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Touch of Evil

Christopher Hitchens, 22 October 1992

Kissinger: A Biography 
by Walter Isaacson.
Faber, 893 pp., £25, September 1992, 0 571 16858 2
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... gamely but irrelevantly does, is like poring for clues over the crabbed, cretinous scrawl of Ian Brady. Such a man needs scope. Scope! And scope is what, by relentless fawning on impressionable creatures, Henry finally got. It’s a tale well worth the telling. When the American élite divided over the war in Vietnam, Kissinger was in a quandary. He ...

What Life Says to Us

Stephanie Burt: Robert Creeley, 21 February 2008

The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley: 1945-75 
California, 681 pp., £12.55, October 2006, 0 520 24158 4Show More
The Collected Poems of Robert Creeley: 1975-2005 
California, 662 pp., £29.95, October 2006, 0 520 24159 2Show More
On Earth: Last Poems and an Essay 
by Robert Creeley.
California, 89 pp., £12.95, April 2006, 0 520 24791 4
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Selected Poems: 1945-2005 
by Robert Creeley, edited by Benjamin Friedlander.
California, 339 pp., $21.95, January 2008, 978 0 520 25196 0
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... Poem: Bolinas’, set in the California town where Creeley and other countercultural writers (Tom Clark, Aram Saroyan, Ted Berrigan) then lived: All around the snow don’t fall. Come Christmas we’ll get high and go find it. It’s misleading to call Creeley ‘experimental’, as if other poets served as his control group; it’s useful, though, to see ...

O brambles, chain me too

Tom Paulin: Life and Vowels of Andrew Marvell, 25 November 1999

World Enough and Time: The Life of Andrew Marvell 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 294 pp., £20, September 1999, 0 316 64863 9
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Marvell and Liberty 
edited by Warren Chernaik and Martin Dzelzainis.
Macmillan, 365 pp., £47.50, July 1999, 0 333 72585 9
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Andrew Marvell 
edited by Thomas Healy.
Longman, 212 pp., £12.99, September 1998, 0 582 21910 8
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... in Worcester College, Oxford, and though it cannot definitely be proved to be by Marvell, George Clark, the early editor who discovered it, believed it was. In the poem, Marvell says:                                ’Tis always late To struggle with inevitable fate. Much rather though, I know, expect’st to tell How heavy ...

Brief Shining Moments

Christopher Hitchens: Donkey Business in the White House, 19 February 1998

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65 
by Taylor Branch.
Simon and Schuster, 746 pp., $30, February 1998, 0 684 80819 6
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‘One Hell of a Gamble’: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-64 
by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali.
Murray, 416 pp., September 1997, 0 7195 5518 3
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The Dark Side of Camelot 
by Seymour Hersh.
HarperCollins, 497 pp., £8.99, February 1998, 9780006530770
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Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson , Bobby Kennedy and the Feud that Defined a Decade 
by Jeff Shesol.
Norton, 591 pp., £23.50, January 1998, 9780393040784
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The Year the Dream Died 
by Jules Witcover.
Warner, 512 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 446 51849 2
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Without Honor: The Impeachment of President Nixon and the Crimes of Camelot 
by Jerry Zeifman.
Thunder's Mouth, 262 pp., $24.95, November 1996, 9781560251286
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The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis 
edited by Ernest May and Philip Zelikow.
Howard, 740 pp., £23.50, September 1997, 0 674 17926 9
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Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vietnam Papers: A Documentary Collection 
edited by David Barrett.
Texas A & M, 906 pp., $94, June 1997, 0 89096 741 5
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Taking Charge: The Johnson Whitehouse Tapes 1963-64 
edited by Michael Beschloss.
Simon and Schuster, 624 pp., £20, April 1998, 0 684 80407 7
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Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes 
edited by Stanley Kutler.
Free Press, 675 pp., $30, November 1997, 0 684 84127 4
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The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy and the Jupiters, 1957-63 
by Philip Nash.
North Carolina, 231 pp., £34.70, October 1997, 0 8078 4647 3
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... reporter and his appalled and belated recognition of the truth. It confirms earlier disclosures by Clark Clifford in his memoirs, and by Seymour Hersh in his biography of Kissinger and – indirectly but in detail – by Nixon’s chief of staff H.R. Haldeman in his posthumous diaries. In plain words, Richard Nixon’s direct subordinates went to the South ...

You Muddy Fools

Dan Jacobson: In the months before his death Ian Hamilton talked about himself to Dan Jacobson, 14 January 2002

... This is the first part of a two-part interview. Part 2: ‘The Price’. Ian Hamilton died of cancer on 27 December 2001, aged 63. It was a death that the ‘LRB’ has especial cause to lament. He was a great support to this paper, helping to get it going in 1979, serving ever since on its editorial board, and above all contributing many exact, unsparing and funny pieces on poetry, on novels – and on football ...

