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Excellence

Patrick Wright, 21 May 1987

Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy and change in the New Age 
by Craig Hickman and Michael Silva.
Allen and Unwin, 305 pp., £12.50, April 1985, 0 04 658252 5
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Intrapreneuring: Why you don’t have to leave the corporation to become an entrepreneur 
by Gifford Pinchot.
Harper and Row, 368 pp., £15.95, August 1985, 0 06 015305 9
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The IBM Way: Insights into the World’s Most Successful Marketing Organisation 
by Buck Rodgers.
Harper and Row, 224 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 06 015522 1
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Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage 
by Richard Foster.
Macmillan, 316 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 333 43511 7
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Ford 
by Robert Lacey.
Heinemann, 778 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 434 40192 7
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Company of Adventurers: The Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company 
by Peter Newman.
Viking, 413 pp., £14.95, March 1986, 0 670 80379 0
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Augustine’s Laws 
by Norman Augustine.
Viking, 380 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 9780670809424
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Peak Performers: The New Heroes in Business 
by Charles Garfield.
Hutchinson, 333 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 09 167391 7
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Going for it: How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur 
by Victor Kiam.
Collins, 223 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 00 217603 3
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Take a chance to be first: The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success 
by Warren Avis.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 02 504410 9
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The Winning Streak 
by Walter Goldsmith and David Clutterbuck.
Weidenfeld/Penguin, 224 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 297 78469 2
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The Roots of Excellence 
by Ronnie Lessem.
Fontana, 318 pp., £3.95, December 1985, 0 00 636874 3
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The New Management of Local Government 
by John Stewart.
Allen and Unwin, 208 pp., £20, October 1986, 0 00 435232 7
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... Bryan Carsberg of Oftel smiles up in soft brown light as he dangles in the mirror on a green office wall. Michael Meyer of Emess Lighting is dissected by the blinds that cut across him and then reassembled from outside – his shirtsleeved figure looming like a target in the formulaic eye of some Hollywood assassin ...

Attila the Hus

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 4 November 1982

Rules of the Game: Sir Oswald and Lady Cynthia Mosley 1896-1933 
by Nicholas Mosley.
Secker, 274 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 0 436 28849 4
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... in the Chapel Royal, St James’s on 11 May 1920: ‘Cimmie’s wedding dress had a design of green leaves in it, in defiance of a superstition that green at a wedding was unlucky: there was also a superstition that it was unlucky to be married in May. Cimmie herself chose the music: during the handing-over of the ring ...

It’s Been a Lot of Fun

David Runciman: Hitchens’s Hitchens, 24 June 2010

Hitch-22: A Memoir 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Atlantic, 435 pp., £20, June 2010, 978 1 84354 921 5
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... as its more notorious female ones’. Mailer, apparently, ‘reacted extremely badly’ in the green room afterwards, making all sorts of threats. But the two men made up again in the aftermath of the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie and The Satanic Verses. ‘Never to be outdone when the electricity of violence was in the ...

Unmistakable

Michael Rogin, 20 August 1998

Celebrity Caricature in America 
by Wendy Wick Reaves.
Yale, 320 pp., £29.95, April 1998, 0 300 07463 8
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... protagonists at the Scopes trial: Scopes, Clarence Darrow who defended him and William Jennings Bryan who tried to have him sent to jail. Garretto’s dignified, floating Calvin Coolidge head (1928) elevates the colourless President, and although the anorexic, pimpled, almost mouthless ‘silent Cal’ in Covarrubias’s 1925 caricature is perhaps the ...

Wife Overboard

John Sutherland: Thackeray, 20 January 2000

Thackeray 
by D.J. Taylor.
Chatto, 494 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 7011 6231 7
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... Sherlock) ‘pursuer’ of his subject. But he offers a vivid account of a visit he made to Kensal Green Cemetery as he began work on his biography. It was December (the month in which the novelist died): Thackeray’s grave on the south side, where the tractors are out on the path, is difficult to find. Stumbling over the freshly dug turf, holding my coat ...

The View from the Passenger Seat

Lorna Sage: Gilbert Adair, 1 January 1998

The Key of the Tower 
by Gilbert Adair.
Secker, 190 pp., £12.99, October 1997, 0 436 20429 0
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... boyfriend Junior, whose hair runs ‘the gamut from chrome red through tea-rose pink to an Edenic green’, seem larger than life. Rieti’s face, we are told, ‘had a real, if fleshy, force, a real personality. It resembled the kind of face one might see in a gallery of portraits of the century’s petrified luminaries of ...

