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4 July 1996
The Kincora Scandal: Political Cover-Up and Intrigue in Northern Ireland 
by Chris Moore.
Marine, 240 pp., £6.99, June 1996, 1 86023 029 6
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... one denies their claims. Perhaps the most extraordinary feature of this is that in most cases the abuse went on for more than a decade before it was exposed. The inquiries could start by looking at ChrisMoore’s study of the first big child abuse scandal in Britain – at Kincora Boys’ Home in Belfast. A large Victorian building off the Newtonards Road, Kincora was opened by the local Health ...

Vote for the Beast!

Ian Gilmour: The Tory Leadership

20 October 2005
... her first seven years of office. Only remembering her last four, pretty barren years, she stirred up the party’s right-wingers to be fierce Europhobes and fight the Maastricht Treaty. In doing so, Chris Patten believes, she destroyed the Conservative Party. The right-wing press took a similar line to Thatcher. No doubt many Conservatives in the country and some of the more naive MPs thought that ...

Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble

3 December 2015
Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... wanted them back in their traditional roles. She had no desire to live in a world where her personal principles and her private interests were at odds with each other. She was a conservative. Charles Moore’s​ recounting of this episode reveals the strengths and weaknesses of his biography as it arrives at the apogee of Thatcher’s power. He is excellent on the high politics and the potency of ...

At Tate Britain

Brian Dillon: ‘Phantom Ride’

4 July 2013
... Banner’s Jaguar – a full-size fighter plane shown, upside down, in 2010 – and speeds off to light on architectural details or plumb the shadows of other rooms where other works lurk (a Henry Moore? another Epstein?). In a shot that is, cinematically speaking, pure Harry Potter, a statue of St George and dragon floats in mid-air without its plinth, then is gone in a twinkle of computer ...

Full of Glory

John Mullan: The Inklings

19 November 2015
The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings 
by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski.
Farrar, Straus, 644 pp., £11.20, June 2015, 978 0 374 15409 7
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... life-enhancing form of alcohol.) An entry in Lewis’s brother Warren’s diary captures the spirit of their gatherings: ‘To the Bird and Baby where I was joined by Humphrey, Tollers, and Chris. Tollers looking wonderfully improved by his restcure at Stonyhurst, and in great spirits (having packed his wife off to Brighton for ten days).’ It was from these meetings that Lewis’s children ...

All about Me

Kevin Kopelson: Don Bachardy

8 April 2015
Hollywood 
by Don Bachardy.
Glitterati, 368 pp., £45, October 2014, 978 0 9913419 2 4
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... in Los Angeles, he had the same proper accent – English, Received Pronunciation – that I imagined Isherwood must have had. (I was right about this – as you can hear in the recent documentary Chris and Don: A Love Story. But this was no mere affectation on Bachardy’s part. ‘I can’t help it,’ he says in the film. ‘I’m an unconscious impersonator.’) He now asked if I would like to ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens

28 June 1990
Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... a completely free hand except on one subject. He forbade attacks on American Presidents in general and President Reagan in particular. Entry for 18 April 1986, Not Many Dead The success of Michael Moore’s film about Roger Smith and General Motors has aroused an envious spirit of emulation in my breast. ‘Conrad and Me’, a script which I hone and burnish in slack moments, has the following ...

Rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat

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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... It’s depressing to suppose that fortune favours the people who can keep going longest. But it does. That is one of the clear lessons from the first volume of Charles Moore’s exhaustive and exhausting authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, which takes the story up to the Falklands War in 1982. The person on display here is not more intelligent than her rivals, or ...

Diary

Ian Hamilton: The World Cup

30 July 1998
... Branco’s kangaroo jump? Suker’s pulse-check? Or was it your first sight of those 11 yellow-haired Romanians? Earlier tournaments are now known by their ‘defining moments’. In 1970, we had Moore and Pele swapping shirts; in ‘82, there was the demented Altobelli; in ‘86 the Hand of God; in ‘90, Gazza’s tears. I’m not sure what it was in ‘94: Romario and Bebeto doing that baby ...

