Mary Phillips

White Heat

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This six-part drama follows the lives and loves of seven housemates. It starts in the present day when one of them has died and then goes back to the 1960s where they seem to be part of some kind of social experiment conducted by a young radical called Jack in a flat in London.

In his will the deceased has left the flat to his "former flatmates". Like my own brother he was dead for two weeks before he was found, so the flat needs some cleaning up. We see a group photo which shows the seven main characters as they were when they first moved in.

Jack wants to run a sort of island of egalitarianism where people do not have exclusive relationships - but he imposes his own rules, such as no one being allowed to sleep with anyone else for more than three nights.

Chris Harman: He never thought of himself as too important

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All Chris's publications are important, but two in particular stand out for me. One is a pamphlet called Is a Machine After Your Job? It deals with the way employers use new technology to get more work out of fewer people without giving them more leisure time.

The other is The Lost Revolution - his history and analysis of the German Revolution. Chris's book explains why it was crucial to spread the revolution beyond Russia and why the eventual defeat of the German Revolution spelled catastrophe for the working class throughout the world.

My Revolutions

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Hari Kunzru, Hamish Hamilton, £16.99

My Revolutions covers a period starting with the events of the late 1960s, when all the world seemed to be in a revolutionary phase. It will sweep you along in a whirl of sex, drugs, drink, weapons and guerrilla activity. The political aims of the main character, Mike, can only be achieved through attacking what he sees as symbols of capitalism and all it stands for.

Popping the American Dream

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Review of 'Roy Lichtenstein', Hayward Gallery, London

Roy Lichtenstein's pop art paintings had an immediate and forceful impact on my 17 year old grandson. It was worth taking him to the exhibition to see how the comic-inspired images of the American Dream and the violence of war affected him.

At the beginning of the exhibition is a small cinema where a screening about Lichtenstein and his work gives a really useful introduction before going round the exhibition.

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