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National Treasure

Christopher Hitchens, 14 November 1996

Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir 
by John Davis.
Wiley, 256 pp., £14.99, October 1996, 0 471 12945 3
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... A bit of ladylike publishing on the side: not many people know that Jackie could have aborted Jeffrey Archer’s second career if she had objected to Viking’s 1977 issue of Shall We Tell the President?, which nauseated the reviewers twice. (The first heave was at the prose, the second at the thought of a ‘novel’ about the assassination of Teddy ...

Would I have heard of you?

Lauren Oyler: ‘The Female Persuasion’, 21 June 2018

The Female Persuasion 
by Meg Wolitzer.
Chatto, 464 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 78474 236 2
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... male.’ She doesn’t disguise that she too wants a spot up there. When novelists like Jeffrey Eugenides – who was in a writing workshop with Wolitzer at Brown – cover ‘perceived female subject matter’, they are taken seriously; their seriousness is signalled by the length of their novels as well as by the large letters on their covers and ...


Jason Burke: In Kurdistan, 19 September 2002

... a journalist from the New Yorker was in Sulaimaniya, Shahab told him, too. The resulting story, by Jeffrey Goldberg, was published in March under the headline ‘The Threat of Saddam’. It announced that ‘the Kurds may have evidence’ of Saddam’s ‘ties to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network’. The main link was Shahab. Hawks in Washington are keen ...

High Taxes, Bad Times

John Pemble: Late Georgian Westminster, 10 June 2010

The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1820-32 
by D.R. Fisher.
Cambridge, 6336 pp., £490, December 2009, 978 0 521 19314 6
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... still: Canning, Castlereagh, Peel, O’Connell, Brougham, Ricardo, Macaulay, Bulwer Lytton, Jeffrey, Wilberforce, Mackintosh. The huge expansion of Parliament’s responsibilities had brought a five-fold increase in its business. In the 1820s alone, 3806 bills were enacted. Since mornings were set aside for correspondence and consultation, and ...

Having Fun

Ben Jackson: Online Shaming, 9 April 2015

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed 
by Jon Ronson.
Picador, 277 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 330 49228 7
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... deduced that ‘she clearly has the objective of coming here to open her vagina … Stupid hoe.’ Weeks later, one tweeter looked back fondly: ‘Man, remember Justine Sacco? #HasJustineLandedYet. God that was awesome. millions of people waiting for her to land.’ The word ‘cunt’ is practically a punctuation mark in these outbursts; the language of ...

Utterly in Awe

Jenny Turner: Lynn Barber, 5 June 2014

A Curious Career 
by Lynn Barber.
Bloomsbury, 224 pp., £16.99, May 2014, 978 1 4088 3719 1
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... have emerged. Her very best interviews are with men, the puffed-up sort – Bragg, Jimmy Savile, Jeffrey Archer and, more recently, Sir Alan Sugar. She likes artists, especially the erstwhile Young British Artists, and above all, Tracey Emin, who knows how to lay on a juicy spread: the offerings for their first encounter in 2001 included a used condom left ...

Don’t wear yum-yum yellow

Theo Tait: Shark Attack!, 2 August 2012

Demon Fish: Travels through the Hidden World of Sharks 
by Juliet Eilperin.
Duckworth, 295 pp., £18.99, January 2012, 978 0 7156 4291 7
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... the lemon shark maestro, Sonny Gruber; Boris Worm, doyen of fisheries conservation ecology; and Jeffrey Carrier, who has, ‘most likely, viewed more shark sex than any other researcher in the world’. Each of these people, as the convention requires, is given a perky little pen portrait: ‘Maclean is a blunt-spoken, stocky bleached blonde who’s spent ...

