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New-Found Tribes

William Davies: In Brexitland, 4 February 2021

Brexitland: Identity, Diversity and the Reshaping of British Politics 
by Maria Sobolewska and Robert Ford.
Cambridge, 391 pp., £15.99, October 2020, 978 1 108 46190 0
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... or not I am legally a ‘UK citizen’, but only I can know if I feel British.Maria Sobolewska and Robert Ford’s Brexitland is a sweeping and rigorous demographic and attitudinal study of recent British history, which uses the 2016 EU referendum as a way of exploring the shifting sands of political identity since the Second World War. The political ...

During Her Majesty’s Pleasure

Ronan Bennett, 20 February 1997

... 1982, Terry McCluskie and his friend Raymond Reynolds picked a fight with a total stranger, Robert Ford, and stabbed him to death. Ford was 15 years old and had just taken his girl-friend home after spending an evening at a local Citizens’ Band radio club. McCluskie, also 15, and Reynolds, 14, had spent the ...

Fools

P.N. Furbank, 15 October 1981

Ford Madox FordProse and Politics 
by Robert Green.
Cambridge, 218 pp., £16.50, July 1981, 9780521236102
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... Ford Madox Ford has been lucky in his admirers, if ‘luck’ is the word. It is no small thing to have inspired two such magnificent poems as Lowell’s ‘Ford Madox Ford’ and William Carlos Williams’s ‘To Ford Madox Ford in Heaven ...

Fighting off the Boche

Robert Kee, 11 October 1990

... the same as that which confronted me when I read out my first half-baked essays to him at Holywell Ford after he had first come to Magdalen in 1938. I don’t actually remember much detail of those early tutorials, except for the significant fact that I have absolutely no memory at all of any tutorials with any other Magdalen don before Alan came. I do also ...

‘Fishing at the Falls’, ‘Scarlet Tanager’

Robert VanderMolen: Poems, 23 January 2003

... the tennis courts. Gracie ripped All the pages out of all the books. I pumped up the tyres of the Ford But couldn’t decide where to travel. At night there were eleven lights On the street. Sixteen cars and a motorcycle. In the chill of privacy One seeks promise – I’d never heard turtles mating For instance, or seen Walloon Lake. Which is how winter ...

A Glorious Thing

Julie Peters: Piracy, 4 November 2010

Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates 
by Adrian Johns.
Chicago, 626 pp., £24, February 2010, 978 0 226 40118 8
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... out licences, at the risk of being prosecuted as ‘pirates’. A London radio aficionado called Robert Ford began taunting the government with his illegal unlicensed radio listening. The government was initially reluctant to prosecute, but eventually his home was searched, his radio was found, and he was arrested. He insisted on being ...

Jailbreak from the Old Order

David Edgar: England’s Brexit, 26 April 2018

The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit and America’s Trump 
by Anthony Barnett.
Unbound, 393 pp., £8.99, August 2017, 978 1 78352 453 2
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... Opponents of this analysis – notably Matthew Goodwin, whose Revolt on the Right (written with Robert Ford) first identified Ukip voters as older and poorer than the general population – argue that the Leave/Remain faultline is essentially a cultural one. Among working-class voters identified as former or potential Labour supporters, the divisive ...

With a Titter of Wit

Colin Kidd: Wholly Ulsterised, 6 May 2021

Deniable Contact: Back-Channel Negotiation in Northern Ireland 
by Niall Ó Dochartaigh.
Oxford, 306 pp., £75, March, 978 0 19 289476 2
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... to regain control of barricaded republican areas. Much to the chagrin of the British commander, Robert Ford, the IRA was thus enabled to fight another day – and a bloodbath was avoided. During the early years of the conflict the main tendency of this contact switched from operational discussions to high-level engagement aimed at a settlement.The ...

He Tasks Me

Mark Ford: Marilynne Robinson, 9 October 2008

Home 
by Marilynne Robinson.
Virago, 325 pp., £16.99, September 2008, 978 1 84408 549 1
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... Home,’ Mary suggests in Robert Frost’s 1914 poem ‘The Death of the Hired Man’, ‘is the place where, when you have to go there,/They have to take you in.’ To which her husband, Warren, replies: ‘I should have called it/Something you somehow haven’t to deserve.’ Home is Marilynne Robinson’s third novel; published four years after Gilead and 27 years after her astonishing debut, Housekeeping, it explores with unsparing precision and the most delicate subtlety the implications of Frost’s rival definitions of the idea of home ...

