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It can happen here

Alan Milward, 2 May 1985

Hitler and the Final Solution 
by Gerald Fleming.
Hamish Hamilton, 219 pp., £12.95, January 1985, 0 241 11388 1
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Hitler in History 
by Eberhard Jäckel.
University Press of New England, 115 pp., $9.95, January 1985, 0 87451 311 1
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Albert Speer: The End of a Myth 
by Matthias Schmidt, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Harrap, 276 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 245 54244 2
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... found a way on which Hitler only later bestowed his approval. To this debate two British writers, David Irving and Gerald Fleming, have contributed thunderous points. Irving claims, what no respectable German author has claimed, that not only was Hitler not the author of the ‘final solution’: he did not even know ...


James Meek: Real Murderers!, 8 October 2015

... Julius, once Princess Diana’s divorce lawyer and the courtroom nemesis of the Holocaust denier David Irving, said I hadn’t been invited to carry out an audit. He left before the soup course. Marian told us that Dau’s current backer (earlier, a string of Russian, Ukrainian and West European cultural agencies had put up millions of roubles, hryvnyas ...

Holy Relics

Alan Milward, 3 April 1986

Selling Hitler: The story of the Hitler Diaries 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 402 pp., £10.95, February 1986, 0 571 13557 9
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... to Robert Harris, with the memorable line: ‘Fuck Dacre, publish.’ Meanwhile the historian David Irving denounced the diaries as fakes, on the radio and television of three countries, although he had no sound evidence for saying so. Two weeks later, when everyone else was saying they were fakes, he made the front page of the Daily Express and the ...

Two Sharp Teeth

Philip Ball: Dracula Studies, 25 October 2018

Something in the Blood: The Untold Story of Bram Stoker, the Man Who Wrote ‘Dracula’ 
by David J. Skal.
Norton, 672 pp., £15.99, October 2017, 978 1 63149 386 7
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The Cambridge Companion to ‘Dracula’ 
edited by Roger Luckhurst.
Cambridge, 219 pp., £17.99, November 2017, 978 1 316 60708 4
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The Vampire: A New History 
by Nick Groom.
Yale, 287 pp., £16.99, October 2018, 978 0 300 23223 3
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... but because for much of his life he was furiously overworked as house manager for Henry Irving’s Lyceum Theatre in London. Aside from Dracula, Stoker wrote nothing of note, and plenty that was excruciating. ‘There is a semi-heroic, Everyman quality about his intense command of the mediocre,’ the critic Ludovic Flow wrote, ‘as if the ...

Performing Seals

Christopher Hitchens: The PR Crowd, 10 August 2000

Partisans: Marriage, Politics and Betrayal Among the New York Intellectuals 
by David Laskin.
Simon and Schuster, 319 pp., $26, January 2000, 0 684 81565 6
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... Norman Podhoretz). Queenie Leavis of course became an official widow, and it is les veuves on whom David Laskin relies most heavily in this relatively orderly account of sexual and matrimonial chaos. Diana Trilling outlived Lionel by many a book; Mary McCarthy enjoyed the same revenge on Edmund Wilson; the witches of Eastwick (lacking only their Hardwick) have ...

At the Movies

Andrew O’Hagan: M. Night Shyamalan, 17 July 2008

The Happening 
directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
June 2008
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... Movie producers are often but not always wrong. During Hollywood’s great period the good ones (Irving Thalberg, David Selznick, Darryl Zanuck) knew how to protect and indulge creative talent, but they also knew when to cut it off at the pass. One thing is well known to the modern producer: when a writer/director gets ...

Malcolm and the Masses

Clive James, 5 February 1981

Malcolm Muggeridge: A Life 
by Ian Hunter.
Collins, 270 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 00 216538 4
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... should be ‘exaltation’, although it is hard to be sure. Referring to ‘the historian David Irving’ is like referring to the metallurgist Uri Geller. There were, I think, few ballpoint pens in 1940. On page 160 the idea that the USA passed straight from barbarism to decadence is praised as if it had been conceived by Muggeridge, instead of ...

