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John Sutherland: David Storey, 17 September 1998

A Serious Man 
by David Storey.
Cape, 359 pp., £16.99, June 1998, 9780224051583
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by David Storey.
Vintage, 555 pp., £6.99, June 1998, 0 09 927408 6
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... readers of my (and his) generation will recall the final shot of This Sporting Life: Frank Machin (Richard Harris), mired, spavined, raising himself on the rugby field to lurch back into hopeless battle. His life as a professional is over. Football chews up its workforce faster even than the pits. But Arthur doesn’t take it lying down: no longer a sportsman ...


Hal Foster: Reyner Banham, 9 May 2002

Reyner Banham: Historian of the Immediate Future 
by Nigel Whiteley.
MIT, 494 pp., £27.50, January 2002, 0 262 23216 2
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... the Independent Group, the extraordinary band of young artists, architects and critics (including Richard Hamilton, Peter and Alison Smithson, and Lawrence Alloway, among others) who developed, from within the Modernist Institute of Contemporary Art, a Pop sensibility of their own. His revised dissertation, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, made his ...

Lawrence Festival

Dan Jacobson, 18 September 1980

... to bring me to New Mexico, too, along with a group of other British writers – Stephen Spender, Richard Hoggart, Margaret Drabble, Al Alvarez – and various Beat American poets and novelists (California vintage ’57), and academics from different universities, to consider such issues as ‘D. H. Lawrence and his Influence on Modern Society’ and ...

Our Fault

Frank Kermode, 11 October 1990

Our Age: Portrait of a Generation 
by Noël Annan.
Weidenfeld, 479 pp., £20, October 1990, 0 297 81129 0
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... account over-subtle you will still grasp that its subject is a very different sort of person from Richard Hoggart, ‘the grammar school extramural lecturer’ who at the Lady Chatterley trial succeeded, to the amazement and amusement of Our Age, in putting down ‘the Treasury counsel from Eton and Cambridge’. The single most irritating thing ...

How We Got to Where We Are

Peter Ghosh, 28 November 1996

Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-1990 
by Peter Clarke.
Allen Lane, 454 pp., £25, October 1996, 0 7139 9071 6
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... American life stand various forms of reticence. Clarke occasionally records protests by Orwell and Richard Hoggart against the Americanisation of popular culture, but he does not discuss their significance, even though anti-Americanism was not confined to the cultural pundits. Thus we have the curious fact that, on the face of it, the Americans who came ...


Hilary Mantel, 4 April 1996

Behind the Scenes at the Museum 
by Kate Atkinson.
Black Swan, 382 pp., £6.99, January 1996, 0 552 99618 1
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... descended on Atkinson. A man from the Daily Express asked her to explain what Post-Modernism was; Richard Hoggart, chairman of the Whitbread judges, said that Atkinson had written a Post-Modern novel, but might not know it. (She did the whole thing absent-mindedly, perhaps, while polishing brass doorknobs.) The Daily Mail sent a woman who found the ...

The Hippest

Terry Eagleton, 7 March 1996

Stuart Hall: Critical Dialogues 
edited by David Morley and Kuan-Hsing Chen.
Routledge, 514 pp., £45, February 1996, 0 415 08803 8
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... whose partial, perspectival nature he was thus more likely to spot than, say, a Briton like Richard Hoggart, reared within a working-class milieu which seemed to be wall-to-wall. Hall was pitched between conceptual systems as well as countries, alert to the rough edges of any single doctrinal system, as heterodox in theory as he was hybrid in ...

No Escape

Bruce Robbins: Culture, 1 November 2001

Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress 
edited by Samuel Huntington and Lawrence Harrison.
Basic Books, 384 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 0 465 03176 5
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by Francis Mulhern.
Routledge, 198 pp., £8.99, March 2000, 0 415 10230 8
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Culture: The Anthropologists’ Account 
by Adam Kuper.
Harvard, 299 pp., £12.50, November 2000, 0 674 00417 5
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... discussions of intellectuals, from Julien Benda, Thomas Mann, Eliot and Woolf through Orwell, Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, Mulhern sketches the collective portrait of what he calls ‘Kulturkritik’. He is not blind to Kulturkritik’s virtues, but more interested in what’s wrong with it – namely, its political side effects. Speaking on ...

