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Let in the Djinns

Maya Jasanoff: Richard Burton, 9 March 2006

The Highly Civilised Man: Richard Burton and the Victorian World 
by Dane Kennedy.
Harvard, 354 pp., £17.95, September 2005, 0 674 01862 1
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... Arabia and Africa, have made Burton a familiar historical character. The greatest achievement of Dane Kennedy’s stimulating, elegant book is to reveal a fresh and different Burton. Kennedy begins with an arresting photograph. Burton huddles in a blanket on a floor, leaning his tousled head against a wall, glowering ...

The Stamp of One Defect

David Edgar: Jeremy Thorpe, 30 July 2015

Jeremy Thorpe 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 606 pp., £25, December 2014, 978 0 316 85685 0
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Closet Queens: Some 20th-Century British Politicians 
by Michael Bloch.
Little, Brown, 320 pp., £25, May 2015, 978 1 4087 0412 7
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... of the Times) for the Union presidency. Like one of his successors as Liberal leader, Charles Kennedy, he became an MP at a young age and came to public notice through his entertaining performances on radio (particularly in Any Questions?) and television. By the time of his election to the Liberal Party leadership in 1967, succeeding Jo Grimond, Thorpe ...

Showboating

John Upton: George Carman, 9 May 2002

No Ordinary Man: A Life of George Carman 
by Dominic Carman.
Hodder, 331 pp., £18.99, January 2002, 0 340 82098 5
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... the one great aim of his career. Much later, he was promised a Liberal Democrat peerage by Charles Kennedy, which also never materialised. These rejections both spurred him on and crushed him. Sadly, life at the Bar has not changed a great deal since Carman began in practice. He almost left it a number of times in his early years because of the lack of money ...

Dropping Their Eggs

Patrick Wright: The history of bombing, 23 August 2001

A History of Bombing 
by Sven Lindqvist, translated by Linda Haverty Rugg.
Granta, 233 pp., £14.99, May 2001, 1 86207 415 1
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The Bomber War: Arthur Harris and the Allied Bomber Offensive 1939-45 
by Robin Niellands.
Murray, 448 pp., £25, February 2001, 0 7195 5637 6
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Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War 
by Frances FitzGerald.
Touchstone, 592 pp., $17, March 2001, 0 7432 0023 3
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... Athos peninsula, when he looks up and sees the first Sputnik coursing across the sky. When J.F. Kennedy assumes the US Presidency in 1961, Lindqvist is studying in Peking, living near Communist Party HQ, and only vaguely aware of the numerous US hydrogen bombs then targeted on him. In 1964, his wife is pregnant and his dissertation in comparative literature ...

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