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Many Andies

Andrew O’Hagan, 16 October 1997

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 35 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2319 4
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Style, Style, Style 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 30 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2320 8
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Who is Andy Warhol? 
edited by Colin MacCabe, Mark Francis and Peter Wollen.
BFI, 162 pp., £40, May 1997, 9780851705880
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All Tomorrow’s Parties: Billy Name’s Photographs of Andy Warhol’s Factory 
by Billy Name.
frieze, 144 pp., £19.95, April 1997, 0 9527414 1 5
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The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night 
by Anthony Haden-Guest.
Morrow, 404 pp., $25, April 1996, 9780688141516
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... of fan magazines, the source of all his imaginary friendships – with Errol Flynn and Louella Parsons, Hedda Hopper and Gary Cooper – and the only thing he craved in those Pittsburgh days was the chance to be as lovable as Shirley Temple. The adult Warhol looked as much like death and lived as much by desire. A mobile presentation of 20th-century ...

For ever Falkland?

Tam Dalyell, 17 June 1982

... defeat of the first magnitude) will be the dwindling of international support. Sir Anthony Parsons could assemble a majority at the UN to condemn aggression: but there is no majority at the UN or anywhere else for a British-inspired holocaust. The Hispanic world is shocked. The Indians are representative of the Third World in being appalled. The ...

Microwaved Turkey

Thomas Jones: Tim Lott, 7 February 2002

Rumours of a Hurricane 
by Tim Lott.
Viking, 378 pp., £14.99, February 2002, 0 670 88661 0
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... outset. It remains a mystery to me why White City Blue should have had so many people, from Tony Parsons to Gerald Kaufman via the Whitbread First Novel Award, in raptures. Rumours of a Hurricane, Lott’s second novel, is a more ambitious, more serious work: the anatomy of a marriage, a dissection of the 1980s. The prologue is set in the winter of 1991. We ...

The Danger of Giving In

Andrew Saint: George Gilbert Scott Jr, 17 October 2002

An Architect of Promise: George Gilbert Scott Jr (1839-97) and the Late Gothic Revival 
by Gavin Stamp.
Shaun Tyas, 427 pp., £49.50, July 2002, 1 900289 51 2
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... and alien. Its conservation moment has passed. Desperate to boost congregations, today’s parsons slam coffee bars and lavatories into fine churches or yank pews out of them with abandon. Churches, they say, are not museums. Instead, museums have turned into churches. There is still curiosity about revived Gothic’s early romanticism and beefy middle ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture, 8 November 2012

... sat watching him. ‘Harding was a rather disturbed individual’, the BBC presenter Nicholas Parsons told me. ‘Nowadays a man with troubles of that sort would be in therapy.’ Child abuse is now a national obsession, but in 1963 it scarcely came up as a subject of public concern. That doesn’t mean it was fine back then and we were all better ...

My Millbank

Seumas Milne, 18 April 1996

The Blair Revolution: Can New Labour Deliver? 
by Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle.
Faber, 274 pp., £7.99, February 1996, 0 571 17818 9
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... In politics, Peter Mandelson and Roger Liddle explain for the benefit of their less worldly-wise readers, ‘getting your way can require a degree of intrigue and manoeuvring.’ The straight-dealing Tony Blair would, they say, prefer that this was unnecessary and does not really ‘enjoy the modus operandi’. How very fortunate the Labour leader is, then, to be able to count on the services of one whose name has become a byword for political manipulation and deviousness ...

Mirror Images

Jenny Diski: Piers Morgan, 31 March 2005

The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade 
by Piers Morgan.
Ebury, 484 pp., £17.99, March 2005, 0 09 190506 0
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... McCartney, Patsy Kensit, Ian Botham, Jordan, Mohammed al Fayed, Cherie Blair, Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair. (If there are names in that list you haven’t heard of, don’t worry, none of them matters as much as they think they do.) At a Christmas lunch at the Mirabelle for his Mirror columnists, Morgan remembers ecstatically how ...

Run to the hills

James Meek: Rainspotting, 22 May 2003

Rain 
by Brian Cathcart.
Granta, 100 pp., £5.99, September 2002, 1 86207 534 4
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... sitting on a park bench, wearing a flat cap and a raincoat buttoned up to the neck, listening to Peter Cook. I was drawn in, however, almost against my will. Cathcart points out that we are less interested in the weather than we are supposed to be. While British people do talk about the weather, he says, that does not mean they care about it. I think it goes ...

