News and reviews

The London Society reviews Cook’s Camden

Added on 20/03/2019

Cook’s Camden is a comprehensive, inviting and ultimately appreciative work of scholarship on the borough’s council house building programme from 1965-1973. Well evidenced and attractively designed, it assesses aspiration and delivery.

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Arabs: A 3,000-Year History reviewed in the Observer

Added on 17/03/2019

Outside the window of Tim Mackintosh-Smith’s home in Sana’a are reminders of the long sweep of Arab history – child soldiers mourning martyrs of the country’s ongoing war, rocket salvoes and a mosque dating back to the 7th century.

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How hip-hop and cyberpunk hijacked culture

Added on 17/03/2019

In an infamous Newsweek cover story in March 1990, beneath the strapline “Rap Rage”, journalist Jerry Adler laid out the case for the prosecution against the corrupting influence of hip-hop which had become wearyingly overfamiliar to its fans.

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Marketable Values reviewed in the London Review of Books

Added on 16/03/2019

What is a market? This is the question at the heart of Desmond Fitz-Gibbon’s detailed and thoughtful analysis of a bewilderingly elastic concept that may refer to anything from a medieval town square to a set of algorithms.

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Scroungers: Moral Panics & Media Myths reviewed in the Guardian

Added on 16/03/2019

The stereotype of a feckless, underclass – irredeemably indolent, congenitally doomed to a life of welfare dependency – has been with us for as long as there have been politicians and tabloid newspapers to exploit it.

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Man Booker International prize 2019 longlist sees small publishers win big

Added on 14/03/2019

The “finest works of translation from around the world” are almost exclusively published by independent presses according to the Man Booker International prize longlist. Of 13 books only 2 are from major publishing houses.

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Love in the New Millennium on Man Booker International longlist

Added on 13/03/2019

The Man Booker International Prize has revealed the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 13 novels in contention for the 2019 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world.

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Nicholas Hilliard by Elizabeth Goldring reviewed in the Guardian

Added on 09/03/2019

The picture of his own dapper handsomeness that Nicholas Hilliard created in 1577 is a revolutionary assertion that artists are stars who belong in the best society. This Self-Portrait is tiny – a disc of vellum just over 4cm in diameter.

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Is the British reluctance to learn languages partly to blame for Brexit?

Added on 09/03/2019

Marek Kohn, a native Polish speaker, makes a powerful case for knowing more than one language as a life-enriching skill that may enlarge our sympathies in a world that wants to build walls.

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Tatler’s Book of the Week is Babel: Adventures in Translation

Added on 05/03/2019

Accompanying an exhibition at the Bodleian, and beautifully illustrated by some of the library’s treasures, this book looks at how ideas have been transmitted between cultures through translation and is a visual and intellectual treat.

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Insiders/Outsiders featured in the Times

Added on 04/03/2019

When, in the early 1930s, in the face of rising antisemitism, thousands of Jews fled Germany, Britain must have seemed a safe haven. For those who followed in 1938 in the wake of Kristallnacht, the feeling of danger escaped was more intense.

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Lost Maps of the Caliphs reviewed in the Telegraph

Added on 02/03/2019

Around 1,000 years ago (sometime between 1020 and 1050, to be as precise as we can be), a Muslim scholar living in Cairo wrote a book. Titled The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels of the Eye.

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