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Purchase and/or Conquest

Eric Foner: Were the Indians robbed?, 9 February 2006

How the Indians Lost Their Land: Law and Power on the Frontier 
by Stuart Banner.
Harvard, 344 pp., £18.95, November 2005, 0 674 01871 0
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... acquiring almost all of it, sweeping aside periodic resistance with brutally effective violence. Stuart Banner, a law professor, does not deny that between the early 17th century and the end of the 19th, nearly the entire land area of the United States was transferred from Indian to non-Indian ownership. But in How the Indians Lost Their Land, he offers ...


Clare Bucknell, 19 November 2020

... century encouraged flamboyant, complex carvings, which were then replaced towards the end of the Stuart period with simpler designs: stylised lions to symbolise power and aggression, or torso carvings of mythological or historical figures. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the production of warship heads for the navy was big business, supporting ...

Saintly Resonances

Lorraine Daston: Obliterate the self!, 31 October 2002

Dying to Know: Scientific Epistemology and Narrative in Victorian England 
by George Levine.
Chicago, 320 pp., £31.50, September 2002, 0 226 47536 0
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... pretensions thereto) to be part and parcel of modern science, the word has also become a banner (or target) in the revived debate between humanists and scientists about who should and does wield cultural authority and why. Objectivity is not just a word of many meanings; it is also a fighting word. George Levine’s study of objectivity in Victorian ...


Frank Kermode, 22 January 1998

Shakespeare’s Troy: Drama, Politics and the Translation of Empire 
by Heather James.
Cambridge, 283 pp., £37.50, December 1997, 0 521 59223 2
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... It will also ‘legitimate the cultural place of the theatre in late Elizabethan and early Stuart London’. On the first page it is argued that the entrance of Lavinia, in Titus Andronicus, with ‘her hands cut off and her tongue cut out and ravished’, is Ovidian and Petrarchan in tone (the latter because the way her injuries are described is said ...

Less than Perfectly Submissive

Susan Pedersen: No Votes, Thank You, 20 March 2008

Women against the Vote: Female Anti-Suffragism in Britain 
by Julia Bush.
Oxford, 340 pp., £35, October 2007, 978 0 19 924877 3
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... she was force-fed), or Sylvia Pankhurst printed the image of her own emaciated body under the banner headline ‘Is she to die?’, suffragettes were tapping a potent female tradition of using bodily suffering as a source of power. Anti-suffragists and constitutionalists might deplore their extremism, but martyrs don’t need to win arguments. The ...

The Dwarves and the Onion Domes

Ferdinand Mount: Those Pushy Habsburgs, 24 September 2020

The Habsburgs: The Rise and Fall of a World Power 
by Martyn Rady.
Allen Lane, 397 pp., £30, May, 978 0 241 33262 7
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... idea. On the frescoed ceiling of the Hofburg Library in Vienna, three classical goddesses hold a banner on which is inscribed: AEIOU. The acrostic stands for Austria Est Imperare Orbi Universo; or more brutally, in German: Alles Erdreich Ist Österreich Untertan – ‘the whole earth is Austria’s subject.’ To this whopping claim, the hyper-pious ...

Three Women

Andrew O’Hagan: Work in progress, 10 December 1998

... smiles of that day, a metallic gleam on top of the Post Office building. Effie held one side of a banner – ‘We are Fighting Landlord Huns.’ There were many others, drawn in her own home paints. ‘The Will of the People is Law.’ Mrs Ferguson’s crowd from Partick passed out button-badges and pamphlets. ‘Our Husbands, Sons and Brothers are Fighting ...

Like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

John Lloyd: Globalisation, 2 September 1999

The Lexus and the Olive Tree 
by Thomas Friedman.
HarperCollins, 394 pp., £19.99, May 1999, 0 00 257014 9
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Global Transformation 
by David Held and Anthony McGrew.
Polity, 515 pp., £59.50, March 1999, 0 7456 1498 1
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... globalisation – it is a shame that he spoils his case by wrapping it in the Star-Spangled Banner. His voice is born of a century or more of American exceptionalism, of the belief in America as the city on a hill to which all yearn to travel, the superpower whose fin-de-siècle worries that its imperial powers were atrophying as those of other empires ...