Dangerous Liaisons

Frank Kermode, 28 June 1990

Ford Madox Ford 
by Alan Judd.
Collins, 471 pp., £16.95, June 1990, 0 00 215242 8
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... Attitudes to Ford Madox Ford (né Hueffer) vary; some think he wrote some very good novels, and some do not; some aren’t bothered by his lies, and some are. And while some find his personal conduct endearing others demur. He was in many respects a mess, a creator of chaos. Ezra Pound, who liked and admired him, once said ‘that if he were placed naked and alone in a room without furniture, I would come back in an hour and find total confusion ...

My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... For example: Jean Renoir, Orson Welles, James Wong Howe, Dudley Nichols, Clifford Odets, Robert Rossen, John Garfield, Charlie Chaplin and Leo McCarey all attended a reception in July 1943 for the Soviet director and administrator Mikhail Kalatozov. At that time Russian and American propaganda methods dovetailed nicely, and everyone seemed to approve ...

Grandiose Moments

Frank Kermode, 6 February 1997

Ford Madox FordA Dual Life, Vol. II 
by Max Saunders.
Oxford, 696 pp., £35, September 1996, 0 19 212608 3
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... Ford Madox Ford, an appealingly talented and gossipy subject, has naturally attracted biographers. In 1971 Arthur Mizener’s The Saddest Story seemed adequately exhaustive, but now Max Saunders comes along with two vast volumes, even more thorough and more than doubling the page count ...

Yodelling in Heaven

Glen Baxter, 21 March 1991

... It seems that the likes of Edward Larocque Tinker, Robert P. Swierenga and Colonel John S. ‘Rip’ Ford have all made valuable contributions to our knowledge of the cowboy world, and Richard Slatta’s Cowboys of the Americas* sets out to illuminate the structures and processes behind the historical underpinning behind those who wear spurs ...

Excellence

Patrick Wright, 21 May 1987

Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy and change in the New Age 
by Craig Hickman and Michael Silva.
Allen and Unwin, 305 pp., £12.50, April 1985, 0 04 658252 5
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Intrapreneuring: Why you don’t have to leave the corporation to become an entrepreneur 
by Gifford Pinchot.
Harper and Row, 368 pp., £15.95, August 1985, 0 06 015305 9
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The IBM Way: Insights into the World’s Most Successful Marketing Organisation 
by Buck Rodgers.
Harper and Row, 224 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 06 015522 1
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Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage 
by Richard Foster.
Macmillan, 316 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 333 43511 7
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Ford 
by Robert Lacey.
Heinemann, 778 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 434 40192 7
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Company of Adventurers: The Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company 
by Peter Newman.
Viking, 413 pp., £14.95, March 1986, 0 670 80379 0
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Augustine’s Laws 
by Norman Augustine.
Viking, 380 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 9780670809424
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Peak Performers: The New Heroes in Business 
by Charles Garfield.
Hutchinson, 333 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 09 167391 7
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Going for it: How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur 
by Victor Kiam.
Collins, 223 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 00 217603 3
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Take a chance to be first: The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success 
by Warren Avis.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 02 504410 9
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The Winning Streak 
by Walter Goldsmith and David Clutterbuck.
Weidenfeld/Penguin, 224 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 297 78469 2
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The Roots of Excellence 
by Ronnie Lessem.
Fontana, 318 pp., £3.95, December 1985, 0 00 636874 3
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The New Management of Local Government 
by John Stewart.
Allen and Unwin, 208 pp., £20, October 1986, 0 00 435232 7
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... books of the Eighties have been American, and ‘excellence’ is their creed. Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman Junior’s In Search of Excellence1 appeared in 1982 and it quickly established itself as the best-selling management book ever. Here was an unambiguous riposte to the Japanese economic miracle, that Pearl Harbour of the Carter era. Excellence ...

Mere Party

Robert Stewart, 22 January 1987

Pillars of Government, and Other Essays on State and Society c.1770-c.1880 
by Norman Gash.
Arnold, 202 pp., £25, June 1986, 0 7131 6463 8
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Sir Robert Peel: The Life of Sir Robert Peel after 1830 
by Norman Gash.
Longman, 745 pp., £12.50, July 1986, 0 582 49722 1
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... thought and analytical skill into such fertile masterpieces of modern historical literature as his Ford Lectures (published as Reaction and Reconstruction in English Politics, 1832-1852), in fluency and subtlety the equal at least of those other celebrated Ford Lectures, Richard Pares’s King George III and the ...

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