Reviews

Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On: 50 years later, a soundtrack for today

Issue section: 
Issue: 
Author: 

Start your preferred method of listening to music. Set it up to play the whole of the album. Turn off the phone. Press play. Sit down and listen without doing anything else.

It’s tempting to end this article here as I’m not sure anything that follows will do it justice. If nothing else though, I hope someone who has never heard the entire album will listen to it from beginning to end.

Obama’s broken promise

Issue section: 
Issue: 

A Promised Land, the first volume of former US president Barack Obama’s memoirs, reveals a politician determined to preserve the US’s global power. Brian Richardson praises Obama’s eloquence, but damns his record in office; one which saw the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Mario Cuomo, the long-term governor of New York, famously suggested that politicians “campaign in poetry but govern in prose”. That could hardly be said of the outgoing US president who both campaigned and governed with a combination of racist populist rhetoric and bellicose Tweets. By comparison however, his predecessor is a renowned wordsmith.

Artemisia Gentileschi

Issue section: 

Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656) a baroque artist, has been rediscovered in recent years. Lorraine Huddle looks at her art.

Old Mistresses’, Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock, 1981, highlighted how women artists had been erased from art history in the 20th century. As the title of the book suggests, the female version of an ‘Old Master’ has a very different connotation. Female artists, if mentioned at all by art historians, were treated as aberrations of femininity and never as able as men to make serious art. It was a revelation to many of us just how many amazing women artists there had been: ‘Old Mistresses’— hidden from art history and hidden from view. Chief among them was Artemisia Gentilischi.

Mary Wolstonecraft

Issue section: 

A couple of weeks after all the furore surrounding its unveiling, I made my way to Newington Green to see the Mary Wollstonecraft statue for myself. It was smaller than I expected, no bigger than a person standing on a plinth. The bulk of it is a silvery, writhing, lumpy mass, reaching upward, with a tiny, nude, pert-breasted homunculus emerging from the top, like the Silver Surfer but with more pubic hair. My immediate reaction was a mixture of amusement and perplexity. What was I to take from this about the 18th century radical and author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman?

All Against All: The Long Winter of 1933 and the Origins of the Second World War

Issue section: 
Author: 

All Against All: The Long Winter of 1933 and the Origins of the Second World War, Paul Jankowski Profile £20
I don’t want to give this work a bad review, because I suspect it just isn’t written for me. But All Against All is an unrelenting tsunami of facts which totally overwhelmed me. At no point could I pick out an underlying narrative or ideological point. According to the dust jacket, the book tells the story of the global political scene from November 1932 to April 1933 when a number of currents combined to tip the world into a grim spiral that led to the Second World War.

Pages