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Diary

W.G. Runciman: Dining Out, 4 June 1998

... of the Bank of England, having just been involved in that same capacity in seeking a successor to Andrew Large as chairman of SIB in its existing form, when Brown rang him up and put it to him. All very good news, both because we (the SIB board) had been trying without success to persuade the last government to give legislative time to reform the manifestly ...

Thin Ayrshire

Andrew O’Hagan, 25 May 1995

... frantic, and phoned Irvine police station. The report was taken by Inspector Reid and Sergeant Ross. They took a description, and initiated a search of the area. There was heavy earth-moving equipment in Bourtreehill that morning. There were workmen all over the place; culverts were being dug; pipes laid. This worried the police, and when the search for ...

Light Entertainment

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

... Broadcasting House. Sensuality lay in drink – those men with red faces. People like MacLaren-Ross would be sponging for money and it all seemed excessive but fine.’ ‘And Jimmy Savile?’ ‘Later, yes. Repellent, you know. He once tried to get me to go to his hotel room. But many of the young girls who did go I’m afraid went willingly.’ Bakewell ...

Cyber-Con

James Harkin: Tweet for the CIA!, 2 December 2010

Death to the Dictator! Witnessing Iran’s Election and the Crippling of the Islamic Republic 
by Afsaneh Moqadam.
Bodley Head, 134 pp., £10.99, May 2010, 978 1 84792 146 8
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The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom 
by Evgeny Morozov.
Allen Lane, 408 pp., £14.99, January 2011, 978 1 84614 353 3
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Blogistan: The Internet and Politics in Iran 
by Annabelle Sreberny and Gholam Khiabany.
I.B. Tauris, 240 pp., £14.99, September 2010, 978 1 84511 607 1
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... In a series of blog posts fired off within hours of the first demonstrations, the Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan proclaimed Twitter ‘the critical tool for organising the resistance in Iran’. In a piece of electronic agitprop he declared that ‘the revolution will be twittered.’ The technophiles in Washington didn’t disagree. One of the most vocal ...

Redheads in Normandy

R.W. Johnson: The 1997 election, 22 January 1998

The British General Election of 1997 
by David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh.
Macmillan, 343 pp., £17.50, November 1997, 0 333 64776 9
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Labour's Landslide 
by Andrew Geddes and Jonathan Tonge.
Manchester, 211 pp., £40, December 1997, 0 7190 5159 2
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Britain Votes 1997 
edited by Pippa Norris and Neil Gavin.
Oxford, 253 pp., £12.99, January 1998, 9780199223220
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Collapse of Stout Party: The Decline and Fall of the Tories 
by Julian Crtitchley and Morrison Halcrow.
Gollancz, 288 pp., £20, November 1997, 0 575 06277 0
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Les Election Legislatives, 25 Mai-1er Juin 1997: Le president desavoue 
Le Monde, 146 pp., frs 45, June 1998Show More
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... example, in 1992 Clinton’s pollsters found that the great majority of those who had voted for Ross Perot said they would otherwise have been just as likely to support Clinton as Bush. Heartened by the thought that this meant there was a real pro-Democrat majority, Clinton pushed ahead with a liberal Democrat agenda until he was stopped in his tracks by ...

Mr Trendy Sicko

James Wolcott, 23 May 2019

White 
by Brett Easton Ellis.
Picador, 261 pp., £16.99, May 2019, 978 1 5290 1239 2
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... Literary Brat Pack, Manhattan’s bohemian answer to Hollywood’s Brat Pack (Emilio Estevez, Andrew McCarthy, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald – almost any actor who appeared in a John Hughes teen film qualified). The Literary Brat Pack was a journalistic readymade, roping together a number of writers who may have scarcely known each other and ...

Bard of Friendly Fire

Robert Crawford: The Radical Burns, 25 July 2002

Robert Burns: Poems 
edited by Don Paterson.
Faber, 96 pp., £4.99, February 2001, 0 571 20740 5
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The Canongate Burns: The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns 
edited by Andrew Noble and Patrick Scott Hogg.
Canongate, 1017 pp., £40, November 2001, 0 86241 994 8
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... Hae’ or ‘A Red, Red Rose’. While Paterson’s non-bard is wee enough to fit in a matchbox, Andrew Noble and Patrick Scott Hogg offer a bard of Victorian amplitude. The Canongate Burns runs to over a thousand pages, many of them by Noble and Hogg. A lot less stylish, their introduction alone is almost as long as Paterson’s whole book. They feel ...