Where are we now?

LRB Contributors: Responses to the Referendum, 14 July 2016

... David Runciman, Neal Ascherson, James Butler, T.J. Clark, Jonathan Coe, Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, Daniel Finn, Dawn Foster, Jeremy Harding, Colin Kidd, Ross McKibbin, Philippe Marlière, James Meek, Pankaj Mishra, Jan-Werner Müller, Susan Pedersen, J.G.A. Pocock, Nick Richardson, Nicholas Spice, Wolfgang Streeck, Daniel TrillingDavid RuncimanSo who​ is to blame? Please don’t say the voters: 17,410,742 is an awful lot of people to be wrong on a question of this magnitude ...

Narco Polo

Iain Sinclair, 23 January 1997

Mr Nice: An Autobiography 
by Howard Marks.
Secker, 466 pp., £16.99, September 1996, 0 436 20305 7
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Pulp Election: The Booker Prize Fix 
by Carmen St Keeldare.
Bluedove, 225 pp., £12.99, September 1996, 0 9528298 0 0
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... took place in Highgate.’ He adapts the tone and texture of other ex-spooks who ‘went over’: Ian Fleming, John le Carré. He admits that his dialogue is invented, all his East End villains are squeezed into one composite character, Mickey Williams. MI6 became nervous of the Marks connection in the wake of the Littlejohn affair, two brothers they had ...

Falling in love with Lucian

Colm Tóibín: Lucian Freud’s Outer Being, 10 October 2019

The Lives of Lucian Freud: Youth, 1922-68 
by William Feaver.
Bloomsbury, 680 pp., £35, September 2019, 978 1 4088 5093 0
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... the Rothermeres, who owned the Daily Mail. (He painted a portrait of Ann Rothermere, who married Ian Fleming in 1952.) He got to meet Garbo and dance with Margot Fonteyn and socialise with Princess Margaret. He got to disappear into the night with Simone de Beauvoir, whom he met in a club. ‘He enjoyed the perks of being an artist,’ Feaver ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 2011, 5 January 2012

... September. I occasionally pick up the TLS to read on the train and today it’s a review of Ian Kershaw’s The End about the last days of Hitler. I turn the page and there is a photograph of Joseph Goebbels inspecting some troops of the Volkssturm in Silesia in March 1945. He’s shaking hands with Willi Hübner, a child of 16, which is unremarkable ...

Heart-Squasher

Julian Barnes: A Portrait of Lucian Freud, 5 December 2013

Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud 
by Martin Gayford.
Thames and Hudson, 248 pp., £12.95, March 2012, 978 0 500 28971 6
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Breakfast with Lucian: A Portrait of the Artist 
by Geordie Greig.
Cape, 260 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 224 09685 0
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... picture in a morning. Some found Freud’s stylistic switch alarming, or worse that that: Kenneth Clark, an early admirer, wrote to Freud suggesting that he was deliberately suppressing what made his work remarkable. ‘I never saw him again,’ Freud tells Gayford. Another one off the Tiberian cliff. This looser brushwork did not lead to any greater speed of ...

North and South

Raphael Samuel, 22 June 1995

Coming Back Brockens: A Year in a Mining Village 
by Mark Hudson.
Cape, 320 pp., £16.99, October 1994, 0 224 04170 3
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... just have chips,’ they said, as though this were a gesture of tremendous originality. Alan Clark, a judge of the 1995 AT&T prize, and the chief advocate of Coming Back Brockens, argued that it was ‘the most fun’, and that choosing it in preference to its rivals – Juliet Barker’s The Brontës and Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom – would ...

Memories of Frank Kermode

Stefan Collini, Karl Miller, Adam Phillips, Jacqueline Rose, James Wood, Michael Wood and Wynne Godley, 23 September 2010

... more than itself, insisted on its contaminated but victorious description of the world (what Ian Watt called ‘the literal imagination’). In beautiful words, he writes that if fictional forms appear in shapes preposterously false we will reject them; but they change with us, and every act of reading or writing a novel is a tacit acceptance of ...

My Heroin Christmas

Terry Castle: Art Pepper and Me, 18 December 2003

... and the Pips, Charles Trenet, Ska Almighty, John Dowland, the organ music of Johann Fux (heh heh), Ian Bostridge, the Ramones, Astor Piazzola, Ethel Merman’s Disco Album, Magnetic Fields, Flagstad and Svanholm in Die Walküre, Lord Kitchener and the Calypso All-Stars, Sonic Youth, Youssou N’Dour, tons of the Arditti Quartet, Kurt Cobain, Suzy Solidor, John ...

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