Kevin Best

Crisis? What Crisis?

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Review of 'Socialist Register 2005: The Empire Reloaded', editors Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, Merlin Press £14.95

The editorial to this year's edition of Socialist Register, a collection of essays from left wing academics, describes it as a companion to last year's instalment that had eventually proved to be too large for one volume. Whereas last year's dealt with the strengths and weaknesses of US imperialism, this year's would focus on 'finance, culture and the way the new imperialism is penetrating major regions of the world'.

Going Full Circle

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The politics of Perry Anderson reveal a lot to Kevin Best.

The story of Perry Anderson is the story of the British left and the revival of Marxism and radicalism after the Second World War. Paul Blackledge traces Anderson's 'evolution towards that early radicalism with an eye to the ideas and events that influenced his idiosyncratic interpretation of Trotskyism, so as to make sense of, and immanently criticise, his later trajectory and his contemporary political perspective'. And what a trajectory - from reformism to Guevarism, Maoism to Trotskyism, before returning to reformism.

The Media Moguls

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Review of 'Victory at the Dirt Palace' by Adriano Shaplin, Riverside Studios, London, and touring

A terrorist attack has just occurred in the US, and father and daughter are live on air as rival network newsreaders. At stake are their reputations and careers--all is dependent on the television rating figures. This is merely the public face of a deep and bitter private rift that has long estranged the pair, and provided material for the tabloid newspapers.

Plenty to Shout About

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Review of 'The Quiet American', director Phillip Noyce

Upon its 1956 release Graham Greene's original novel, 'The Quiet American', was attacked for its anti-American sentiments. Despite this, Hollywood pressed ahead with a film adaptation two years later, simply changing its ending to accommodate McCarthy-charged expectations and champion Western ideology over Communism. Now a new film version, directed by Philip Noyce, is having the same accusations levelled at it as the original.

Voices to be Heard

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Review of 'Imprint', Young Writers Programme, Royal Court Theatre, London

The Royal Court Theatre is currently running its biennial Young Writers Programme. 'Imprint' features ten scripts chosen from the original 400 submitted by playwrights aged between 13 and 25 who need not have had any previous writing experience. The programme aims to 'open up theatre to the most exciting and diverse range of new voices', offering the chance to attend writer groups and summer schools in support. It is working closely with young homeless and disabled writers, and has previously had some success in producing established writers.

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