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Hitler and History

Hans Keller, 5 February 1981

by Norman Stone.
Hodder, 195 pp., £6.95, August 1980, 0 340 24980 3
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Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ in Britain and America: A Publishing History 1930-39 
by James Barnes and Patience Barnes.
Cambridge, 158 pp., £8.50, September 1980, 0 521 22691 0
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The Berlin Secession: Modernism and Its Enemies in Imperial Germany 
by Peter Paret.
Harvard, 262 pp., £10.50, December 1980, 0 674 06773 8
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German Romantic Painting 
by William Vaughan.
Yale, 260 pp., £19.95, October 1980, 0 300 02387 1
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... Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. has been reviewed in these pages, nor are Norman Stone, James J. Barnes and Patience P. Barnes always less fanciful. And if Hitler’s personality remains an unanswered question, so too, does the history of National Socialism – which a book like Robert ...

The Salinger Affair

Julian Barnes, 27 October 1988

In Search of J.D. Salinger 
by Ian Hamilton.
Heinemann, 222 pp., £12.95, September 1988, 0 434 31331 9
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... forced on the book at moments like this, but readers, I’d guess, won’t have the patience to be that sophisticated. So what we have here is a bizarre item indeed: a literary biography whose writer hasn’t talked to the subject, his wives, children or most of his friends; one where he won’t permit himself to go within a hundred miles of the ...

Peas in a Matchbox

Jonathan Rée: ‘Being and Nothingness’, 18 April 2019

Being and Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenology and Ontology 
by Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Sarah Richmond.
Routledge, 848 pp., £45, June 2019, 978 0 415 52911 2
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... hyperactive chorus to tell us what is really going on. He could hardly have done more to test the patience of his readers. Gallimard​ published L’Etre et le Néant for prestige rather than profit, and it was launched without fuss. It did not go unnoticed however. Sartre was already well known as the philosophy professor who had written the anti-humanist ...
The ‘Private Eye’ Story: The First 21 Years 
by Patrick Marnham.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 232 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 233 97509 8
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One for the Road: Further Letters of Denis Thatcher 
by Richard Ingrams and John Wells.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 9780233975115
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Sir James Goldsmith: The Man and the Myth 
by Geoffrey Wansell.
Fontana, 222 pp., £1.95, April 1982, 0 00 636503 5
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... corrupt until proved spotless; both have obsessive streaks which they indulge without heed for the patience of their readers; both are a touch paranoid (Page asserts that paranoia is a vital factor in the make-up of a good journalist); both inspire a sort of irritated affection in those who work for them; and both have a high success rate in defending libel ...

A Review of Grigson’s Verse

Graham Hough, 7 August 1980

History of Him 
by Geoffrey Grigson.
Secker, 96 pp., £4.50, June 1980, 0 436 18841 4
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... and art historian – it is as a sympathetic critic of some of the quieter poets (Clare, Barnes, Christopher Smart) and an acrid critic of many others, including most of his contemporaries, that Grigson is first thought of. Not Mr Grigson the poet, his eye in a fine frenzy rolling, but Mr Grigson the critic, his eye beadily turned on ...

Ceaseless Anythings

James Wood: Robert Stone, 1 October 1998

Damascus Gate 
by Robert Stone.
Picador, 500 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 0 330 37058 8
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... and even Don DeLillo, are praised for their ‘realism’, for the solidity of their plots, the patience of their characterisation, the capillary spread of their social portraits, the leverage of their political insight. Robert Stone is one of the best contemporary realists America has. But it is difficult to read Damascus Gate with anything like the ...

On we sail

Julian Barnes: Maupassant, 5 November 2009

by Guy de Maupassant, translated by Douglas Parmée.
NYRB, 105 pp., £7.99, 1 59017 259 0
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Alien Hearts 
by Guy de Maupassant, translated by Richard Howard.
NYRB, 177 pp., £7.99, December 2009, 978 1 59017 260 5
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... Flaubert, the agoniser and perfectionist, liked to quote Buffon’s line ‘Talent is a long patience’ to his disciple. Boule de Suif, the long short story which made Maupassant’s name, and was equally acclaimed by Flaubert, Zola and the general public, took him two months to write – and that represented a Flaubertian agony compared to his ...

Squealing to Survive

John Lahr: Clancy was here, 19 July 2018

Black Sunset: Hollywood Sex, Lies, Glamour, Betrayal and Raging Egos 
by Clancy Sigal.
Icon, 352 pp., £12.99, May 2018, 978 1 78578 439 2
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The London Lover: My Weekend that Lasted Thirty Years 
by Clancy Sigal.
Bloomsbury, 274 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 1 4088 8580 2
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... of schizophrenics. He is there to open its doors to the forty-year-old former army nurse Mary Barnes, ‘our first non-celebrity schizophrenic’, who is also significantly Clancy’s ‘first major test of patience and humanity as a caretaker of the mad’. Things don’t go well. ...

