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A Chance for the Irish Right

John Horgan, 21 April 1983

The Irish Labour Party in Transition 1957-82 
by Michael Gallagher.
Manchester, 326 pp., £19.50, January 1983, 0 7190 0866 2
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... traditional categories of political analysis: no wonder the authors of one 1976 study quoted by Michael Gallagher in this valuable book described Ireland as a ‘persistent deviant case’: i.e. they could not understand it. A few concrete examples from recent events may help to confuse the issue even further. Item: a government whose leader is pledged ...

All the world’s a spy novel

Michael Wood: What Didn’t Happen, 30 July 2020

Counterfactuals: Paths of the Might Have Been 
by Christopher Prendergast.
Bloomsbury, 257 pp., £19.99, February 2019, 978 1 350 09009 5
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Telling It Like It Wasn’t: The Counterfactual Imagination in History and Fiction 
by Catherine Gallagher.
Chicago, 359 pp., £26.50, January 2018, 978 0 226 51241 9
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... we may well think that they also serve who only sit and sleep. For both Prendergast and Catherine Gallagher, the counterfactual is not any old fantasy but an alarm call for those who have been sleeping too long or too comfortably. There are attractions and risks in reaching for such an instrument. The might-have-been may offer ‘the perfume of the ...

Why the birthday party didn’t happen

Michael Wood, 10 March 1994

Short Cuts 
directed by Robert Altman.
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Short Cuts: The Screenplay 
by Robert Altman and Frank Barhydt.
Capra/Airlift, 144 pp., £12.99, October 1993, 0 88496 378 0
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Short Cuts 
by Raymond Carver, introduced by Robert Altman.
Harvill, 157 pp., £6.99, March 1994, 0 00 272704 8
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... or strays too far from Carver; it’s because he can’t resist a certain sermonising gloom. Tess Gallagher, Carver’s companion for the last 11 years of his life, and a great fan of Altman, says in her introduction to the screenplay that the finished film evokes ‘a purgatorial world which is probably franker, even more lost than Carver’s – and ...

Diary

John Sutherland: Sad Professor, 18 February 1999

An Intelligent Person's Guide to Modern Culture 
by Roger Scruton.
Duckworth, 152 pp., £14.95, November 1998, 0 7156 2870 4
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... moment, represents the voice of ‘youth’ is peculiar enough. REM’s lead singer and lyricist, Michael Stipe, is knocking on 40; other members of the group are older (one, the percussionist Bill Berry, has taken early retirement, on grounds of advanced age and poor health). Stipe is as close in age to Roger Scruton as to Liam ...

Old Verities

Brian Harrison, 19 June 1986

The Industrial Reformation of English Fiction: Social Discourse and Narrative Form 1832-1867 
by Catherine Gallagher.
Chicago, 320 pp., £23.25, September 1985, 0 226 27932 4
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Victorian Prison Lives: English Prison Biography 1830-1914 
by Philip Priestley.
Methuen, 311 pp., £14.85, October 1985, 0 416 34770 3
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The Old Brown Dog: Women, Workers and Vivisection in Edwardian England 
by Coral Lansbury.
University of Wisconsin Press, 212 pp., £23.50, November 1985, 0 299 10250 5
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‘Orator’ Hunt: Henry Hunt and English Working-Class Radicalism 
by John Belchem.
Oxford, 304 pp., £25, October 1985, 0 19 822759 0
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... simple remedies and evangelical tone. But her confident certainties are echoed on the other side: Michael Foot condemns her for praising Victorian values ‘without even a passing comprehension of the human suffering and indignity which the mass of our people had to endure in that pre-democratic age’. The term ‘Victorian’ is used purely descriptively in ...

Past Its Peak

Michael Klare: The Oil Crisis, 14 August 2008

... a year later it was making two million. There have been tangible economic benefits. As Kelly Sims Gallagher reported in China Shifts Gears (2006), by 2003 China’s automobile industry – including cars, motorcycles, engines and parts – employed 1.6 million workers and accounted for 6 per cent of the total added value of manufacturing. The growing ...

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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... and all-connecting 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 ...

