Category Archives: History

Team spirit

I don’t need to mention there’s an important semi-final tonight, do I? Most of the media build-up is drawing parallels with Italia ’90, for understandable reasons, yet for someone of my generation (I was born in 1959) 1966 is still … Continue reading

Posted in Film, History, Sport, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Information overload, 18th century style

“Meantime, the pamphlets and half-sheets grow so upon our hands,” groaned Swift in 1710, “it will very well employ a man every day from morning til night to read them.” His solution? Never to open any! The doctor Thomas Beddoes … Continue reading

Posted in History, Literature, Notebook, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,

The judge had led quite a sheltered life

Like Carman, the Honourable Sir Joseph Donaldson Cantley was from Manchester. But that was just about all they had in common. Far from having a rackety private life, Cantley was rumoured to have been a virgin until the age of … Continue reading

Posted in Class, History, Notebook | Tagged , ,

Richard Pipes RIP

He wasn’t anywhere near as well known in this country as Orlando Figes, but he should have been. I suppose you could describe him as an intellectual who was wary of a certain kind of intellectual. As he puts it … Continue reading

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Bullingdon-esque

One of the books I’m reading at the moment (for research purposes, really) is the diary of Duff Cooper (1890-1954),  Cabinet minister, bon vivant and David Cameron’s great-great uncle. (You can see the resemblance in the photo.) The early stages … Continue reading

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Notebook

Fortunately, given this dearth of administrative documents, we also have chronicles — again, mostly thanks to the diligence of monks. These contemporary histories can help put considerable amounts of flesh on what would otherwise be very bare bones, providing us … Continue reading

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California, 1936

Erecting a swastika at a German Day party in Hindenburg Park, near Los Angeles. From a Weekly Standard review of two books about Hollywood & the Nazis. (There’s more background on the murky history of the park in this LA Times … Continue reading

Posted in History, World War 2 | Tagged , , , ,

Notebook

We have a Committee meeting at which several representative Jews tell us of the extermination of their fellows by the Nazis. They have ringed off the Warsaw ghetto and transported two-thirds of the inhabitants in cattle-trucks to die in Russia. … Continue reading

Posted in History, Notebook, Uncategorized, World War 2 | Tagged , , ,

Notebook

[A]n abyss divided left and right even during years of relative calm, when political issues were not particularly prominent. The way of thinking of the two camps, their mode of expression, their whole mental make-up, were different. Just as a … Continue reading

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Notebook

At the beginning of December I took a trip to New York, and saw Berthold Viertel. I got home just as war was declared with Japan. Of course, our group was wildly excited – which surprised me, in a way, … Continue reading

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