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The ‘Private Eye’ Story: The First 21 Years 
by Patrick Marnham.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 232 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 233 97509 8
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One for the Road: Further Letters of Denis Thatcher 
by Richard Ingrams and John Wells.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 9780233975115
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Sir James Goldsmith: The Man and the Myth 
by Geoffrey Wansell.
Fontana, 222 pp., £1.95, April 1982, 0 00 636503 5
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... telephone number in the country. For some reason, Ingrams – though himself fearless in printing Bruce Page’s home number and inviting readers to call it – doesn’t like this much: but, undeterred, you engage him in a conversation which just happens to puncture his siesta. You express, of course, not hurt or anger at your treatment by the Eye, but ...

Bravo l’artiste

John Lanchester: What is Murdoch after?, 5 February 2004

The Murdoch Archipelago 
by Bruce Page.
Simon and Schuster, 580 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 7432 3936 9
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Rupert Murdoch: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Media Wizard 
by Neil Chenoweth.
Crown Business, 416 pp., $27.50, December 2002, 0 609 61038 4
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Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs and Money Guys who Mastered and Messed up Big Media 
by Michael Wolff.
Flamingo, 381 pp., £18.99, January 2004, 0 00 717881 6
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... and disappointed many of his admirers by coming out as a big Murdoch fan in his 1992 biography. Bruce Page’s recent work, The Murdoch Archipelago, is as badly written as any book I have ever read, and is full of sentences which don’t mean quite what their author seems to think they do, but it does have a body of reflection and inside experience to ...

Golf Grips and Swastikas

William Feaver: Francis Bacon’s Litter, 26 February 2009

Francis Bacon: Incunabula 
edited by Martin Harrison and Rebecca Daniels.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £39.95, September 2008, 978 0 500 09344 3
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... he took against the dummy of a book on his work and his sources put together in the late 1980s by Bruce Bernard, the layouts for which paired paintings to photographs. Not that those involved in the project (least of all Bruce Bernard, a dedicated admirer) intended to downgrade the artist; it was just that, heady with the ...

Staggering on

Stephen Howe, 23 May 1996

The ‘New Statesman’: Portrait of a Political Weekly, 1913-31 
by Adrian Smith.
Cass, 340 pp., £30, February 1996, 0 7146 4645 8
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... identity of the villain who thrust the New Statesman out of Eden is correspondingly various, with Bruce Page remaining by far the most popular whipping-boy, but with minority lobbies also fingering Richard Crossman, Anthony Howard and all the other post-Sixties editors. There is little disagreement, however, about when the glory days began. The New ...

Connections

Colin Wallace, 8 October 1992

The Red Hand: Protestant Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland 
by Steve Bruce.
Oxford, 326 pp., £25, August 1992, 0 19 215961 5
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... nor has the Ulster situation been an issue in any general election since the Seventies. Steve Bruce says he decided to write The Red Hand because, while there is an extensive literature on the IRA, very little has been written about the Loyalist paramilitaries, who have been responsible for just under half of the civilian deaths caused by terrorism in the ...

Greasers and Rah-Rahs

John Lahr: Bruce Springsteen’s Memoir, 2 February 2017

Born to Run 
by Bruce Springsteen.
Simon and Schuster, 510 pp., £20, September 2016, 978 1 4711 5779 0
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... OK,​ there are some things Bruce Springsteen and I don’t share. I haven’t sold 120 million albums; my net worth isn’t calculated by Forbes and, in any case, hasn’t yet reached $345 million; I haven’t rocked the planet for forty years; and Ex-President Obama has not hung the Medal of Freedom around my neck and said in my presence: ‘I’m the president, but he’s “the Boss” ...

The Best Barnet

Jeremy Harding, 20 February 1997

With Chatwin: Portrait of a Writer 
by Susannah Clapp.
Cape, 246 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 0 224 03258 5
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... Susannah Clapp’s memoir of Bruce Chatwin has little in the way of hard-going and nothing of the comprehensive record that bloats a literary biography. It makes no claims about the relation between a writer’s life and work that weren’t already clear from Chatwin’s career, and tends to confirm that the real waywardness of this ur-traveller lay in his darting and musing and drifting intelligence: the long list of places visited, sights seen, hinterlands crossed can seem like a vulgar indiscretion by comparison – the mind, not the world, was Chatwin’s oyster ...