Was Ma Hump to blame?

John Sutherland: Aldous Huxley, 11 July 2002

Aldous Huxley: An English Intellectual 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 496 pp., £20, April 2002, 0 316 85492 1
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The Cat's Meow 
directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
April 2002
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... last few years. First in Patricia Hearst’s 1996 thriller, Murder at San Simeon; more recently in Peter Bogdanovich’s The Cat’s Meow. In the style of a docudrama, the film depicts a weekend pleasure cruise aboard William Randolph Hearst’s 208-foot yacht, the Oneida, in November 1924. Hearst’s guests included Chaplin, Ince (whose birthday it was) and ...

Heat in a Mild Climate

James Wood: Baron Britain of Aldeburgh, 19 December 2013

Benjamin Britten: A Life in the 20th Century 
by Paul Kildea.
Allen Lane, 635 pp., £30, January 2013, 978 1 84614 232 1
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Benjamin Britten: A Life for Music 
by Neil Powell.
Hutchinson, 512 pp., £25, January 2013, 978 0 09 193123 0
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... anthems Hymn to St Cecilia (classy words by Auden, usefully decent treble solo)♪ and Hymn to St Peter (eerie plainsong effect, also with coveted treble solo opportunity).♪ In the cathedral, thrillingly at night, that enormous building dark and mysterious beyond our spotlit oasis, we thrashed our way through an evening performance of Noye’s ...

Gilded Drainpipes

E.S. Turner: London, 10 June 1999

The London Rich: The Creation of a Great City from 1666 to the Present 
by Peter Thorold.
Viking, 374 pp., £25, June 1999, 0 670 87480 9
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The Rise of the Nouveaux Riches: Style and Status in Victorian and Edwardian Architecture 
by Mordaunt Crook.
Murray, 354 pp., £25, May 1999, 0 7195 6040 3
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... Even inferior tradesmen had to be kept at bay. The Great Fire of London – the point at which Peter Thorold’s book begins – led to an outflow of the dingier homeless from the City westward. Some were absorbed in rookeries and Alsatias, packed with thieves and noseless beggars, or in the sizable slum which adjoined Whitehall. There was no welcome for ...

A Frisson in the Auditorium

Blair Worden: Shakespeare without Drama, 20 April 2017

How Shakespeare Put Politics on the Stage: Power and Succession in the History Plays 
by Peter Lake.
Yale, 666 pp., £25, November 2016, 978 0 300 22271 5
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... Does Peter Lake​ ever sleep? Even at 666 pages this is not the longest of his books, which descend on the study of the decades around 1600 like a great waterfall. There are no signs of fatigue, no inanimate sentences. Behind the loosely conversational manner of his prose lies a precision of thought and structure ...

Societies

Perry Anderson, 6 July 1989

A Treatise on Social Theory. Vol. II: Substantive Social Theory 
by W.G. Runciman.
Cambridge, 493 pp., £35, February 1989, 0 521 24959 7
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... repudiated. The last major thinker to attempt a systematic theory of social evolution was Talcott Parsons, in his final years. It is significant that Runciman, amidst a vast bibliography, never mentions him. Moreover, the discredit into which evolutionism has fallen has attached principally to variants of Marxism which assert no more than some directionality ...

Squealing to Survive

John Lahr: Clancy was here, 19 July 2018

Black Sunset: Hollywood Sex, Lies, Glamour, Betrayal and Raging Egos 
by Clancy Sigal.
Icon, 352 pp., £12.99, May 2018, 978 1 78578 439 2
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The London Lover: My Weekend that Lasted Thirty Years 
by Clancy Sigal.
Bloomsbury, 274 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 1 4088 8580 2
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... as an agent in the mid-1950s, representing the interests of Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Peter Lorre, Mary Astor, Joseph Cotten and many lesser lights in the studio firmament. Those of us who knew Clancy – he died in July 2017 in Los Angeles at the age of ninety – can attest that he was a tummler of note, a real-life Zelig who found himself with ...

Hare’s Blood

Peter Wollen: John Berger, 4 April 2002

The Selected Essays of John Berger 
edited by Geoff Dyer.
Bloomsbury, 599 pp., £25, November 2001, 0 7475 5419 6
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... and simplicity.’ In 1949, Gear’s work was exhibited alongside Jackson Pollock’s at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York. In other words, Gear was part of a large international movement. Berger remained suspicious of this whole trend, which he felt was symptomatic of what he considered ‘a period of cultural disintegration’. In this context, it is ...

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