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The Eerie One

Bee Wilson: Peter Lorre, 23 March 2006

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre 
by Stephen Youngkin.
Kentucky, 613 pp., $39.95, September 2005, 0 8131 2360 7
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... not at the most exploitative of the studios. ‘Mr Moto,’ he went on, is a Japanese, a clever, swift-thinking, rather suave person. Well then, I become that person and what I do is right. I do not need to study a real Japanese man to know what to do. That is wrong. There is a typed idea of each nationality and actors think they must imitate that idea, as ...

In His Pink Negligée

Colm Tóibín: The Ruthless Truman Capote, 21 April 2005

The Complete Stories 
by Truman Capote.
Random House, 400 pp., $24.95, September 2004, 0 679 64310 9
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Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote 
edited by Gerald Clarke.
Random House, 487 pp., $27.95, September 2004, 0 375 50133 9
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... written after the names of those who would be their hosts. The following year he made Katherine Graham entertain them in Washington DC and wrote to her afterwards: ‘Our Kansas friends were bedazzled and thrilled – and so was I.’ He was taking no risks with the Deweys, but the letters also show that he was becoming increasingly involved with them. In ...

First Puppet, Now Scapegoat

Inigo Thomas: Ass-Chewing in Washington, 30 November 2006

State of Denial: Bush at War 
by Bob Woodward.
Simon and Schuster, 560 pp., £18.99, October 2006, 0 7432 9566 8
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... problem for the Nixon White House as Watergate itself. The president asked national saviour Billy Graham to intervene and see what he could do to help John to get Martha to shut up. ‘It’s going to create a major national problem,’ Haldeman wrote: Nixon ‘seems more concerned about that than the Watergate caper’. So it was inevitable that John ...

A Tentative Idea for a Lamp

Tim Radford: Thomas Edison, 18 March 1999

Edison: A Life of Invention 
by Paul Israel.
Wiley, 552 pp., £19.50, November 1998, 0 471 52942 7
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... had that kind of vision, too, and a sense of his place in history, but he wanted his success to be swift, if not instant. So he preferred to concentrate on kicking open doors that were already being unlocked by others. He liked having workmen around – and mathematicians, physicists, chemists, glassblowers, engineers and designers, too – to turn his rough ...

Festival of Punishment

Thomas Laqueur: On Death Row, 5 October 2000

Proximity to Death 
by William McFeely.
Norton, 206 pp., £17.95, January 2000, 0 393 04819 5
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Death Row: The Encyclopedia of Capital Punishment 
edited by Bonnie Bobit.
Bobit, 311 pp., $24.95, September 1999, 0 9624857 6 4
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... in judicial executions after lynching declined in the 1930s could plausibly be interpreted as the swift removal of a black man by trial, which before had been effected by mob. The cries of ‘burn ‘em’ heard as a murder suspect is booked today echo the cries of those festive crowds that attended the hangings, immolations and castrations of earlier ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... expected to take place in late autumn. Interestingly, the man chosen to prosecute the officers is Graham Boal, who represented the Crown in the hearing when the Six were freed in March 1991. Among the books referred to in the writing of this article were: Truth: The First Casualty by Michael O’Connell (Riverstone, 1993) Proved Innocent by Gerry Conlon ...

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