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Indoor Raincoat

Lavinia Greenlaw: Joy Division, 22 April 2015

So This Is Permanence: Joy Division Lyrics and Notebooks 
by Ian Curtis, edited by Deborah Curtis and Jon Savage.
Faber, 304 pp., £27, October 2014, 978 0 571 30955 9
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... clarity that comes with having made sense of something at last. It is such a sad thing to read. Jon Savage offers an equally clear distillation of what has become a clash of narratives as books about Joy Division, Manchester and post-punk proliferate. The word fans settled on to describe the band’s sound was ‘industrial’, not least because they ...
England’s dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock 
by Jon Savage.
Faber, 602 pp., £17.50, October 1991, 0 571 13975 2
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... and educate the chaotic punk threat until it sits up nice and neat as a Cultural Studies textbook. Jon Savage’s monumental tome, 15 years in the writing and in which the author’s parents and grandmother get thanked for ‘living through this with me – twice’, attempts to do all these things at once. Unsurprisingly, England’s dreaming is at its ...

Punk-U-Like

Dave Haslam, 20 July 1995

The Black Album 
by Hanif Kureishi.
Faber, 230 pp., £14.99, March 1995, 0 571 15086 1
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The Faber Book of Pop 
edited by Hanif Kureishi and Jon Savage.
Faber, 813 pp., £16.99, May 1995, 0 571 16992 9
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... of pop music, the inexplicable power of the right sound in the right place at the right time. Jon Savage and Hanif Kureishi have gathered more than a hundred and fifty pieces extracted from punk fanzines, key texts of pop history (such as Peter Guralnick’s Sweet Soul Music and Ice T’s autobiography) and the weekly music press, as well as from ...

At Kettle’s Yard

Brian Dillon: ‘Linderism’, 7 May 2020

... photomontage; scraps of layout from The Secret Public, the magazine she made with the writer Jon Savage; photographs of Howard Devoto, the frontman of Magazine, wearing fetish masks made from lingerie; a page from the Ludus accounts for spring 1979 (‘Excess expenditure over income: £102.84’). Nearby, the Haçienda footage played on a big ...

Aunt Twackie’s Bazaar

Andy Beckett: Seventies Style, 19 August 2010

70s Style and Design 
by Dominic Lutyens and Kirsty Hislop.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £24.90, November 2009, 978 0 500 51483 2
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... of the main ways Britons have chewed over their postwar history. In 1988, the cultural historian Jon Savage, who had spent the 1970s as a young rock journalist writing doomy but excited pieces about punk and urban decay, published a cover feature about the decade for the style magazine the Face. It was headlined ‘The Decade that Taste Forgot’. The ...

Bringing Down Chunks of the Ceiling

Andy Beckett: Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City by Dave Haslam, 17 February 2000

Manchester, England: The Story of the Pop Cult City 
by Dave Haslam.
Fourth Estate, 319 pp., £12.99, September 1999, 1 84115 145 9
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... to pause and magnify. He cites all the other clever British pop authorities – Michael Bracewell, Jon Savage, Simon Reynolds – while replicating their tendency to jump frustratingly between subjects and stiffen up their sentences with jargon. Haslam’s footnotes, interestingly, are much more relaxed and informative. Here he can just be an ...

77 Barton Street

Dave Haslam: Joy Division, 3 January 2008

Juvenes: The Joy Division Photographs of Kevin Cummins 
To Hell with Publishing, 189 pp., £200, December 2007Show More
Joy Division: Piece by Piece 
by Paul Morley.
Plexus, 384 pp., £14.99, December 2007, 978 0 85965 404 3
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Control 
directed by Anton Corbijn.
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... and refine. ‘Joy Division’s themes are a perfect reflection of Manchester’s dark places,’ Jon Savage wrote in Melody Maker in July 1979, and in the NME Paul Morley championed the band’s ‘blurred depictions of desperation and desolation’. Cummins, who often worked alongside Morley, writes in his introduction to Juvenes, a collection of his ...

Jon Elster goes to China

Jon Elster, 27 October 1988

... is a necessary stage in the development of socialism. On the other hand, there was agreement that savage exploitation was unacceptable. In theory, there was no limit to how rich entrepreneurs would be allowed to get, but there were definite limits to how poor workers could be allowed to be. A major problem, therefore, was how to allow the side-effects of ...

