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Bed-Hopping and Coup-Plotting

Michael Kulikowski: Attila and the Princess, 12 February 2009

Attila the Hun: Barbarian Terror and the Fall of the Roman Empire 
by Christopher Kelly.
Bodley Head, 290 pp., £17.99, September 2008, 978 0 224 07676 0
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... of his work survive and his tale has often been retold, but rarely as well as by Christopher Kelly here. Full of intrigue and local colour, Priscus reveals among much else the sedentary character of the fifth-century Huns, their distance from their nomadic roots, and the extent to which they had developed a sub-Roman court culture in the heart of central ...

Malice! Malice!

Stephen Sedley: Thomas More’s Trial, 5 April 2012

Thomas More’s Trial by Jury 
edited by Henry Ansgar Kelly, Louis Karlin and Gerard Wegemer.
Boydell, 240 pp., £55, September 2011, 978 1 84383 629 2
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... some four years after Bolt’s play) has a satisfactorily dramatic character, but Henry Ansgar Kelly, in his careful procedural review of the trial, is right to doubt it. Since Rich was solicitor-general, and may have been in court as part of the prosecution team, it is conceivable that a decision was taken to go for a conviction without using his ...

It’s not the bus: it’s us

Thomas Sugrue: Stars, Stripes and Civil Rights, 20 November 2008

The Soiling of Old Glory: The Story of a Photograph that Shocked America 
by Louis Masur.
Bloomsbury US, 224 pp., $24.95, April 2008, 978 1 59691 364 6
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... several school buses. Just two years before the Boston busing crisis, the right-wing pundit Michael Novak, a staunch defender of working-class whites, expressed his disbelief that they could even be accused of anti-black prejudice: ‘Racists? Our ancestors owned no slaves. Most of us ceased being serfs only in the last two hundred years.’ ‘White ...

Laertes has a daughter

Bee Wilson: The Redgraves, 6 June 2013

The Redgraves: A Family Epic 
by Donald Spoto.
Robson, 361 pp., £25, November 2012, 978 1 84954 394 1
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The House of Redgrave: The Lives of a Theatrical Dynasty 
by Tim Adler.
Aurum, 336 pp., £20, July 2012, 978 1 84513 623 9
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... In the National Theatre’s inaugural season in 1963 Michael Redgrave played Claudius to Peter O’Toole’s Hamlet. Apart from Olivier, the theatre’s first director, Redgrave, then aged 55, was its greatest star. Known to the public from his many film roles, and having just been named actor of the year by the Evening Standard for his Uncle Vanya at Chichester, which one critic called ‘the highest level of acting the contemporary theatre has to offer’, he was good box-office ...

Past Its Peak

Michael Klare: The Oil Crisis, 14 August 2008

... a million; 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 ...

Good Things

Michael Hofmann, 20 April 1995

Heart’s Journey in Winter 
by James Buchan.
Harvill, 201 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 9780002730099
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... with exposition like this?) Between the big players, people like Genscher and Kohl and Petra Kelly and Margaret Thatcher – who, thrillingly, appear as themselves – and the fictional characters, Polina Mertz and Richard Fisher, is an intermediate layer of lightly fictionalised or disguised or à clef types, Polk and Kurtsovsky (i.e. Nitze and ...


David Bromwich: The Snowden Case, 4 July 2013

... the hero to turn the tables on the agency and to expose one of its larger malignant operations. Michael Hayden, who became the director of the NSA in 1999, saw the movie and told his workers they had an image problem: the agency had to change its ways and inspire the trust of citizens. But in 2001 Hayden, like many other Americans, underwent a galvanic ...

Damaged Beasts

James Wood: Peter Carey’s ‘Theft’, 8 June 2006

Theft: A Love Story 
by Peter Carey.
Faber, 269 pp., £16.99, June 2006, 0 571 23147 0
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... by the market, still a fake? What does intention matter if your audience doesn’t care about it? Michael ‘Butcher’ Boone, one of the two narrators of Theft, is a once famous Australian artist, newly divorced and down on his luck. His work is now very unfashionable, and he has retreated to a rustic house in New South Wales owned by his patron. Here, ...


Caroline Campbell: Sofonisba Anguissola, 10 September 2020

A Tale of Two Women Painters: Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana 
edited by Leticia Ruiz Gómez.
Museo Nacional del Prado, 255 pp., £25, January, 978 84 8480 537 3
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Sofonisba’s Lesson: A Renaissance Artist and Her Work 
by Michael Cole.
Princeton, 312 pp., £50, February, 978 0 691 19832 3
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... held at the Prado, curated by Leticia Ruiz Gómez, and a monograph by the American art historian Michael Cole.Around 1535, a girl was born in the city of Cremona, fifty miles south-east of Milan, to Amilcare Anguissola and his second wife, Bianca Ponzone. Amilcare was a member of the minor nobility and Bianca the daughter of a local count. The Anguissola ...

Act One, Scene One

David Bromwich: Don’t Resist, Oppose, 16 February 2017

... also came from that environment. Peter Orszag, Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, William Daley, Michael Froman, Jason Furman and Jack Lew were all finance-to-government mediators of this stamp. Trump, however, gives up all pretence of a distinction between finance and government. A possible reaction is delight, as at an honest revelation. A later reaction ...


Sean Wilsey: Going Slow, 17 July 2008

... In the fall of 2002, in the company of a dog named Charlie Chaplin and an architect named Michael Meredith, I set out to drive a 1960 Chevy Apache 10 pick-up truck, at 45 mph, from far west Texas to New York City: 2364 miles through desert, suburbs, forests, lake-spattered plains, mountains, farmland, more suburbs and the Holland Tunnel ...

Iraq, 2 May 2005

Andrew O’Hagan: Two Soldiers, 6 March 2008

... did a memorable impression of John Wayne, which lent him his call-sign, ‘Dukes’. His sister Kelly told me he wasn’t motivated by politics, but was driven by a keen sense of right and wrong. ‘Those top pilots are all alike,’ she said. ‘They are not available. That’s why a lot of them are single or marry late. They never really talked about what ...

At the Met Breuer

Hal Foster: Thoughts made visible, 31 March 2016

... Whitney had tried to extend its exhibition space for decades, but proposals of various merit by Michael Graves, Rem Koolhaas and Piano were all shot down, largely because of the effect they would have had on adjacent brownstones which, though nondescript, had landmark status. With the new deal the Whitney could leave uptown, and appear generous in doing ...

On Earth

Matthew Dickman, 24 May 2012

... dry off in the dust, they have to be here if I’m going to write a letter to Marie or Dorianne, Michael and Elizabeth have to be in their bodies for me not to cut them out of my own. They have to answer the phone when I call for me not to walk into the closet for ever. Right now I am sitting on the porch of the house I grew up in. The second place I was on ...

At Tate Britain

Anne Wagner: Conceptual Art in Britain, 1964-79, 14 July 2016

... and the best of them – the collaborative Map to Not Indicate (1967) by Terry Atkinson and Michael Baldwin, for example, or Baldwin’s Drawing (Typed Mirror), 1966-67 – demonstrate how conceptual art can be both bookish and mystical in ways that clarify some of the implications of LeWitt’s chosen term. Take Baldwin’s Typed Mirror: the artist ...

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