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Patty and Cin

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 6 May 1982

Every Secret Thing 
by Patricia Hearst and Alvin Moscow.
Methuen, 466 pp., £8.95, February 1982, 0 413 50460 3
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A Death in California 
by Joan Barthel.
Allen Lane, 370 pp., £7.95, March 1982, 0 7139 1472 6
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... I grew up,’ says Patricia Hearst, describing what life had once been like for the granddaughter of Citizen Kane, ‘in an atmosphere of clear blue skies, bright sunshine, rambling open spaces, long green lawns, large comfortable houses, country clubs with swimming-pools and tennis courts and riding horses.’ It must have been a nice life, and would look pretty in the cinema, but heroines endear themselves by their difficulties and until the SLA kidnapped her Patricia Hearst’s only difficulty was that she was a bit short ...

A Place for Hype

Edward Tenner: Old Technology, 10 May 2007

The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900 
by David Edgerton.
Profile, 270 pp., £18.99, January 2007, 978 1 86197 296 5
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... Edgerton’s The Shock of the Old, with its ironic echoes of bestsellers by Robert Hughes and Alvin Toffler, is not an attack on innovation as such. Rather, it is a call for a new way of thinking about technological change, not as a sequence of revolutionary discoveries, but as a complex and often paradoxical interaction between old and new: ‘technology ...

Philip Roth talks about his work

Philip Roth, 5 March 1987

... the West tempted to think that it might really be better for their work if they were oppressed in Moscow or Warsaw rather than twittering away free as the birds in London, New York or Paris. There’s a perverse undercurrent of persecution-envy around, an envy of oppression and the compression of freedom. It’s as though without an authoritarian environment ...

As Astonishing as Elvis

Jenny Turner: Ayn Rand, 1 December 2005

Ayn Rand 
by Jeff Britting.
Duckworth, 155 pp., £12.99, February 2005, 0 7156 3269 8
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... philosophy at the state university, then, briefly, screenwriting at the new state film school in Moscow. ‘Amidst the increasingly grey life, her one great pleasure was Western films and plays,’ according to the official biography at the back of Atlas Shrugged. In 1926, Rand obtained a visa to visit family in Chicago; one of her first acts on arrival was ...

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