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How politics lost touch with everyday life

How politics lost touch with everyday life

Early on in his elegiac study of how our literary and aesthetic past might animate our political future, Marc Stears singles out DH Lawrence’s “wonderful essay” Insouciance, written in 1928, which he believes embodies “the vision that animates this book”. In the essay, Lawrence describes a meeting with two elderly ladies who try to draw… Continue reading…

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NormBlog – The Weblog of Norman Geras
December 09, 2008

Writer’s choice 184: Melissa Benn
Melissa Benn is a journalist, campaigner and novelist. She writes regularly for The Guardian. Her books include Public Lives, Madonna and Child: Towards a New Politics of Motherhood, and (with Clyde Chitty) A Tribute to Caroline Benn: Education and Democracy. Her latest novel, One of Us, will be released in Vintage paperback early in 2009. Below Melissa writes about Theodore Dreiser’s Jennie Gerhardt.

Melissa Benn on Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

It is not always easy to write about a favourite book or even to understand why some works are so much more meaningful to us than others. But with Jennie Gerhardt, Theodore Dreiser’s second and intensely tragic novel, I am acutely aware of how much of the book’s power is, for me, tied to memories of the last days in the life of my mother, Caroline Benn, proud American, socialist, scholar, lover of 19th-century novels and a great admirer of Dreiser.

(Read it here)

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I can still vividly remember Michael Gove’s first speech to the House of Commons as Secretary of State for Education in 2010. A blast of oratory in which he charged the outgoing New Labour government of failing poor children with talent. During Labour’s 13 years in office, Gove thundered, on average only 45 children on… Continue reading…

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In conversation with Ed Miliband

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