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Enabler’s Revenge

David Runciman: John Edwards

25 March 2010
The Politician: An Insider’s Account of John Edwards’s Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down 
by Andrew Young.
Thomas Dunne, 301 pp., $24.99, January 2010, 978 0 312 64065 1
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Race of a Lifetime: How Obama Won the White House 
by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin.
Viking, 448 pp., £25, January 2010, 978 0 670 91802 7
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... enough to guarantee silence. But it also means that once someone decides to spill the beans, it’s because they’ve decided there is nothing left to lose. This certainly appears to be the case with AndrewYoung, whose stomach-churning, jaw-dropping account of his time spent working for, befriending and then covering up on behalf of the Democratic politician and presidential hopeful John Edwards takes ...
12 December 1996
Full Disclosure 
by Andrew​ Neil.
Macmillan, 481 pp., £20, October 1996, 0 333 64682 7
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... Times to the crusted royalty-worshipper and Tory, Alastair Burnet. Burnet refused, pleading old age, but came up at once with an alternative. ‘You should,’ he told Murdoch, ‘go for the best young 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 ...


Michael Rogin

5 September 1996
Imagineering Atlanta 
by Charles Rutheiser.
Verso, 324 pp., £44.95, July 1996, 1 85984 800 1
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... The birthplace of the leader of the civil rights movement also lent local colour to the Olympics: the one black face on the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games belonged to the co-chair, AndrewYoung. A former mayor of the city and a UN Ambassador, Young chose to follow the trickle-down path of corporate development rather than pay attention to the urban poor, and insisted that the Olympics were ...
9 July 1992
Devolving English Literature 
by Robert Crawford.
Oxford, 320 pp., £35, June 1992, 9780198112983
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The Faber Book of 20th-Century Scottish Poetry 
edited by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 424 pp., £17.50, July 1992, 9780571154319
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... for most of his adult life, and loved Cornwall. His relative neglect is due to more than the quirk of having been not-quite-obviously-Scottish-enough; he had the cheek to live somewhere else. AndrewYoung, Edwin Muir, and several others, have been treated to petty discriminations of a similar kind.’ I suspect that Dunn himself is among those ‘several others’. Graham, it seems, was a drunk; and ...


John Bayley

19 January 1989
The Amis Anthology 
edited by Kingsley Amis.
Hutchinson, 360 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 09 173525 4
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The Chatto Book of Nonsense Verse 
edited by Hugh Haughton.
Chatto, 530 pp., £12.95, November 1988, 0 7011 3105 5
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... this collection of my favourite poems’. It is an incisive principle and pays off well: it makes a first-rate anthology. There are a number of poems, by Suckling, Henry King, George Farewell, AndrewYoung, which will probably be new to the reader, and which will certainly produce ‘the illusion that it was written specially for me’. There are well-known favourites too, like Housman’s ...

By the Gasometers

Andrew​ O’Hagan

1 July 2015
... and myself. We all watched one morning as a crowd of 1930s policemen clashed with the blackshirts at the foot of the gasometers: they were filming the Cable Street Riot. In those days, a group of young people made their home in the shadow of the gasometers. Never early risers, they got a fright the day the blackshirts went to battle with the police: when they opened their tents they thought the ...

Sweet Sin

J.P. Stern

5 August 1982
by Wolfgang Hildesheimer.
Suhrkamp, 326 pp., May 1981, 3 518 03205 4
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... Between 1946 and 1949 he worked with the Allied War Crimes Commission at Nuremberg. He has lived in Southern Germany, Bavaria, Cornwall, and in Urbino (where presumably he first came upon traces of Andrew Marbot’s life); now he seems to have settled in Poschiavo in the Swiss Grisons. Rumour has it that he is a generous host with a fair Knowledge of the local vineyards. Travel, especially of the ...

Father Figures

Marguerite Alexander

1 September 1983
A Journey in Ladakh 
by Andrew​ Harvey.
Cape, 236 pp., £8.50, May 1983, 0 224 02056 0
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All of us There 
by Polly Devlin.
Weidenfeld, 200 pp., £7.95, June 1983, 9780297782247
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The Far Side of the Lough: Stories from an Irish Childhood 
by Polly Devlin and Ian Newsham.
Gollancz, 118 pp., £5.50, June 1983, 0 575 03244 8
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... Ladakh, a mountain region under Kashmiri control which lies between India, Tibet and Pakistan, becomes the object of Andrew Harvey’s quest after he is told by a young Frenchman in Delhi that ‘the mountains of Ladakh have been the setting for Buddhist meditation since three centuries before Christ was born.’ Less spoiled than more accessible Buddhist centres ...

Goethe in the Park

Andrew​ Motion

9 March 1995
... The slates have gone from that shed in the park where sometimes the old sat if they were desperate, and sometimes the young with nowhere better to fuck, and now given some luck the whole piss-stinking thing will fall to the ground, no, I mean will lift into space, no evidence left in its earthly place of the grey graffiti ...


Christopher Hitchens: On Peregrine Worsthorne

4 November 1993
... In Simon Raven’s Alms for Oblivion novel sequence, we are introduced to the hopeless young charmer Fielding Gray. His father is remote and sourly reactionary; his mother develops ominous signs of chippiness and puritanism. Young Fielding gets through most of the right hoops but usually in ...


Christopher Tayler: Muriel Spark’s Essays

24 September 2014
The Golden Fleece: Essays 
by Muriel Spark, edited by Penelope Jardine.
Carcanet, 226 pp., £16.99, March 2014, 978 1 84777 251 0
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... manner. Take The Girls of Slender Means (1963): Dorothy’s hips were 36 and a half inches; her bust measurement was only 31, a fact which did not dismay her, as she intended to marry one of three young men out of her extensive acquaintance who happened to find themselves drawn to boyish figures, and although she did not know about such things as precisely as did her aunt, Dorothy knew well enough ...


Susannah Clapp

10 November 1988
The Suzy Lamplugh Story 
by Andrew​ Stephen.
Faber, 198 pp., £10.95, October 1988, 0 571 15152 3
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... her letter at her desk. Some months later, Diana Lamplugh was able to provide another chilling announcement: ‘We are probably (bar the Royals) one of the most well-known families in Britain.’ Andrew Stephen’s book has added to this celebrity. So have the newspaper stories about his story. For three long weeks the Observer carried huge chunks of this tiny book. Their estimate of the story which ...


Iain Sinclair: On the Promenade

17 August 2006
... a bit of business around the act of hauling his broken leg into some nervous Highland waiting-room. I recognised this reverse asylum-seeker, at once, as the performance artist and memory-cannibal Andrew Kötting. Umlaut rising above the lunar o of his surname like a pair of ice-blue staring eyes, too mad to blink. There are only four Köttings to be found, so he tells me, in the United Kingdom ...

Scandal in Pittsburgh

David Nasaw: Andrew​ Mellon

19 July 2007
Mellon: An American Life 
by David Cannadine.
Allen Lane, 779 pp., £30, November 2006, 0 7139 9508 4
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... There is nothing so enervating,’ Andrew Carnegie wrote in 1891, ‘nothing so deadly in its effects upon the qualities which lead to the highest achievement, moral or intellectual, as hereditary wealth.’ Boys born with silver spoons in ...

Havana, 1968

Andrew​ Sinclair

28 June 2017
... were more a matter of street wit than substance. They took his asides as true statements. Given an old crone to act as a cook and spy on the apartment, he said: ‘If I got to have a cook, make her young, white and willing.’ This was reported as wants a young white slave. When he saw a black Cadillac in the street, he observed: ‘I want to get me a big black Caddie for this big black ass.’ This ...

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