Properly Disposed

Emily Witt: ‘Moby-Duck’

30 August 2012
Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea 
by Donovan Hohn.
Union, 402 pp., £8.99, September 2012, 978 1 908526 02 1
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... north into the Bering Sea, then northeast embedded in ice through the Arctic and finally south again into the North Atlantic. In Alaska, where the animals first made landfall, Hohn travels with Chris Pallister, a lawyer recently separated from his wife, down on his luck, who has made it his mission to clean up a remote outpost called Gore Point. Situated on the windward shore of an isthmus, Gore ...

Diary

Jonathan Lethem: My Egyptian Cousin

12 December 2002
... tried to understand it this way: imagine that the President of the United States, rather than ignoring the bee-stings of a dissident leftist – Noam Chomsky, say, or Ralph Nader, perhaps Michael Moore – had had him imprisoned. Astonishment would quickly give way to fear of speaking out. The incarceration of one person, the right person, can be an act of the most ruthless efficiency, chaotic ...

Elective Outsiders

Jeremy Harding

3 July 1997
Conductors of Chaos: A Poetry Anthology 
edited by Iain Sinclair.
Picador, 488 pp., £9.99, June 1996, 0 330 33135 3
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Nearly Too Much: The Poetry of J.H. Prynne 
by N.H. Reeve and Richard Kerridge.
Liverpool, 196 pp., £25, April 1996, 0 85323 840 5
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Carl Rakosi: Poems 1923-41 
edited by Andrew Crozier.
Sun & Moon, 209 pp., $12.99, August 1995, 1 55713 185 6
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The Objectivists 
edited by Andrew McAllister.
Bloodaxe, 156 pp., £8.95, May 1996, 1 85224 341 4
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... here,’ says Sinclair in the Introduction, ‘are the ones who have been locked away, those who rather enjoy it.’ Twenty-five, thirty years after the best of them began to publish – John James, Chris Torrance, Lee Harwood, Andrew Crozier, Peter Riley, J.H. Prynne, Michael Haslam, Douglas Oliver, Barry MacSweeney, Denise Riley – they must nonetheless wonder, from time to time, whether theirs is ...

Into the Eisenshpritz

Elif Batuman: Superheroes

10 April 2008
Life, in Pictures: Autobiographical Stories 
by Will Eisner.
Norton, 493 pp., £18.99, November 2007, 978 0 393 06107 9
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Epileptic 
by David B..
Cape, 368 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 224 07920 4
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Shortcomings 
by Adrian Tomine.
Faber, 108 pp., £12.99, September 2007, 978 0 571 23329 8
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Misery Loves Comedy 
by Ivan Brunetti.
Fantagraphics, 172 pp., £15.99, April 2007, 978 1 56097 792 6
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... its practitioners as either an empty euphemism or a marketing ploy. As Marjane Satrapi puts it, graphic novels simply enable ‘the bourgeois to read comics without feeling bad’; according to Alan Moore, they allow publishers to ‘stick six issues of whatever worthless piece of crap they happened to be publishing lately under a glossy cover and call it The She-Hulk Graphic Novel’. Moore and ...

Literary Friction

Jenny Turner: Kathy Acker’s Ashes

18 October 2017
After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography 
by Chris​ Kraus.
Allen Lane, 352 pp., £20, August 2017, 978 1 63590 006 4
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... In France​ , Chris Kraus wrote in an essay from 2003, there exists ‘a formal/ informal structure for the perpetuation of a dead artist’s work’ that gets called ‘the Society of Friends’. The friends gather up ...

Diary

Nick Richardson: Elves and Aliens

2 August 2018
... intelligence agent who ran the ‘Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification’ department at the Pentagon which had been minding the tic-tac footage. The ‘national security affairs adviser’ is Chris Mellon, deputy assistant secretary of defence for intelligence during the Clinton and Bush administrations, whom DeLonge describes as ‘our main conduit to Washington’. In the livestream – and ...

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