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Untruthful Sex

Hans Keller, 6 August 1981

Sex: Facts, Frauds and Follies 
by Thomas Szasz.
Blackwell, 194 pp., £8.95, July 1981, 0 631 12736 4
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... reflections on medicine – or rather, by now he is: I happen to know that recently he was shown Ian Kennedy’s Reith Lectures (which, highly indebted to Szasz without acknowledgment, criticise him for what he hasn’t said), and has decided to remain silent. For me, the relation between the two is particularly baffling: a few years ago I sat on a ...


Thomas McKeown, 6 August 1981

The Unmasking of Medicine 
by Ian Kennedy.
Allen and Unwin, 189 pp., £8.95, June 1981, 0 04 610016 4
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... the conventional reading of medical goals and achievements – and most of the points discussed by Ian Kennedy in the 1981 Reith Lectures have been raised before. Nevertheless, his legal approach is novel, and the lectures themselves were well-organised and delivered with remarkable force and clarity. Whatever their reservations about the ...

Life and Death

Philippa Foot, 7 August 1986

The End of Life 
by James Rachels.
Oxford, 196 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 9780192177469
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Voluntary Euthanasia 
edited by A.B. Downing and Barbara Smoker.
Peter Owen, 303 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7206 0651 9
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Moral Dilemmas in Modern Medicine 
edited by Michael Lockwood.
Oxford, 250 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 0 19 217743 5
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... no worse to draw it somewhere else. Two other pieces must also be singled out for special praise. Ian Kennedy, Reith Lecturer for 1980, has contributed an essay on the ethical and legal implications of prescribing oral contraceptives to girls below the age of consent without their parents’ permission, discussing this highly topical and controversial ...

Comet Mania

Simon Schaffer, 19 February 1981

The comet is coming! 
by Nigel Calder.
BBC, 160 pp., £8.75, November 1980, 0 563 17859 0
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... around its producers. The screams of rage emanating from a medical profession recently assailed by Ian Kennedy in the Reith Lectures bear eloquent testimony to this. Similarly, an obvious user of comets like Immanuel Velikovsky came under fire precisely because of his appeal to the wrong – that is, the popular – audience. We can now see where comets ...

Myrtle Street

Hugh Pennington: The Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry, 8 March 2001

Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry Report 
by Michael Redfern and Jean Keeling.
Stationery Office, 535 pp., £40, January 2001, 9780102775013
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The Inquiry into the Management of Care of Children Receiving Complex Heart Surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary: Interim Report: Removal and Retention of Human Material 
Bristol Royal Infirmary, 56 pp., May 2000Show More
Report of the Independent Review Group on the Retention of Organs at Post-Mortem 
46 pp., January 2001Show More
The Removal, Retention and Use of Human Organs and Tissue from Post-Mortem Examination 
Stationery Office, 48 pp., £16.95, January 2001, 0 11 322532 6Show More
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... unlike Redfern’s. Their tone is not inquisitorial and they look at overall patterns of practice. Ian Kennedy and Sheila McLean, chairs of the groups that produced them, are professors of medical ethics. Like Redfern, they describe past medical practice as ‘paternalistic’: doctors did not come clean with relatives about the full implications of a ...

Blowing It

Ian Hamilton, 6 March 1980

Breaking Ranks 
by Norman Podhoretz.
Weidenfeld, 385 pp., £7.95, February 1980, 0 297 77733 5
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... freeze froze even deeper. ‘But, but’ – and this with genuinely aghast reproach – ‘but, Ian, really, why? This little scene, or something very like it, was played out on at least three other occasions during my short visit. For me, the ‘why’ was clear enough. I knew Podhoretz somewhat, he was the editor of a literary/intellectual magazine ...


