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Large and Rolling

Penelope Fitzgerald, 31 July 1997

The Scholar Gypsy: The Quest for a Family Secret 
by Anthony Sampson.
Murray, 229 pp., £16, May 1997, 0 7195 5708 9
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... Anthony Sampson begins and ends his book with an account of his grandfather’s funeral, held, as requested in his will, at the top of a Welsh mountain, Foel Goch. Among the mourners were Gypsy harpers and fiddlers, scholars, civic officials and ‘the painter Mr Augustus John’. ‘Hundreds of spectators,’ it was reported, ‘waited for the coming of the mortal remains of Dr John Sampson, the well-known philologist and librarian of Liverpool University ...

Breaking the banks

Charles Raw, 17 December 1981

The Money Lenders 
by Anthony Sampson.
Hodder, 336 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 340 25719 9
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... as we shall see, bankers often have only a remote prospect of seeing their money back.’ writes Anthony Sampson. He then chronicles one or two of the more spectacular banking defaults of the past, starting with a brief account of how England in the 14th century, then a ‘wild developing country’, welshed on its debts to Italian bankers. He proceeds ...

Good Schools

Tessa Blackstone, 2 December 1982

The Changing Anatomy of Britain 
by Anthony Sampson.
Hodder, 476 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 9780340209646
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An English Education: A Perspective of Eton 
by Richard Ollard.
Collins, 216 pp., £9.95, September 1982, 0 00 216495 7
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Survival Programmes in Britain’s Inner Cities 
Open University, 224 pp., £6.95, September 1982, 0 335 10111 9Show More
Liverpool 8 
by John Cornelius.
Murray, 177 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 7195 3975 7
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The Other Britain 
edited by Paul Barker.
Routledge, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1982, 9780710093080
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... a small upper-middle-class élite, separately educated from the rest of the population, to which Anthony Sampson continually draws our attention in his fourth attempt at dissecting this country, The Changing Anatomy of Britain. Given the richness of what is on offer in our state schools, why do parents choose to spend large sums of money, sometimes at ...

An Unreliable Friend

R.W. Johnson: Nelson Mandela, 19 August 1999

Mandela: The Authorised Biography 
by Anthony Sampson.
HarperCollins, 500 pp., £24.99, May 1999, 0 00 255829 7
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... superhero has been correspondingly fierce. All of which makes the biographer’s job difficult: Sampson continually tells us that ‘Mandela is no saint’ but he never describes any unsaintly behaviour. In any case the glaze of admiration around Mandela is so thick that it can take any amount of knocks. For example, ...

Money Talk

Victor Mallet, 21 December 1989

Liar’s Poker: Two Cities, True Greed 
by Michael Lewis.
Hodder, 224 pp., £12.95, November 1989, 0 340 49602 9
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Lords of Poverty: The Free-Wheeling Lifestyles, Power, Prestige and Corruption of the Multi-Billion Dollar Aid Business 
by Graham Hancock.
Macmillan, 234 pp., £14.95, October 1989, 0 333 43962 7
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High Life 
by Taki.
Viking, 198 pp., £11.95, October 1989, 0 670 82956 0
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The Midas Touch: Money, People and Power from West to East 
by Anthony Sampson.
BBC/Hodder, 212 pp., £15, October 1989, 0 340 48793 3
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... rather than manufacturing – is a topical issue in Britain, and a problem which preoccupies Anthony Sampson. The Midas Touch, flitting from east to west and north to south, touches on this and other important issues, noting the manufacturing prowess of Japan, the new cult of activity rather than leisure for the rich, the consumer obsession with ...

That Man Griffith

John Griffith, 25 October 1990

Lord Denning: A Biography 
by Edmund Heward.
Weidenfeld, 243 pp., £15, September 1990, 9780297811381
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... I should declare an interest. Anthony Sampson in The Changing Anatomy of Britain quotes Lord Denning dismissing attacks on a class-based judiciary: ‘The youngsters believe that we come from a narrow background – it’s all nonsense – they get it from that man Griffith.’ Lord Reid was a distinguished top judge ...

Pretoria gets ready

Heribert Adam, 9 July 1987

Black and Gold: Tycoons, Revolutionaries and Apartheid 
by Anthony Sampson.
Hodder, 280 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 340 39524 9
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The Crisis in South Africa 
by John Saul and Stephen Gelb.
Zed, 245 pp., £6.95, December 1986, 0 86232 692 3
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... the South African technocrats. The reason they cannot easily snap it is best illustrated by Anthony Sampson’s story of capitalist wheeling and dealing with the Apartheid regime. Historically, the system developed as an integral part of the Western global economy. And that is what it is today. ...

Who ruins Britain?