Beetle bonkers in the beams

Michael Wood: Tony Harrison, 5 July 2007

Collected Film Poetry 
by Tony Harrison.
Faber, 414 pp., £20, April 2007, 978 0 571 23409 7
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Collected Poems 
by Tony Harrison.
Viking, 452 pp., £154, April 2007, 978 0 670 91591 0
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... a risk here, since the working-class lad educated beyond his station was a cliché even before Richard Hoggart gave him his long sociological life, and there are many ways of being estranged from your parents that do not involve learning Greek and Latin and reading books they can’t manage. Ask the middle classes. Harrison seems to be blaming his ...

The Subtleties of Frank Kermode

Michael Wood, 17 December 2009

... with the manner (so Etonians said) of a Harrovian’ – but also over the blunter evocation of Richard Hoggart as ‘the grammar school extramural lecturer’. Our Age had its traditions, ‘was a gentleman’, as Kermode says, and pretty much ran the whole show, ‘being powerful yet negligent’. Our Age also turned out to be rather keener on ...


Clair Wills: Plain Brian O’Nolan, 4 April 2019

The Collected Letters of Flann O’Brien 
edited by Maebh Long.
Dalkey Archive, 619 pp., £20, April 2018, 978 1 62897 183 5
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... much myself that I refuse to let a set into my own house.’ O’Nolan’s difficulty was not, as Richard Hoggart argued of Britain in The Uses of Literacy (1957), that the culture of the industrial working class was being hollowed out by commerce, but that there was no industrial working class in Ireland to speak of. They were all living in Birmingham ...

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen, 4 June 2020

Tastes of Honey: The Making of Shelagh Delaney and a Cultural Revolution 
by Selina Todd.
Chatto, 304 pp., £18.99, August 2019, 978 1 78474 082 5
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A Taste of Honey 
by Shelagh Delaney.
Methuen, 112 pp., £14.44, November 2019, 978 1 350 13495 9
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... voices; Salford’s city fathers complained that she was bringing their city into disrepute; Richard Hoggart, whose landmark study of working-class culture, The Uses of Literacy, had appeared the previous year, objected that Delaney’s characters were ‘not typical’ of the working class. Very tall, striking and photogenic, Delaney found herself ...

Making It Up

Raphael Samuel, 4 July 1996

Raymond Williams 
by Fred Inglis.
Routledge, 333 pp., £19.99, October 1995, 0 415 08960 3
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... it their own. As a chronicler of working-class community, Williams cannot begin to compete with Richard Hoggart, though, as an article in the current issue of Radical Philosophy reminds us, the two names continue to be bracketed. He has no ear for working-class speech, no taste for title-tattle, of the kind which gives such vernacular strength to ...

The Doctrine of Unripe Time

Ferdinand Mount: The Fifties, 16 November 2006

Having It So Good: Britain in the Fifties 
by Peter Hennessy.
Allen Lane, 740 pp., £30, October 2006, 0 7139 9571 8
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... we hear the first chords of Bill Haley and the Comets. We find, too, the trenchant comments of Richard Hoggart, A.H. Halsey, Anthony Sampson and Michael Young – the Four Evangelists of the 1950s to whom Hennessy dedicates his book. Their increasingly grumpy pronouncements on the ‘shiny barbarism of the new affluence’ pepper the pages of ...

As if Life Depended on It

John Mullan: With the Leavisites, 12 September 2013

Memoirs of a Leavisite: The Decline and Fall of Cambridge English 
by David Ellis.
Liverpool, 151 pp., £25, April 2013, 978 1 84631 889 4
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English as a Vocation: The ‘Scrutiny’ Movement 
by Christopher Hilliard.
Oxford, 298 pp., £57, May 2012, 978 0 19 969517 1
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The Two Cultures? The Significance of C.P. Snow 
by F.R. Leavis.
Cambridge, 118 pp., £10.99, August 2013, 978 1 107 61735 3
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... culture, to the press, to advertising. Hilliard is particularly good on the influence of Leavis on Richard Hoggart, even studying the logs of Hoggart’s extramural classes to find him imitating Leavis’s classes at Downing. Hoggart would incur the wrath of fellow Leavisites when he ...

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