News and reviews

Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean reviewed in the Spectator

Added on 08/06/2019

‘Below the 40s there is no law, and below the 50s there is no God.’ Most sailors know some version of this saying, referring to the dangerous waters more than 40º south of the equator. In Wild Sea, Joy McCann focuses on these waters.

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The Pocket reviewed in The Guardian

Added on 06/06/2019

Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes,” says EM Forster in A Room With a View, adapting a quote from Henry David Thoreau. What a spoilsport. Surely one of the best bits about starting a new job is that it gives you permission to fashion yourself in a different way.

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Ben Nicholson Writings and Ideas reviewed in the TLS

Added on 04/06/2019

In December 1933, the painter Ben Nicholson sent a letter from Paris to his lover, Barbara Hepworth, in London. “I shall be very interested to see what you write for your Unit One”, he says. “I shall write about 12 words and…

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Five Years Ahead of My Time reviewed in Louder Than War

Added on 02/06/2019

“Wow!” That is the instant reaction one feels when delving into this compelling history of the style of rock known as ‘Garage’. The further you become engrossed, the more you begin to comprehend the scale of the task…

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Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered featured in the Guardian

Added on 02/06/2019

One of the world’s leading experts on Leonardo da Vinci has criticised Christie’s for wrongly suggesting in its cataloguing of the Salvator Mundi that she was among scholars who had attributed the picture to the Renaissance master.

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“A Robert Byron of the Left”? New Socialist interviews Owen Hatherley

Added on 31/05/2019

Owen Hatherley is the author of a remarkable number of excellent books on architecture, cities, and political aesthetics. His most recent, The Adventures of Owen Hatherley in the Post-Soviet Space is published by Repeater Books.

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Anna Katharina Schaffner considers cultural histories of fat & fat phobia

Added on 29/05/2019

In recent decades, the British population has grown in girth. The NHS England obesity report for 2017 found that 58 per cent of women and 68 per cent of the men were overweight or obese, as well as one in five children aged three to four.

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We’ll Never Have Paris reviewed in the TLS

Added on 29/05/2019

Each year about a dozen Japanese visitors to Paris are repatriated after suffering from “Paris syndrome”. That is what some polite tourists suffer when they discover that Parisians can be rude or the city does not meet their expectations.

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Fully Automated Luxury Communism – a manifesto for the future

Added on 29/05/2019

“Under Fully Automated Luxury Communism,” writes Aaron Bastani in this short, dizzyingly confident book, luxury will pervade everything as society based on waged work becomes as much a relic as the feudal peasant …”

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And what of changing Siri Hustvedt’s mind?

Added on 25/05/2019

The Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries Old Argument Over What Makes Living Things Tick by Jessica Riskin explores the history of ideas about agency and its connection to mechanistic thought, nature as machine.

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The book that changed Emily Maitlis’ mind

Added on 25/05/2019

Back to Black by Kehinde Andrews has made me reassess my view of reparations for slavery. I used to think the idea of compensation seemed bizarre, undeliverable and risked reinforcing victimhood.

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Vasily Grossman & the Soviet Century reviewed in the Evening Standard

Added on 24/05/2019

Vasily Grossman, the Ukrainian journalist and writer, made his name as a war correspondent for the Soviet army newspaper Red Star. His dispatches from the Russian front line between 1941 and 1945 radiate a fierce moral candour.

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