Tuesday, July 29, 2008

London Review of Books 30, 15 31st July

Interesting stuff in this London Review of Books (Vol 30, 15, 31st July 2008) includea a lengthy piece by Stefan Collini on Dai Smith's life of Raymond Williams (A Warrior's Tale). Collini's own work on British intellectuals makes him an interesting commentator here. Collini points to the polarized and contested legacy that Williams left after his death in 1988, and draws a contrast with the biography produced by Fred Inglis (drawing attention to a very negative review by Raphael Samuel in the LRB (not available on-line, but see Jim McGuigan's review in New Left Review 215)). A Warrior's Tale takes us to 1961, so includes Culture and Society (which doesn't seem to be in print - unbelievable!) and The Long Revolution (ditto!), but not the later Marxist work, and also emphasises Williams' fictional works, especially Border Country. Interesting article, clearly important book.

Eric Foner writes about Marcus Rediker's clearly essential The Slave Ship: A Human History. He places Rediker's acount of the human costs of the slave trade in the context of the still surviving 'moral capital' of the abolition of the slave trade that Christopher Brown has pointed to in Moral Capital.

Megan Vaughan writes about a history of psychiatry in French North Africa, interesting becuase of the background it provides to the work of Franz Fanon and Albert Memmi.

And in a couple of articles not pegged to books Daniel Finn writes about Irish politics after the 'No' vote and Uri Avnery writes about the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after a year of what he describes as a 'score draw', but although Hamas hasn't achieved its objectives, it sounds like a 'significant military and political victory' for them. And a word for the lead article in which James Meek provides a 'Condition of England' piece via an account of the legacy of the 2007 floods in Tewkesbury.



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