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Cleaning up

Ben Whitaker, 17 March 1988

The Underground Empire: Where crime and governments embrace 
by James Mills.
Sidgwick, 1165 pp., £15, November 1987, 0 283 99454 1
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... The rubric at the start of this remarkable volume is encouraging: ‘Everything in this book is true. No names have been changed, there are ... no invented scenes or dialogue.’ On the next page, however, the British publishers confess they have had to resile and purge the text to make it fit for the country whose attitude to freedom of expression has recently been judged by Mr Justice Scott to have somewhat too many similarities to places east of the Iron Curtain ...

Getting high

Charles Nicholl, 19 March 1987

The Global Connection: The Crisis of Drug Addiction 
by Ben Whitaker.
Cape, 384 pp., £15, March 1987, 0 224 02224 5
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... question has made it an ideal market for word-merchants: politicians, pundits and journalists. Ben Whitaker’s new study, The Global Connection, is admirably clear-sighted. He has opted for the compendious, rather than the propagandist, approach. He briefly surveys the historical and social by-ways of drug-taking, describes the chemistry and effects ...

Love and Crime

Theodore Zeldin, 6 March 1980

Recollections and Reflections of a Country Policeman 
by W.C. May.
A.H. Stockwell (Ilfracombe), 342 pp., £6.60, July 1979, 0 7223 1199 0
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The Police in Society 
by Ben Whitaker.
Eyre Methuen, 351 pp., £6.95, March 1979, 9780413342003
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... about 105 years for all the desirable reforms to be implemented. Is it possible to change things? Ben Whitaker’s The Police in Society is possibly the most balanced and best-informed study there is of the British force. It is packed with facts and opinions, taken from all political angles, so that it gives an excellent summary of all the conflicting ...

Whose Body?

Charles Glass: ‘Operation Mincemeat’, 22 July 2010

Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War Two 
by Ben Macintyre.
Bloomsbury, 400 pp., £16.99, January 2010, 978 0 7475 9868 8
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... with his authorised version, published The Unknown Courier. So the tale has been told before, but Ben Macintyre has done a more thorough and readable job of it than his predecessors. His access to the classified documents and unpublished autobiography that Montagu, who died in 1985, left to his son Jeremy make this the most complete account to date. Operation ...

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