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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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... AnthonySampson 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 ...
17 December 1981
The Money Lenders 
by Anthony Sampson.
Hodder, 336 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 340 25719 9
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... When they lend to the developing world, as we shall see, bankers often have only a remote prospect of seeing their money back.’ writes AnthonySampson. 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 ...

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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... for a small minority (about 5 per cent) of Britain’s children. And indeed it is this phenomenon of a small upper-middle-class élite, separately educated from the rest of the population, to which AnthonySampson 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 ...

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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... decay just as the Portuguese said it would. And so on. The demand that Mandela should be the true black 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 ...

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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... thing that has happened to him. The fact that there is big money and quick money to be made in trading – rather than manufacturing – is a topical issue in Britain, and a problem which preoccupies AnthonySampson. 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 ...
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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... went almost unnoticed. It is the cord that attaches the country to its Western heritage which incenses the South African technocrats. The reason they cannot easily snap it is best illustrated by AnthonySampson’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 ...

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. AnthonySampson 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 ...
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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... as he processed through the cloisters of Canterbury and York, as he marched across Horse Guards Parade and trod the gilded pavements of the City, he must often have glimpsed the footprints of AnthonySampson, 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 ...
24 November 1988
Macmillan 1894-1956 
by Alistair Horne.
Macmillan, 537 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 333 27691 4
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... the phrase ‘not a very good Tory’ clearly meant different things to biographer and subject. 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 ...


James Fox: On Drum Magazine

8 March 1990
... most of the staff, who spent much time in jail for drinking or pass offences. The township people had no place in the South African model; industrialisation had cut them off from their rural origins. AnthonySampson, 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 ...

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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... garlic and olive oil from Elizabeth David’s Book of Mediterranean Food; we hear the first chords of Bill Haley and the Comets. We find, too, the trenchant comments of Richard Hoggart, A.H. Halsey, AnthonySampson 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 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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... literary editor (Connolly had long gone) after a spell as a radio journalist in Jerusalem. Michael Davie was first offered a job over lunch with Astor at Boodle's club when he was still at Oxford. AnthonySampson 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 ...
6 September 1984
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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... Egyptians, then, I suspect, the British people will rise and compel the Government to evacuate.’ But 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 ...

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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... more than dim, that the academic class forms a fifth estate rising nobly above the ruck of political 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 ...

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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... or hesitation and entirely without notes. And while Mandela was visibly the group’s leader, nobody – certainly not Mandela – took any decision without consulting Sisulu first. When I reviewed AnthonySampson’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 ...

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