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15 May 1980
The Seventies 
by Christopher Booker.
Allen Lane, 349 pp., £7.50, February 1980, 0 7139 1329 0
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The Seventies 
by Norman Shrapnel.
Constable, 267 pp., £7.50, March 1980, 0 09 463280 4
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... styles varying from the aggressively “butch” to the coyly sexy.’ So there you have it. Christopher Booker, to whom I shall come in a moment, goes further, and means it more seriously: ‘Two unfailing barometers of cultural optimism in our century have been the height of buildings and the height of girls’ hemlines.’ This is not only ...
2 December 1982
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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... Auberon Waugh in the Daily Mail; John Wells twice, once in Harper’s and once in the Times; Christopher Booker in the Spectator; Malcolm Muggeridge in the Daily Telegraph; Candida Lycett-Green (who was in love with Ingrams at Oxford, speaks adoringly of him in this book, and once worked for the Eye) in the Standard. Nor are the paper’s smallest ...

At the V&A

Jeremy Harding: 50 Years of ‘Private Eye’

15 December 2011
... us much about the comings and goings at the magazine. The book is good on editorial tiffs. How Christopher Booker, the original editor, was fired while on holiday in 1963; how he went on, in 1976, to lay into the Eye just as Goldsmith, who had issued 63 writs against the magazine and its distributors and sought to bring a private suit for criminal ...


Christopher Hitchens: Keywords

13 September 1990
... boundaries and the struggle for a legible and intelligible architecture. People tell me that Christopher Booker is the real intellectual and moral influence upon the Prince of Wales; if so, a version of the Spectator ethos may become semi-regnant in the thinkable future. Partly because of its historic attitude to Zionism, and partly because of the ...

Bad Habits

Basil Davidson

27 June 1991
The Repatriations from Austria: The Report of an Inquiry 
by Anthony Cowgill, Lord Brimelow and Christopher Booker.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 367 pp., £19.95, October 1990, 1 85619 029 3
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Cossacks in the German Army 1941-1945 
by Samuel Newland.
Cass, 218 pp., £30, March 1991, 0 7146 3351 8
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Eyewitnesses at Nuremberg 
by Hilary Gaskin.
Arms and Armour, 192 pp., £14.95, November 1990, 1 85409 058 5
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... Harold Macmillan, has deserved severe and even legal censure. The purpose of the Cowgill-Brimelow-Booker volume is to lay bare the real circumstances of the hand-over, and thereby to exonerate from taint of guilt those who made it. This is done with what seems to me a laudable prudence and convincing success, while the archival evidence they have produced ...

Boulevard Brogues

Rosemary Hill: Having your grouse and eating it

13 May 1999
Girlitude: A Memoir of the Fifties and Sixties 
by Emma Tennant.
Cape, 224 pp., £15.99, April 1999, 0 224 05952 1
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... next attempt at marriage was foolhardy, for in Chapter 9 she reveals: ‘I Married a Satirist.’ Christopher Booker, her second husband, enables her to be part of the satire boom, and its ‘sudden, unblinking stare at reality’. Private Eye, Christine Keeler, That Was the Week that Was all duly happen, but Tennant is not, as she imagines, ‘by proxy ...

The Other Half

Robert Melville

4 July 1985
Kenneth Clark: A Biography 
by Meryle Secrest.
Weidenfeld, 310 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 9780297783985
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... not altogether surprising that it was Alan Clark who drew Ms Secrest’s attention to a review by Christopher Booker of his father’s thoroughly disappointing second volume of autobiography, The Other Half. Booker wrote: ‘As the picture of a man who to the end has never dared face up to “the other half” of ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Hatchet Jobs

11 September 2003
... Amis doesn’t like journalists (if you didn’t know that already, you will now, having read Christopher Tayler’s review a few pages ago). This doesn’t stop journalists from loving Martin Amis. When the Man Booker Prize longlist was announced last month, reporters were delighted to see his name on it. Peel it ...
7 May 1981
... he and some of his colleagues have developed on the characteristics of books they haven’t read. Christopher Booker did a rather similar job, informing us that ‘I have never read The Road to Oxiana,’ and then telling us his opinion of it, in a recent review of Paul Fussell’s Abroad.By an amiable irony, the same issue of the Spectator which ...
6 December 1979
Taking Sides 
by Bernard Levin.
Cape, 281 pp., £6.50, September 1979, 0 330 26203 3
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... the best that can be said is that they catch votes in the debating chamber. In the Spectator, Christopher Booker has been emitting, by instalments, a speculative pontification which echoes the same uplifting sentiments. Perhaps these philosophers should be thought of as forming a school, like the Vienna Circle. Perhaps sitting in London is, after ...


Alan Brien: Finding Lenin

7 August 1986
... of those outstanding biographies which have the deeper and wider resonance of a novel’: Christopher Booker), A.N. Wilson tells a funny anecdote about Mussolini that was new to me, though I had just finished Denis Mack Smith’s Mussolini. It runs: ‘Mussolini had in fact modelled his style of dress on that of his favourite film stars, Laurel ...

Young and Old

John Sutherland

15 October 1981
Life Stories 
by A.L. Barker.
Hogarth, 319 pp., £6.95, September 1981, 0 7012 0538 5
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Many Men and Talking Wives 
by Helen Muir.
Duckworth, 156 pp., £7.95, September 1981, 0 7156 1613 7
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Good Behaviour 
by Molly Keane.
Deutsch, 245 pp., £6.50, September 1981, 9780233973326
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A Separate Development 
by Christopher Hope.
Routledge, 199 pp., £6.95, October 1981, 0 7100 0954 2
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From Little Acorns 
by Howard Buten.
Harvester, 156 pp., £6.95, October 1981, 0 7108 0390 7
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Fortnight’s Anger 
by Roger Scruton.
Carcanet, 224 pp., £6.95, October 1981, 0 85635 376 0
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... meanness’, or possibly the author doesn’t know what ‘mien’ means. By way of reply, Christopher picks up a brick. When he breaks through the window, Verity sprays him with insecticide. The affair ends. Rebounding from emptiness, Verity takes a job with the Drew Foundation, a body devoted to the enlightenment of underdeveloped countries on health ...

Draw me a what’s-it cube

Adam Mars-Jones: Ian McEwan

13 September 2012
Sweet Tooth 
by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 323 pp., £18.99, August 2012, 978 0 224 09737 6
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... admittedly very much a minority verdict), to the throwaway Amsterdam, his how-did-that-happen 1998 Booker Prize winner. Sweet Tooth occupies a comfortable middle ground in these terms. His level of craft can be inconsistent, too, with the most ramshackle production to date, Solar, following the most tightly controlled, On Chesil Beach, a book which behaved ...

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