The film is one of Scorsese's bawdiest and most enjoyable efforts
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Friday 17 September 2010
For those of us disturbed by the way that Bob Diamond, the new boss of Barclays, has, one way or another, made around £95 million from his bank, an institution virtually bust a couple of years ago, Ha-Joon Chang has a couple of "things" to say. Specifically, Thing Number 13 in this myth-busting and nicely-written collection of essays: "Making rich people richer doesn't make the rest of us richer"; and Thing Number 14: "US managers are overpriced." Diamond has spent most of his career on Wall Street, and much the same applies to the UK.
Sunday 12 September 2010
Tuesday 07 September 2010
Sunday 29 August 2010
Sunday 22 August 2010
Prof Geoffrey Miller is on a mission to redefine how we think about marketing. Through the discipline of evolutionary psychology, he examines and dispatches the current marketing paradigms. These he identifies as either conservative (human nature plus free markets necessarily equals consumerist capitalism) or radical (consumerist capitalism occurs as a result of oppressive institutions and ideologies impressing themselves on nascent minds). While such alternatives may be unfairly cast as straw men, Must-Have is a thought-provoking analysis of how marketing really works and its relationship to our ancient psychological traits.
Friday 28 May 2010
The rise of the new Romanian cinema continues apace with this sly satire on consumerism.
Friday 07 May 2010
In 1962, my university tutor, Richard Cobb, the iconoclastic historian of the French Revolution , sent me to see his friends Dorothy and Edward Thompson, mumbling something about their work on Chartism. Memory is short when you are just 19 and it seemed to me then that Conservatism –with a large and small "c" - had covered the globe with a gloom of blue since the beginning of time. The Thompsons' household, perched on a Halifax hill was, in contrast, a magical Tardis which enabled you to travel to debates and struggles of long ago. His The Making of the English Working Class was still in the making, but sitting amid the piles of papers and books, I discovered William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary.
Wednesday 05 May 2010
Speculation continues that Michael Grade, the former ITV boss and all-round television bigwig, is being lined up for a peerage if David Cameron makes it into Number 10 on Friday. Officials from the Conservative Party have been gently fending off all inquiries on the topic, but Mr Grade's op-ed in The Times yesterday did read rather like a job application. "Impartiality is over: Cameron gets my vote," the piece was headlined.
Sunday 11 April 2010
Sue Gerhardt's polemic is an unusual thing: it not only pinpoints what is wrong, but also suggests ways to put it right. Her argument is that society has created "selfish" beings of us, and not, as some evolutionary theorists might assert, that we are genetically selfish. By lightly tracing the history of capitalism, she shows how we have arrived at the present condition, where we shop to make ourselves feel less lonely, change our bodies to feel more loved, and reach for fame to give our lives a sense of purpose.
Friday 02 April 2010
Even without Irvine Welsh enthusiastically citing The Corrections on its jacket, Joe Meno's The Great Perhaps would struggle to escape comparison with Jonathan Franzen's celebrated 2001 novel. And while both are ambitious family dramas, those expecting similar levels of prose pyrotechnics will be disappointed. What this novel is resolutely not is a sort of Corrections-lite. Though a brief summary of the plot suggests that this may be the case.
Friday 26 March 2010
In spite of his brief career as a "New Right" philosopher in the Thatcher era, John Gray has always held much more appeal for the thoughtful liberal-left.
Friday 12 March 2010
Outlook: Another retailer doing a roaring trade is John Lewis, whose profits are up a 9.7 per cent. With a partnership structure and an executive chairman whose salary is capped at 75 times the lowestpaid employee (don't weep for him, he still makes seven figures), it is seen as the acceptable face of capitalism.
Sunday 21 February 2010
"Creative capitalism", the brainchild of Bill Gates, is the idea that capitalism can and should be used to solve the world's problems. In fact, Gates argues, capitalists should be much better at doing so than governments: they can "[match] business expertise with needs in the developing world to find markets that are... untapped." This book is drawn from a web-based discussion of Gates's idea, with economists, journalists and business people weighing in; some supportive, some acidly sceptical.
Monday 14 December 2009
Saturday 21 November 2009
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
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