Category Archives: Britain Today

A German Idealist on Globalization – and what he might have to say to an anti-Brexiteer

  Rüdiger Safranski is one of the best-known philosophers in contemporary Germany. Together with his many prizes, the highly rated television programme, Philosophisches Quartett, ‘The Philosophical Quarter’, he has presented with Peter Sloterdijk, since 2002, has secured his name. In … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Current Affairs, Europe, German Literature, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German, Who are you? | Tagged , , , , ,

Adorno, the Frankfurt School and the Soul of Europe

No one who has read Theodore Adorno would have been surprised by last summer’s Charlie Hebdo cartoon when Amatrice, an Italian town otherwise known for its pasta sauce, suffered a fatal earthquake. The French magazine with its satirical pasta shapes … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Britain Today, Europe, Frankfurt School, German Literature, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tony Blair: Idealist, Liberal or just Confused?

People fell in love with Tony Blair when he was elected Labour Prime Minister in May 1997.  Ten years later they hated him. Parliament had been lied to over the Iraq war. There never were convincing reasons to believe Iraqi … Continue reading

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From Pasternak’s novel to David Lean’s film of Doctor Zhivago

Pasternak told an interviewer from abroad in 1960 that  I wanted to record the past and to honor in Doctor Zhivago the beautiful and sensitive aspects of the Russia of those years. There will be no return of those days, … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, Current Affairs, Film, Russia | Tagged

Siegfried Kracauer’s idea of ‘Mass Ornament’

Mass society as its own ornament was how the German social critic Siegfried Kracauer understood the street life of the dying years of the Weimar Republic. You can find this clever idea which brings us right to the present day … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Britain Today, Current Affairs, Things German, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Conservative British Childhood Two Hundred Years Ago John Ruskin and his Parents

Ruskin born in February 1819 was five years old when his parents took him to visit the field of Waterloo. It was a moment in an heroic Tory childhood he might like to have remembered better. His autobiography Praeterita records his … Continue reading

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Cold War Shakespeare

In the 1960s the Polish literary critic Jan Kott revolutionized approaches to Shakespeare. British directors Peter Hall and Peter Brook were so transfixed it might be said Kott made their careers. As a cycle of the first three of the … Continue reading

Posted in Britain Today, Cold War, In The Communist Mirror - my book 25 years old this year, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment