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Jam Tomorrow

F.M.L. Thompson, 31 August 1989

Clichés of Urban Doom, and Other Essays 
by Ruth Glass.
Blackwell, 266 pp., £25, November 1988, 0 631 12806 9
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Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design in the 20th Century 
by Peter Hall.
Blackwell, 473 pp., £25, November 1988, 0 631 13444 1
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London 2001 
by Peter Hall.
Unwin Hyman, 226 pp., £17.95, January 1989, 9780044451617
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The Big Smoke: A History of Air Pollution in London since Medieval Times 
by Peter Brimblecombe.
Routledge, 185 pp., £12.95, March 1989, 0 415 03001 3
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New York Unbound: The City and the Politics of the Future 
edited by Peter Salins.
Blackwell, 223 pp., £35, December 1988, 1 55786 008 4
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The Idea of a Town: The Anthropology of Urban Forms in Rome, Italy and the Ancient World 
by Joseph Rykwert.
MIT, 241 pp., $15, September 1988, 0 262 68056 4
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... zombies of the welfare state’, and its knack of dividing and neutralising the opposition. Peter Hall is part of the opposition that has been neutralised. His kind of planning was, of course, never the same as Ruth Glass’s in the first place. Cities of Tomorrow is chiefly an account of what planners have thought and have done, since the late 19th ...

Death in Belgravia

Rosemary Hill, 5 February 2015

A Different Class of Murder: The Story of Lord Lucan 
by Laura Thompson.
Head of Zeus, 422 pp., £20, November 2014, 978 1 78185 536 2
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... its social structure. Lord Lucan and Veronica Duncan on their wedding day, 28 November 1963. Thompson’s book is a mixture of all of these and the result is persuasive and revealing in some parts, absurd and tasteless in others. Yet it is a compelling read. The story doesn’t pall because it has become a myth and myths change with time. As the Lucan ...

Rowlandsonian

John Brewer, 5 August 1982

English Society in the Eighteenth Century 
by Roy Porter.
Allen Lane/Pelican, 424 pp., £12.50, April 1982, 0 7139 1417 3
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... have come of age. The work of two generations of researchers, led by such avatars as Alan Everitt, Peter Laslett, J. H. Plumb, Lawrence Stone, Keith Thomas and E. P. Thompson, now constitutes a substantial body of knowledge that has transformed our conception both of British history and of what constitutes legitimate ...

At Tate Britain

Frank Kermode: William Blake, 14 December 2000

... provides an audio commentary. And there are lots of educational backups, some, like lectures by Peter Ackroyd and Tom Paulin, now over, others, including various conferences and courses, still to come. The most visible, and in some ways the most instructive of the exhibits are those which demonstrate Blake’s technical innovations. Only one of his ...

Fiery Participles

D.A.N. Jones, 6 September 1984

Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic 
by David Bromwich.
Oxford, 450 pp., £19.50, March 1984, 0 19 503343 4
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William Godwin: Philosopher, Novelist, Revolutionary 
by Peter Marshall.
Yale, 496 pp., £14.95, June 1984, 0 521 24386 6
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Burke, Paine, Godwin and the Revolution Controversy 
edited by Marilyn Butler.
Cambridge, 280 pp., £25, June 1984, 0 521 24386 6
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... quote, something concrete. We use Hazlitt to advertise and illuminate other writers and artists. Peter Marshall does so in his new biography, William Godwin. Hazlitt’s vivid account of Godwin’s political importance appears on the first page of Marshall’s introduction, and his worthy book is studded with variations on ‘as Hazlitt rightly ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation, 8 September 2016

... he only really sputtered to life again in 1990 with an autobiography, and died a few years later. Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg at the Hotel de Londres, Paris in 1957. Bob Thompson, ‘LeRoi Jones and his Family’ (1964) Brion Gysin, ‘Calligraphy’ (1960) Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, Untitled (Primrose ...

Signs of the ‘Times’

Peter Jenkins, 22 January 1981

Stop Press 
by Eric Jacobs.
Deutsch, 166 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 233 97286 2
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... shift and they had small loyalty to the company; the management was divided within itself, the Thompson Organisation rich and remote. As an employee of the Sunday Times, Jacobs is in some difficulty as the quasi-official chronicler of the Times close-down, and his account of it does not live up to the standards of Sunday Times investigative ...