Sisyphus at the Selectric

James Wolcott: Undoing Philip Roth, 20 May 2021

Philip Roth: The Biography 
by Blake Bailey.
Cape, 898 pp., £30, April, 978 0 224 09817 5
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Philip Roth: A Counterlife 
by Ira Nadel.
Oxford, 546 pp., £22.99, May, 978 0 19 984610 8
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Here We Are: My Friendship with Philip Roth 
by Benjamin Taylor.
Penguin, 192 pp., £18, May 2020, 978 0 525 50524 2
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... cover depicting Marilyn Monroe mussing his hair had cost him his.)Roth’s first choice was Ross Miller, a friend, professor at the University of Connecticut and nephew of the playwright Arthur Miller. Unfortunately, the neph was no chip off the old oak. Hapless is perhaps the kindest word. A workhorse like Roth could only look on aghast at the ...

The Satoshi Affair

Andrew O’Hagan, 30 June 2016

... up.’ Matthews told me about a meeting at the Bondi Iceberg Club in Sydney that Wright had with Ross Ulbricht, the founder of Silk Road, now serving two life sentences. Silk Road used bitcoin to trade all kinds of contraband items because the transactions could be made anonymously. Wright later confirmed that this meeting took place, but said only that ...

The Ballad of Andy and Rebekah

Martin Hickman: The Phone Hackers, 17 July 2014

... a day. Coulson had Timothy Langdale, the plummy doyen of the Bar, at a cost of £7000 a day. Andrew Edis, whose crisp, untheatrical delivery made you feel he was telling the truth, acted for the Crown on £570 a day. Before the case began, the fifty randomly selected jurors crowding Court 12 were trimmed to a dozen. Anyone self-employed, with children, a ...

The Corrupt Bargain

Eric Foner: Democracy? No thanks, 21 May 2020

Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? 
by Alexander Keyssar.
Harvard, 544 pp., £28.95, May, 978 0 674 66015 1
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Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College 
by Jesse Wegman.
St Martin’s Press, 304 pp., $24.50, March, 978 1 250 22197 1
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... 1824, when the party system was temporarily in disarray. John Quincy Adams, who had come second to Andrew Jackson in both the popular and electoral votes, struck a deal with Henry Clay, who came fourth, giving Adams a majority of the House votes. Adams then named Clay his secretary of state. What Jackson’s supporters called the ‘corrupt bargain’ was ...

Diary

David Bromwich: The Establishment President, 13 May 2010

... research in return for a guarantee of regional security; and the counter-pressure from Dennis Ross, the antenna and prod of the Israel lobby within the White House, urging a series of tripwires by which sanctions would be followed by crippling sanctions and the failure of the latter would argue the necessity of bombing. In Afghanistan and Iraq, Obama has ...

When the Costume Comes Off

Adam Mars-Jones: Philip Hensher, 14 April 2011

King of the Badgers 
by Philip Hensher.
Fourth Estate, 436 pp., £18.99, March 2011, 978 0 00 730133 1
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... novels were selling strongly and being urgently discussed: one was lyrical and would-be Proustian (Andrew Holleran’s Dancer from the Dance); the other was bilious and aspired to satire (Larry Kramer’s Faggots). I disliked them both, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that gay literary culture had room for two such opposite productions, could ...

God wielded the buzzer

Christian Lorentzen: The Sorrows of DFW, 11 October 2012

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace 
by D.T. Max.
Granta, 352 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 84708 494 1
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... who represented his home district. (He cast his first vote for Reagan; later he would vote for Ross Perot because ‘you need someone really insane to fix the economy’; but by the time he wrote about politics, profiling John McCain for Rolling Stone in 2000, he was basically a liberal Democrat.) His roommate Mark Costello became a lifelong confidant and ...

One Summer in America

Eliot Weinberger, 26 September 2019

... Obama had arranged for a portrait of Harriet Tubman, the former slave and abolitionist, to replace Andrew Jackson, the slave owner known as the Indian Killer, on the $20 bill. Steve Mnuchin, the secretary of the treasury, states that this will not be possible until at least 2028 and probably not at all. Trump has a portrait of Jackson hanging in the Oval ...

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