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Whose century?

Adam Tooze: After the Shock, 30 July 2020

Schism: China, America and the Fracturing of the Global Trading System 
by Paul Blustein.
McGill-Queen’s, 356 pp., £27.99, September 2019, 978 1 928096 85 6
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Superpower Showdown: How the Battle between Trump and Xi Threatens a New Cold War 
by Bob Davis and Lingling Wei.
Harper, 480 pp., £25, June, 978 0 06 295305 6
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Trade Wars Are Class Wars: How Rising Inequality Distorts the Global Economy and Threatens International Peace 
by Matthew C. Klein and Michael Pettis.
Yale, 288 pp., £20, June, 978 0 300 24417 5
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The New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Metropolitan Elite 
by Michael Lind.
Atlantic, 224 pp., £14.99, February, 978 1 78649 955 4
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... of the world’s population. The hope, as expressed by President Bush’s trade representative Bob Zoellick, was that China would become a responsible stakeholder in the global system. Twenty years later, it is the second largest national economy in the world. The US and China are deeply interconnected through trade and investment. Yet they are locked in a ...

Among the Bobcats

Mark Ford, 23 May 1991

The Dylan Companion 
edited by Elizabeth Thomson and David Gutman.
Macmillan, 338 pp., £10.99, April 1991, 0 333 49826 7
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Bob Dylan: Performing Artist. Vol. I: 1960-73 
by Paul Williams.
Xanadu, 310 pp., £14.99, February 1991, 1 85480 044 2
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Dylan: Behind the Shades 
by Clinton Heylin.
Viking, 528 pp., £16.99, May 1991, 0 670 83602 8
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The Bootleg Series: Vols I-III (rare and unreleased) 1961-1991 
by Bob Dylan.
Columbia, £24.95, April 1991
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... May the 24th is Bob Dylan’s 50th birthday. To anyone involved with Dylan in the mid-Sixties, say during his medicine-fuelled blaze with the Band through Australia and Europe in 1966, the fact that he is not only alive but still performing twenty-five years later must in itself seem utterly extraordinary. One of the key aspects of the Dylan myth during those roller-coaster years was that he wouldn’t be around much longer ...

Diary

Elaine Showalter: On the Phi Beta Kappa Tour, 10 March 1994

... an enviable joie de vivre. When my husband and I first moved to the University of California at Davis in the early Sixties, we were dazzled to find that our colleagues owned stock in the Napa Valley vineyards, and drove out on the weekends to look at their grapes. In the ascetic East at the time, a penchant for anything more lowbrow than The Seventh Seal ...

Pwaise the wabbit

Claudia Johnson, 1 August 1996

Chuck Jones: A Flurry of Drawings 
by Hugh Kenner.
California, 114 pp., £12, September 1994, 0 520 08797 6
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... Press with the intention of celebrating American creativity. Books about Toni Morrison and Miles Davis will strike no one as unusual, although the volumes on Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, and Mabel McKay, a native American medicine woman, were less conventional. Chuck Jones falls somewhere in between. Until he won the Oscar this year only a few ...

Got to keep moving

Jeremy Harding, 24 May 1990

Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-War Pop 
by Charles Shaar Murray.
Faber, 247 pp., £7.99, November 1989, 0 571 14936 7
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Autobiography 
by Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe.
Macmillan, 400 pp., £13.95, February 1990, 0 333 53195 7
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... music could have explored’. Further support for his case can be adduced from the fact that Miles Davis and Hendrix were playing and hanging out together a year before Hendrix’s death. There were hopes that the two men would make a recording, but it never happened. In his recent Autobiography, however, Davis is just as ...

Diary

Eric Hobsbawm: My Days as a Jazz Critic, 27 May 2010

... British musicians who played and formed the only real public for ‘modern’ jazz before Miles Davis began to make his impact. Writing about jazz in the 1950s meant, basically, trying to understand or at least come to terms with bebop (even the passionate jazz-conservative Philip Larkin eventually felt he had to make a gesture in this direction), but I ...

That Wild Mercury Sound

Charles Nicholl: Dylan’s Decade, 1 December 2016

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965-66 
by Bob Dylan.
Columbia, £60, November 2015
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... Bob Dylan’s​ first album, recorded in New York in late 1961, was simply called Bob Dylan. The creation of ‘Bob Dylan’ – the persona, the sound, the look – was as important as the record’s contents. He’d been using the alias since the summer of 1960 ...