Porter for Leader

Jenny Diski, 8 December 1994

London: A Social History 
by Roy Porter.
Hamish Hamilton, 429 pp., £20, October 1994, 0 241 12944 3
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A City Full of People: Men and Women of London, 1650-1750 
by Peter Earle.
Methuen, 321 pp., £25, April 1994, 9780413681706
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... it liked to boost its profits. The speculators and get-rich-quick merchants date from long before Peter Rachman’s Sixties and the Yuppie Eighties. In the history of London, Porter suggests, greed had carte blanche. The free-for-all continued, with neither local nor Parliamentary government overseeing London’s growth, until the setting up of the London ...

What’s the hurry?

Ed Regis, 24 June 1993

Dreams of a Final Theory 
by Steven Weinberg.
Radius, 260 pp., £16.99, January 1993, 0 09 177395 4
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... through the world of phenomena. Then in 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen discovered X-rays; in 1897, J.J. Thompson discovered the electron; in 1914, Rutherford discovered the proton – and all at once a new branch of physics had come into existence: elementary particle theory, dealing with the hidden realities, the fundamental entities that underlie the observed ...

Principal Ornament

José Harris, 3 December 1992

G.M. Trevelyan: A life in History 
by David Cannadine.
HarperCollins, 288 pp., £18, September 1992, 0 00 215872 8
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... the wide readership and powerful television presence of historians such as A.J.P. Taylor, E.P. Thompson, Asa Briggs, and Cannadine himself, suggest that although history may no longer define communal national consciousness it has not lost its capacity to engage and entertain a large mass of individuals. Cannadine admits that Trevelyan was ‘not powerfully ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, 30 November 2017

Murder on the Orient Express 
directed by Kenneth Brannagh.
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... sort of audio or audio-visual life, but the relatively recent personifications by Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov and David Suchet dominate most memories. None of these figures much resembles the ‘short, stout, elderly man, his hair cut en brosse’ that Agatha Christie describes. Well, they often manage the stout bit, but for the rest they are tallish, more ...

Restoring St. George’s

Peter Campbell: In Bloomsbury, 20 November 2003

... to mind. But it turned out that there was no mystery, no sinister revelation to give weight to Peter Ackroyd’s appropriation of Hawksmoor’s buildings as stages for the malevolent and occult. Although the burials had been decent and officially sanctioned, the bodies were there contrary to the intentions of the Commissioners appointed under an Act of ...

Madder Men

Hal Foster: Richard Hamilton on Richard Hamilton, 24 October 2019

Richard Hamilton: Introspective 
by Phillip Spectre.
König, 408 pp., £49, September 2019, 978 3 88375 695 0
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... treatises stood out above all others: On Growth and Form (1917) by the Scottish polymath D’Arcy Thompson, which inspired Hamilton to curate an exhibition in 1951 of various images of natural morphologies; and Mechanisation Takes Command (1948) by the Swiss architectural critic Sigfried Giedion, which in 1955 prompted Hamilton to undertake a survey of ...

Scoop after Scoop

Ian Jack: Chapman Pincher’s Scoops, 5 June 2014

Dangerous to Know: A Life 
by Chapman Pincher.
Biteback, 386 pp., £20, February 2014, 978 1 84954 651 5
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... whom one has been in open conflict.’ In an essay published in the New Statesman in 1978, E.P. Thompson took a different view, imagining Pincher as ‘a kind of official urinal in which, side by side, high officials of MI5 and MI6, sea lords, permanent under-secretaries, Lord George-Brown, chiefs of the air staff, nuclear scientists, Lord Wigg and ...

Boundary Books

Margaret Meek, 21 February 1980

Kate Crackernuts 
by Katharine Briggs.
Kestrel, 224 pp., £2.95, September 1980, 0 7226 5557 6
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Socialisation through Children’s Literature: The Soviet Example 
by Felicity Ann O’Dell.
Cambridge, 278 pp., £14, January 1979, 9780521219686
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Divide and Rule 
by Jan Mark.
Kestrel, 248 pp., £3.50, October 1980, 0 7226 5620 3
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... or educational, most grown-ups make only occasional nostalgic excursions into the country of Peter Rabbit, and then only as part of the ritual induction of their children into reading. In contrast, the young have always been efficient rievers of stories from all sources, and have carried off such literary booty as pleased them. Now that children have ...

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