Uncrownable King and Queen

Christopher Sykes, 7 February 1980

The Windsor Story 
by J. Bryan and Charles Murphy.
Granada, 602 pp., £8.95, November 1980, 0 246 11323 5
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... to her. In his last year of life, he paid a moving tribute to her to his old American friend David Bruce. He was a doomed man. In spite of his enormous youthful popularity, he was ill-fitted to be a King or President or Head of State of any kind. His inner confidence was early and fatally corroded by ceaseless bullying from his martinet father, George V, and ...

Self-Extinction

Russell Davies, 18 June 1981

Short Lives 
by Katinka Matson.
Picador, 366 pp., £2.50, February 1981, 9780330262194
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... be callous about it – and we are all callous when it comes to disasters relived on the printed page – their lives make excellent biographies. Not only do they suffer in a dramatic way: they do it more purposefully than the rest of us, with our dull sense of un-satisfactoriness, can manage. Sequences of chaos and catastrophe in the life of an artist ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Darwinians & Creationists, 1 November 2001

... By some unscientific coincidence, the current issue of the New York Review of Books carries a full-page advertisement announcing ‘a scientific dissent from Darwinism’. Most of the page is taken up by the names of a hundred or so scientists who are ‘sceptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural ...

Passing-Out Time

Christopher Tayler: Patrick Hamilton’s drinking, 29 January 2009

The Slaves of Solitude 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Constable, 327 pp., £7.99, September 2008, 978 1 84529 415 1
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The Gorse Trilogy 
by Patrick Hamilton.
Black Spring, 603 pp., £9.95, June 2007, 978 0 948238 34 5
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... Lessing and Michael Holroyd, and to the biographical enterprise set in train by his older brother, Bruce, whose memoir of Patrick, The Light Went Out (1972), prompted the first Hamilton mini-revival. Bruce was upfront about his brother’s drinking: his book is the source of the much quoted calculation that Hamilton’s ...

Pseud’s Corner

John Sutherland, 17 July 1980

Duffy 
by Dan Kavanagh.
Cape, 181 pp., £4.95, July 1980, 0 224 01822 1
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Moscow Gold 
by John Salisbury.
Futura, 320 pp., £1.10, March 1980, 0 7088 1702 5
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The Middle Ground 
by Margaret Drabble.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 297 77808 0
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The Boy Who Followed Ripley 
by Patricia Highsmith.
Heinemann, 292 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 434 33520 7
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... pioneering ‘Searchlight’ team.) Having created his hero, Caute now finds himself working under Bruce Page, editor of the New Statesman and former stalwart of ‘Insight’. Caute’s pseudonymous novels are a cunning medley of current best-selling gimmicks and styles. As with Forsyth, they present themselves as ‘secret histories’ and feature ...

Red Rover

Clare Hollingworth, 4 February 1982

At the Barricades: The Memoirs of a Rebel Journalist 
by Wilfred Burchett.
Quartet, 341 pp., £10.95, May 1981, 0 7043 2214 5
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... a combination of left-wing ideas and journalistic flair often earned Burchett space on the front page when newspapers in London were reduced to four pages through shortage of newsprint. While ‘island-hopping’ in the Pacific, and ‘shuffling along in the chow line for lunch’ on board a ship, he heard about ‘the big new bomb we just dropped on the ...

Hey, that’s me

Hal Foster: Bruce Mau, 5 April 2001

Life Style 
by Bruce Mau.
Phaidon, 626 pp., £39.95, November 2000, 0 7148 3827 6
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... economy of design’. Some of these speculations can be tested against Life Style by Bruce Mau, a compendium of projects by the Canadian designer who came to prominence in the late 1980s with the magazine Zone and Zone Books – a distinguished series of publications in classical and vanguard philosophy and history. The imprint is also known for ...

Fundamentally Goyish

James Wood: Zadie Smith, 3 October 2002

The Autograph Man 
by Zadie Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 420 pp., £16.99, September 2002, 0 241 13998 8
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... staff of McSweeney’s.) It is sick with silly epigraphs: from Marilyn Monroe, Kafka, Lenny Bruce (who occupies an entire page), Billy Wilder, Madonna (or the ‘popular singer Madonna Ciccone’, as Smith has it, a tic that runs throughout the book), Walter Benjamin (or ‘the popular wise guy Walter ...

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