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The NHS Dismantled

John Furse, 7 November 2019

... with Commissioning Support Units run by private companies including KPMG, Price Waterhouse Cooper, McKinsey and Optum, the UK subsidiary of United Health. In practice, these companies now run the franchising of NHS services.A key part of the 2012 Act, to which McKinsey was a significant contributor, was the abolition of the health minister’s ...

Agringado

Joan Acocella, 14 December 1995

Flamenco Deep Song 
by Timothy Mitchell.
Yale, 232 pp., £18.95, January 1995, 0 300 06001 7
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¡Tango! The Dance, the Song, the Story 
by Simon Collier, Artemis Cooper, María Susana Azzi and Richard Martin.
Thames and Hudson, 208 pp., £24.95, October 1995, 0 500 01671 2
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Rumba: Dance and Social Change in Contemporary Cuba 
by Yvonne Daniel.
Open University, 196 pp., £27.50, August 1995, 0 253 31605 7
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... mark for Timothy Mitchell, but there are more striking examples. In his essay in ¡Tango! Richard Martin quotes the American writer Waldo Frank describing tango in 1917: The body of tango is an embryon. That is why il stirs so larvally, why it repeats the ethnic stages of the past – Spanish, Indian, Negro – from which Argentina must emerge. That is why ...

A Babylonian Touch

Susan Pedersen: Weimar in Britain, 6 November 2008

‘We Danced All Night’: A Social History of Britain between the Wars 
by Martin Pugh.
Bodley Head, 495 pp., £20, July 2008, 978 0 224 07698 2
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... collapse and supine politics on which a revitalised postwar democracy resolutely turned its back. Martin Pugh will have none of this. Orwell’s text, he writes on the first page of ‘We Danced All Night’, was ‘more a piece of journalistic embellishment than the kind of sober account he was originally commissioned to write’, and the continued ...

Steaming Torsos

J. Hoberman, 6 February 1997

Westerns: Making the Man in Fiction and Film 
by Lee Clark Mitchell.
Chicago, 352 pp., £23.95, November 1996, 0 226 53234 8
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... of English at Princeton, traces the Western’s obsession with masculinity from James Fenimore Cooper through Owen Wister, Zane Grey and John Ford to Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah. His subject is the well-known tautology that a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do. For Mitchell, the Western novel is essentially theatrical – a stage on which male ...

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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... sense. The Fountainhead was made into a Hollywood movie in 1949, with King Vidor directing, Gary Cooper as Roark (Rand was delighted: Cooper was famously right-wing) and Patricia Neal as Dominique. Jonathan Romney, reviewing a 1998 re-release, admired the ‘monumentalist oppressiveness’ of the art direction, then ...

Out of the jiffybag

Frank Kermode, 12 November 1987

For Love and Money: Writing, Reading, Travelling 1969-1987 
by Jonathan Raban.
Collins Harvill, 350 pp., £11.50, November 1987, 0 00 272279 8
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Original Copy: Selected Reviews and Journalism 1969-1986 
by John Carey.
Faber, 278 pp., £9.95, August 1987, 0 571 14879 4
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... well exhausted.’ A man who feels like this about parsnips is likely to enjoy such books as Martin Green’s Children of the Sun, in which people like Harold Acton and Brian Howard and Cyril Connolly, and all who profess to believe that heterosexual affairs are ‘the mark of state-subsidised undergraduates’, are dug reeking from their lairs, scraped ...

At the Party

Christopher Hitchens, 17 April 1986

Hollywood Babylon II 
by Kenneth Anger.
Arrow, 323 pp., £5.95, January 1986, 0 09 945110 7
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Hollywood from Vietnam to Reagan 
by Robin Wood.
Columbia, 336 pp., $25, October 1985, 0 231 05776 8
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... a well-rounded private life: after an affair with John Gilbert, she took up with young buck Gary Cooper ... You can feel Nemesis coming on with every drop of a name. Sure enough: Her bedroom was chock-a-block with gardenias and tuberoses; it glowed with the flicker of several dozen candles. In this shrine to her own death, La Lupe, gowned in silver ...

