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Try It on the Natives

James C. Scott: Colonial Intelligence Agencies, 9 October 2008

Empires of Intelligence: Security Services and Colonial Disorder after 1914 
by Martin Thomas.
California, 428 pp., £29.95, October 2007, 978 0 520 25117 5
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... and British intelligence services in the Middle East and North Africa that are the subject of Martin Thomas’s immensely informed, meticulous and close-grained study not only had an interest in finding activities – unrest, subversion, proto-nationalism – which they then might surveil and suppress: they sought out precisely those activities that ...

At the Wallace Collection

Inigo Thomas: East India Company Commissions, 19 December 2019

... even their names very often went unrecorded. The patrons have clearer identities. One, Claude Martin, was a vinegar distiller’s son from Lyon, who joined the Compagnie des Indes only to desert the French for the British East India Company. He made a fortune – exactly how hasn’t been established – and built himself palaces, amassed a large library ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Amis Biz, 19 April 2001

... Martin Amis’s memoir, Experience, was recently published in paperback. The banned ads have returned to the Underground, now that the offending image of the boy Amis ‘smoking’ in short trousers – never mind that the cigarette was unlit – has been overlaid by a minimalist design of red and white text stamped on a wash of black, intimating No Logo chic ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dead Babies, 16 November 2000

... to place some higher example before the world. Carp would have been appalled by the goings-on in Martin Amis’s Dead Babies – all kinds of sex, all kinds of drugs, all kinds of violence, if little or no arson – which was written a mere fifty years later, and has just been adapted for the cinematograph and directed by William Marsh. It’s due for ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Hatchet Jobs, 11 September 2003

... Martin Amis doesn’t like journalists (if you didn’t know that already, you will now, having read Christopher Tayler’s review a few pages ago). This doesn’t stop journalists from loving Martin Amis. When the Man Booker Prize longlist was announced last month, reporters were delighted to see his name on it ...

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Thomas Jones: Flirtation, Seduction and Betrayal, 5 September 2002

... 1928, literary editor of the New Statesman, and a relatively undistinguished one at that. Kingsley Martin described Roberts (in Father Figures, his first volume of autobiography) as the ‘only writer on the NS whose contributions I could not stomach – I found his writing intolerable.’ Clifford Sharp, Martin’s ...

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Thomas Jones: Dream On, 27 June 2002

... But then again, it may just be that in a past life I helped sell rhinos to the ancient Greeks. Martin Amis, whatever he may have been in a past life, is currently turning into Gyles Brandreth. Blazoned across the Daily Telegraph on 13 June were pictures of the eminent novelist in sports kit that David Beckham might not be ashamed to be seen in. Pilates, we ...

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Thomas Jones: What’s in a name?, 19 October 2000

... for using his name without permission. There are no less than four limited companies called Thomas Jones, with or without sons and various parenthetical geographical locations. While de Bernières is just going to have to get used to sharing his name, other novelists can indulge themselves for a bit longer. The Companies House website, at ...

Quality Distinctions

Edmund Leach, 17 December 1981

The Architecture of Experience: A Discussion of the Role of Language and Literature in the Construction of the World 
by G.D. Martin.
Edinburgh, 201 pp., £12, February 1981, 0 333 23560 6
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... of the Walrus talking about why the sea is boiling hot or whether pigs have wings, though, since Martin is a University Lecturer in French, a better parallel might be Bouvard and Pécuchet, Flaubert’s satire on the indiscriminate accumulation of half-digested knowledge. The blurb endorses such comment: ‘Graham ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: How to concoct a conspiracy theory, 20 October 2005

... and humiliating subordination to an ascendant Islamic power to avoid enslavement or death. Martin Gilbert praises Eurabia as ‘a warning to Europe not to allow the anti-American and anti-Israel pressures of Islam to subvert Europe’s true values: vibrant democracy, humanitarian free thinking and social fair dealing’. Tell that to the Muslim ...

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Thomas Jones: Blair on Blincoe?, 21 March 2002

... in an inspired piece of commissioning, they asked Christine Hamilton to review An Accidental MP, Martin Bell’s account of how he ended up wearing nothing but white suits. And now they’ve got Honor Fraser, a supermodel, to write about Nicholas Blincoe’s latest novel, White Mice (Sceptre, £10.99), because it’s set in the world of fashion. The thinking ...

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Thomas Jones: A Quick Bout of Bardiness, 6 June 2002

... Sven-Göran Eriksson should direct; and if Tony Blair is too busy to play the Fool, perhaps Martin Amis, who has been tentatively sticking up for the Royals in the New Yorker, might oblige. And – who knows? – maybe the Prince of Wales will even be tempted to look into manufacturing and marketing his own organic vile ...

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Thomas Jones: Tintin, 15 April 2004

... name was later changed to Bohlwinkel). The curator of the exhibition in Greenwich, Kristian Martin, defends Hergé on the grounds that he had clearly displayed his hatred of extreme politics in the 1930s, and continued to work during the war in order to keep Belgian morale up with a bit of escapism. Throughout his fifty-year career – his inglorious ...

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Thomas Jones: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 5 May 2005

... script based on the one Douglas Adams was working on when he died in 2001; it stars an Englishman (Martin Freeman, perhaps still better known as Tim from The Office) as the picaresque hero, Arthur Dent; and it has the same theme tune. I say ‘it’s said’ because I haven’t managed to see the movie yet: I intelligently arranged to go to a screening three ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Literary Prizes, 10 May 2001

... chocolate), help may still be at hand in the form of literary prizes. The Booker, which despite Martin Amis’s best protests still considers itself ‘Britain’s most prestigious literary accolade’ (whatever that means), won’t be bestowed until 17 October, and the shortlist isn’t due till mid-September, but the hype began to trundle back in ...

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