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Disaster

Ronan Bennett, 16 December 1993

De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow 
by Tim Pat Coogan.
Hutchinson, 772 pp., £20, October 1993, 9780091750305
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... they remind Catholics to keep Clear of Republicanism, killings like these can be useful, as John Taylor, an MP from the ‘respcetable’ side of Unionism and a Minister of Home Affairs in the days of Stormont, has acknowledged. Another Stormont MP, now very happily deceased, took the logic of his strong feelings about Northern Catholics a stage further. In ...

All about Me

Kevin Kopelson: Don Bachardy, 9 April 2015

Hollywood 
by Don Bachardy.
Glitterati, 368 pp., £45, October 2014, 978 0 9913419 2 4
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... eyelashes. These, though, were a very dark brown. (‘They’re like those of Elizabeth Taylor,’ I thought. ‘Or maybe Montgomery Clift.’) His eyes, too, were very dark – but a very dark green. He was, moreover, articulate – speaking in full, proper sentences and using no, like, you know, ‘discourse markers’. Although born and raised in ...

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini, 13 August 2020

... career was concerned (he took up the first of a series of distinguished chairs, the John Edward Taylor Professorship of English at Manchester, the following year), and a book of that sort was more widely reviewed in those days than it would be now. But was the publication of that short book, largely about the Romantic roots of modernist poetry and ...
Who Framed Colin Wallace? 
by Paul Foot.
Macmillan, 306 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 0 333 47008 7
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... 1974 and to depose the likes of Heath and Whitelaw from the Tory leadership. Anyone – including Ian Paisley – who helped maintain the minority Labour government in power was fair game. Thanks to Peter Wright’s revelations we are more or less familiar with what went on in this period, though it is important to say that Wallace was the first to make ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2014, 8 January 2015

... Woman.15 April. Watch five minutes of Have I Got News for You with Nigel Farage the guest and Ian Hislop and Paul Merton their usual genial selves. I never quite understand why they are happy to sit on a panel with the likes of Farage, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Clarkson et al. Their reasoning would, I imagine, be that this gives them the opportunity to have ...

Marching Orders

Ronan Bennett: The new future of Northern Ireland, 30 July 1998

... assistance.’ Among those Protestants to whom O’Neill failed to get through was the young Ian Paisley, then making a name for himself as an anti-Catholic rabble-rouser. Paisley, a personal friend of District Inspector Nixon, began by denouncing O’Neill as a sell-out and a Lundy. To many, Paisley was a figure of ridicule, but as the political crisis ...

Brief Shining Moments

Christopher Hitchens: Donkey Business in the White House, 19 February 1998

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65 
by Taylor Branch.
Simon and Schuster, 746 pp., $30, February 1998, 0 684 80819 6
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‘One Hell of a Gamble’: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-64 
by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali.
Murray, 416 pp., September 1997, 0 7195 5518 3
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The Dark Side of Camelot 
by Seymour Hersh.
HarperCollins, 497 pp., £8.99, February 1998, 9780006530770
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Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson , Bobby Kennedy and the Feud that Defined a Decade 
by Jeff Shesol.
Norton, 591 pp., £23.50, January 1998, 9780393040784
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The Year the Dream Died 
by Jules Witcover.
Warner, 512 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 446 51849 2
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Without Honor: The Impeachment of President Nixon and the Crimes of Camelot 
by Jerry Zeifman.
Thunder's Mouth, 262 pp., $24.95, November 1996, 9781560251286
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The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis 
edited by Ernest May and Philip Zelikow.
Howard, 740 pp., £23.50, September 1997, 0 674 17926 9
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Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vietnam Papers: A Documentary Collection 
edited by David Barrett.
Texas A & M, 906 pp., $94, June 1997, 0 89096 741 5
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Taking Charge: The Johnson Whitehouse Tapes 1963-64 
edited by Michael Beschloss.
Simon and Schuster, 624 pp., £20, April 1998, 0 684 80407 7
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Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes 
edited by Stanley Kutler.
Free Press, 675 pp., $30, November 1997, 0 684 84127 4
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The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy and the Jupiters, 1957-63 
by Philip Nash.
North Carolina, 231 pp., £34.70, October 1997, 0 8078 4647 3
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... extremity. At least now our guess can be an educated one. In Pillar of Fire, the second volume of Taylor Branch’s biography of Martin Luther King, we learn more about the extreme domestic cowardice that was the domestic counterpart to the Kennedys’ overseas imperial bluster. After the bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Alabama, and the death of four ...

