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The Great US Election Disaster

Hal Foster, 30 November 2000

... you had to acknowledge his charisma, or at least that others felt its sway. It’s the same with Clinton today: even if you loathe him for his duplicity, you have to admit his intelligence. Media puff-pieces aside (why is it that so many journalists are soft on Bush? Do they still cower before the accusation of liberal bias? Where are the liberal media? Will ...


Richard Rudgley: Plant obsessions, 15 July 1999

The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession 
by Susan Orlean.
Heinemann, 348 pp., £12.99, April 1999, 0 434 00783 8
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The Tulip 
by Anna Pavord.
Bloomsbury, 438 pp., £30, January 1999, 0 7475 4296 1
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Plants of Life, Plants of Death 
by Frederick Simoons.
Wisconsin, 568 pp., £27.95, September 1998, 0 299 15904 3
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... nomenclature, such as those named after First Ladies – the Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton – and a whole subculture surrounding the orchid world: orchid baby-sitters, orchid doctors, even orchid boarding-houses, as well as a virtual cosmos of orchidodelirium on the Internet. Orlean shows how the contemporary cult was foreshadowed ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Alexander Hamilton’s Worst Idea, 24 October 2019

... softens the contrast with Trump that Democrats rightly feel they must offer: a miscalculation that Hillary Clinton also made, with her high-priced speeches for the Wall Street money firms. The appearance of the thing, in Ukraine as much as at Goldman Sachs, matters more than whatever was said or done. It is entirely possible that Trump will be impeached ...

Communiste et Rastignac

Christopher Caldwell: Bernard Kouchner, 9 July 2009

Le Monde selon K. 
by Pierre Péan.
Fayard, 331 pp., €19, February 2009, 978 2 213 64372 4
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... of anti-semitism and rallied celebrity friends to defend him, from Bernard-Henri Lévy at home to Hillary Clinton and Kofi Annan abroad. Newspapers of the left – notably Libération – opened their columns to Péan, while Le Monde attacked his book. The news weekly Le Point conducted an independent investigation of Péan’s allegations and generally ...

Red Pill, Blue Pill

James Meek, 22 October 2020

... out from the others in that it imagines two duelling conspiracies – an evil conspiracy, with Hillary Clinton, Hollywood celebs and a pack of evil Democrats running a gigantic operation to kidnap hundreds of thousands of children, keep them prisoner in underground tunnels, torture them, rape them, drink their blood and use them in satanic ...

Closely Observed Trains on a Sea Coast in Bohemia

Christopher Tayler: Rushdie’s Latest, 16 November 2017

The Golden House 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 370 pp., £18.99, September 2017, 978 1 78733 015 3
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... which doesn’t prevent him from making popular online videos for the Hillary Clinton campaign, and though he says he got the burn-it-down mood of the 2016 election cycle – ‘I understood the alienation and anger, because much of it was mine as well’ – he took a ‘more cautious, gradualist’ stance than his impulsive ...

What to Tell the Axe-Man

Jeremy Waldron: Hypocrisy and Mendacity, 6 January 2011

Political Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power, from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond 
by David Runciman.
Princeton, 272 pp., £13.95, September 2010, 978 0 691 14815 1
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Virtues of Mendacity: On Lying in Politics 
by Martin Jay.
Virginia, 241 pp., $24.95, April 2010, 978 0 8139 2972 9
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... was a strong proponent of ‘family values’.) Or remember what people said about President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky in the 1990s. It wasn’t the oral sex with a young White House intern that they minded; it was that Clinton lied about it. This is what puritans sound like when they’re trying to be liberals. So ...

North Korea’s Bomb

Norman Dombey, 2 February 2017

... be able to find a new direction, in contrast with Obama and, the record suggests, with the road Hillary Clinton would likely have pursued?Ten years ago, when Iran was the focus of the big powers’ nuclear concerns, I suggested that a deal might be possible whereby ‘Iran would be allowed limited enrichment rights (say, up to 5 per cent ...

Billionaires in the Dock

Rachel Nolan: Operation Car Wash, 23 June 2022

Operation Car Wash: Brazil’s Institutionalised Crime and the Inside Story of the Biggest Corruption Scandal in History 
by Jorge Pontes and Márcio Anselmo, translated by Anthony Doyle.
Bloomsbury, 191 pp., £20, April, 978 1 350 26561 5
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... loss of power since 2016. Did it lose power because it was corrupt? Or because there was what Hillary Clinton in another country at a simpler time called a ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’? Or – as the evidence suggests – both?Some of the accusations, especially those against Lula’s protégée and successor as president, Dilma Rousseff, were ...

Beyond the Ballot Box

Tim Barker: Occupy and Bernie, 8 September 2016

Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt 
by Sarah Jaffe.
Nation, 352 pp., £20, August 2016, 978 1 56858 536 9
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... so far as to confiscate signs opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that Hillary Clinton herself ostensibly opposes). In this case, unless these movements are strong enough credibly to challenge the political establishment, they must acquiesce or disaffiliate. The behaviour of two unions that have played important roles in the ...

Who Will Lose?

David Edgar, 25 September 2008

Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future 
by Newton Minow and Craig LaMay.
Chicago, 219 pp., £11.50, April 2008, 978 0 226 53041 3
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... a surrogate opponent – would prove decisive in debate series from Ford/Carter in 1976 to Bush/Clinton in 1992. Prep was never more significant than in the debates of 1980 and 1984, in both of which Ronald Reagan’s surrogate opponent was David Stockman, a young former radical who went on to head the Office of Management and Budget before resigning over ...

The Way Things Are and How They Might Be

Tony Judt and Kristina Božič: An Interview, 25 March 2010

... been catastrophic. I was born in 1948 so I am more or less the same age as George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Gerhard Schröder, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown – a pretty crappy generation, when you come to think of it, and many names could be added. It is a generation that grew up in the 1960s in Western ...

Is this the end of the American century?

Adam Tooze: America Pivots, 4 April 2019

... US, Mexico and Canada was initiated by George H.W. Bush, but carried over the line in 1993 by Bill Clinton, against the opposition of the American labour movement. It was Clinton’s administration that righted the fiscal ship after the deficit excesses of the Reagan era, only for the budget to be blown back into deficit by ...

It’s the Oil

Jim Holt: Iraq’s Lucrative Mess, 18 October 2007

... of Iraq and the exploitation of its oil resources. The three principal Democratic candidates – Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards – have already hedged their bets, refusing to promise that, if elected, they would remove American forces from Iraq before 2013, the end of their first term. Among the winners: oil-services companies like ...

All I Did Was Marry Him

Elaine Showalter: Laura Bush’s Other Life, 6 November 2008

American Wife 
by Curtis Sittenfeld.
Doubleday, 558 pp., £11.99, October 2008, 978 0 385 61674 4
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... about the inner lives of the publicly humiliated but loyal wives of philandering politicians – Hillary Clinton, Mary Archer, Silda Spitzer, Elizabeth Edwards – or the women married to disgraced or greedy politicians and who follow them into exile. George Bush, however, is intellectually incompetent rather than sexually unfaithful, politically ...

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