Naderland

Jackson Lears: Ralph Nader’s novel, 8 April 2010

Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 
by Ralph Nader.
Seven Stories, 733 pp., $27.50, September 2009, 978 1 58322 903 3
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... progressive activists. ‘Both parties do the same thing, one covertly, one overtly,’ he told a Green Party gathering in 2001. ‘Which one is going to get more people mad? Which one is going to get more people organised?’ The questions depend on a familiar leftist cliché – the worse things get, the better they get. But if Nader’s dismissal of the ...

A Few Heroic Men

Priya Satia: Naoroji’s Tactics, 9 September 2021

Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism 
by Dinyar Patel.
Harvard, 320 pp., £28.95, May 2020, 978 0 674 23820 6
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... a more docile Parsi candidate, Mancherjee Bhownaggree, for the nearby constituency of Bethnal Green). Radicalised by defeat, Naoroji became an open and unapologetic advocate for swaraj, or self-rule, and backed emancipatory causes around the world. In India, anticolonialism acquired new force in 1905 after the British partitioned Bengal in a clear ...

After-Time

Christopher Hitchens, 19 October 1995

Palimpsest: A Memoir 
by Gore Vidal.
Deutsch, 432 pp., £17.99, October 1995, 0 233 98891 2
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... Second World War. Yet when he writes about his years in Guatemala in the Fifties (setting for Dark Green, Bright Red), he admits to great shock at the discovery of what American intervention in the southern hemisphere had really been like. Now, Williams Jennings Bryan and Colonel Lindbergh had not been opposed to the Monroe ...

Britain’s Thermonuclear Bluff

Norman Dombey and Eric Grove, 22 October 1992

... for Advanced Study in Princeton. Ward has described taking up his post there as head of the Green Granite project early in 1955 and ‘to my amazement’ finding that ‘I was assigned the improbable job of uncovering the secret of the Ulam-Teller invention … an idea of genius far beyond the talents of the personnel at Aldermaston, a fact well-known ...

Vermin Correspondence

Iain Sinclair, 20 October 1994

Frank Zappa: The Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play 
by Ben Watson.
Quartet, 597 pp., £25, May 1994, 0 7043 7066 2
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Her Weasels Wild Returning 
by J.H. Prynne.
Equipage, 12 pp., £2, May 1994
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... he could have been another Beefheart. Instead, he peeled off into racist millennialism, the Green Room at San Quentin, the TV interviews – in which he looks like a wasted George Best carved out of rotten marzipan. Manson’s career proves, if nothing else, that satire has a strictly enforceable shelf-life. The high-risk conclusion to Watson’s epic ...

‘Someone you had to be a bit careful with’

David Sylvester: Gallery Rogues, 30 March 2000

Groovy Bob: The Life and Times of Robert Fraser 
by Harriet Vyner.
Faber, 317 pp., £20, October 1999, 0 571 19627 6
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... for them by Ahrends, Burton and Koralek, with a curiously shaped white ceiling, white walls and a green-khaki rubberised floor. It was a space described by Kasmin as ‘a machine for looking at pictures in’; those pictures, moreover, were prototypes of the new art. They looked as if they had been painted to be seen in museums: the space was designed for ...

Velvet Gentleman

Nick Richardson: Erik Satie, 4 June 2015

A Mammal’s Notebook: The Writings of Erik Satie 
edited by Ornella Volta, translated by Antony Melville.
Atlas, 224 pp., £17.50, June 2014, 978 1 900565 66 0
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... tells a story about a cocky colonel’s comeuppance on the links:The colonel is wearing shocking green ‘Scotch Tweed’.He will be victorious.His ‘caddie’ follows him carrying his ‘bags’.The clouds are amazed.The ‘holes’ are all a-tremble: the colonel is here!And now he is playing his shot:His ‘club’ flies into pieces!At ‘He will be ...

Light Entertainment

Andrew O’Hagan: Our Paedophile Culture, 8 November 2012

... told me that he was always surrounded by them in Broadcasting House. The actor and director Bryan Forbes, who would go on to direct Whistle Down the Wind and The Stepford Wives, remembered the help he got from Gamlin. Forbes wrote to him at the BBC – at the time Forbes’s name was John Theobald Clarke – and Gamlin wrote back, telling Forbes that ...

Erasures

Colm Tóibín: The Great Irish Famine, 30 July 1998

... Or: ‘The floor of the chancel is set with encaustic tiles with designs in red, brown, pale green, white and rich Wedgwood blue.’ Mass was said in this sumptuous building in 1846 and work continued on the cathedral for the next few years.It seems incongruous now, barely possible that this wealth of detail was being incorporated into an Irish Catholic ...

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