Why Do the Tories Always Have the Luck?

Peter Clarke, 23 February 1995

Conservative Century: The Conservative Party since 1900 
edited by Anthony Seldon and Stuart Ball.
Oxford, 842 pp., £20, October 1994, 0 19 820238 5
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... riven with ideological dispute and internecine factionalism faces electoral disadvantages. As John Barnes brings out in his urbane essay on ideology and factions, Conservative ideology has rested in part on a scepticism about the adequacy of ideology itself. In this sense, neither the fervent Tariff Reformers of the early part of the century, nor the rabid ...
Breaking the Mould 
by Ian Bradley.
Martin Robertson, 172 pp., £8.95, September 1981, 0 85520 469 9
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... later. We differed sharply over our tactics. Some of us – notably Colin Phipps and Michael Barnes – thought that we non-MPs should force the pace: that the way to produce a breakaway from the Parliamentary Labour Party was to make it clear to our old friends there that we intended to set up a separate social democratic party whether they liked it or ...

Haley’s Comet

Paul Driver, 6 February 1997

The Envy of the World: Fifty Years of the BBC Third Programme and Radio 3 
by Humphrey Carpenter.
Weidenfeld, 431 pp., £25, September 1996, 0 297 81720 5
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... Under Haley’s enlightened rule, the triumvirate of Etienne Amyot, Leslie Stokes and George Barnes built an inspirational Third Programme that had initially to withstand a number of technical troubles – among them, the appropriation by Soviet Latvia of the waveband originally assigned to it – before it became the ‘envy of the ...

Living Doll and Lilac Fairy

Penelope Fitzgerald, 31 August 1989

Carrington: A Life of Dora Carrington 1893-1932 
by Gretchen Gerzina.
Murray, 342 pp., £18.95, June 1989, 0 7195 4688 5
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Lydia and Maynard: Letters between Lydia Lopokova and John Maynard Keynes 
edited by Polly Hill and Richard Keynes.
Deutsch, 367 pp., £17.95, September 1989, 0 233 98283 3
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Mazo de la Roche: The Hidden Life 
by Joan Givner.
Oxford, 273 pp., £18, July 1989, 0 19 540705 9
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Vera Brittain and Winifred Holtby: A Working Partnership 
by Jean Kennard.
University Press of New England, 224 pp., £24, July 1989, 0 87451 474 6
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Dangerous by Degrees: Women at Oxford and the Somerville College Novelists 
by Susan Leonardi.
Rutgers, 254 pp., $33, May 1989, 0 8135 1366 9
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The Selected Letters of Somerville and Ross 
edited by Gifford Lewis.
Faber, 308 pp., £14.99, July 1989, 0 571 15348 8
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... a very innovative form was necessary to express them.’ She should, like Gertrude Stein and Djuna Barnes, have experimented with form and language. I am not sure that this is so. The wild excesses of the novels flourish while, in the background, day-to-day realism plods on. That is their strength. As for her life with Caroline, Mazo considered that ‘those ...

The Immortal Coil

Richard Barnett: Faraday’s Letters, 21 March 2013

The Correspondence of Michael Faraday Vol. VI, 1860-67 
by Frank James.
IET, 919 pp., £85, December 2011, 978 0 86341 957 7
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... itself had to be insulated with cotton thread. As a testament to Faraday’s manual skill and patience this is hard to beat: when a team of engineers set out to make a replica for the RI a few years ago, the process took ten days and several false starts. Modern physics and engineering is built on the notion of standardised instrumentation, of ...

War and Peace

A.J.P. Taylor, 2 October 1980

Humanity in Warfare: the Modern History of the International Law of Armed Conflicts 
by Geoffrey Best.
Weidenfeld, 400 pp., £15, September 1980, 0 297 77737 8
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Pacifism in Britain 1914-1945: the Defining of a Faith 
by Martin Caedel.
Oxford, 342 pp., £12.50, August 1980, 0 19 821882 6
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... which implied in the last resort military sanctions, or, as the American historian Harry Elmer Barnes expressed it. ‘perpetual war for the sake of perpetual peace’. This was not a problem of any practical relevance when the prospect of another great war seemed remote. The hard core of Caedel’s book concerns the great transformation which began in the ...

Good Fibs

Andrew O’Hagan: Truman Capote, 2 April 1998

Truman Capote: In which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career 
by George Plimpton.
Picador, 498 pp., £20, February 1998, 0 330 36871 0
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... and others of the Southern Gothic, with their yellow-eyed mamas and idiot boys. But there is a patience in Capote’s novel, a surprising charity, a seamlessly variegated emotion, that would have made it quite remarkable in a very good writer double his age, which was 24. People tend to blame early success for all the horrors that follow. But that can only ...

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