Seventy Years in a Colourful Trade

Andrew O’Hagan: The Soho Alphabet, 16 July 2020

Tales from the Colony Room: Soho’s Lost Bohemia 
by Darren Coffield.
Unbound, 364 pp., £25, April, 978 1 78352 816 5
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... swapped addresses. I later wrote to her, asking if she could get me into the movies. Within a few weeks I got a letter from Lola Moore, for forty years the biggest kids’ agent in Hollywood. She represented Tommy Rettig, who was in River of No Return, Jon Provost, who played Timmy in Lassie, Karolyn Grimes, who played Jimmy Stewart’s daughter in It’s a ...

Their Affair and Our Affair

R.W. Johnson, 23 April 1987

The Affair: The Case of Alfred Dreyfus 
by Jean-Denis Bredin, translated by Jeffrey Mehlman.
Sidgwick, 628 pp., £20, March 1987, 0 283 99443 6
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Neither Right nor Left: Fascist Ideology in France 
by Zeev Sternhell, translated by David Maisel.
California, 416 pp., £38.25, December 1986, 0 520 05207 2
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... Europe, had to face the fact that Prussia had comprehensively vanquished them in just a few weeks in 1870, inflicted huge reparations payments, and detached the sacred lands of Alsace and Lorraine from the motherland. Worse, the new and mighty state of united Germany continued to outstrip France in wealth, production, population and power at a quite ...


Tom Paulin: Trimble’s virtues, 7 October 2004

... the district master’s remarks were of greater significance. ‘Be it days, hours or weeks, we will stay until we walk our traditional route,’ he had told the crowd. At this point Godson, who was until recently chief leader writer for the Daily Telegraph, articulates the position that joins the British right to the Unionists: ‘It was now to ...

Incendiary Devices

Daniel Soar: The Edward Snowden Story, 20 February 2014

The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man 
by Luke Harding.
Guardian Faber, 346 pp., £12.99, February 2014, 978 1 78335 035 3
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... step back into the shadows, that the charge that he was a ‘narcissist’ (made, among others, by Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker) was hard to make stick. But his performance had also been so compelling that everyone now wanted a piece of him. In Britain, they wanted a piece of him much more badly than they wanted any aspect of the complicated and ongoing ...

Act One, Scene One

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

... same stunned bewilderment. By the first week of December, it was hard to recall the mood of a few weeks earlier – a mood in which it had been possible for Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor, to write a column for Bloomberg entitled ‘On November 9, Let’s Forget Donald Trump Happened’. In 2003, six years out of law school, Feldman drafted the ...

The smallest details speak the loudest

John Upton: The Stephen Lawrence inquiry, 1 July 1999

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 
by Sir William Macpherson.
Stationery Office, 335 pp., £26, February 1999, 0 10 142622 4
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The Case of Stephen Lawrence 
by Brian Cathcart.
Viking, 418 pp., £16.99, May 1999, 0 670 88604 1
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... after the start of a Police Complaints Authority investigation into the case, but only a few weeks after the change of government, the final space began to be filled. The Lawrence case was a justice opportunity too tempting for New Labour to resist. It provided a be-spoke setting for the all-singing, all-dancing talents of the fresh regime, showing Blair ...

Adulation or Eggs

Susan Eilenberg: At home with the Carlyles, 7 October 2004

Thomas and Jane Carlyle: Portrait of a Marriage 
by Rosemary Ashton.
Pimlico, 560 pp., £15, February 2003, 0 7126 6634 6
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... his admiration. Now Carlyle met and disapproved of Lamb, Godwin, Coleridge and Wordsworth. Francis Jeffrey of the Edinburgh Review and Charles Buller were old friends, and Irving too, though Irving – now a popular preacher absorbed in miracle cures and speaking in tongues (‘hoo-ing and ha-ing’) – was making Carlyle increasingly uneasy. Mill he had met ...

The Party in Government

Conor Gearty, 9 March 1995

... became a nonexecutive director of Evered, the quarrying and building materials group, ten weeks after giving up his government job. He subsequently became a director of the transport group NFC. On 1 March 1990, he joined the board of Group 4 Securities, and was a director of the main UK subsidiary of the Dutch-based Group 4 while later serving as ...

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