If I Turn and Run

Iain Sinclair: In Hoxton, 1 June 2000

45 
by Bill Drummond.
Little, Brown, 361 pp., £12.99, March 2000, 0 316 85385 2
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Crucify Me Again 
by Mark Manning.
Codex, 190 pp., £8.95, May 2000, 0 18 995814 6
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... Easy Way), a canny primer by Bill Drummond and fellow KLF superhero Jimmy Cauty, the rock scholar Jon Savage asserts that ‘the biggest contradiction in late-period pop may well lie between calculation and intuition, between knowledge and the deepest innocence.’ Savage is interested to discover what happens when you ...

When Communism dissolves

Jon Elster, 25 January 1990

... stories illustrate their terminus ad quem? When sclerotic Communism dissolves, the result might be savage capitalism. In Delhi in 1988, I met Indian social scientists who expressed a feeling of inferiority with respect to China, based on the fact that the Chinese had managed to solve the problem of radical poverty in the countryside. Might future developments ...

Shock Cities

Susan Pedersen: The Fate of Social Democracy, 2 January 2020

Thatcher’s Progress: From Social Democracy to Market Liberalism through an English New Town 
by Guy Ortolano.
Cambridge, 301 pp., £29.99, June 2019, 978 1 108 48266 0
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Me, Me, Me? The Search for Community in Postwar England 
by Jon Lawrence.
Oxford, 327 pp., £25, June 2019, 978 0 19 877953 7
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... of the experiment, is never quite addressed. For help with these matters, we can turn, though, to Jon Lawrence’s Me, Me, Me? The Search for Community in Postwar England. The book is based on a careful rereading of the records of ten major community studies in postwar England (Lawrence doesn’t look at Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland). What a treasure ...

How Movies End

David Thomson: John Boorman’s Quiet Ending, 20 February 2020

Conclusions 
by John Boorman.
Faber, 237 pp., £20, February, 978 0 571 35379 8
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... more than they (or the censor) had reckoned on. It was a location ordeal, with Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight as the leads, and Boorman was at one point thoroughly beaten up by the indignant and much larger James Dickey, author of the original novel, who felt that the veracity of his story was being betrayed – only for it to be later revealed that Dickey’s ...

Irrational Politics

Jon Elster, 21 August 1980

... One could write a long article on The Yawning Heights simply to let the reader sample the savage wit of such observations. But it is much better that the reader do this for himself. Instead I shall try to bring out the hidden structure of Zinoviev’s work. This I believe is to be found in certain logical distinctions that have been at the centre of ...

Degrees of Not Knowing

Rory Stewart: Does anyone know how to govern Iraq?, 31 March 2005

What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building 
by Noah Feldman.
Princeton, 154 pp., £12.95, November 2004, 0 691 12179 6
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Blinded by the Sunlight: Surviving Abu Ghraib and Saddam’s Iraq 
by Matthew McAllester.
Harper Perennial, 304 pp., $13.95, February 2005, 0 06 058820 9
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The Fall of Baghdad 
by Jon Lee Anderson.
Little, Brown, 389 pp., £20, February 2005, 0 316 72990 6
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The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq 
by Christian Parenti.
New Press, 211 pp., £12.99, December 2004, 1 56584 948 5
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... Baghdad. His account of this terrifying experience is modest and precise. The New Yorker’s Jon Lee Anderson first met Ala Bashir, an Edinburgh-educated plastic surgeon, one of Saddam’s few intimates and his official sculptor, in August 2000. As Bashir evolves from an apologist for Hitler and Saddam into a critic of Saddam’s cabinet, Anderson begins ...

Big Bad Wolfe

John Sutherland, 18 February 1988

The Bonfire of the Vanities 
by Tom Wolfe.
Cape, 659 pp., £11.95, February 1988, 0 224 02439 6
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... a word to describe the world of the Midtown commuter. The most timely confirmation of Wolfe’s savage assertions in The Bonfire of the Vanities is the Howard Beach case, the sentences in which are just now being given out. On 19 December 1986, a car with three young black men in it broke down near Howard Beach, in the borough of Queens. The area is solidly ...

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