Germans and the German Past

J.P. Stern, 21 December 1989

The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust and German National Identity 
by Charles Maier.
Harvard, 227 pp., £17.95, November 1988, 0 674 92975 6
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Piper, 397 pp., DM 17.80, July 1987, 3 492 10816 4Show More
In Hitler’s Shadow: West German Historians and the Attempt to Escape from the Nazi Past 
by Richard Evans.
Tauris, 196 pp., £12.95, October 1989, 1 85043 146 9
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Why did the heavens not darken? 
by Arno Mayer.
Verso, 510 pp., £19.95, October 1989, 0 86091 267 1
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A German Identity, 1770-1990 
by Harold James.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £16.95, March 1989, 9780297795049
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Die Republikaner: Phantombild der neuen Rechten 
by Claus Leggewie.
Rotbuch, 155 pp., May 1989, 3 88022 011 5
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Ich war dabei 
by Franz Schönhuber.
Langen Müller, 356 pp., April 1989, 3 7844 2249 7
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... the Israeli historian Saul Friedländer has claimed, is based on an argument advanced by David Irving.) Nolte does not explain how the president of an international organisation without a state, or government, or army – an organisation whose purpose in 1939 was to advise the British on the question of Palestine and offer relief to the ...

Our Slaves Are Black

Nicholas Guyatt: Theories of Slavery, 4 October 2007

Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World 
by David Brion Davis.
Oxford, 440 pp., £17.99, May 2006, 0 19 514073 7
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The Trader, the Owner, the Slave 
by James Walvin.
Cape, 297 pp., £17.99, March 2007, 978 0 224 06144 5
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The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000 
by Colin Kidd.
Cambridge, 309 pp., £16.99, September 2006, 0 521 79324 6
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The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview 
by Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese.
Cambridge, 828 pp., £18.99, December 2005, 0 521 85065 7
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... rise of antislavery in Britain and America coincide with an intensification of racial thinking? David Brion Davis’s Inhuman Bondage throws light on the process by which slavery became exclusively black. There were many European precedents for white slavery, not only in the classical period but in the trading networks of the late medieval ...

What are we allowed to say?

David Bromwich, 22 September 2016

... the abominable to the merely unsavoury.In the case of Holocaust denial – the crime for which David Irving was sentenced to three years in prison and banned from returning to Austria – the fear of contagion in some countries is based on rational horror instructed by recent experience. That is the argument for making an exception to the belief that ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Bad and the Beautiful’, 5 April 2012

The Bad and the Beautiful 
directed by Vincente Minnelli.
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... Jonathan Shields, working his old, dark magic in spite of everything, as Hollywood producers, from Irving Thalberg to David Selznick and Harvey Weinstein, are supposed to have done (or do). We can if we like think especially of Selznick as the model for the producer here, and of Faulkner as the model for the writer. There ...

At Tate Modern

Brian Dillon: Klein/Moriyama, 22 November 2012

... walls. The show is surprisingly short on Klein’s fashion work, where he was the graphic equal of Irving Penn and a far stranger photographer than, say, David Bailey or Richard Avedon. But then he has long been ambivalent about his fashion photography; already in 1966 he had skewered that milieu with Who Are You, Polly ...

At the Jeu de Paume

Brian Dillon: Peter Hujar, 19 December 2019

... portrait Cockette John Rothermel in Fashion Pose, from 1971, has aspects of Cecil Beaton and Irving Penn – feathers, rouge and diamante – but it’s Rothermel’s haze of chest hair that really makes it. ‘I like people who dare,’ Hujar said.That’s not to say his portraits lack vulnerability. In September 1973 he photographed the Warhol ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Mank’, 21 January 2021

... the award in absentia, the absence of the other being the chief pleasure for each. This is where David Fincher’s new film, Mank, briefly in American cinemas last November and now available on Netflix, discreetly ends.The film was written by Fincher’s father, Jack, who died in 2003. Fincher had been planning to make it right after The Game (1997), one of ...

A Skeleton My Cat

Norma Clarke: ‘Poor Goldsmith’, 21 February 2019

The Letters of Oliver Goldsmith 
edited by Michael Griffin and David O’Shaughnessy.
Cambridge, 232 pp., £64.99, July 2018, 978 1 107 09353 9
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... popular works, John Forster’s The Life and Adventures of Oliver Goldsmith (1848) and Washington Irving’s Life of Oliver Goldsmith (1849). Forster and Irving built on Prior’s research to reinstate – affectionately, but still damagingly – the simple, unworldly Goldsmith, Thackeray’s ‘most beloved of English ...

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