News and reviews

George Magnus on the Huawei decision

Added on 17/07/2020

Notwithstanding the threats from China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, Huawei has been given its marching orders. There are caveats as the government has tried a little to placate UK telecommunications vendors’ concerns.

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Stan Lee: A Life in Comics reviewed in Prospect

Added on 16/07/2020

There’s a paragraph in Liel Leibovitz’s life of Stan Lee, that pretty much causes the jaw to hit the floor. It was late 1961 and comics were in the doldrums: the psychiatrist Fredric Wertham’s attack on the industry as damaging to children…

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Double life of Bradford teacher who was a wartime spy

Added on 14/07/2020

Harry Rée never betrayed the secrets of Churchill’s “underground army” of which he was, according to its official historian, one of its six best men. He said only that it had been a “glorious summer holiday”.

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About Time: Fashion & Duration featured in Tatler

Added on 14/07/2020

The pandemic may have put off fashion’s biggest party, the Met Gala, and the exhibition it would have celebrated, but happily this catalogue gives a captivating taste of what might have been. The theme was to have been time.

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A Little History of Poetry featured in the Times

Added on 10/07/2020

Does anyone know more about poetry than John Carey? Almost certainly not. This entertaining rattle through the history of poems and the drunken, dissolute and eccentric people who wrote them is the only primer you’ll need.

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This summer’s top non-fiction books, chosen by the Daily Mail

Added on 09/07/2020

John Carey has been writing brilliant, eminently readable literary criticism for as long as most of us can remember. The Merton Professor of English Literature at Oxford may be 86 but he writes with the zingy verve of a teenager.

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Leslie Kern’s Feminist City featured in the Guardian

Added on 06/07/2020

Glass ceilings and phallic towers. Mean streets and dark alleys. Road names and statues of men. From the physical to the metaphorical, the city is filled with reminders of masculine power. And yet we rarely talk of the urban landscape …

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Do cities have to be so sexist? Asks Judith Kern in the Guardian

Added on 06/07/2020

Glass ceilings & phallic towers. Mean streets & dark alleys. Road names & statues of men. From the physical to the metaphorical, the city is filled with reminders of masculine power but we rarely talk of it as a participant in gender inequality.

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Priyamvada Gopal on the importance of understanding whiteness

Added on 06/07/2020

When it comes to race and racism, we focus on those at the sharp end of discrimination – from black people routinely subjected to police brutality to people of colour missing from positions of influence.

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Bread Winner reviewed in the Guardian

Added on 06/07/2020

As a lad in 1880s Bermondsey Sid Causer appeased his hunger by filching fruit from market barrows. Louie Stride, brought up dirt poor in genteel Bath, thought nothing of looking for dinner in the gutter.

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Merpeople: A Human History reviewed in Literary Review

Added on 03/07/2020

You probably believe that merpeople – sirens, tritons – are imaginary creatures, but how can you be absolutely sure? Benjamin Franklin boasted about his rationality, yet in 1736 he informed readers of his Pennsylvania Gazette …

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What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About #MeToo – a TLS review

Added on 03/07/2020

As JoAnn Wypijewski suggests in her daring essay collection (…) the impoverishment of our sexual vocabulary is related to the simplicity of our moral lexicon.  It is precisely because we are so insensitive to the convolutions of desire …

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