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Thomas Jones: Who’s the arts minister?, 5 April 2001

... department which had subsumed the Arts after the 1992 election. In the old days – who can forget Colin Moynihan? – Sport was a sub-directory of Education, and Media was nowhere. And just to complicate things further, the Commons Media Select Committee, chaired by Gerald Kaufman, one-time Booker Prize judge and unlikely star of the LRB’s personal ads, has ...

Angela and Son

Dan Jacobson, 2 August 1984

Inside Outsider: The Life and Times of Colin MacInnes 
by Tony Gould.
Chatto, 261 pp., £12.50, September 1983, 0 7011 2678 7
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... interesting parts of the lives of writers often enough take place before they become writers. In Colin MacInnes’s case, one might say that some of the most interesting parts of his life took place before he was born. He was the great-grandchild of the Pre-Raphaelite painter, Edward Burne-Jones, and was thus connected ...

Bad Nights

D.A.N. Jones, 23 October 1986

The Casualty 
by Heinrich Böll, translated by Leila Vennewitz.
Chatto, 189 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780701129286
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Augustus 
by Allan Massie.
Bodley Head, 339 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 370 30757 7
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Gabriel’s Lament 
by Paul Bailey.
Cape, 331 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 224 02823 5
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The Mind and Body Shop 
by Frank Parkin.
Collins, 221 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 00 217695 5
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... doleful and messy story, we may be surprised at the nervous jauntiness. Our next bed-wetter is Colin Lumsden, an undersized and unsuccessful student at a modern university. Frank Parkin himself is a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and The Mind and Body Shop is clearly a novel for ‘academics’, with knowing references to Neo-Thomism and ...

Diary

Tobias Jones: The Politics of Football, 7 May 1998

... desire to react to hooliganism by erecting unforgiving steel cages which became coffins’, Colin Ward writes in All Quiet on the Hooligan Front (1996). Lord Justice Taylor produced his interim report on the tragedy on 1 August that year. The chief superintendent in charge, Taylor decided, ‘could not face the enormity of the decision to open the gates ...

Gove or Galtieri?

Colin Kidd: Popular Conservatism, 5 October 2017

Crown, Church and Constitution: Popular Conservatism in England 1815-67 
by Jörg Neuheiser, translated by Jennifer Walcoff Neuheiser.
Berghahn, 320 pp., £78, May 2016, 978 1 78533 140 4
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Conservative Parties and the Birth of Democracy 
by Daniel Ziblatt.
Cambridge, 450 pp., £26.99, April 2017, 978 0 521 17299 8
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Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914: An Intellectual History 
by Emily Jones.
Oxford, 288 pp., £60, April 2017, 978 0 19 879942 9
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Kind of Blue: A Political Memoir 
by Ken Clarke.
Pan, 525 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 1 5098 3720 5
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... late 19th-century Unionist renovation of Conservatism is one of the principal subjects of Emily Jones’s surprising and persuasive study of the transformation of Burke, the late 18th-century Anglo-Irish pamphleteer, from a Whig who extolled the importance of party connection into a Tory, indeed into the defining philosopher of High Toryism. Notwithstanding ...

When students ruled the earth

D.A.N. Jones, 17 March 1988

1968: A Student Generation in Revolt 
by Ronald Fraser.
Chatto, 370 pp., £14.95, January 1988, 0 7011 2913 1
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Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties 
by Tariq Ali.
Collins, 280 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 9780002177795
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Sixty-Eight: The Year of the Barricades 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 464 pp., £14.95, January 1988, 0 241 12174 4
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Nineteen Sixty-Eight: A Personal Report 
by Hans Koning.
Unwin Hyman, 196 pp., £10.95, April 1988, 9780044401858
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... I was interviewed by a Swiss television team: ‘Don’t you think England might go Fascist, Mr Jones? A quiet English sort of Fascism?’ ‘Abs’lument pas!’ I snapped (quoting from a favourite French film), ‘Abs’lument pas!’ – with a confidence I could not muster today. Then, a contemporary at a college reunion (a conservative chap, working ...