The Welfare State Intelligentsia

R.E. Pahl, 17 June 1982

Inner-City Poverty in Paris and London 
by Peter Willmott and Charles Madge.
Routledge, 146 pp., £8.50, August 1981, 0 7100 0819 8
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The Inner City in Context 
edited by Peter Hall.
Heinemann, 175 pp., £12.50, October 1981, 0 435 35718 2
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New Perspectives in Urban Change and Conflict 
edited by Michael Harloe.
Heinemann, 265 pp., £15, December 1981, 9780435824044
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The Politics of Poverty 
by David Donnison.
Martin Robertson, 239 pp., £9.95, December 1981, 0 85520 481 8
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The Politics of Poverty 
by Susanne MacGregor.
Longman, 193 pp., £2.95, November 1981, 0 582 29524 6
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... Doyal’s The Political Economy of Health, N. Ginsburg’s Class, Capital and Social Policy, P. Taylor-Goobey and John Dale’s Social Theory and Social Welfare, Ian Gough’s The Political Economy of the Welfare State and Michael Harloe and Elizabeth Lebas’s City, Class and Capital. These books, and others in the same ...

British Worthies

David Cannadine, 3 December 1981

The Directory of National Biography, 1961-1970 
edited by E.T. Williams and C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 1178 pp., £40, October 1981, 0 19 865207 0
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... of this remains obscure, and in this volume robs us of Nigel Nicolson on Alexander, A.J.P. Taylor on Beaverbrook, Martin Gilbert on Churchill, Jonathan Dimbleby on his father, John Pearson on Ian Fleming, P.N. Furbank on E.M. Forster, Philip Williams on Gaitskell, Sybille Bedford on Aldous Huxley, Michael Holroyd on ...

Histories of Australia

Stuart Macintyre, 28 September 1989

The Oxford History of Autralia. Vol III: 1860-1900 
by Beverley Kingston.
Oxford, 368 pp., £22.50, July 1989, 0 19 554611 3
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The Road from Coorain: An Australian Memoir 
by Jill Ker Conway.
Heinemann, 238 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 434 14244 1
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A Secret Country 
by John Pilger.
Cape, 286 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 224 02600 3
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Convict Workers: Reinterpreting Australia’s Past 
edited by Stephen Nicholas.
Cambridge, 246 pp., $45, June 1989, 0 521 36126 5
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... Fascism sharpened their national consciousness into radical activism. They included Russel Ward, Ian Turner and Bob Gollan, who were all Communists when they embarked on their careers. Their influence on Australian history was perhaps even greater than that of their British equivalents, Hill, Thompson, Hobsbawm and Rudé, since they were there at the ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: The Belfast agreement, 18 June 1998

... terrorism in order ‘to protect the mainland’. McCartney has campaigned vociferously with Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson against the Agreement – in April, at the launch of the United Unionist campaign, he gave the clenched fist salute – and though most people regard him as a provincial politician, his policy of trying to make Northern Ireland ...

John McEnroe plus Anyone

Edward Said: Tennis, 1 July 1999

The Right Set: The Faber Book of Tennis 
edited by Caryl Phillips.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.99, June 1999, 0 571 19540 7
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... Jean (his sister) Forbes, plus the colourful Abe Segal, and fine Davis-Cuppers like Bob Hewitt, Ian Vermaak, Trevor Fancutt, Owen Williams – as well as the best of them, Cliff Drysdale. The connection between tennis and politics is hinted at in the extracts about and by Arthur Ashe, but there is also something to be said about the German game, whose ...

A Hammer in His Hands

Frank Kermode: Lowell’s Letters, 22 September 2005

The Letters of Robert Lowell 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 852 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 571 20204 7
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... a fraction of the material available to the editor. Readers may find it useful to have at hand Ian Hamilton’s masterly biography, first published in 1983, if only to provide more continuity, close some of the gaps in the story. He is thorough, lucid and just (admiring and condemning), and it is a bonus that his comments on the poetry – after all, our ...

After the May Day Flood

Seumas Milne, 5 June 1997

... Blairite factotum Stephen Byers, for example, in charge of minimum wage and trade-union rights, is Ian McCartney – a Prescott protégé who declared not long ago that if he was ever cut in half, the letters TU would be found written all the way through him, as in a stick of Brighton rock. Could all this add up to a vindication for those who thought that Tony ...

Episteme, My Arse

Christopher Tayler: Laurent Binet, 15 June 2017

The Seventh Function of Language 
by Laurent Binet, translated by Sam Taylor.
Harvill Secker, 390 pp., £16.99, May 2017, 978 1 910701 58 4
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... material, at last, that Bayard is at home with, as well as a nod to Umberto Eco’s analysis of Ian Fleming’s narrative structures. True to his initials, Simon uses his training to perform a Sherlock Holmes-like cold reading on Bayard, who responds by requisitioning him in the name of police intelligence. So begins a mismatched-buddy policier that’s ...

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