The second chapter deals with two individual sports. Boxing and tennis might appear strange bedfellows, but as well as being primarily individual sports, they are also united by their transatlantic nature. The flamboyant figures of boxer Jack Johnson and tennis player Suzanne Lenglen were famous on both sides of the Atlantic. Johnson lived it up in nightclubs in both Paris and London, Lenglen played host to American film stars on the French Riviera. Boxing’s Americanism is traced in the writings and life of Cravan that culminated in the fight against Johnson in Barcelona, which is then refracted through the fascination of American journal The Soil for both boxing and Cravan. Tennis was particularly associated with modernist architecture, with players featuring in books written by Le Corbusier, Adolf Behne and Sigfried Giedion. It was also a rare example of a sport where the women’s game attracted as much, if not more, attention than that of the men. This, I contend, caused problems for Le Corbusier, who preferred to concentrate on the geometrical court and the anonymous male players that he includes in his Urbanisme, rather than the glamour and fashion of Lenglen, a woman dressed by the couturier Jean Patou and who served as an inspiration for a Jean Cocteau piece for the Ballets Russes.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.