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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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... from the distinguished physicists Oliver Lodge and Balfour Stewart. Since then the links between scientific 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 ...

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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... the cover of Masters of Bedlam, gauntly silhouetted against a mottled sky. He seems to be looking 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
... biographer in the country. As a browser, I poked about in it with some interest, noting, for instance, 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 ...
12 December 1996
Full Disclosure 
by Andrew​ Neil.
Macmillan, 481 pp., £20, October 1996, 0 333 64682 7
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... 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 conversation? The aforesaid Andrew Neil, on page 25 of this book. Though he immediately describes Burnet’s ...
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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... sixpence. The Great Traditions of the academic study of literature have on the whole been framed to 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 ...
7 February 1980
The Climate of Treason 
by Andrew​ Boyle.
Hutchinson, 504 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 9780091393403
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... him off. The worst that can happen now is abuse by newspapers, and that will only hasten the process 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 ...

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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... CIA and the KGB, William Casey and Victor Chebrikov, are of course public figures. But that, as Mr Ingham 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 ...

How to Solve the Puzzle

Donald MacKenzie: On Short Selling

5 April 2018
... shares and then posting on their websites a detailed account of the reasons they think its shares 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 ...

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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... must have had a notion. In 1998, as US wholesale electricity prices started to spike upwards, Enron used 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 ...

The Magic Lever

Donald MacKenzie: How the Banks Do It

9 May 2013
... the Bank of England set out to calculate a figure that does more than any other to shatter banking’s 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 ...
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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... a ‘senior journalist’ on the Sun who confesses that he videos all the soaps in search of news material 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 ...

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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... time of these letters, Lawrence was best-known as the author of Sons and Lovers (an aspirant who, according 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 ...
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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... Buchan was sinking towards oblivion, the sort of forgotten bestseller (like Phillips Oppenheim) you 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 ...

Tarot Triumph

Edmund Leach

4 September 1980
The Game of Tarot: from Ferrara to Salt Lake City 
by Michael Dummett.
Duckworth, 600 pp., £45, August 1980, 0 7156 1014 7
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Twelve Tarot Games 
by Michael Dummett.
Duckworth, 242 pp., £5.95, August 1980, 0 7156 1488 6
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... kind of refuge, and my new hobby became for me a refuge.’ The new hobby concerned cards of a different denomination. It seems to have been sparked off partly by the fact that when Dummett’s son Andrew came across a book of rules relating to a French version of Tarot, father and son had together learned how to play the game and found that it was a very good one, and partly by the fact that his ...

Malvolio’s Story

Marilyn Butler

8 February 1996
Dirt and Deity: A Life of Robert Burns 
by Ian McIntyre.
HarperCollins, 461 pp., £20, October 1995, 0 00 215964 3
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... a personality and a voice he was not just ‘Scotland’s bard’ but the living proof that reason, independence, generosity of spirit are attributes not confined to the polite classes. (It was Henry Mackenzie who captured Burns’s significance for the age of revolutions, with his adjective ‘Heaven-taught’.) There were, all the same, limitations the ploughman-poet would have to transcend – which in ...

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