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Ivory Trade

Steven Shapin: The Entrepreneurial University, 11 September 2003

MIT and the Rise of Entrepreneurial Science 
by Henry Etzkowitz.
Routledge, 173 pp., £70, June 2002, 9780415285162
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Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialisation of Higher Education 
by Derek Bok.
Princeton, 233 pp., £14.95, April 2003, 0 691 11412 9
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... gentlemen would alert us, tip us off, help us. “There is a young graduate student down the hall working on something. We think it is interesting; you have to decide if it has commercial possibilities.”’ The scheme worked: among early ARD-funded spin-offs from MIT was the Digital Equipment Corporation. ARD committed $300,000 to DEC, with MIT taking ...

City of Blood

Peter Pulzer, 9 November 1989

The Jews of Vienna in the Age of Franz Joseph 
by Robert Wistrich.
Oxford, 696 pp., £45, June 1989, 0 19 710070 8
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Vienna and the Jews, 1867-1938: A Cultural History 
by Steven Beller.
Cambridge, 271 pp., £27.50, August 1989, 0 521 35180 4
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The German-Jewish Economic Elite 1820-1935: A Socio-Cultural Profile 
by W.E. Mosse.
Oxford, 369 pp., £35, October 1989, 0 19 822990 9
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Decadence and Innovation: Austro-Hungarian Life and Art at the Turn of the Century 
edited by Robert Pynsent.
Weidenfeld, 258 pp., £25, June 1989, 0 297 79559 7
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The Torch in My Ear 
by Elias Canetti, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Deutsch, 372 pp., £13.95, August 1989, 0 233 98434 8
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From Vienna to Managua: Journey of a Psychoanalyst 
by Marie Langer, translated by Margaret Hooks.
Free Association, 261 pp., £27.50, July 1989, 1 85343 057 9
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... Robert Wistrich’s book is about the Jews of Vienna in their golden age, Steven Beller’s about the city’s culture in its golden age. You could be forgiven for thinking that these amounted to the same thing. Not all Viennese Jews were cultural heroes, and not all Viennese cultural heroes were Jews. But the overlap is impressive and in need of explanation ...

How to Be Tudor

Hilary Mantel: Can a King Have Friends?, 17 March 2016

Charles Brandon: Henry VIII’s Closest Friend 
by Steven Gunn.
Amberley, 304 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 4456 4184 3
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... wives, Charles Brandon would come near the top, second only to the king he served. The subtitle of Steven Gunn’s scholarly biography describes its subject as ‘Henry VIII’s Closest Friend’. What a prospect of damp-palmed horror that phrase evokes! The knocking of Tudor knees echoes down the years. Can a king have friends? Could Henry VIII have ...

Bigness

Hal Foster: Rem Koolhaas, 29 November 2001

Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping 
by Rem Koolhaas et al.
Taschen, 800 pp., £30, December 2001, 3 8228 6047 6
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Great Leap Forward 
by Rem Koolhaas et al.
Taschen, 720 pp., £30, December 2001, 3 8228 6048 4
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... basis of urban planning in Europe; on the other side were Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Steven Izenour, who embraced the commercial strip (‘billboards are almost all right,’ they proclaimed in 1972 in Learning from Las Vegas, a manifesto to which Delirious New York is an indirect riposte). Koolhaas could reject the reactionary historicism of the ...

Fiction and the Poverty of Theory

John Sutherland, 20 November 1986

News from Nowhere 
by David Caute.
Hamish Hamilton, 403 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 241 11920 0
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O-Zone 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 469 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 241 11948 0
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Ticket to Ride 
by Dennis Potter.
Faber, 202 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 9780571145232
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... Richard Stern, updates Caute’s earlier hero, middle-aged, middle-of-the-ideological-road Steven Bright, the fortyish academic trapped between two eras whose crack-up was portrayed in The Demonstration (1970) and The Occupation (1971). The formal advantage of the novel for Caute’s purposes is that it can (as the historical essay or political ...

