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Our Island Story

Stefan Collini: The New DNB, 20 January 2005

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 
edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison.
Oxford, sixty volumes, £7,500, September 2004, 9780198614111
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... there may continue to be minor alarums, such as the recent spat over the entry for Patrick O’Brian). Nonetheless, a not dissimilar kind of sleep-disturbing responsibility fell on its editor, and the project was fortunate to find the ideal man for the job in the Oxford historian Colin Matthew, who had demonstrated his capacity for the task in his ...

Mirror Images

Christopher Andrew, 3 April 1986

World of Secrets: The Uses and Limits of Intelligence 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 404 pp., £25, November 1985, 0 297 78745 4
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... 1970s that Russia was aiming not at missile parity but at actual superiority. Not until President Ford established the so-called ‘B Team’ of outside analysts under the Harvard historian Richard Pipes did the extent of earlier underestimates become clear. Part of the United States problem in interpreting Soviet intentions arose from the old intelligence ...

Even paranoids have enemies

Frank Kermode, 24 August 1995

F.R. Leavis: A Life in Criticism 
by Ian MacKillop.
Allen Lane, 476 pp., £25, July 1995, 0 7139 9062 7
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... dared to write congratulating Leavis on his CH (‘Dead Sea fruit’, said his wife). Boris Ford was accused of killing Scrutiny off by stealing its contributors for the Penguin Guide to English Literature. Few friends, however loyal, escaped. Wilfrid Mellers, H.A. Mason and others all fell foul of him in one way or another. As to his enemies, the ...


David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise, 6 June 2013

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... them and undermined the resolve of many employers, who decided the policy was unsustainable. Ford was one of the first to break the terms of the agreement and Callaghan, who was trying to manage a minority government, lacked the votes in Parliament to impose sanctions. On 12 December the public sector unions rejected the government’s pay deal, which ...

Into the Underworld

Iain Sinclair: The Hackney Underworld, 22 January 2015

... A dowser and ley line tracker called Alan Hayday, formerly employed on the assembly line of the Ford Motor Company in Dagenham, contacted me to pass on his research into a tunnel he claimed to have discovered running from Sutton House, a Tudor mansion on the ridge above the culverted Hackney Brook, to a church on the other side of the River Lea. There was ...

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