Short Cuts

Norman Dombey: False Intelligence, 19 February 2004

... it was almost certainly an intelligence sting, as I had suggested. We now know, too, that Colin Powell’s televised statement to the UN Security Council concerning Iraq’s mobile biological weapons laboratories was immediately criticised by David Kelly, who recognised them as trucks bought from Marconi for filling balloons with hydrogen. David Kelly ...

Homer’s Skill

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, 2 September 1982

Homer, Iliad XXIV 
by Colin Macleod.
Cambridge, 161 pp., £15, March 1982, 9780521243537
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... proved disappointing. But now it has given us a book which triumphantly meets its requirements. Colin Macleod, Student and Tutor of Christ Church, Oxford, whose death last December at the age of 39 was a grievous blow to Greek and Latin studies, was a scholar of the highest technical proficiency. But he did not believe that the scholar’s duty to explain a ...

Formulaic Thrills

Thomas Jones: A mathematical murder mystery, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Murders 
by Guillermo Martínez, translated by Sonia Soto.
Abacus, 197 pp., £9.99, January 2005, 0 349 11721 7
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... a murder mystery as Oxford – most of the life having been wrung out of it in recent decades by Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse stories – re-exoticised through the eyes of a visitor from the other side of the world. When Beth tells the narrator she sometimes feels as if she’d ‘give anything to get away from here’, he is surprised, replying that he ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Kicking Dick Cheney, 2 August 2007

... one of its fiercest internal brawls’ – Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld on one side, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice on the other – ‘before Bush ratified the policy that Cheney had declared: the Geneva Conventions would not apply to al-Qaida or Taliban fighters captured on the battlefield.’ Since the War Crimes Act of 1996, breaching the ...

Best Known for His Guzzleosity

Helen Hackett: Shakespeare’s Authors, 11 March 2010

Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? 
by James Shapiro.
Faber, 367 pp., £20, April 2010, 978 0 571 23576 6
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... up looking for the life in the work is another matter. Some, of course, are already persuaded. Colin Burrow scrupulously resisted biographical readings in his 2002 edition of Shakespeare’s poems, and, reviewing Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (2004) in the LRB, he deplored ‘the heuristic poverty of ...

Waves of Wo

Colin Burrow: George Gascoigne, 5 July 2001

A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres 
by George Gascoigne, edited by G.W. Pigman.
Oxford, 781 pp., £100, October 2000, 0 19 811779 5
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... Shepheardes Calendar (anonymously printed, with hints as to its author’s identity) the figure of Colin Clout stands for an ideal poet and at the same time for the work’s own particular poet, Edmund Spenser, while E.K., the volume’s annotator, adds to the mystery of who exactly wrote it and why. It is here that Gascoigne’s influence is crucial, but his ...

Unmuscular Legs

E.S. Turner, 22 August 1996

The Dictionary of National Biography 1986-1990 
edited by C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 607 pp., £50, June 1996, 0 19 865212 7
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... something of a hiatus, until the first volumes of the New Dictionary of National Biography, under Colin Matthew, begin to appear early next century, with all lives revised and the text sprinkled with ten thousand pictures. A DNB newsletter issued to mark this transition lists some of the odder occupations, or claims to distinction, recorded in earlier ...

Serried Yuppiedromes

Owen Hatherley: What happened to London?, 21 August 2014

Guide to the Architecture of London 
by Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward.
Phoenix, 511 pp., £16.99, July 2013, 978 1 78022 493 0
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... last thirty years is to compare the introductions to the first and most recent editions of Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward’s Guide to the Architecture of London. In 1983, they wrote of a city in decline, its population down by about a sixth from its postwar height. ‘London is cleaner and uglier than it was at the beginning of the century; but ...

Like Cutting a Cow

Adam Kuper: Ritual killings in southern Africa, 6 July 2006

Medicine Murder in Colonial Lesotho: The Anatomy of a Moral Crisis 
by Colin Murray and Peter Sanders.
Edinburgh, 493 pp., £50, May 2006, 0 7486 2284 5
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... a superb account of witch-hunts in the area, while taking a more sceptical view of witchcraft. Now Colin Murray, an anthropologist, and Peter Sanders, a historian, provide a study of an earlier panic about medicine murders in the small British colony of Basutoland (now Lesotho) in the late 1940s. They have tracked down all the available records of medicine ...

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