Peter Clarke, 22 November 1990

Friends in High Places: Who runs Britain? 
by Jeremy Paxman.
Joseph, 370 pp., £16.99, September 1990, 0 7181 3154 1
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The Sunday Times Book of the Rich 
by Philip Beresford.
Weidenfeld, 336 pp., £18.95, October 1990, 0 297 81115 0
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... Parade and trod the gilded pavements of the City, he must often have glimpsed the footprints of Anthony Sampson, who blazed this trail nearly thirty years ago for his Anatomy of Britain and subsequently retraced his steps more than once. Measured by the Sampson standard, which is a severe one, Paxman’s ...

Diary

James Fox: On Drum Magazine, 8 March 1990

... no place in the South African model; industrialisation had cut them off from their rural origins. Anthony Sampson, who spent a creative four-year stint as editor of Drum in the early Fifties, described as a ‘genuine and massive misunderstanding’ the Afrikaner belief ‘that the blacks, like the Afrikaners, wanted to return to their tribal roots and ...

Supermac’s Apprenticeship

Ian Gilmour, 24 November 1988

Macmillan 1894-1956 
by Alistair Horne.
Macmillan, 537 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 333 27691 4
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... Macmillan’s rival, Rab Butler, chose a biographer from outside his own party, but his and Anthony Howard’s political outlooks may have been closer to each other than Mr Horne’s and Macmillan’s ‘not very good’ Toryisms. After an undistinguished three years at Eton, a first in Mods at Oxford, a flirtation with Rome together with Ronnie Knox, a ...

The Doctrine of Unripe Time

Ferdinand Mount: The Fifties, 16 November 2006

Having It So Good: Britain in the Fifties 
by Peter Hennessy.
Allen Lane, 740 pp., £30, October 2006, 0 7139 9571 8
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... Bill Haley and the Comets. We find, too, the trenchant comments of Richard Hoggart, A.H. Halsey, Anthony Sampson and Michael Young – the Four Evangelists of the 1950s to whom Hennessy dedicates his book. Their increasingly grumpy pronouncements on the ‘shiny barbarism of the new affluence’ pepper the pages of Having It So Good. Of the new milk ...

The Best Stuff

Ian Jack: David Astor, 1 June 2016

David Astor: A Life in Print 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 400 pp., £25, March 2016, 978 0 224 09090 2
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... Davie was first offered a job over lunch with Astor at Boodle's club when he was still at Oxford. Anthony Sampson came from Drum magazine in South Africa. Philip Toynbee arrived after his father, the historian Arnold Toynbee, called to wonder if Astor could rescue his son from drink, depression and riotous behaviour. Colin Legum, expelled from his native ...

Passionate Purposes

Keith Kyle, 6 September 1984

Cyprus 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Quartet, 192 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 7043 2436 9
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The Cyprus Dispute and the Birth of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 
by Necati Ertekun.
K. Rustem, Nicosia, PO Box 239, Lefkosa, via Mersin 10, Turkey, 507 pp., £12.50
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... by the time that happened the Turks were once more on the scene, partially summoned there by Sir Anthony Eden. Eden has been much blamed for ‘artificially setting up Turkey as an interested party’, in the words of Makarios. In a legal sense, this is true. But with Turkey an ally in Nato there would have been something artificial in Britain’s behaving ...

A Narrow Band of Liberties

Glen Newey: Global order, 25 January 2001

Profit over People: Neo-Liberalism and Global Order 
by Noam Chomsky.
Seven Stories, 175 pp., £26, October 1998, 1 888363 82 7
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Acts of Aggression: Policing ‘Rogue’ States 
by Noam Chomsky and Ramsey Clark, edited by Edward Said.
Seven Stories, 62 pp., £4.99, May 1999, 1 58322 005 4
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The Umbrella of US Power: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Contradictions of US Policy 
by Noam Chomsky.
Seven Stories, 78 pp., £3.99, December 1998, 1 888363 85 1
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The New Military Humanism: Lessons from Kosovo 
by Noam Chomsky.
Pluto, 199 pp., £30, November 1999, 0 7453 1633 6
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... preferment is itself a symptom of the ideology. One who plays Flimnap to the King of Lilliput is Anthony Giddens of the LSE. Writing a while ago of the cosmically vacant notion of globalisation, he remarked that ‘a million dollars is a lot of money for most people. A stack of [presumably one thousand] thousand-dollar notes would be eight inches high. A ...

Rivonia Days

R.W. Johnson: Remembering the trial, 16 August 2007

The State v. Nelson Mandela: The Trial That Changed South Africa 
by Joel Joffe.
Oneworld, 288 pp., £16.99, July 2007, 978 1 85168 500 4
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... certainly not Mandela – took any decision without consulting Sisulu first. When I reviewed Anthony Sampson’s biography of Mandela in the LRB,* I raised the problem of Mandela’s own probable SACP membership. This was strongly contested by Sampson, and the notion is upsetting to many of the great man’s ...

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