Missing Elements

Rosalind Mitchison, 14 May 1992

Strategic Women: How do they manage in Scotland? 
by Elizabeth Gerver and Lesley Hart.
Aberdeen University Press, 216 pp., £9.95, June 1991, 0 08 037741 6
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A Guid Cause: The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Scotland 
by Leah Leneman.
Aberdeen University Press, 304 pp., £11.95, June 1991, 0 08 041201 7
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Marriage and Property: Women and Marital Customs in History 
edited by Elizabeth Craik.
Aberdeen University Press, 192 pp., £6.95, June 1991, 9780080412054
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A Woman’s Claim of Right in Scotland 
Polygon, 142 pp., £7.95, August 1991, 0 7486 6103 4Show More
Nationalism in the Nineties 
edited by Tom Gallagher.
Polygon, 192 pp., £7.95, August 1991, 0 7486 6098 4
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Cultural Weapons: Scotland and Survival in a New Europe 
by Christopher Harvie.
Polygon, 119 pp., £7.95, March 1992, 0 7486 6122 0
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Literature and Nationalism 
edited by Vincent Newey and Ann Thompson.
Liverpool, 286 pp., £27.50, June 1991, 0 85323 057 9
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The Invention of Scotland: The Stuart Myth of the Scottish Identity, 1638 to the present 
by Murray Pittock.
Routledge, 198 pp., £30, September 1991, 0 415 05586 5
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Scotland: A New History 
by Michael Lynch.
Century, 499 pp., £18.99, August 1991, 0 7126 3413 4
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... time. Scottish nationalism is becoming more conspicuous but 1 doubt that it justifies the title of Gallagher’s book, which is a collection of essays about the Scottish National Party, mostly set in the last two decades. This is an ‘in’ book for ‘in’ people Events abroad have brought home the good fortune of Scotland and England in having their ...

Pilgrim’s Progress

Michael Davie, 4 December 1980

The Letters of Evelyn Waugh 
edited by Mark Amory.
Weidenfeld, 664 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 297 77657 6
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... Mr Christopher Sykes has produced an ultimately unsatisfactory but absorbing biography, Mr Don Gallagher has edited an anthology of his journalism, full of biographical clues. For fanatics, a regular Waugh newsletter is published in the United States, dealing with the most obscure details of his life and works, and at the University of Texas a procession ...

Appreciating Paisley

Charles Townshend, 22 January 1987

God save Ulster: The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism 
by Steve Bruce.
Oxford, 308 pp., £15, November 1986, 0 19 827487 4
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Children of Wrath: Political Violence in Northern Ireland 
by Michael MacDonald.
Polity, 194 pp., £19.50, September 1986, 0 7456 0219 3
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... settlement in the 17th century, and has been defended in a frontier siege spirit ever since. As Michael MacDonald’s book never tires of pointing out, it is an inherently divisive spirit, incapable of generating consensus. Protestant loyalty is premised upon Catholic disloyalty, Protestant rightness on Catholic wrongness. But MacDonald’s insistence that ...

Gaelic Gloom

Colm Tóibín: Brian Moore, 10 August 2000

Brian Moore: The Chameleon Novelist 
by Denis Sampson.
Marino, 344 pp., IR£20, October 1998, 1 86023 078 4
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... and writing, began to hang out together. In the summer of 1964, Jacqueline and their son Michael went to Long Island while Brian stayed in New York working on The Emperor of Ice-Cream. Frank Russell, who had won a Guggenheim for his nature writing, also left New York. Brian and Jean became lovers that summer, and not long afterwards Jacqueline and ...

He knew he was right

John Lloyd, 10 March 1994

Scargill: The Unauthorised Biography 
by Paul Routledge.
HarperCollins, 296 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 300 05365 7
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... coursed through Scargill’s veins. To my mind Scargill’s Scottish counterpart, Michael McGahey – a lifelong Communist and the leader of the Left until Scargill overtook him – was the more impressive figure, and this despite his unwavering support for the party line throughout the Stalin period and beyond. McGahey was ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Notes on 1997, 1 January 1998

... records the birthdays of various contemporary literary figures. Here is Dennis Potter on 17 May, Michael Frayn on 8 September, Edna O’Brien on 15 December, and so naturally I turn to my own birthday. May 9 is blank except for the note: ‘The first British self-service launderette is opened on Queensway, London 1949.’ 4 January. George F. tells me that ...

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