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US Presidents and First Ladies

Writing about the White House by Christopher Hitchens, Jenny Diski, Stephen Greenblatt, Linda Colley, J. Hoberman, David Runciman, Michael Rogin and Colm Tóibín.

A Hard Dog to Keep on the Porch

Christopher Hitchens, 6 June 1996

Oxford 1968-9. In the evenings, after dinner in hall, groups would take shape informally in the quad. There was Richard Cobb’s lot, making for the buttery and another round of worldly...

Bush’s women

Jenny Diski, 22 September 2005

‘W. stands for women,’ cried Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Lynne Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Karen Hughes, Elaine Chao and Gale Ann Norton at the 2004 Republican National Convention, and in...

That’s America

Stephen Greenblatt, 29 September 1988

The 15th-century classic of paranoid witch-hunting, Kramer and Sprenger’s Malleus Maleficarum, provides a convenient gloss on the word ‘glamour’. Witches, the Dominican...

At least they paid their taxes

Linda Colley, 25 July 1991

On the dust-jacket of this book is a photograph of its author. Kitty Kelley, formerly of Spokane, one-time Lilac Princess at school, millionaire biographer of Jacqueline Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor...

The summer of 1970 was the winter of America’s discontent. Most of the nation’s colleges had been forced to shut down early in the wake of the Kent State massacre; anti-war protesters...

LBJ

David Runciman, 5 July 2012

As a boy in Texas, growing up in poor and sometimes desperate circumstances, LBJ told anyone who would listen that he was headed for the White House.

The Discretion of Jackie Kennedy

Colm Tóibín, 6 June 2002

On 29 January 1884 Henry James noted a story which he had heard from Gertrude Tennant. It struck him ‘as a dramatic and pretty subject’. Young Lord Stafford, it seemed, was in love...

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