George W Bush was once president of controversial Delta Kappa Epsilon

BOOK REVIEW / Bobbins, shuttles and Manchesterhosen: The English Journey - Karl Friedrich Schinkel: Yale, pounds 35

AMONG the passengers landing at Dover from the Calais steam packet Spitfire on 24 May, 1826, was a man who could lay claim to being one of the most influential, eclectic and imaginative artistic spirits of the Romantic age. The architect of churches and government buildings for the embellishment of Berlin, the creator of shimmering fantasy stage sets for the operas of Mozart and Weber, the designer of exquisite pearwood furniture whose use of contrasted grains and veneers had inspired the Biedermeier style, Karl Friedrich Schinkel was a visionary, a brilliant dabbler and a punctilious civil servant. He fixed a rapt gaze on the future while standing heavily on his dignity as a privy councillor and university professor.

Remaining faithful to the translation: The poetics of translation - Willis Barnstone: Yale University Press, pounds 25

IT IS quite common, these days, to see long, fist-shaking articles attacking the whole idea of literary prizes. The big flaw, it is usually pointed out, is that they are awarded to books that have already been written, and are therefore a blatant waste of everybody's time and money. What is the benefit to literature, they ask, if A S Byatt gets a new swimming pool? Can we be sure that all this back-slapping will spur the lucky winners on to greater things?

BOOK REVIEW / Out of mind, out of sight: 'The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, 1700-1900' - Andrew Scull: Yale, 29.95 pounds

THIS superbly written, meticulously researched study is a horror story. Society's attitude to and treatment of the insane changed considerably during the 200 years covered by Andrew Scull. But although manacles and whips were eventually abolished, the 19th-century asylum created problems with which our society is still struggling.

BOOK REVIEW / Going like lambs to the slaughter, to die as cattle: The War Machine - Daniel Pick: Yale, pounds 19.95

IN THE spring of 1917, when the French army was rocked by large-scale mutinies, at least one regiment went to the front baa-ing like lambs on their way to the slaughter. It is a well-known episode from a war that has become synonymous with slaughter. And yet it rarely occurs to us to make a connection between the holocaust in the trenches and developments in the mechanisation of the butchery of animals. In the most illuminating section of an erratic book Daniel Pick does exactly this.

BOOK REVIEW / A war by any other name . . .: War machine: The Rationalisation of Slaughter in the Modern Age by Daniel Pick, Yale pounds 19.95

MOST BOOKS about the influence of technology on war have an eye to victory and defeat. But Daniel Pick's new study looks at the effects of technology on war psychology. He considers an assortment of perceptions, from the 1830s to the present, in the light of two major philosophic models of war: the Rationalist tradition initiated by Clausewitz, which sought to make war the object of scientific inquiry; and the Romantic tradition, exemplified in its most extreme form by de Quincey, which saw war as mankind's only remaining source of tragic elevation in a world increasingly dominated by machines.

BOOK REVIEW / National health disservice: When illness strikes the leader - Jerrold M Post & Robert S Robins: Yale pounds 19.95

ALTHOUGH Britain and the United States are both fortunate in being led by comparatively young, seemingly healthy men, youthful leaders are the exception rather than the rule. William Pitt the younger became Prime Minister at 24. Today high status and supreme power are seldom attained before late middle age, and countries throughout the world have suffered grievously because their rulers have been sick, senile, alcoholic or affected by drugs.

BOOK REVIEW / A dangerous virus in the body politic: 'When Illness Strikes the Leader' - Jerrold M Post & Robert S Robins: Yale, 19.95 pounds

EARLIER this week, the Chinese Premier, Li Peng, cancelled a trip to Mongolia because he had been taken to hospital with a cold. It must have been quite a nasty one: most of us grumble a bit when the dreaded 'cold' strikes, but . . . hospital? Presumably, Li Peng was sicker than anyone was admitting, but there is something rum about our willingness to swallow sugar-coated versions of the medical truth. We can be pretty sure there is something wrong with a man who doesn't mind appearing such a sissy. Rushed into hospital for a cold? It's the geopolitical equivalent of holding the matron's thermometer against the radiator in the hope of an off-games slip.

