‘A Nazi in England’ screamed the Evening Standard headline that flagged up the appearance, eight years ago, of a collection of Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s radio talks on art and architecture. The book’s editor was Stephen Games, and – thanks to that deceptive headline – it was assumed that he had opportunistically seized his moment to besmirch the name of one of England’s most revered figures. Games had a biography of Pevsner in the pipeline (the fine book under review is the first of that two-part project). Evidently (or so a bunch of over-excited critics and journos chose to assume), he hoped to win interest for it by making sensational claims; for this, Games deserved a thorough, and public, dressing-down.
He got it (and returns the honour by publishing a venomous sample of it in the appendix to this book). ‘The man who helped open our eyes to architecture deserves better than this slur of guilt by association with the Nazis’, droned The Times, in a particularly malicious