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Anthony Parsons: Lessons from the Gulf, 21 March 1991

... In the months following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, accusations of appeasement were directed at those who doubted the wisdom of adopting an uncompromisingly hard line towards Saddam Hussein. In practice, the history of appeasement of the Baathist regime in Iraq goes back many years and only came to an end on 2 August 1991, before these charges were made ...

The Fall of the Shah

Malise Ruthven, 4 July 1985

Shah of Shahs 
by Ryszard Kapuściński, translated by William Brand.
Quartet, 152 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 7043 2473 3
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The Pride and the Fall: Iran 1974-1979 
by Anthony Parsons.
Cape, 160 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 224 02196 6
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Iran under the Ayatollahs 
by Dilip Hiro.
Routledge, 416 pp., £20, January 1985, 9780710099242
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Obbligato: Notes on a Foreign Service Career 
by William Sullivan.
Norton, 279 pp., £13.95, October 1984, 0 393 01809 1
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Envoy to the Middle World: Adventures in Diplomacy 
by George McGhee.
Harper and Row, 458 pp., £15.95, January 1984, 0 06 039025 5
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The Persians amongst the English 
by Denis Wright.
Tauris, 273 pp., £17.95, February 1985, 1 85043 002 0
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... liberties, usually fail to convey. As Britain’s Ambassador to Iran from 1974 to 1979, Sir Anthony Parsons was a privileged witness of the momentous events surrounding the fall of the Shah. Like most other diplomats and a good many experts, Parsons was taken by surprise, and his book is in part an attempt to ...

For ever Falkland?

Tam Dalyell, 17 June 1982

... military defeat of the first magnitude) will be the dwindling of international support. Sir Anthony Parsons could assemble a majority at the UN to condemn aggression: but there is no majority at the UN or anywhere else for a British-inspired holocaust. The Hispanic world is shocked. The Indians are representative of the Third World in being ...


Bernard Porter: The Falklands War, 20 October 2005

The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. I: The Origins of the Falklands War 
by Lawrence Freedman.
Routledge, 253 pp., £35, June 2005, 0 7146 5206 7
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The Official History of the Falklands Campaign. Vol. II: War and Diplomacy 
by Lawrence Freedman.
Routledge, 849 pp., £49.95, June 2005, 0 7146 5207 5
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... the Falklands. For the broad mass of the people this wasn’t an imperialist war. Freedman quotes Anthony Barnett on some of the ‘symbols’ that surrounded it: ‘an island people, the cruel seas, an Anglo-Saxon democracy challenged by a dictator, and finally the quintessentially Churchillian posture – we were down but we were not out.’ These ...


Tam Dalyell: Questions for Mrs Thatcher, 23 July 1987

... Russian invasion of Afghanistan, I was one of my party’s delegation to the United Nations. Sir Anthony Parsons, then Ambassador arranged a meeting for us with his Russian counterpart, Oleg Tryanovsky. Forcefully and politely, I voiced to him the conventional wisdom in Britain on the subject of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and asked him if it ...
The Falklands Campaign: The Lessons 
HMSO, 46 pp., £3.95, December 1982Show More
Sea Change 
by Keith Speed.
Ashgrove Press, 194 pp., £7.95, December 1982, 0 906798 20 5
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One Man’s Falklands 
by Tam Dalyell.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £5.50, December 1982, 0 900821 65 5
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War in the Falklands: The Campaign in Pictures 
Weidenfeld, 154 pp., £7.95, November 1982, 0 297 78202 9Show More
Armed Forces and the Welfare Societies: Challenges in the 1980s 
edited by Gwyn Harries-Jenkins.
Macmillan, 281 pp., £20, December 1982, 0 333 33542 2
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... and roundly accuses Mrs Thatcher of deliberately sabotaging the peace efforts of Mr Haig and Sir Anthony Parsons. In a letter published in the Daily Telegraph on 10 January 1983 he alleged that the Prime Minister had ‘spurned an honourable peace and for her own political purposes opted for a military solution’. Central to Mr Dalyell’s thesis that ...

Many Andies

Andrew O’Hagan, 16 October 1997

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 35 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2319 4
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Style, Style, Style 
by Andy Warhol.
Bulfinch Press, 30 pp., $10.95, May 1997, 0 8212 2320 8
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Who is Andy Warhol? 
edited by Colin MacCabe, Mark Francis and Peter Wollen.
BFI, 162 pp., £40, May 1997, 9780851705880
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All Tomorrow’s Parties: Billy Name’s Photographs of Andy Warhol’s Factory 
by Billy Name.
frieze, 144 pp., £19.95, April 1997, 0 9527414 1 5
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The Last Party: Studio 54, Disco and the Culture of the Night 
by Anthony Haden-Guest.
Morrow, 404 pp., $25, April 1996, 9780688141516
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... of fan magazines, the source of all his imaginary friendships – with Errol Flynn and Louella Parsons, Hedda Hopper and Gary Cooper – and the only thing he craved in those Pittsburgh days was the chance to be as lovable as Shirley Temple. The adult Warhol looked as much like death and lived as much by desire. A mobile presentation of 20th-century ...

