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The Shirtless Man

Thomas Jones: The murder of Bishop Gerardi, 23 October 2008

The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed Bishop Gerardi? 
by Francisco Goldman.
Atlantic, 396 pp., £16.99, February 2008, 978 1 84354 737 2
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... part of the fight against Communism, which is the reason America condoned it, but according to Francisco Goldman in The Art of Political Murder, ‘it was essentially a war to protect an entrenched elite.’ For the first twenty years of his working life, Gerardi was based in poor rural parishes. After a stint in Guatemala City, in 1967 he was ...

What else is new?

Jonathan Coe, 11 March 1993

The Long Night of White Chickens 
by Francisco Goldman.
Faber, 450 pp., £14.99, January 1993, 0 571 16098 0
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... One of the more disarming sentences in Francisco Goldman’s impressive first novel comes near the end, when his hero-narrator, Roger Graetz, takes a bus journey up into the Guatemalan highlands and stops off in a village just as the Indians are packing up their market in a dirt plaza. Brooding over what he knows about the village – how the army has only recently allowed nuns and priests back in, how the Indians have refused to return to the rectory because of all the people who have been tortured to death there – Roger finds himself tiredly incapable of outrage, and almost catches himself responding to the story with a jaded shrug of the shoulders: ‘Poverty, soldiers, nuns and priests, torture’ he reflects, ‘what else is new?’ This exhaustion of response is pertinent to the novel as a whole, particularly in its relationship to the rich and extensive body of fiction which has emerged from Latin America over the last few decades ...

Zone of Anecdotes

John Mullan: Betrothed to Christ and in a muddle, 17 February 2005

The Divine Husband 
by Francisco Goldman.
Atlantic, 465 pp., £15.99, January 2005, 1 84354 404 0
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... One day, María de las Nieves Moran, the heroine of Francisco Goldman’s The Divine Husband, unexpectedly receives a letter from a woman who had, many years earlier, been her fellow novice in a convent. This is Guatemala (though it is never named) in the 1870s. The country’s convents have been closed by the government; the nuns have long since fled or gone into hiding ...

Propaganda of the Deed

Steve Fraser: Emma Goldman, 26 February 2009

Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years Vol I: Made for America, 1890-1901 
edited by Candace Falk.
Illinois, 659 pp., $35, August 2008, 978 0 252 07541 4
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Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years Vol. II: Making Speech Free, 1902-1909 
edited by Candace Falk.
Illinois, 641 pp., £35, August 2008, 978 0 252 07543 8
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... shot and killed President William McKinley in 1901; and an anarchist’s bomb exploded at the San Francisco Preparedness Day rally in 1916. In working-class anarchist circles such acts were known as the ‘propaganda of the deed’. American industrialisation from the Civil War to the First World War happened with stunning speed. But it was a brutal ...

Ed Tech Biz

Matthew Bennett, 22 September 2016

... exciting developments in and around Silicon Valley. Ron Beller and Jennifer Moses, two former Goldman Sachs executives, have been closely associated with Ark since the beginning. They co-founded King Solomon Academy; Beller remains the chair of governors, and Moses, who sits on Ark’s global board, is vice-chair. King Solomon Academy opened in 2007. In ...

Diary

Wendy Lesser: On O.J. Simpson, 21 July 1994

... thus far maintaining that he was absolutely uninvolved in the deaths of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman. He has, however, a line-up of defence lawyers that would make any plea, or any combination of pleas, feasible. His original lawyer, Robert Shapiro, is famous for defending Marlon Brando’s son when he killed his sister’s lover several years ago (this ...

Spadework

John Brown, 18 November 1982

Shadow Man: The Life of Dashiell Hammett 
by Richard Layman.
Junction, 285 pp., £9.95, August 1981, 0 86245 027 6
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... in 1921 to Josephine Dolan (a nurse whom he met in Tacoma, Washington), his settling in San Francisco, and the beginnings of his efforts to write fiction. This brings Layman to the period 1923 to 1933, the remarkable decade during which Hammett produced the host of short stories (mainly in Black Mask) and the five novels that soon made him one of the ...

Hiatus at 4 a.m.

David Trotter: What scared Hitchcock?, 4 June 2015

Alfred Hitchcock 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Chatto, 279 pp., £12.99, April 2015, 978 0 7011 6993 0
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Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much 
by Michael Wood.
New Harvest, 129 pp., £15, March 2015, 978 1 4778 0134 5
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Hitchcock à la carte 
by Jan Olsson.
Duke, 261 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 8223 5804 6
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Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings and Interviews, Vol. II 
edited by Sidney Gottlieb.
California, 274 pp., £24.95, February 2015, 978 0 520 27960 5
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... justified in taking the job, and falling in love with her. In the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco, Madeleine sits absorbed in a portrait of Carlotta, the bouquet on the bench beside her matching the one Carlotta holds. Scottie watches from across the room. As his gaze narrows, the camera moves in on the bouquet on the bench, and then by a swerve and ...

Strawberries in December

Paul Laity: She Radicals, 30 March 2017

Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers and Radicals in Britain and the United States 
by Sheila Rowbotham.
Verso, 512 pp., £25, October 2016, 978 1 78478 588 8
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... and requests for money and they lost touch. Remarkably, he and Dix were still together in San Francisco in the 1940s, ardent and unconventional leftists to the end. In Boston, Born met Daniell’s old sparring partner in Liberty, William Baillie; Tufts later described the encounter as ‘electric’. He sent her a book by Morris with passages marked for ...

Our Man

Perry Anderson: The Inglorious Career of Kofi Annan, 10 May 2007

The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power 
by James Traub.
Bloomsbury, 442 pp., £20, November 2006, 0 7475 8087 1
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Kofi Annan: A Man of Peace in a World of War 
by Stanley Meisler.
Wiley, 384 pp., £19.99, January 2007, 978 0 471 78744 0
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... first secretary-general to speak at . . . the annual conclave of capital’. He now adorns Goldman Sachs, presumably pending higher things. Few episodes are more revealing of the part played by this Anglo-American duo than the way in which the world came to learn that Nato’s blitz on Yugoslavia in 1999 was legitimate. Annan, unsure how to react, had ...
... really enjoyed it. Good, because I’ll be spending a lot more time there’ (Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs). ‘It never entered my mind that populism would defeat capitalism in its country of origin’ (Jürgen Habermas). ‘Perhaps the British have to go in order that one day they may properly return’ (Jochen Buchsteiner, Frankfurter ...

When Bitcoin Grows Up

John Lanchester: What is Money?, 21 April 2016

... Road. So that’s what they did. On 1 October 2013 Ulbricht was sitting in a public library in San Francisco, logged into Silk Road via the library’s wifi. He was in an online chat with an FBI agent whose job was to make sure Ulbricht was still online when his colleagues swooped. Ulbricht was at a desk across from a slight young Asian woman when a couple of ...

Is the Soviet Union over?

John Lloyd, 27 September 1990

Moving the Mountain: Inside the Perestroika Revolution 
by Abel Aganbegyan, translated by Helen Szamuely.
Bantam, 248 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 593 01818 4
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Gorbachev’s Struggle for Economic Reform: The Soviet Reform Process 
by Anders Aslund.
Pinter, 219 pp., £35, May 1989, 0 86187 008 5
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... or negative growth of recent years so resistant to cure, that, according to Professor Marshall Goldman of Harvard’s Russian Research Centre, ‘unless something changes soon, the country’s economy will break.’ What this means, exactly, even distinguished prophets of doom do not say: but presumably a ‘broken’ economy is one which, as a result of ...

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