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Bloody Sunday Report

Murray Sayle: Back to Bloody Sunday, 11 July 2002

... notes) Vol. – Volunteer – Thomas Ashe, who died in Mountjoy Prison 25 September 1917, to Vol. Michael Devine, INLA, who died in the Maze 20 August 1981. Above is a dove of peace caged in barbed wire; below the quote: ‘I’ll wear no convict’s uniform, nor meekly serve my time.’ Less ringing, and not attributed to the IRA, is the nearby Bloody Sunday ...

‘No, no,’ replied the fat man

Michael Davie, 3 December 1992

The Power of News: The History of Reuters 
by Donald Read.
Oxford, 330 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 19 821776 5
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... the important cross-roads of Aachen. He made an agreement with Heinrich Geller, an Aachen brewer, baker and pigeon-fancier to supply first 45 pigeons, and then 200, which were sent by rail to Brussels daily and flown back to Geller’s pigeon loft the next day. Secrecy was vital. Messages were tied under the wings of the birds and opened only by Geller ...

Christian v. Cannibal

Michael Rogin: Norman Mailer and American history, 1 April 1999

The American Century 
by Harold Evans.
Cape, 710 pp., £40, November 1998, 0 224 05217 9
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The Time of Our Time 
by Norman Mailer.
Little, Brown, 1286 pp., £25, September 1998, 0 316 64571 0
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... Presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were murdered in 1964. The American Century details J. Edgar Hoover’s personal and the FBI’s institutional linking of white supremacist and anti-Communist hysterias, to which America’s national police devoted far more ...

Johnson’s Downfall

James Butler, 21 July 2022

... lies about his affair with Petronella Wyatt and her subsequent abortion were exposed, he refused Michael Howard’s order that he resign as a shadow minister. His calculation was that only a sacking would make it possible for him to play the injured party in public.His resignation speech as prime minister – more accurately, a speech promising to stay on as ...

My Old, Sweet, Darling Mob

Iain Sinclair: Michael Moorcock, 30 November 2000

King of the City 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 421 pp., £9.99, May 2000, 0 684 86140 2
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Mother London 
by Michael Moorcock.
Scribner, 496 pp., £6.99, May 2000, 0 684 86141 0
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... had been got up to look like a charity case, or a Wanted poster. Dead or alive. ‘Vote Michael Moorcock’, it said. ‘King of the City’. King of the City, a hefty London novel, character-packed, busy with competing narratives (confessing, denouncing, celebrating, plea-bargaining for its own sanity), was being punted by its publicists as ‘the ...

Diary

Stephen Frears: That's Hollywood, 20 December 1990

... Diana Ross, on her way to Paris to make a ‘highly personal’ (auteuriste?) film about Josephine Baker, was asked if she was going to write the script herself: someone else, she trilled, would have to do ‘the paperwork’. Meryl Streep spoke glowingly of sticking to the text when they filmed The French Lieutenant’s Woman from Harold Pinter’s script. I ...

Us and Them

Robert Taubman, 4 September 1980

The Secret Servant 
by Gavin Lyall.
Hodder, 224 pp., £5.50, June 1980, 0 340 25385 1
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The Flowers of the Forest 
by Joseph Hone.
Secker, 365 pp., £5.95, July 1980, 0 436 20087 2
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A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie 
by Robert Barnard.
Collins, 203 pp., £5.95, April 1980, 0 00 216190 7
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Enter the Lion: A Posthumus Memoir of Mycroft Holmes 
by Michael Hodel and Sean Wright.
Dent, 237 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 0 460 04483 4
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Dorothy I. Sayers: Nine Literary Studies 
by Trevor Hall.
Duckworth, 132 pp., £12.50, April 1980, 9780715614556
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Milk Dime 
by Barry Fantoni.
Hodder, 192 pp., £5.50, May 1980, 0 340 25350 9
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... and a couple of tins of beer.’ One remembers the bag of ginger biscuits Hannay bought from a baker’s van in The Thirty-Nine Steps. But mainly it’s a sense of the past that gives this story an extra dimension and makes the Wordsworth quotation sit comfortably in place. It’s true that the main reference back is to more violence, a long-range desert ...

Short Cuts

Peter Geoghegan: FOI, 4 February 2021

... the Iraq War. So far, the government has insisted that all is as it should be. In early December, Michael Gove, the cabinet secretary, assured the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Select Committee that reports of a ‘secret clearing house’ were ‘highly coloured’ and ‘not correct’. (As education secretary, Gove and his adviser ...

