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Cleaning up

Simon Schaffer, 1 July 1982

Explaining the Unexplained: Mysteries of the Paranormal 
by Hans Eysenck and Carl Sargent.
Weidenfeld, 192 pp., £9.95, April 1982, 0 297 78068 9
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Appearances of the Dead: A Cultural History of Ghosts 
by R.C. Finucane.
Junction, 292 pp., £13.50, May 1982, 0 86245 043 8
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Hauntings and Apparitions 
by Andrew Mackenzie.
Heinemann, 240 pp., £8.50, June 1982, 0 434 44051 5
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Beyond the Body: An Investigation of Out-of-the-Body Experiences 
by Susan Blackmore.
Heinemann, 270 pp., £8.50, June 1982, 0 434 07470 5
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... heroes and psychical research have always been close. In his foreword to the two books, by Mackenzie and Blackmore, published to celebrate the Society’s centenary, Brian Inglis recalls the roll of honour among scientific converts: it includes Marie Curie and Sigmund Freud. But of course what these two books also recall, and what is made even clearer ...

Brute Nature

Rosemary Dinnage, 6 March 1997

Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade 
by Andrew Scull, Charlotte Mackenzie and Nicholas Hervey.
Princeton, 363 pp., £23, February 1997, 0 691 03411 7
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... at something he finds hard to bear. The brief biographies of 19th-century alienists through which Andrew Scull, Charlotte MacKenzie and Nicholas Hervey tell the story of the century’s dealings with the mad make it clear that Morison’s haunted expression could have been that of any of the seven ...

Diary

Julian Barnes: Burning Letters, 7 July 1988

... that most of Susan Hill is in the Susan Hill collection at Eton College Library, and that Andrew Motion wrote a letter to E.M. Forster in ‘?1970’ which is under ‘restricted access’ at King’s College Cambridge. But as a writer, listed – however laconically – in the catalogue, I pondered its two volumes with welling unease. The first thing ...

Mirror Images

Christopher Andrew, 3 April 1986

World of Secrets: The Uses and Limits of Intelligence 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 404 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 297 78745 4
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... would say, is not the point. What the point is remains obscure. In 1932 the novelist Compton Mackenzie was tried for a number of breaches of the Official Secrets Act which included revealing the name of the first chief of MI6, Sir Mansfield Cumming. Mackenzie protested that Cumming had been dead for nine years, and the ...

Kipling the Reliable

David Trotter, 6 March 1986

Early Verse by Rudyard Kipling 1879-1889 
edited by Andrew Rutherford.
Oxford, 497 pp., £19.50, March 1986, 9780198123231
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Kipling’s India: Uncollected Sketches 1884-88 
edited by Thomas Pinney.
Macmillan, 301 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 333 38467 9
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Imperialism and Popular Culture 
edited by John MacKenzie.
Manchester, 264 pp., £25, February 1986, 9780719017704
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Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases 
edited by Henry Yule and A.C. Burnell.
Routledge, 1021 pp., £18.95, November 1985, 0 7100 2886 5
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... exclude technology, Patriotism Appeal and the royal sod. They have on the whole excluded Kipling. Andrew Rutherford’s 1971 Penguin selection tried to smuggle him in by putting the emphasis on the later, more psychologically and artistically complex stories. But as Angus Wilson (President of the Kipling Society) pointed out in his 1977 biography, this ...

Dashing for Freedom

Paul Foot, 12 December 1996

Full Disclosure 
by Andrew Neil.
Macmillan, 481 pp., £20, October 1996, 0 333 64682 7
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... journalist of his generation.’ ‘Oh yeah,’ Murdoch said, ‘and who would that be?’ ‘Andrew Neil of the Economist’ was Burnet’s reply. What is our source for this extraordinary conversation? The aforesaid Andrew Neil, on page 25 of this book. Though he immediately describes Burnet’s assessment as ...

How to Solve the Puzzle

Donald MacKenzie: On Short Selling, 5 April 2018

... are overpriced. The first to do this were Manuel Asensio’s New York-based Asensio & Co and Andrew Left’s Citron Research, based in Los Angeles. (‘Citron’ is a joke, based on the US slang meaning of ‘lemon’, but Left is a deadly serious short seller.) Since 2008, Asensio and Left have been joined by around 15 other firms, including Block’s ...

What sort of traitors?

Neal Ascherson, 7 February 1980

The Climate of Treason 
by Andrew Boyle.
Hutchinson, 504 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 9780091393403
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... of reconciliation with his friends. Newspapers are ‘they’ and we, after all, are ‘we’. As Andrew Boyle relates, it turned out that a great many old acquaintances of Burgess and Maclean were much more horrified – felt, indeed, much more betrayed – by the fact that the late Goronwy Rees gave a version of their flight to the People than by the flight ...

