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Stanley and the Women

Tony Gould, 25 July 1991

Stanley: The Making of an African Explorer 
by Frank McLynn.
Constable, 411 pp., £17.95, October 1989, 0 09 462420 8
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Stanley: Sorcerer’s Apprentice 
by Frank McLynn.
Constable, 499 pp., £25, January 1991, 0 09 470220 9
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Dark Safari: The Life behind the Legend of Henry Morton Stanley 
by John Bierman.
Hodder, 401 pp., £17.95, January 1991, 0 340 50977 5
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... either scholarly – new material come to light – or critical: new slant on a known personality. John Bierman does have some fresh material. ‘New documentary sources,’ he writes, ‘include the hitherto unpublished expedition journals of William Grant Stairs and memoirs of Alice Pike Barney’; he also pays generous tribute to Richard Hall’s earlier ...

Delivering the Leadership

Nick Cohen: Get Mandy, 4 March 1999

Mandy: The Authorised Biography of Peter Mandelson 
by Paul Routledge.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £17.99, January 1999, 9780684851754
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... constituency disappearing with a prostitute for five minutes or so. She recognises Raymond Gould and turns to blackmail once the business is done. Gould refuses to deal and she takes her tale to Mike Molloy, a Mirror reporter. Molloy confronts Gould, who refers him to his ...

Going Against

Frank Kermode: Is There a Late Style?, 5 October 2006

On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain 
by Edward Said.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £16.99, April 2006, 9780747583653
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Late Thoughts: Reflections on Artists and Composers at Work 
edited by Karen Painter and Thomas Crow.
Getty, 235 pp., $40, August 2006, 0 89236 813 6
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... music), would not have approved, so Said here listens instead to another of his heroes, Glenn Gould. Gould was a serious admirer of Strauss, whom he praised for employing ‘the fullest riches of late romantic tonality’. But Said is interested also in an affinity the composer exploits between the present time and the ...

Ideologues

Peter Pulzer, 20 February 1986

The Redefinition of Conservatism: Politics and Doctrine 
by Charles Covell.
Macmillan, 267 pp., £27.50, January 1986, 0 333 38463 6
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Thinkers of the New Left 
by Roger Scruton.
Longman, 227 pp., £9.95, January 1986, 0 582 90273 8
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The Idea of Liberalism: Studies for a New Map of Politics 
by George Watson.
Macmillan, 172 pp., £22.50, November 1985, 0 333 38754 6
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Socialism and Freedom 
by Bryan Gould.
Macmillan, 109 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 333 40580 3
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... Party a divergent, indeed an almost totally dissonant, perception of what socialism means. Bryan Gould, who used to be on the left of the Labour Party and sits for the ‘safe’ constituency of Dagenham (Labour vote 39 per cent, compared with 76 per cent in 1966), asks why his constituents, mostly council tenants, car workers or public sector ...

Father and Son

Tony Gould, 23 June 1988

When the fighting is over: A Personal Story of the Battle for Tumbledown Mountain and its Aftermath 
by John Lawrence and Robert Lawrence.
Bloomsbury, 196 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 0 7475 0174 2
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Tumbledown 
by Charles Wood.
Penguin, 80 pp., £3.95, April 1988, 0 14 011198 0
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... which has failed the Lawrences – it is life itself. This is the private story. Wing Commander John Lawrence, after his 28 years in the RAF, took early retirement and became an assistant secretary to the MCC, another bastion of tradition. With his turned-up moustache and his near-worship of the Royal Family, he comes over as the archetypal Flying Officer ...

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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... in raping the children’s nursemaid) inveterately homosexual. It is perhaps inevitable that Tony Gould should present Colin MacInnes’s life as, in effect, a protracted Oedipal drama: one from which he was quite incapable of extricating himself. Like his mother, or in competition with her, he became a writer; the subjects he chose to write about were those ...

Lucky Boy

Kevin Kopelson, 3 April 1997

Shine 
directed by Scott Hicks.
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Shine: The Screenplay 
by Jan Sardi.
Bloomsbury, 176 pp., £7.99, January 1997, 0 7475 3173 0
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The Book of David 
by Beverley Eley.
HarperCollins, 285 pp., £8.99, March 1997, 0 207 19105 0
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Love You to Bits and Pieces: Life with David Helfgott 
by Gillian Helfgott, with Alissa Tanskaya.
Penguin, 337 pp., £6.99, January 1997, 0 14 026546 5
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... presented a woman incapable of speech, François Girard’s Thirty-Two Short Films about Glenn Gould (1994) presented a man who was abnormally articulate – one who in the 22nd film, for example, rehearses the revealing personal ad: ‘Friendly, companionably reclusive, socially unacceptable, alcoholically abstemious, tirelessly talkative, zealously ...