Was Ma Hump to blame?

John Sutherland: Aldous Huxley, 11 July 2002

Aldous Huxley: An English Intellectual 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 496 pp., £20, April 2002, 0 316 85492 1
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The Cat's Meow 
directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
April 2002
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... Fox sisters, after John Beavis’s own father, the surgeon, how could there be?’ Beavis’s son Anthony – Aldous, as we apprehend – is overwhelmed by the enveloping gloom: ‘He walked as though at the bottom of a moving well. Its black walls rustled all around him. He began to cry.’ Two years after his mother’s death, inflammation of the cornea ...

Such Little Trousers

Lavinia Greenlaw: Pamela Hansford Johnson, 21 March 2019

This Bed Thy Centre 
by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
Hodder, 288 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7985 6
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An Impossible Marriage 
by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7980 1
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The Last Resort 
by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7994 8
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The Holiday Friend 
by Pamela Hansford Johnson.
Hodder, 272 pp., £8.99, October 2018, 978 1 4736 7987 0
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... way to the candle factory, worrying about his bad luck on the dogs and the ten shillings he owes Parsons, the grocer, who is thinking about the same thing as he cossets the apples on his stall. Desire leaks and decays and persists alongside ‘the sickly draining of a forgotten hope’. These people are bent out of shape by their hidden selves. There is ...

They never married

Ian Hamilton, 10 May 1990

The Dictionary of National Biography: 1981-1985 
edited by Lord Blake and C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 518 pp., £40, March 1990, 0 19 865210 0
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... instead of the customary ten-year span), scientists comfortably outnumber politicians and parsons; businessmen are neck and neck with civil servants. The ‘media’ are (is?) now beginning to offer up a few candidates and we find as many entrants from Film/TV/Radio as from the armed services: in ten years’ time, admirals will almost certainly have ...

Brooke’s Benefit

Anthony Powell, 16 April 1981

... The Buffs, joined the firm too, and for a while so did Brooke himself. Earlier generations were parsons, in the professions, yeoman farmers. A less run-of-the-mill heredity is suggested by the portrait (1826) of Great-Aunt Cock with her two little dogs (reproduced in one of Brooke’s books); also by the box containing the literary remains of a ...

Microwaved Turkey

Thomas Jones: Tim Lott, 7 February 2002

Rumours of a Hurricane 
by Tim Lott.
Viking, 378 pp., £14.99, February 2002, 0 670 88661 0
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... a West London estate agent. His best friends are Tony, Nodge and Colin. Diamond Tony – formally, Anthony Diamonte – is a flash Italian hairdresser: handsome, charming, apparently successful, he has a flair for cruelty. Nodge – or Noj, Jon backwards – is an overweight cab driver with intellectual pretensions. Colin – just Colin – is a computer nerd ...

Make use of me

Jeremy Treglown: Olivia Manning, 9 February 2006

Olivia Manning: A Life 
by Neville Braybrooke and June Braybrooke.
Chatto, 301 pp., £20, November 2004, 0 7011 7749 7
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... success of Fortunes of War, the 1987 TV version of her two trilogies set in the Second World War (Anthony Burgess, a fan, called them a hexateuch), was the visual sumptuousness: the arrival in Bucharest of the train carrying the young British Council teacher and his new wife; the Athens settings of the wife’s romance with one British officer and her ...


Perry Anderson, 6 July 1989

A Treatise on Social Theory. Vol. II: Substantive Social Theory 
by W.G. Runciman.
Cambridge, 493 pp., £35, February 1989, 0 521 24959 7
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... repudiated. The last major thinker to attempt a systematic theory of social evolution was Talcott Parsons, in his final years. It is significant that Runciman, amidst a vast bibliography, never mentions him. Moreover, the discredit into which evolutionism has fallen has attached principally to variants of Marxism which assert no more than some directionality ...

Many Causes, Many Cases

Peter Hall, 28 June 1990

Confessions of a Reluctant Theorist 
by W.G. Runciman.
Harvester, 253 pp., £30, April 1990, 0 7450 0484 9
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... in sociology was first inspired, not, as might be expected, by that great systematiser, Talcott Parsons, but by George Homans, a more modest theorist whose own work was firmly rooted in historical enquiry and the insistence on ‘bringing men back in’ to sociology. With unerring instincts and a fellowship to the United States, Runciman sought out the best ...

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