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Diary

A. Craig Copetas: Yaaaggghhhh, 25 June 1992

... I tried to call you on the radio telephone, when our old flatmate, John Webb, fell overboard in a gale off the coast of Long Island a few years ago and was nearly swept south to Bermuda. But the old Oxford number had been disconnected, and your publisher told me that you were ‘indisputably ...

Babe-Ruthing

A. Craig Copetas, 19 October 1995

Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825-1908 
edited by Dean A. Sullivan.
Nebraska, 312 pp., £44.50, May 1995, 0 8032 4237 9
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... sympathy – cultural, commercial and religious – was not shared in Massachusetts, the home of a growing Irish population and of the Boston Tea Party. These pro and anti-Tory emotions often spilled onto the playing field, which is one of the reasons the game of baseball in 1858 boasted two sets of codified regulations. New York Rules stipulated that ...

Who’s Got the Moxie?

A. Craig Copetas, 23 March 1995

The Mexican Tree Duck 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 247 pp., £15.99, May 1994, 0 330 32451 9
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One to Count Cadence 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 338 pp., £5.99, May 1994, 0 330 32450 0
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... and the late Seymor Lawrence. Frontier towns like Livingston and Boulder Creek are today about as close as you can get to a nursing home for Sixties’ veterans and survivors of the more recent Hollywood filmscript wars – complete with a beanery in ...

Hormone Wars

A. Craig Copetas, 23 April 1992

Crazy Cock 
by Henry Miller.
HarperCollins, 202 pp., £14.99, March 1992, 0 00 223943 4
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The Happiest Man Alive 
by Mary Dearborn.
HarperCollins, 368 pp., £18.50, July 1991, 0 00 215172 3
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... A few hours before the Washington Redskins consummately humiliated the Buffalo Bills in the 1992 Superbowl, I unfortunately asked a fellow American, an editor who has lived in Paris for ten years, to join a group of men and women for a beer, place a few bets, and watch the game with us live on Canal ...

Like a boll weevil to a cotton bud

A. Craig Copetas, 18 November 1993

New York Days 
by Willie Morris.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £19.45, September 1993, 0 316 58421 5
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... Bill Clinton – cooing and eager – is arguing that the watermelon is not a parasite. It is New York, America, and the year is 1968 or 1969. We are having cocktails, the Southern gentleman’s expression for raw liquor sprayed with vermouth, at Elaine’s Restaurant, or perhaps it’s the home of Jean Stein, the wealthy and stunningly attractive daughter of the chairman of the board of the Music Corporation of America ...

When the going gets weird

A. Craig Copetas, 19 December 1991

Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream 
by Hunter S. Thompson.
Picador, 316 pp., £15.95, October 1991, 0 330 31994 9
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... The winter of 1978 is full of strange and apocalyptic memories now. Doc and I were weird-betting a college basketball game in the gentrified servants’ quarters of a large Georgetown estate house that December. Magic Johnson was playing for Michigan that Saturday night and I’d gambled that three successive baskets would be made by players with odd-numbered jerseys ...

Year One

John Lloyd, 30 January 1992

Boris Yeltsin 
by John Morrison.
Penguin, 303 pp., £8.99, November 1991, 0 14 017062 6
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The August Coup: The Truth and its Lessons 
by Mikhail Gorbachev.
HarperCollins, 127 pp., £13.99, October 1991, 9780002550444
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The future belongs to freedom 
by Eduard Shevardnadze.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 256 pp., £15, September 1991, 1 85619 105 2
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Bear-Hunting with the Politburo 
by A. Craig Copetas.
Simon and Schuster, 271 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 671 70313 7
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The Accidental Proletariat: Workers, Politics and Crisis in Gorbachev’s Russia 
by Walter Connor.
Princeton, 374 pp., £25, November 1991, 0 691 07787 8
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... are now under Russian rubrics – which means that Aeroflot in Moscow will not sell a return ticket from another republic, only an outward bound one. Most dangerously, the military is stuck in an illogical impasse from which the republican politicians cannot, or do not care ...

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