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Wrong Again

Bruce Cumings: Korean War Games, 4 December 2003

... Jong Il as an untrustworthy madman, a ‘pygmy’, an ‘evildoer’. In a recent discussion with Bob Woodward, he blurted out, ‘I loathe Kim Jong Il,’ shouting and ‘waving his finger in the air’. He also declared his preference for ‘toppling’ the North Korean regime. (Maybe Bush’s resentments have something to do with the widespread ...

Jungle Book

John Pym, 21 November 1985

Money into Light 
by John Boorman.
Faber, 241 pp., £4.95, September 1985, 0 571 13731 8
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... have never been slow to dish the dirt, but few books have equalled the misguided obsessiveness of Bob Woodward’s recent life of the drug-addicted comedian John Belushi, and, it should be added, few have been so telling or so readable as Indecent Exposure, David McClintick’s relentlessly documented account of the scandalous behaviour of the unsinkable ...

Histories of Australia

Stuart Macintyre, 28 September 1989

The Oxford History of Autralia. Vol III: 1860-1900 
by Beverley Kingston.
Oxford, 368 pp., £22.50, July 1989, 0 19 554611 3
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The Road from Coorain: An Australian Memoir 
by Jill Ker Conway.
Heinemann, 238 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 434 14244 1
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A Secret Country 
by John Pilger.
Cape, 286 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 224 02600 3
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Convict Workers: Reinterpreting Australia’s Past 
edited by Stephen Nicholas.
Cambridge, 246 pp., $45, June 1989, 0 521 36126 5
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... their national consciousness into radical activism. They included Russel Ward, Ian Turner and Bob Gollan, who were all Communists when they embarked on their careers. Their influence on Australian history was perhaps even greater than that of their British equivalents, Hill, Thompson, Hobsbawm and Rudé, since they were there at the beginning and hence in ...

The Fastidious President

David Bromwich: The Matter with Obama, 18 November 2010

... himself at centre stage has kept out all contenders. We are learning now, from such sources as Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars, about the oddness of some of the president’s other appointments and his treatment of them. General James Jones, whom Obama had never met, was asked to become national security adviser. Once chosen, he hardly ever saw the ...

‘Damn right,’ I said

Eliot Weinberger: Bush Meets Foucault, 6 January 2011

Decision Points 
by George W. Bush.
Virgin, 497 pp., £25, November 2010, 978 0 7535 3966 8
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... are taken from the memoirs of members of the Bush administration and journalistic accounts such as Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack and Bush at War. To complete the cycle of postmodernity, there are bits of dialogue lifted from Woodward, who is notorious for inventing dialogue. Occasionally, someone on Team DP will ...

House-Cleaning

David Bromwich: I met a Republican, 7 March 2019

... puzzle – especially if one recalled Mueller’s subpoena of the bank a year earlier. Readers of Bob Woodward’s Fear may also remember Trump’s consternation on hearing his lawyer John Dowd mention Mueller’s interest in Deutsche Bank. Woodward reported the reaction without inquiring into its possible cause, but ...

Lectures about Heaven

Thomas Laqueur: Forgiving Germany, 7 June 2007

Five Germanys I Have Known 
by Fritz Stern.
Farrar, Straus, 560 pp., £11.25, July 2007, 978 0 374 53086 0
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... better account of Soviet historiography than Stern’s (‘brilliant and unanswerable’); C. Vann Woodward, a ‘master historian’, tells him that, after reading only the introduction, he already knew he had much to learn from Stern’s first book. ‘And the personal letters!’ Stern received about his second book: J.K. Galbraith called it ...

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