Elizabeth Drew: JFK, 20 November 2003

John F. KennedyAn Unfinished Life 1917-63 
by Robert Dallek.
Allen Lane, 838 pp., £25, September 2003, 0 7139 9737 0
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... The majority of books about John F. Kennedy have been written either by toadying family retainers or by people bent on destroying the Camelot myth. The historian Robert Dallek is neither; he decided to enter the field, as he explains in his introduction, in part because documents had become available that threw new light on several aspects of Kennedy’s life, and in part because he thought the old ones should be given a fresh reading ...


Ian Hamilton: Novels for the Bright, Modern Woman, 1 July 1982

... ungrammatical descriptions of Pavanne’s first four titles (‘Set in Massachusetts, Raymond Kennedy reflects a period of lost American innocence’) and to provide case-histories of four ‘target’ readers – each of them very, very ABC. Angela Welch, for example, is seen bustling through the Inns of Court, briefs under her left arm: ‘living proof ...

Take Myra Hindley

Nicola Lacey, 19 November 1992

Eve was framed: Women and British Justice 
by Helena Kennedy.
Chatto, 285 pp., £16.99, October 1992, 0 7011 3523 9
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... the political importance of the history of criminology. But hang onto it we must, for, as Helena Kennedy’s Eve was framed shows, criminological ideas have material and often damaging effects on the ways in which women are treated in and around the criminal process. Until recently central questions of social justice bearing on the status and ...

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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... In Arthur Schlesinger’s court history, A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House, which might without unfairness be called the founding breviary of the cult of JFK, there appears the following vignette. Schlesinger had been asked to carpenter a ‘White Paper’ justifying Washington’s destabilisation of Cuba, in which the high-flown rhetoric of the New Frontier might form a sort of scab over the fouler business of empire ...


Julian Girdham: Mansergh v. Arnold, 21 June 1984

... information concerning subversive activity’, but plainly it was because Arnold and Geraldine Kennedy were writing articles on the strains and splits within Fianna Fail. So, in the week that the New Ireland Forum reported, we were treated to this intriguing little spectacle, which has its relevance to that report and its aftermath. In an early moment of ...

On the imagining of conspiracy

Christopher Hitchens, 7 November 1991

Harlot’s Ghost 
by Norman Mailer.
Joseph, 1122 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7181 2934 2
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A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs 
by Theodore Draper.
Hill and Wang, 690 pp., $27.95, June 1991, 0 8090 9613 7
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... Politics here a bit trite, you say? Perhaps. But the following things really happened. President Kennedy was shot down in the light of broad day. His assassin was murdered on camera while in maximum security. Richard Nixon’s intimates fed high-denomination dollar bills into a shredder in order to disguise their provenance in the empire of – Howard ...


Ian Hamilton: Locating the G-Spot, 5 August 1982

... heroine’s family and ‘friends’. Jean Stein (who did a similar job some years ago on Bobby Kennedy) has spent years and several thousand dollars tracking down every minor freak from Warhol’s Factory and is reputed to have gathered an apartment-ful of tapes. For the book, George Plimpton has skilfully juggled all this testimony so that there are ...

Eric the Nerd

Ian Hamilton: The Utterly Complete Orwell, 29 October 1998

The Complete Works of George Orwell 
edited by Peter Davidson.
Secker, £750, July 1998, 0 436 20377 4
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... monster compilation is to intensify one’s admiration for the 1968 selection, put together by Ian Angus with help from Orwell’s widow, Sonia. (Angus, it should be said, has had a hand in editing the 20 vols.) Unerringly, it seems to me, Angus chose the very best from Orwell’s vast non-fiction output: not just the best essays (after all, nearly every ...

War within wars

Paul Addison, 5 November 1992

War, Strategy and International Politics: Essays in Honour of Sir Michael Howard 
edited by Lawrence Freedman, Paul Hayes and Robert O’Neill.
Oxford, 322 pp., £35, July 1992, 0 19 822292 0
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... finance and materials. The exception here is an attractive cameo of 17th-century family history by Ian Roy, which shows how the brothers Edward and Alexander Popham contributed to the growth of the armed forces in the Cromwellian era. But several of the essays deal with the history of strategic doctrines and the perceptions on which they were ...

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