Diary

John Lanchester: Unbelievable Blair, 10 July 2003

... joke monsters like Hamilton, but the day-in, day-out ignominy of being ruled by men like Kenneth Baker and Norman Fowler, John Wakeham and Michael Howard; of turning on your TV to see Michael Heseltine in a combat jacket, or Ann Widdecombe waving a pair of handcuffs, or ...

Fraynwaves

Hugh Barnes, 2 May 1985

Towards the End of the Morning 
by Michael Frayn.
Harvill, 255 pp., £9.95, April 1985, 0 00 221822 4
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Sweet Dreams 
by Michael Frayn.
Harvill, 223 pp., £9.95, April 1985, 0 00 221884 4
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The Fall of Kelvin Walker 
by Alasdair Gray.
Canongate, 144 pp., £7.95, March 1985, 9780862410728
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Lean Tales 
by James Kelman, Agnes Owens and Alasdair Gray.
Cape, 286 pp., £8.95, May 1985, 0 224 02262 8
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Stones for Ibarra 
by Harriet Doerr.
Deutsch, 214 pp., £8.95, April 1985, 9780233977522
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Family Dancing 
by David Leavitt.
Viking, 206 pp., £8.95, March 1985, 0 670 80263 8
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The Whitbread Stories: One 
by Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson.
Hamish Hamilton, 184 pp., £4.95, April 1985, 0 241 11544 2
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... Briefly during the second act Michael Frayn’s stage-play, Make and Break, transcends its setting, a Frankfurt trade fair, touching on a general gloom. Mrs Rogers is treating Garrard, a goatish sales rep, to the fruits of Buddhism. It is late in the day. Elsewhere assignations are arranged, faces stuffed, drinks swilled ...

Only Sentences

Ray Monk, 31 October 1996

Wittgenstein’s Place in 20th-Century Analytic Philosophy 
by P.M.S. Hacker.
Blackwell, 368 pp., £50, October 1996, 0 631 20098 3
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Wittgenstein: Mind and Will, Vol. IV of an Analytical Commentary on the ‘Philosophical Investigations’ 
by P.M.S. Hacker.
Blackwell, 742 pp., £90, August 1996, 0 631 18739 1
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... questions has become: what is analytical philosophy? An influential answer has been provided by Michael Dummett, until recently the Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford and the author of several important books on Frege and the philosophy of language. Significantly, Dummett’s most recent books have been concerned with history, particularly his Origins of ...

Heathrow to Canary Wharf

Nick Richardson: Crossrail, 11 October 2012

... the only one to reduce loads to below planning standard on the Metropolitan/Circle line east of Baker Street. It has some effect on the District and Piccadilly Lines around Earl’s Court; this is because many passengers from the Ealing area would use Crossrail in preference to the Underground. A bill was submitted to Parliament in 1991, and reluctantly ...

Diary

David Bromwich: A Bad President, 5 July 2012

... spoke fluently and agreeably, without passion. George W. Bush had lately ignored the advice of the Baker Commission to withdraw from Iraq, and had ordered the ‘surge’ of additional troops headed by General Petraeus; there was a feeling close to despair among the arts and media crowd in the room, but Obama mentioned none of that: you might have thought the ...

Hoarder of Malt

Michael Dobson: Shakespeare, 7 January 1999

Shakespeare: A Life 
by Park Honan.
Oxford, 479 pp., £25, October 1998, 0 19 811792 2
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Shakespeare: The ‘Lost Years’ 
by E.A.J. Honigmann.
Manchester, 172 pp., £11.99, December 1998, 0 7190 5425 7
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... Shakespeare’s alleged sojourn among the Lancashire recusants, first put forward by Oliver Baker in 1937 but given much fuller and more closely argued treatment by Honigmann. One might expect a biographer to feel obliged to pass judgment as to whether an episode with such far-reaching implications actually happened or not, but Honan declines to make ...

The Common Touch

Paul Foot, 10 November 1994

Hanson: A Biography 
by Alex Brummer and Roger Cowe.
Fourth Estate, 336 pp., £20, September 1994, 1 85702 189 4
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... to the House of Lords in Thatcher’s farewell Honours List in 1991. In the same year, Kenneth Baker got a job on Hanson’s board. In the Thatcher years, Hanson felt he was part of the Government. He demanded and got an interview with Nigel Lawson in which he offered to buy the BP shares the Government were selling – for six billion pounds. Lawson ...

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