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Focus, Shoot, Conceal

Jeremy Harding: Apartheid in Pictures, 27 July 2023

House of Bondage 
by Ernest Cole.
Aperture, 230 pp., £50, December 2022, 978 1 59711 533 9
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... working the coalfields of the north-east. In the 1960s, the Black South African photographer Ernest Cole (b. 1940) recorded a medical examination of adult males in the gold mines on the Witwatersrand. In Cole’s picture a dozen naked men stand with their faces to the wall, arms raised. Unlike the children in ...
Pluralism and the Personality of the State 
by David Runciman.
Cambridge, 279 pp., £35, June 1997, 0 521 55191 9
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... theorists who can be loosely grouped together as Pluralists – F.W. Maitland, J.N. Figgis, G.D.H. Cole, the young Harold Laski and the young Ernest Barker. The chief inspiration for this flowering of pluralist thought came from the writings of the German historian and jurist Otto von Gierke, and its chief conduit was the ...

Short Cuts

Jenny Diski: Mary Whitehouse’s Letters, 20 December 2012

... the pornographic lyrics to the Beatles’ second hit, ‘Please Please Me’. (What she made of Cole Porter’s 1934 ‘You’re the Top’ isn’t on record.) When she wrote in the brochure of the Clean Up TV Campaign that she spoke for ‘the ordinary women of Britain’ and ‘ordinary housewives’, I knew exactly what and who she meant. They were the ...

C (for Crisis)

Eric Hobsbawm: The 1930s, 6 August 2009

The Morbid Age: Britain between the Wars 
by Richard Overy.
Allen Lane, 522 pp., £25, May 2009, 978 0 7139 9563 3
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... had the word and the power’, in spite of some obvious exceptions: the researchers who knew, with Ernest Rutherford, that they were living in the glory days of the natural sciences; the engineers who saw no limits to the future progress of old and new technologies; the officials and businessmen of an empire that reached its maximum extent between the wars and ...

Thanks to the Fels-Naptha Soap King

Miles Taylor: George Lansbury, 22 May 2003

George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour 
by John Shepherd.
Oxford, 407 pp., £35, September 2002, 0 19 820164 8
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... George Bernard Shaw, the young Rebecca West (briefly) and Osbert Sitwell, in addition to G.D.H. Cole and the gifted cartoonist Will Dyson. Later, as leader of the Labour Party in the 1930s, Lansbury presided over a renaissance of intellectual socialism, as Fabians, Socialist Leaguers, ILP-ers, and a long tail of the avant-garde competed to come up with the ...

It was worse in 1931

Colin Kidd: Clement Attlee, 17 November 2016

Citizen Clem: A Biography of Attlee 
by John Bew.
Riverrun, 668 pp., £30, September 2016, 978 1 78087 989 5
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... into the late 1930s, by which time Attlee was Labour leader. The Oxford intellectual G.D.H. Cole irritated him as a ‘permanent undergraduate’, who had ‘a new idea every year, irrespective of whether the ordinary man was interested in it or not’. Similarly, Cole’s Oxford colleague A.L. Rowse – then on the ...

The Subtleties of Frank Kermode

Michael Wood, 17 December 2009

... intelligence required to make proper use of that knowledge’. Nice work if you can do it, as Cole Porter didn’t quite say. Kermode is not Housman and not a diviner. But he does devote much exquisite intelligence to matters of divination – even and especially of secular affairs. He would like to believe we could do without such obliquities. He is ...

We know it intimately

Christina Riggs: Rummaging for Mummies, 22 October 2020

A World beneath the Sands: Adventurers and Archaeologists in the Golden Age of Egyptology 
by Toby Wilkinson.
Picador, 510 pp., £25, October, 978 1 5098 5870 5
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... encyclopedia that took twenty years and a new engraving technique to produce.As the historian Juan Cole (not cited by Wilkinson) has shown, Arabic sources and the diaries of French soldiers undermine the triumphalism of both Napoleon’s initial victories and his eventual defeat by a British-Ottoman alliance. Under the terms of the French surrender, the ...

Who said Gaddafi had to go?

Hugh Roberts, 17 November 2011

... that it had been talking to both sides and offered to broker a ceasefire. The offer was given what Ernest Bevin would have called ‘a complete ignoral’ and nothing came of it either, as nothing came of a later initiative, seeking a ceasefire and negotiations (to which Gaddafi explicitly agreed), undertaken by the African Union in April. It too was rejected ...

The Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: The Israel Lobby, 23 March 2006

... of the government is firmly committed to supporting Israel. As one former Democratic senator, Ernest Hollings, noted on leaving office, ‘you can’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here.’ Or as Ariel Sharon once told an American audience, ‘when people ask me how they can help Israel, I tell them: “Help ...

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