Empty Cookie Jar

Donald MacKenzie: Ethnoaccountancy, 22 May 2003

Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego and the Death of Enron 
by Robert Bryce.
PublicAffairs, 394 pp., £9.99, November 2002, 1 903985 54 4
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Enron: The Rise and Fall 
by Loren Fox.
Wiley, 384 pp., £18.50, October 2002, 0 471 23760 4
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... a special purpose entity to buy generating capacity close to New York City. Enron’s CFO, Andrew Fastow, told the magazine: ‘We accessed $1.5 billion in capital but expanded the Enron balance-sheet by only $65 million.’ The magazine seems to have approved, awarding Fastow its 1999 CFO Excellence Award for Capital Structure Management. CFO ...

The Magic Lever

Donald MacKenzie: How the Banks Do It, 9 May 2013

... preferred image of itself. The figure made its first, understated appearance in March 2010, when Andrew Haldane, the Bank’s Executive Director for Financial Stability, included it in a talk in Hong Kong, then reappeared later that year in a chart buried at the back of the December issue of the Bank’s Financial Stability Report. The figure was the size of ...

I’m being a singer

Andrew O’Hagan: Dandy Highwaymen, 8 October 2020

Sweet Dreams: The Story of the New Romantics 
by Dylan Jones.
Faber, 663 pp., £20, October, 978 0 571 35343 9
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... Ant, went mad for a time, or took up heroin, as Boy George did; they killed themselves, like Billy Mackenzie of the Associates, or just died too young of too much everything, like George Michael. Culture Club’s fourth album, released in 1986, was called From Luxury to Heartache. Perhaps it was always built into the programme, part of the sequencer: have all ...

Westward Ho

Frank Kermode, 7 February 1985

The Letters of D.H. Lawrence. Vol. III: October 1916 - June 1921 
edited by James Boulton and Andrew Robertson.
Cambridge, 762 pp., £25, November 1984, 0 521 23112 4
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Brett: From Bloomsbury to New Mexico 
by Sean Hignett.
Hodder, 299 pp., £14.95, January 1985, 9780340229736
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... to Henry James, might be seen ‘lagging in the dusty rear’ of Hugh Walpole and Compton Mackenzie), of another banned book, and perhaps also of a third unpublishable one. Yet he was a genius, not only in his own eyes but in the opinion of many discriminating people, not, unfortunately, publishers. For us, the justification of his and their view is ...

You can’t put it down

Fintan O’Toole, 18 July 1996

The Fourth Estate 
by Jeffrey Archer.
HarperCollins, 550 pp., £16.99, May 1996, 0 00 225318 6
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Tickle the Public: One Hundred Years of the Popular Press 
by Matthew Engel.
Gollancz, 352 pp., £20, April 1996, 9780575061439
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Newspaper Power: The New National Press in Britain 
by Jeremy Tunstall.
Oxford, 441 pp., £35, March 1996, 0 19 871133 6
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... and ‘if there is a certain soap story-line, then yes we do spin stories off it.’ Kelvin MacKenzie spotted in particular the potential for mutual promotion by the Sun and EastEnders, which blossomed first with an exclusive revelation that the actor who plays Dirty Den had a real-life murder conviction, and continued with SEARCH FOR REAL LIFE DIRTY ...

The First Hundred Years

James Buchan, 24 August 1995

John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier 
by Andrew Lownie.
Constable, 365 pp., £20, July 1995, 0 09 472500 4
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... find in seaside rental bungalows, a footnote in the biographies of T.E. Lawrence, Beaverbrook and Mackenzie King, and the villain in lachrymose ‘decline of Britain’ books and television series. I think by the end of the Seventies only the Hannay books and one or two others were still in print. The charges against John Buchan were either false (as ...

No Longer Merely the Man Who Ate His Boots

Thomas Jones: The Northwest Passage, 27 May 2010

Arctic Labyrinth: The Quest for the Northwest Passage 
by Glyn Williams.
Allen Lane, 440 pp., £25, October 2009, 978 1 84614 138 6
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Franklin: Tragic Hero of Polar Navigation 
by Andrew Lambert.
Faber, 428 pp., £20, July 2009, 978 0 571 23160 7
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... inflexibility and his unfamiliarity with conditions in the far north were serious handicaps.’ Andrew Lambert, in his new biography of Franklin, an attempt to reclaim the explorer from both Victorian hagiography and subsequent disparagement, is less even-handed: ‘Whatever else had been achieved, Franklin had demonstrated a rare talent for ...

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