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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 ...

Would we be any happier?

Thomas Jones: William Gibson, 20 February 2020

by William Gibson.
Viking, 402 pp., £18.99, January, 978 0 241 23721 2
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... like this. I do, a lot. Is Verity’s stub, then, a site of liberal wish-fulfilment, with Hillary Clinton in the White House and Brexit dodged? Perhaps, but it’s a disappointed fantasy if so. ‘They aren’t necessarily that much happier than people were here,’ a character in the Future says, ‘with the opposite outcome.’ (Or, as a ...

Dialling for Dollars

Deborah Friedell: Corruption in America, 19 March 2015

Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United 
by Zephyr Teachout.
Harvard, 376 pp., £22.95, October 2014, 978 0 674 05040 2
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... the way it funds elections, she doesn’t think it’ll be able to fix much else. In 2008, before Hillary Clinton lost the Democratic nomination to Obama, a conservative group called Citizens United (it describes itself as ‘an organisation dedicated to restoring our government to citizens’ control’) produced ...

After Mubarak

Adam Shatz, 17 February 2011

... the Pharaonic age. Mubarak might be hated by them, but he was our man in Cairo: ‘family’, as Hillary Clinton put it. (The Clinton and Mubarak families have been close for years.) So long as he opened the economy to multinationals, achieved high growth rates and honoured his foreign policy commitments – allowing ...

Mexxed Missages

Elaine Showalter: A road trip through Middle America, 4 November 2004

... an emotional testimony about 9/11. The elderly audience laugh heartily at Smirnoff’s jokes about Hillary Clinton, the Clinton administration (‘sex between two bushes’) and gay marriage. In some respects, his humour is surprisingly cynical. In one skit, he pretends to be president (‘If maybe Schwarzenegger, why ...

A Hologram for President

Eliot Weinberger, 30 August 2012

... in their presidential candidates, regardless of opinions on specific issues. Obama, Bush Jr, Bill Clinton, Reagan all appeared to mean what they say. Failed candidates (Hillary Clinton, McCain, Kerry, Gore, Bush Sr) were all too obviously reversing or avoiding long-held beliefs to pander to the various voting ...

Obama v. Clinton: A Retrospective

Eliot Weinberger: A Tale of Two Candidates, 3 July 2008

... Barack Obama’s victory to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Erica Jong compared Hillary Clinton’s defeat to watching Joan of Arc burning at the stake. Obama was in St Paul, Minnesota, pointedly in the very arena where the Republicans will hold their convention in September, at times barely audible over the nearly continual cheering of ...

Whoopers and Shouters

James Morone: William Jennings Bryan, 21 February 2008

A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan 
by Michael Kazin.
Anchor, 374 pp., $16.95, March 2007, 978 0 385 72056 4
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... passion. The most recent spasm of neo-Populist reform offers a disheartening contrast. Bill Clinton introduced national health insurance in a masterful television address. How will future generations judge our society, he asked, if we were to stand by while ‘hard-working families lost their homes, their savings, their businesses, lost everything ...

Reasons for Corbyn

William Davies, 13 July 2017

... media ecology is that traditional smears no longer seem to work as effectively as they did. Both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Theresa May in 2017 sought to do down their opponents by drawing attention to their past behaviour. A tape of Trump bragging about grabbing women ‘by the pussy’ was leaked, presumably on the assumption that it would finish off ...


David Runciman: Blair Hawks His Wares, 31 March 2016

Broken Vows: Tony Blair – The Tragedy of Power 
by Tom Bower.
Faber, 688 pp., £20, March 2016, 978 0 571 31420 1
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... inhabited the same netherworld in which he now operates. Blair hooked up with Branson via Bill Clinton, whose foundation has its finger in many of the same pies that Blair has been trying to access on the speechmaking/fundraising/deal-brokering circuit. More than once, as I read Bower on Blair the international deliverologist, I found myself wondering what ...

Imperial Graveyard

Samuel Moyn: Richard Holbrooke, 6 February 2020

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century 
by George Packer.
Cape, 592 pp., £25, May 2019, 978 1 910702 92 5
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... called for human rights in foreign policy,’ Packer writes, ‘but not too much.’When Bill Clinton became president in 1992, Holbrooke glowered as his onetime best friend Anthony Lake became national security adviser, a position he coveted but was never given. Instead, the Bosnian war became Holbrooke’s long-sought tryst with destiny. It had broken ...

I blame Foucault

Jenny Diski: Bush’s Women, 22 September 2005

Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species 
by Laura Flanders.
Verso, 342 pp., £10, July 2005, 1 84467 530 0
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... as being ‘pro-choice’ or ‘anti-choice’.) Condoleezza Rice and her fellow Bushwomen (and Hillary Clinton and Cherie Blair) went on emergency hypocrisy duty during the bombing of Afghanistan and Iraq to tell their too morally fastidious sisters of the need to liberate the women of those countries from the oppression of the burqa by the use of ...

Just Be Grateful

Jamie Martin: Unequal Britain, 23 April 2015

Breadline Britain: The Rise of Mass Poverty 
by Stewart Lansley and Joanna Mack.
Oneworld, 334 pp., £9.99, February 2015, 978 1 78074 544 2
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Inequality and the 1 Per Cent 
by Danny Dorling.
Verso, 234 pp., £12.99, September 2014, 978 1 78168 585 3
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... they have little chance of making it past a hostile Congress. In her early bid for the presidency, Hillary Clinton has promised a more ‘inclusive capitalism’ that would raise the incomes of the Democrats’ middle-class voting base but without indulging in what Larry Summers, a longtime Clinton adviser, has called ...

What went wrong in Mali?

Bruce Whitehouse, 30 August 2012

... an influx of fighters and arms from Libya in the wake of Gaddafi’s downfall. Earlier this month Hillary Clinton claimed that ‘Mali was, by most indicators, on the right path until a cadre of soldiers seized power.’ But why was it so easy for a few dozen sergeants and junior officers to topple the government? Why didn’t more Malians stand up in ...

Short Cuts

Mattathias Schwartz: John Bolton’s Unwitting Usefulness, 16 July 2020

... isolationist. In his 2016 campaign he falsely claimed he had opposed the invasion of Iraq, while Hillary Clinton said she regretted having voted for it in the Senate. Bolton, who helped sell the invasion, still stands by it. Where Bolton’s most deep-seated desire is to lay waste to America’s enemies, Trump is absorbed by the prospect of abandoning ...

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