley Factor

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Thatcher in Israel, 13 September 2018

Margaret Thatcher and the Middle East 
by Azriel Bermant.
Cambridge, 274 pp., £22.99, September 2017, 978 1 316 60630 8
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... described a bibulous evening at Number Ten that autumn, when Churchill told his foreign secretary Anthony Eden how to deal with the troublesome Egyptians and other Arabs: ‘Rising from his chair, the old man advanced on Anthony with clenched fists, saying with the inimitable Churchill growl, “Tell them that if we have ...

So much for shame

Colm Tóibín, 10 June 1993

Haughey: His Life and Unlucky Deeds 
by Bruce Arnold.
HarperCollins, 299 pp., £17.50, May 1993, 0 00 255212 4
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... a fall from a horse (but was it really a car crash? did he really fall from his horse?). The poet Anthony Cronin, who later became an adviser, remembers Haughey visiting him in Clare, and after the visit rumours spreading that Haughey was going to buy the local hotel, or other property in the area. As Minister for Agriculture, he had stood up to the ...


Mark Ford: Emily Dickinson’s Manuscripts, 19 June 2014

The Gorgeous Nothings 
by Emily Dickinson.
New Directions, 255 pp., £26.50, October 2013, 978 0 8112 2175 7
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The Marvel of Biographical Bookkeeping 
by Francis Nenik, translated by Katy Derbyshire.
Readux, 64 pp., £3, October 2013, 978 3 944801 00 1
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... a critical reading that is inevitably shaped by the preoccupations of the time; no doubt Susan Howe’s declaration in The Birth-mark (1993) that Dickinson’s ‘manuscripts should be understood as visual productions’ will at some point in the future seem as wholly of its time as Todd and Bingham’s blithe imposition of titles and removal of ...

My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... but the lists themselves are interesting. For example: Jean Renoir, Orson Welles, James Wong Howe, Dudley Nichols, Clifford Odets, Robert Rossen, John Garfield, Charlie Chaplin and Leo McCarey all attended a reception in July 1943 for the Soviet director and administrator Mikhail Kalatozov. At that time Russian and American propaganda methods dovetailed ...

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