At the Malin Gallery

Adam Shatz: Oliver Lee Jackson, 5 March 2020

... achieve something like the same effect as the silences in a piece by Thelonious Monk or Miles Davis. (His use of white stands in striking contrast to the exploration of black in the work of many African American painters, including Kerry James Marshall and Glenn Ligon.) The centre of Painting (11.30.92), an enormous mixed media work on linen, is almost ...

Rising above it

Russell Davies, 2 December 1982

The Noel Coward Diaries 
edited by Graham Payn and Sheridan Morley.
Weidenfeld, 698 pp., £15, September 1982, 0 297 78142 1
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... You may not like the book, but you will be impressed by the index. There’s Bette Davis and Joe Davis and Sammy Davis Jr. There’s Basil Dean and James Dean, Jack Warner of Dock Green and Jack Warner of Hollywood. Jayne Mansfield lines up alongside Mantovani, and Field-Marshal Viscount Montgomery is discovered between Maria Montez and Dudley Moore ...

Look beyond the lips

Bee Wilson: Hedy Lamarr, 28 July 2011

Hedy Lamarr: The Most Beautiful Woman in Film 
by Ruth Barton.
Kentucky, 281 pp., £25.95, May 2011, 978 0 8131 2604 3
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... women’, to whom women in the audience could relate; and ‘exaggerated women’ in the Bette Davis mould. Barton suggests that Lamarr falls into the ‘fantasy’ category and that her dreamlike image ‘threatened to overwhelm her reality’. It certainly threatened the lives of her children. Her daughter said that when she was packed off to boarding ...

‘Our citizenship is expensive!’

Kristin Surak, 22 September 2016

TheCosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen 
by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian.
Columbia Global Reports, 166 pp., £10, November 2015, 978 0 9909763 6 3
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... independence from France in 1975, the Comoros has seen twenty coups. Behind many of them was Bob Denard, a French mercenary and collector of world religions (he tried three: Catholicism, Judaism and Islam) and wives (eight), who inspired Frederick Forsyth’s novel Dogs of War. He was a modern corsair, he told the New York Times, but instead of receiving ...

Diary

Adam Shatz: Ornette Coleman, 16 July 2015

... as one of his rivals told me. The trumpeter Roy Eldridge thought he was ‘jiving’. Miles Davis called him ‘all screwed up inside’, and wrote in his autobiography that Coleman ‘just came and fucked up everybody’.Coleman wasn’t the only jazz musician on the scene who was looking for a way out of chord-based improvisation, or who took ...

Play hard

Dave Haslam, 20 October 1994

The Dark Stuff: Selected Writings on Rock Music 1972-93 
by Nick Kent.
Penguin, 338 pp., £9.99, May 1994, 0 14 023046 7
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... culture, he doesn’t hide the fact that sustained drug use turns geniuses into cabbages. Miles Davis fights a ‘debilitating’ drug habit; Shane McGowan falls apart under the influence of amphetamines and alcohol; David Crosby and Stephen Stills are ‘too coked-up all the time’ to keep their band together; and – playing in front of a ...

Bus Lane Strategy

Tristram Hunt: London Governments, 31 October 2002

Governing London 
by Ben Pimlott and Nirmala Rao.
Oxford, 208 pp., £15.99, May 2002, 0 19 924492 8
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... by all means in this country,’ Alderman Roberts of Grantham was moved to remark in 1946. As John Davis concluded in the Cambridge Urban History of Britain (2000), the second half of the 20th century saw local authorities reduced to ‘agents of the central welfare state, their incapacity off-set by central subsidies which covered over 60 per cent of local ...

John McEnroe plus Anyone

Edward Said: Tennis, 1 July 1999

The Right Set: The Faber Book of Tennis 
edited by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.99, June 1999, 0 571 19540 7
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... Anderson, Laver, Roy Emerson, John Newcombe and Fred Stolle (plus lesser stars like Don Candy and Bob Howe). I wanted to know more about South African tennis during apartheid, which gave rise to Sturgess, Gordon and Jean (his sister) Forbes, plus the colourful Abe Segal, and fine Davis-Cuppers like ...

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