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Socialism in One County

David Runciman: True Blue Labour, 28 July 2011

The Labour Tradition and the Politics of Paradox: The Oxford London Seminars 2010-11 
edited by Maurice Glasman, Jonathan Rutherford, Marc Stears and Stuart White.
www.soundings.org.uk, 155 pp., June 2011, 978 1 907103 36 0
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... One of Ed Miliband’s first decisive acts on becoming Labour leader (one of his few decisive acts, sceptics would say) was to appoint as his press secretary a seasoned hack with no illusions about how the media work. He chose Tom Baldwin of the Times, by all accounts about as unillusioned as they get. I assume the point of hiring Baldwin was to have a News International insider who could mix it with the likes of Andy Coulson, although that’s an idea Miliband is doing his best to bury at the moment ...

Ediepus

Michael Neve, 18 November 1982

Edie: An American Biography 
by Jean Stein and George Plimpton.
Cape, 455 pp., £9.95, October 1982, 0 224 02068 4
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Baby Driver: A Story About Myself 
by Jan Kerouac.
Deutsch, 208 pp., £7.95, August 1982, 0 233 97487 3
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... in the town: a gloomy Puritan history lingers, a trace, perhaps, of the ferocious Calvinist divine Jonathan Edwards. There is also the eerie emptiness of nature in New England, the dark, wooded landscape that seems hollow, and menacing, without a history. Even the streets of Stockbridge seem empty. No one is around. They are, no doubt, in their cars, and ...

Reduced to Ashes and Rubbage

Jessie Childs: Civil War Traumas, 3 January 2019

Battle-Scarred: Mortality, Medical Care and Military Welfare in the British Civil Wars 
edited by David Appleby and Andrew Hopper.
Manchester, 247 pp., £80, July 2018, 978 1 5261 2480 7
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... Historians have fought so savagely over its causes and consequences that in 2000 the academic Jonathan Scott observed that ‘the battlefields of the 17th century … are becoming increasingly hard to see under the great piles of bleached bones left by historians murdered by their colleagues.’ It might help if we knew where the original bodies were ...

Writer’s Writer and Writer’s Writer’s Writer

Julian Barnes: ‘Madame Bovary’, 18 November 2010

Madame Bovary: Provincial Ways 
by Gustave Flaubert and Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 342 pp., £20, November 2010, 978 1 84614 104 1
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... writer. So if Rick Moody tells us that Lydia Davis is ‘the best prose stylist in America’, and Jonathan Franzen that ‘few writers now working make the words on the page matter more,’ does this make her better or worse equipped to render the best prose stylist of 19th-century France into 21st-century American English? Davis’s stories, typically from ...

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