Nuremberg Rally, Invasion of Poland, Dunkirk …

James Meek: The never-ending wish to write about the Second World War, 6 September 2001

Ghost MacIndoe 
by Jonathan Buckley.
Fourth Estate, 469 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 1 84115 227 7
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The Twins 
by Tessa de Loo.
Arcadia, 392 pp., £6.99, May 2001, 1 900850 56 7
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Riptide 
by John Lawton.
Weidenfeld, 322 pp., £16.99, March 2001, 0 297 64345 2
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The Day We Had Hitler Home 
by Rodney Hall.
Granta, 361 pp., £15.99, April 2001, 1 86207 384 8
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Five Quarters of the Orange 
by Joanne Harris.
Doubleday, 431 pp., £12.99, April 2001, 0 385 60169 7
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The Fire Fighter 
by Francis Cottam.
Chatto, 240 pp., £15.99, March 2001, 0 7011 6981 8
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The Element of Water 
by Stevie Davies.
Women’s Press, 253 pp., £9.99, April 2001, 0 7043 4705 9
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The Bronze Horsewoman 
by Paullina Simons.
Flamingo, 637 pp., £6.99, April 2001, 0 00 651322 0
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The Siege 
by Helen Dunmore.
Penguin, 304 pp., £16.99, June 2001, 0 670 89718 3
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... Yard. You can make it modern picaresque, a frenetic burst of lyrical futurist imagery, like Rodney Hall’s The Day We Had Hitler Home, which is haunted by the presiding monster-to-be of the war to come: an injured German soldier, arriving in New South Wales in 1919, whose name is Adolf Hitler. Or you can make it like Five Quarters of the Orange, a novel ...

Not a Pretty Sight

Jenny Diski: Who Are You Calling Ugly?, 24 January 2008

On Ugliness 
edited by Umberto Eco.
Harvill Secker, 455 pp., £30, October 2007, 978 1 84655 122 2
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... may not be your cup of tea, but you see what Eco means – and I suppose Arnie’s better than Steven Seagal if a hunk is a must. It’s true, and Eco acknowledges it, that there can only be intelligent guesses about the artefacts that have survived from before the invention of writing. The Venus of Willendorf may have been thought of as beautiful ...

Pink and Bare

Bee Wilson: Nicole Kidman, 8 February 2007

Nicole Kidman 
by David Thomson.
Bloomsbury, 311 pp., £18.99, September 2006, 0 7475 7710 2
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... they needn’t waste their time asking if she believed in witchcraft. Thomson compares this with Steven Spielberg, who hired ‘a reliable UFO expert’ to advise him when making Close Encounters of the Third Kind. ‘And some asked Spielberg if he believed in unidentified flying objects. No, he replied, but I believe in people who believe in them.’ This ...

Kitty still pines for his dearest Dub

Andrew O’Hagan: Gossip, 6 February 2014

Becoming a Londoner: A Diary 
by David Plante.
Bloomsbury, 534 pp., £20, September 2013, 978 1 4088 3975 1
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The Animals: Love Letters between Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy 
edited by Katherine Bucknell.
Chatto, 481 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 0 7011 8678 4
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... all the characters of recorded history to one another, but the accounts had to be first-person. Steven Runciman has sent me this limerick: The stories I tell David Plante/Soon acquire a curious slant./His fertile invention/Twists all that I mention./I could tell him more,/But I shan’t. One afternoon, Henrietta Garnett came to visit me. She was wearing a ...

Joan Didion’s Style

Martin Amis, 7 February 1980

The White Album 
by Joan Didion.
Weidenfeld, 223 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 297 77702 5
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... Then it happened – not to Joan Didion, but to Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Boytek Frykowski, Steven Parent, Rosemary and Leno LaBianca, and Sharon Tate: On August 9, 1969, I was sitting in the shallow end of my sister-in-law’s swimming pool in Beverly Hills when she received a telephone call from a friend who had just heard about the murders at Sharon ...