BOOK REVIEW / Of sound and fury, signifying nothing: 'Appropriating Shakespeare' - Brian Vickers: Yale, 35 pounds

CONVERSATIONS during the interval at Stratford are likely to be about the characters and the story of the play. There may be some controversy, but there will be no deep disagreement about what's supposed to be happening, no suggestion that the play is really about something it doesn't actually say - that Desdemona's handkerchief symbolises Othello's mother's missing penis; or that the Elizabethan theatre was an arena in which political subversion ceaselessly struggled against the power of authoritarian ideologies; or that since language has no reference to 'reality' the plays, being made of words, are to be thought of as containers of inward-looking signifiers, offering nothing to nave interval chatterers, only to disciples of Derrida or Lacan.

BOOK REVIEW / Hoch analysed: Cut With the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch - Maud Lavin: Yale, pounds 27.50

'Dada-Ernst', 1920-21, presumably named in tribute to the artist's main sources of inspiration and reference, is one of the witty and intricate montages in Cut With the Kitchen Knife: The Weimar Photomontages of Hannah Hoch by Maud Lavin (Yale pounds 27.50). It explores the uneasy position of the 'New Woman' in Weimar Germany, a constant theme in Hoch's work well analysed in Maud Lavin's detailed text.

Obituary: John Hersey

John Richard Hersey, writer and teacher: born Tientsin, China 17 June 1914; staff Time 1937-42; war and foreign correspondent, Time, Life, New Yorker 1942-46; Fellow, Berkeley College, Yale University 1950-65; Master, Pierson College 1965-70, Fellow 1965-93; Lecturer Yale University 1971-76, Visiting Professor 1976-77, Professor 1977-84 (Adjunct Professor Emeritus); married 1940 Frances Cannon (marriage dissolved 1958), 1958 Barbara Kaufman (three sons, two daughters); died 24 March 1993.

BOOK REVIEW / His character was too sober, his blood too salty: 'Louis XVI' - John Hardman: Yale University Press, 19.95 pounds

MONARCHS divide into three categories, 'Good', 'Bad' and 'Much Misunderstood'. Of the last, our own history has thrown up some notable examples. Even now that we know George I was a cultivated aesthete, shrewd international politician and able linguist, he is stuck, for ever it seems, with Thackeray's grossly slanderous portrayal of him as a Teutonic boor. William of Orange, a far better king than the English deserved, is now the bogeyman of Tory revisionists, who have set up their own Much Misunderstood candidate in the unlikely figure of his egregious father-in-law, James II.

Doctors 'clear Allen of sex abuse'

NEW HAVEN - Medical experts have determined that Woody Allen did not sexually abuse one of the children he adopted with his estranged partner Mia Farrow, representatives for both sides said yesterday. The long-awaited report has been a key part of the couple's bitter custody battle.

BOOK REVIEW / Savage reassessments: European encounters with the new world by Anthony Pagden, Yale pounds 18.95 Land without evil: Utopian Journeys across the South American Watershed

BY THE END of Christopher Columbus's damp squib of a party in 1992, there seemed to be little more to say about the encounter between the Old and the New Worlds. It had become a sterile argument between triumphalism and political correctness. Both sides pretended to talk about the Americas, but both seemed to assume that Europe had remained philosophically and spiritually unaffected by the discovery.

BOOK REVIEW / A plunge under the senatorial hoof: Conor Gearty on an exhilarating collection of essays on the far-reaching importance of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill affair: Race-ing justice, en-gendering power Ed Toni Morrison - Chatto and Windus pounds 12.99

IN THE late summer of 1991, George Bush was at the height of his powers. The collapse of the Soviet Union had turned him into the world's only super-ruler. His violent subjugation of Iraq had pleased 90 per cent of his people, and seemed to have guaranteed him his presidency into old age. While a 'six-pack' of derided Democrats jostled among themselves for the privilege of defeat in 1992, it looked as though the Reagan-Bush-Quayle version of America was impregnable.

BOOK REVIEW / The wounded surgeon: 'The Healer's Power' - Howard Brody: Yale, 18.95 pounds

AT THE heart of medicine lies the physician's power: the technical power to heal; the charismatic power exerted by the doctor's personality and presence; and the social power to remodel the world through genetic screening, selective abortion, or euthanasia. But doctors understand, and so increasingly do their patients, that with power may come its abuse. The ethical practice of medicine is about the responsible use of the physician's power, and in his latest book Howard Brody, a family practitioner who is also trained in moral philosophy, has set out to write a prescription for just such good practice.
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