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Act One, Scene One

David Bromwich: Don’t Resist, Oppose, 16 February 2017

... nominee for health secretary, owes his appointment to his agitation for the repeal of Obamacare. Andrew Puzder, the CEO of the fast-food franchise Carl Jr, chiefly known for his opposition to raising the minimum wage, is Trump’s pick for labour secretary. The most ominous appointment for the laws and liberty of the country is the new director of the ...

‘My God was bigger than his’

Colin Kidd: The Republicans, 4 November 2004

The Right Nation: Why America Is Different 
by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge.
Allen Lane, 450 pp., £14.99, August 2004, 0 7139 9738 9
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Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush’s War Cabinet 
by James Mann.
Penguin, 448 pp., $16, September 2004, 0 14 303489 8
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Nixon’s Shadow: The History of an Image 
by David Greenberg.
Norton, 496 pp., £9.99, November 2004, 0 393 32616 0
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America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism 
by Anatol Lieven.
HarperCollins, 274 pp., £18.99, October 2004, 0 00 716456 4
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... War. For well over a century white Southerners identified the Republicans as the party of Abraham Lincoln and rejected these Northern meddlers at the polls. In 1950 the Republicans had no senators from the South and only a couple of congressmen. Conversely, some blacks continued to acknowledge that the Republican friends of big business had once been the ...

American Breakdown

David Bromwich, 2 August 2018

... 5 July. A tweet announced that the president had accepted Pruitt’s resignation. His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, is a former coal lobbyist who can be trusted to keep a lower profile; he has slowed the pace of Pruitt’s anti-regulatory innovations, and in some cases sent a programme back for reassessment. In the reign of Trump, this is what we are learning ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: Allelujah!, 3 January 2019

... at the screen. ‘Isn’t that thing in the corner a rhubarb forcer?’12 May. Finish reading Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. There’s nothing I can think of to compare it with except Max Porter’s Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, both of them novels about bereavement, with Saunders’s book largely set in the period immediately following the ...

The Darwin Show

Steven Shapin, 7 January 2010

... idea had by Jesus or Aristotle or Hume or that other great 12 February 1809 birthday boy, Abraham Lincoln. It ‘unifies the realm of life, meaning and purpose with the realm of space and time, cause and effect, mechanism and physical law’. If T.H. Huxley was ‘Darwin’s bulldog’, the Oxford emeritus professor for the public understanding of ...

What I heard about Iraq in 2005

Eliot Weinberger: Iraq, 5 January 2006

... I never heard this reported in the American press. At the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, I heard the President compare his War on Terror with Lincoln’s war against slavery. I heard the President say that Iraqi forces now outnumber their American counterparts. * In May I ...

Secrets are best kept by those who have no sense of humour

Alan Bennett: Why I turned down ‘Big Brother’, 2 January 2003

... It would be like Fire Island without the gays.’ 13 November. A propos the Queen’s Speech Andrew Marr on The World at One talks of the future saying, ‘If the war with Iraq goes well . . .’’ the conditional not to do with the likelihood of war but only with its conduct. No one demurs. But Bush is extraordinary. Seldom can there have been a leader ...

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Adam Shatz: Mass Incarceration, 4 May 2017

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America 
by James Forman.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 306 pp., £21.98, April 2017, 978 0 374 18997 6
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... sweet. It inspired the cover art of Parliament’s album Chocolate City, depicting the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the Capitol Building ‘coated in chocolate’. ‘They still call it the White House,’ George Clinton said on the title track, ‘but that’s a temporary condition, too.’In 1975, David Clarke, a white civil ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: A Shameful Year, 8 January 2004

... bus pass which he scrutinises as grimly as an Albanian border guard, even checking the likeness. Andrew Wilson sails through unchallenged. I walk back through the streets of Oxford and as always I have a sense of being shut out and that there is something going on here that I’m not a part of; not that I was a part of it even when I was a part of it. 16 ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... it was directed at me: what was I after and where was I going to carry this tale? Will, with his Lincoln green beanie pulled right down, his hipstermonk beard, explained that his partner, Andrew, was the official guardian of the building. He had lived here now for a year and eight months. He was interested in photography ...

NHS SOS

James Meek, 5 April 2018

... called the Lansley reforms after their patron, the erstwhile Conservative health secretary Andrew Lansley. The Lansley reforms left seven local organisations responsible for healthcare in Leicestershire. Five are part of the NHS and two aren’t. There are three consortia of GPs called Clinical Commissioning Groups, or CCGs – one each for the east ...

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