Voyagers

James Paradis, 18 June 1981

Sir Joseph Banks 
by Charles Lyte.
David and Charles, 248 pp., £10.50, October 1980, 0 7153 7884 8
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The Heyday of Natural History: 1820-1870 
by Lynn Barber.
Cape, 320 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 9780224014489
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A Vision of Eden 
by Marianne North.
Webb and Bower, 240 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 906671 18 3
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... unaided by experiment or instruments, could arrive at exact knowledge. Some two centuries later, John Herschel, in his textbook, Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1831), warned the novice that the human sense apparatus was too crude and subjective an instrument to discover anything of scientific moment. The senses, he argued, must be ...

Magician behind Bars

Michael Rogin: David Mamet in a Cul de Sac, 2 July 1998

The Old Religion 
by David Mamet.
Faber, 194 pp., £9.99, May 1998, 0 571 19260 2
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... whip up rural Georgia into an anti-semitic frenzy. In the midst of all this, the outgoing Governor John Slaton commuted Frank’s death sentence to life imprisonment. The Governor’s own investigation had uncovered a conclusive flaw in Conley’s story: if the sweeper had used the elevator merely to transport the dead body to the basement, as he claimed, then ...

Ways of Being Dead

John Durant, 21 January 1988

The Blind Watchmaker 
by Richard Dawkins.
Longman, 332 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 582 44694 5
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... Dawkins is not much impressed with this sort of caution. Interestingly, he shares with Stephen Jay Gould, the other leading public representative of Darwinism in the English-speaking world today, the conviction that evolution matters, not just intellectually and philosophically, but personally and even socially. It is partly because Dawkins and ...

Middle Positions

John Hedley Brooke, 21 July 1983

Archetypes and Ancestors: Palaeontology in Victorian London 1850-1875 
by Adrian Desmond.
Blond and Briggs, 287 pp., £15.95, October 1982, 0 85634 121 5
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Evolution without Evidence: Charles Darwin and ‘The Origin Species’ 
by Barry Gale.
Harvester, 238 pp., £18.95, January 1983, 0 7108 0442 3
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The Secular Ark: Studies in the History of Biogeography 
by Janet Browne.
Yale, 273 pp., £21, May 1983, 0 300 02460 6
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The Descent of Darwin: A Handbook of Doubts about Darwinsm 
by Brain Leith.
Collins, 174 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 00 219548 8
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... The Darwin scholar, John Greene, once summarised the Darwinian revolution as the triumph of a dynamic and non-teleological structuring of nature over static, teological systems: the triumph of chance and change over design and permanence, the triumph of objectivity in the life sciences, of secularism and naturalism over clericalism and the supernatural ...

Our Trusty Friend the Watch

Simon Schaffer, 31 October 1996

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time 
by Dava Sobel.
Fourth Estate, 184 pp., £12.99, August 1996, 1 85702 502 4
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... recounted by Dava Sobel. Rather, her hero, the ‘lone genius’ of her ostentatious subtitle, is John Harrison, a dour Yorkshire carpenter and village choirmaster who spent half a century from the early 1720s trying to make clocks capable of determining longitude and to convince metropolitan grandees that he had done so. Kendall’s watch was a faithful copy ...

Shaky Do

Tony Gould, 5 May 1988

Mary and Richard: The Story of Richard Hillary and Mary Booker 
by Michael Burn.
Deutsch, 249 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 233 98280 9
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... the former, however, is a more complicated matter. Mr Burn blames Arthur Koestler and, even more, John Middleton Murry for putting about the suicide theory. Koestler had taken Hillary up after he had written The Last Enemy and Hillary greatly admired him (Mary was less enthusiastic about the author of Darkness at Noon: ‘Too much intellect, too little ...

Sea-shells and Tigers

Philip Kitcher, 18 March 1999

Life’s Other Secret: The New Mathematics of the Living World 
by Ian Stewart.
Penguin, 320 pp., £20, June 1998, 0 7139 9161 5
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... have excited the admiration of some important thinkers, including Alan Turing and the biologists John Tyler Bonner and Stephen Jay Gould, Thompson’s ideas do not figure prominently in the biological curriculum or the mainstream of research. By contrast, that mainstream takes very seriously an unguarded remark of the ...

Did Darwin get it right?

John Maynard Smith, 18 June 1981

... the modern synthesis. These quotations come from a recent paper in Palaeobiology by Stephen Jay Gould. What is the new theory? Is it indeed likely to replace the currently orthodox ‘neo-Darwinian’ view? Proponents of the new view make a minimum and a maximum claim. The minimum claim is an empirical one concerning the nature of the fossil record. It is ...

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