The Mask It Wears

Pankaj Mishra: The Wrong Human Rights, 21 June 2018

The People v. Democracy: Why Our Freedom Is in Danger and How to Save It 
by Yascha Mounk.
Harvard, 400 pp., £21.95, March 2018, 978 0 674 97682 5
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Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World 
by Samuel Moyn.
Harvard, 277 pp., £21.95, April 2018, 978 0 674 73756 3
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... parties of the centre left as well as the right have deployed the methods of what Stuart Hall called ‘authoritarian populism’ ever since the oil shocks and the recessions of the 1970s and 1980s. Hall coined this term in the late 1970s to describe ‘the rise of the radical right under Thatcherite ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... dogs,’ a former neighbour of Zainab’s said. ‘Like, there was this guy on the 15th floor, Steven Power, he had two bull terriers, you know those dogs? Loved them, he did. Would’ve died for those two dogs.’ People in the tower would go round to Steven’s for a drink. Sometimes they sat together outside the ...

Ghosting

Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... book would have to be written on a laptop that had no internet access. When I arrived at Ellingham Hall Assange was fast asleep. He’d been living there, at the house of Vaughan Smith, one of his sureties and founder of the Frontline Club, since his arrest on Swedish rape allegations. He was effectively under house arrest and wearing an electronic tag on his ...

On the Salieri Express

John Sutherland, 24 September 1992

Doctor Criminale 
by Malcolm Bradbury.
Secker, 343 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 436 20115 1
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The Promise of Light 
by Paul Watkins.
Faber, 217 pp., £14.99, September 1992, 0 571 16715 2
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The Absolution Game 
by Paul Sayer.
Constable, 204 pp., £13.99, June 1992, 0 09 471460 6
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The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman 
by Louis de Bernières.
Secker, 388 pp., £14.99, August 1992, 0 436 20114 3
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Written on the Body 
by Jeanette Winterson.
Cape, 190 pp., £13.99, September 1992, 0 224 03587 8
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... direct apology for boyhood’. So, too, with Watkins. If he has a contemporary analogue, it is Steven Spielberg in such nostalgic exercises as Young Sherlock Holmes and his homage to Treasure Island, Goonies. Like Stevenson, Spielberg raises the romp to an art form. The Promise of Light cries out for film adaptation. Its Hiberno-American theme suggests ...

Fade to Greige

Elaine Showalter: Mad for the Handcuff Bracelets, 4 January 2001

A Dedicated Follower of Fashion 
by Holly Brubach.
Phaidon, 232 pp., £19.95, October 1999, 9780714838878
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Fashion Today 
by Colin McDowell.
Phaidon, 511 pp., £39.95, September 2000, 0 7148 3897 7
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Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender and Society in Clothing 
by Diana Crane.
Chicago, 294 pp., £19, August 2000, 0 226 11798 7
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Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries 
by Avril Hart and Susan North.
Victoria & Albert Museum, 223 pp., £19.95, October 2000, 1 85177 258 8
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Don We Now Our Gay Appalrel: Gay Men’s Dress in the 20th Century 
by Shuan Cole.
Berg, 224 pp., £42.99, September 2000, 1 85973 415 4
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The Gallery of Fashion 
by Aileen Ribeiro.
Princeton, 256 pp., £60, November 2000, 0 691 05092 9
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Giorgio Armani 
by Germano Celant and Harold Koda.
Abrams, 392 pp., £40, October 2000, 0 8109 6927 0
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... important fashion illustrator of the last forty years. He knew absolutely everyone – from Jerry Hall to Paloma Picasso – having been brought to Europe by Hélène Gordon-Lazareff, the founder of French ‘Elle’, who had seen his work in ‘Women’s Daily Wear’. The Armani show has been controversial less because of its archival gaps than because of ...

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