Dark Emotions

Jenny Turner: The Women’s Liberation Movement, 24 September 2020

directed by Philippa Lowthorpe.
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directed by the Berwick Street Film Collective.
Lux/Koenig/Raven Row, £24, July 2019
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Sisterhood and After: An Oral History of the UK Women's Liberation Movement, 1968-present 
by Margaretta Jolly.
Oxford, 334 pp., £22.99, November 2019, 978 0 19 065884 7
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... that the crèche was staffed by husbands and boyfriends. Hence the famous and lovely picture of Stuart Hall.) Activists were further linked by flyers, newsletters, zines: thus the Women’s Liberation Movement, the ‘sisterhood’ of Jolly’s title, an ideal of feminist solidarity, ‘an important but imperfect idea’. The first four demands of the ...

After the Referendum

LRB Contributors, 9 October 2014

... that kept us all ablaze these last few weeks and months. Bella Caledonia, Wee Ginger Dug, Rev. Stuart Campbell, Alec Finlay, Wheelie Bins for Yes – a cataract of stuff. God knows, in my hours online I wandered down some peculiar byways (the Spectator comments pages). The Better Together ‘Patronising Lady’ advert kept us entertained for ages. (Watch ...

Was he? Had he?

Corey Robin: In the Name of Security, 19 October 2006

The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government 
by David Johnson.
Chicago, 277 pp., £13, May 2006, 0 226 40190 1
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Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security 
by David Cole and James Dempsey.
New Press, 320 pp., £10.99, March 2006, 1 56584 939 6
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General Ashcroft: Attorney at War 
by Nancy Baker.
Kansas, 320 pp., £26.50, April 2006, 0 7006 1455 9
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State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration 
by James Risen.
Free Press, 240 pp., £18.99, January 2006, 0 7432 7578 0
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Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush 
by Eric Boehlert.
Free Press, 352 pp., $25, May 2006, 0 7432 8931 5
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... and self-interest. Because it benefits everyone – ‘the most vital of all interests’, John Stuart Mill called it, which no one can ‘possibly do without’ – it is immune to politics. Yet, as Arnold Wolfers wrote years ago, security is an ‘ambiguous symbol’, which ‘may not have any precise meaning at all’. It allows political leaders to ...

Partnership of Loss

Roy Foster: Ireland since 1789, 13 December 2007

Ireland: The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006 
by Paul Bew.
Oxford, 613 pp., £35, August 2007, 978 0 19 820555 5
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... Four men . . . noticeable for their gaunt and bitter aspect, maimed and bemedalled, roll out a banner, bordered in black crêpe, Thiepval 1916 it reads. So comfortably remote, remoter even than the ‘relief of Derry’ [in 1689] they are celebrating. Silently, humorously, doggedly, they mass around a dripping platform, a remarkable ...

Pointing the Finger

Jacqueline Rose: ‘The Plague’, 7 May 2020

... of a sudden feels a revolutionary surge in his thick blood.The novel’s first English translator, Stuart Gilbert, translated ‘doing their work internally’ – the French is ‘travaillaient intérieurement’ – as ‘that had been forming in its entrails’. This is more visceral but it loses the ambiguity of the French ‘intérieurement’, which ...

A Djinn speaks

Colm Tóibín: What about George Yeats?, 20 February 2003

Becoming George: The Life of Mrs W.B. Yeats 
by Ann Saddlemyer.
Oxford, 808 pp., £25, September 2002, 0 19 811232 7
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... sweetness of her youth. And now my utmost mystery is out. A woman’s beauty is a storm-tossed banner. When George went with her husband to Ireland soon after her marriage, every move she made was studied intensely by the five women who were most involved with the poet. They were his unmarried sisters Lily and Lolly; Maud Gonne and Iseult; and Lady ...

Confronting Defeat

Perry Anderson: Hobsbawm’s Histories, 17 October 2002

... straight into the Cold War, with scarcely a mention of the fact that the ‘Free World’ was the banner under which the West fought it. Where democracy enters the story, it gets brusque treatment. Commenting on the rival superpowers, Hobsbawm writes: ‘Like the USSR, the USA was a power representing an ideology, which most Americans sincerely believed to be ...

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