Yesterday

Frank Kermode, 27 July 1989

The Pleasures of Peace: Art and Imagination in Post-War Britain 
by Bryan Appleyard.
Faber, 367 pp., £12.99, June 1989, 0 571 13722 9
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... a poem by Kingsley Amis, Four Quartets, Brideshead Revisited, Nineteen Eighty-Four, William Cooper, Angus Wilson, Horizon, architectural Modernism and the Festival of Britain. Just as you think something important is going to be left out it turns up: the bourgeois intellectual love-affair with France, the nascent aspirations towards internationalism in ...

Think of Mrs Darling

Jenny Diski: Erving Goffman, 4 March 2004

Goffman's Legacy 
edited by Javier Treviño.
Rowman and Littlefield, 294 pp., £22.95, August 2003, 0 7425 1978 3
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... month, titles came out by Laing and Esterson, Willmott and Young, J.K. Galbraith, Maynard Smith, Martin Gardner, Richard Leakey, Margaret Mead; psychoanalysts, sociologists, economists, mathematicians, historians, physicists, biologists and literary critics, each offering their latest thinking for an unspecialised public, and the blue spines on the pile of ...

What’s Happening in the Engine-Room

Penelope Fitzgerald: Poor John Lehmann, 7 January 1999

John Lehmann: A Pagan Adventure 
by Adrian Wright.
Duckworth, 308 pp., £20, November 1998, 0 7156 2871 2
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... He has come into all the material collected by John Lehmann’s commissioned biographer, Martin Taylor, who died before he could write a word of it. He has seen photocopies of the extensive diaries, and he has interviewed the survivors and their descendants. Lehmann himself wrote three volumes of dignified autobiography about his work, his ...

Possessed

A.N. Wilson, 14 May 1992

Evelyn Waugh: No Abiding City 1939-1966 
by Martin Stannard.
Dent, 523 pp., £25, April 1992, 0 460 86062 3
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... Martin Stannard resisted the temptation to call this story Decline and Fall, but it would not have been a bad title. On one level, the last 27 years of Evelyn Waugh’s life make melancholy reading. The book begins with Waugh’s sometimes bizarre career in the Army; it chronicles his prodigious commercial success as the author of Brideshead Revisited ...

Humid Fidelity

Peter Bradshaw: The letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill, 16 September 1999

Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill 
edited by Mary Soames.
Black Swan, 702 pp., £15, August 1999, 0 552 99750 1
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... My favourite moment in Martin Gilbert’s Life of Churchill is when the Prime Minister is touring the ruins of Hitler’s Chancellery in 1945: In the square in front of the building a crowd of Germans had gathered. Except for one old man who ‘shook his head disapprovingly’, Churchill later recalled, ‘they all began to cheer ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: My 2006, 4 January 2007

... and no tea either, just today, a choice of pizza or a hot turkey sandwich. I browse through Duff Cooper’s diaries dosed up on valium. An odd incident at Heathrow. There is a long queue to go through security and a boy of eighteen or so comes down the line asking if he can go to the front as his plane takes off in twenty minutes. This he’s allowed to ...

Heil Heidegger

J.P. Stern, 20 April 1989

Martin Heidegger: Unterwegs zu seiner Biographie 
by Hugo Ott.
Campus Verlag, 355 pp., DM 48, December 1988, 3 593 34035 6
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... biographical publications on the most problematic of 20th-century philosophers, Hugo Ott’s Martin Heidegger: Toward his Biography stands out as the most detailed and scrupulously accurate. But caveat lector: there is a great deal here that we would not think of as conduct becoming a philosopher or the academic profession in general. It cannot have been ...

Double-Barrelled Dolts

Ferdinand Mount: Mosley’s Lost Deposit, 6 July 2006

Blackshirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and British Fascism 
by Stephen Dorril.
Viking, 717 pp., £30, April 2006, 0 670 86999 6
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Hurrah for the Blackshirts! Fascists and Fascism between the Wars 
by Martin Pugh.
Pimlico, 387 pp., £8.99, March 2006, 1 84413 087 8
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... about the Slump and how to cure it, and, by extension, right about the Old Gang blocking his path? Martin Pugh’s publishers tell us breathlessly that ‘this book demonstrates for the first time how close Britain came to being a Fascist state in the interwar years.’ Is that a fact or just a pretty piece of hype? Does the limelight that Mosley continued to ...

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