Oxford University

Sin Of Admission

OK, it isn't that Oxford University is exactly for sale. So let's just say it's for rent. According to the Financial Times, which can recognize a smarmy financial transaction when it sees one, the Saudi Arabian Defense Minister, Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz (this line of bins being the powerful princely lineage), has made a gift that is the equivalent, roughly, of $3.8 million to Oxford's Ashmolean Museum. In return, Oxford will "endeavour to identify four to six [of its] colleges with resources and expertise" for students from Prince Sultan University in Riyadh.

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The Gardener

Dean Acheson: A Life in the Cold War By Robert L. Beisner (Oxford University Press, 768 pp., $35) I. "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." The speaker could have been Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S Truman, John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, or Bill Clinton. In fact, it was George W. Bush, in his second inaugural address; and what he said is what historians will probably remember as the Bush Doctrine.

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Holy Terror By Terry Eagleton (Oxford University Press, 148 pp., $22) Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism By Robert A. Pape (University of Chicago Press, 335 pp., $25.95) The first and often the only thing one knows about a suicide bomber is that he is someone with more to die for than to live for. That such a person would make use of his readiness to suffer quickly, horribly, and finally is not a recent development in the history of nations. Nor does it exhibit a peculiarly modern form of radical evil.

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Class Acts

Ornamentalism by David Cannadine Oxford University Press, 240 pp., $25) When Hitler wished to relax after a hard day at the office, he liked to watch films in his private screening room. Nazi propaganda movies were not his favorite entertainment; they felt too much like work. Hitler liked swashbuckling Hollywood films, and one picture in particular: Lives of a Bengal Lancer, starring Gary Cooper and C.

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Wilson reviews Crime is Not the Problem: Lethal Violence in America in 1997.

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Clintonomics 101

From The Editors: In his State of the Union address Wednesday, President Obama outlined his vision for economic recovery--and many of his ideas bore striking resemblance those Bill Clinton proposed when he was running for president in 1992. In a TNR article penned that year, Robert Reich (who would eventually become Clinton’s labor secretary) described the Democratic nominee’s economic plan. “The centerpiece of the Clinton plan is a major increase in public investment in education, training, and infrastructure,” Reich wrote. Sound familiar? It’s a lot like Obama’s stimulus plan.

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The fine line between "law" and "politics."

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Talk Talk

A Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, Volume 4; Se-Z edited by R, W, Burchfield (Oxford University Press, 1,454 pp., $150) The Story of English by Robert McCrum, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil (Elisabeth Sifton Books/Viking, 384 pp.,$24,95) American Talk: The Words and Ways of American Dialects by Robert Hendrlckson (Viking, 231 pp., $18.95) Take My Word For It by William Safire (Times Books, 357 pp., $22,50) A Word or Two Before You Go ..

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Correspondence

  A disclaimer To the editors: I am very grateful to Henry Fairlie for his generous—too generous—review of my book Hermit of Peking (June 4). What cat would not purr, so deliciously stroked? But I must disclaim one achievement which he ascribes to me. He says that I have "put down" my colleagues A.J.P. Taylor and J.H. Plumb. It is true that once, 20 years ago—in a review of one particular book, The Origins of Ihe Second World War—I expressed dissent from the historical interpretation of Mr. Taylor, whose other works I have invariably praised.

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The Family Romance

A review of Harold Bloom’s 1973 work of literary criticism titled “The Anxiety of Influence”.

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