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The Mothering of Montgomery

John Keegan, 2 July 1981

Monty: The Making of a General, 1887-1942 
by Nigel Hamilton.
Hamish Hamilton, 871 pp., £12, June 1981, 0 241 10583 8
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The War between the Generals: Inside the Allied High Command 
by David Irving.
Allen Lane, 446 pp., £9.95, June 1981, 0 7139 1344 4
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... We look forward with anticipation to the next instalment. With The War between the GeneralsDavid Irving has turned away from the German side of the last war, where he is almost uniquely at home, to bring his methods to bear on the making of Allied strategy. The period he has chosen is that which runs from the American entry to the achievement of ...

Boutique Faith

Jeremy Waldron: Against Free Speech, 20 July 2006

Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and the Liberal Tradition 
by John Durham Peters.
Chicago, 309 pp., £18.50, April 2005, 0 226 66274 8
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... fundamental right. Recently, I have heard them voice similar views about the jailing in Austria of David Irving – the man who prided himself on having shaken more hands that shook hands with Hitler than anyone else in the world – for Holocaust denial. It seems that racists and Nazis are never far from the centre of concerns about free speech. In the ...

Who knew?

Norman Stone, 20 November 1980

The Terrible Secret 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 262 pp., £8.95, September 1980, 0 297 77835 8
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... the Final Solution was intentionally such that very few records of essential decisions were kept; David Irving may even be formally right in his assertion that there is no written document to link Hitler himself with the Final Solution until October 1943; and the same absence or confusion in the written record has even been taken as evidence that the ...

Visa Requirement

D.D. Guttenplan: Whitehall and Jews, 6 July 2000

Whitehall and The Jews 1933-48 
by Louise London.
Cambridge, 313 pp., £30, March 2000, 0 521 63187 4
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... is heard to mutter: ‘You’ll be wanting the gold fillings out of their teeth next.’ 2) The David Irving libel trial in February. Reading from the transcript of an interview with Irving on Australian television, Richard Rampton QC, barrister for the defence, asks why Irving had ...

Great Scream

Keith Middlemas, 2 July 1981

Uprising! One Nation’s Nightmare: Hungary 1956 
by David Irving.
Hodder, 628 pp., £13.50, March 1981, 0 340 18313 6
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... This volume marks an extension of Mr Irving’s historiography: indeed, its critical reception has already provoked him to reply (in the New Statesman, 8 May) that he sees himself as ‘dedicated to the Augean task of revising modern history’. There are, of course, similarities with his earlier work: the vast mass of detail, painstakingly gathered from an impressive range of oral and written sources (although the rewards are rarely commensurate with the amount of energy used up); the same idiosyncratic use of evidence, as he proceeds from quite minor discoveries to challenging generalisations; and the same bewildering mixture of detailed narrative garnished with reported speech and snippets of broad analysis ...

Inside Hitler

J.P. Stern, 16 February 1984

Adolf Hitler: The Medical Diaries. The Private Diaries of Dr Theo Morell 
edited by David Irving.
Sidgwick, 309 pp., £10.95, May 1983, 0 283 98981 5
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... of a translation of the medical records kept by Hitler’s physician, Dr Theodor Morell, and of Mr Irving’s extensive commentaries on those records. Morell, a fashionable Berlin GP specialising in venereal diseases, became the Führer’s personal doctor at Christmas 1936. The elevation, which took place during a visit to Hitler’s retreat on the ...

Drinking and Spewing

Sally Mapstone: The Variousness of Robert Fergusson, 25 September 2003

‘Heaven-Taught Fergusson’: Robert Burns’s Favourite Scottish Poet 
edited by Robert Crawford.
Tuckwell, 240 pp., £14.99, August 2002, 1 86232 201 5
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... English was no good: ‘His poems written in pure English . . . seldom rise above mediocrity,’ David Irving wrote in 1800, in his influential Lives of Scottish Authors. The prevailing view of Fergusson’s English work is well summarised by Susan Manning, in the best essay in Crawford’s volume, as ‘nugatory apprenticework’. Her view is that ...

Kurt Waldheim’s Past

Gitta Sereny, 21 April 1988

Waldheim 
by Luc Rosenzweig and Bernard Cohen.
Robson, 192 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 86051 506 0
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Waldheim: The Missing Years 
by Robert Edwin Herzstein.
Grafton, 303 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 246 13381 3
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... their right to voice these irrational opinions. I have battled in print against people like David Irving (Hitler’s War), who misuse history to advance their dangerous ideologies, and, at the other end of the scale, men like Martin Gray (For those I loved), who use these appalling events for self-aggrandisement. Interestingly, nobody minds much ...

Allegedly

Michael Davie, 1 November 1984

Public Scandal, Odium and Contempt: An Investigation of Recent Libel Cases 
by David Hooper.
Secker, 230 pp., £12.95, September 1984, 0 436 20093 7
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... the case was over the legal costs would be reckoned at £750,000? The author of this book, Mr David Hooper (Eton and Balliol, the blurb tells us), practised at the bar before becoming a solicitor. He acts as an adviser to his present publishers, but, as the blurb also tells us, was not consulted about this particular book. This faintly ironic tone is ...

Irving, Terry, Gary and Graham

Ian Hamilton, 22 April 1993

Behind Closed Doors 
by Irving Scholar and Mihir Bose.
Deutsch, 367 pp., £14.99, November 1992, 0 233 98824 6
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Sick as a Parrot: The Inside Story of the Spurs Fiasco 
by Chris Horrie.
Virgin, 293 pp., £4.99, August 1992, 0 86369 620 1
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Gary Lineker: Strikingly Different 
by Colin Malam.
Stanley Paul, 147 pp., £12.99, January 1993, 0 09 175424 0
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... the Hummel shirt fiasco and numerous other flashy brainwaves – most of them issuing from Irving Scholar in his Monaco tax haven. When Spurs sold Chris Waddle to Marseilles for four and a half million pounds, fans large and small whinged in the streets, or on the East Stand scaffolding, and they whinged some more when it was revealed that the Waddle ...

A Potent Joy

E.S. Turner, 4 July 1985

Hitler’s Rockets: The Story of the V-2s 
by Norman Longmate.
Hutchinson, 423 pp., £13.95, May 1985, 0 09 158820 0
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... who all along decried the rumours of a rocket attack as ‘a mare’s nest’ (thus giving David Irving the title for a book) and said of Sir Stafford Cripps, who took the threat seriously: ‘What can you expect from a lawyer who eats nothing but nuts?’ Even when it was indubitably clear what was on the way, Cherwell fell back to arguing that ...

Vivre comme chien et chat

Paul Delany, 20 August 1992

Oh Canada! Oh Quebec! Requiem for a Divided Country 
by Mordecai Richler.
Chatto, 277 pp., £13.99, June 1992, 0 7011 4673 7
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... in Québec than in the rest of Canada. But Canada has laws against overt anti-semitism (if David Irving lived in Canada he would probably be convicted of promoting racial hatred); and all the significant convictions under these laws have been in provinces other than Québec. To prove his point, Richler would have to show that anti-semitism is ...

Liquidator

Neal Ascherson: Hugh Trevor-Roper, 19 August 2010

Hugh Trevor-Roper: The Biography 
by Adam Sisman.
Weidenfeld, 598 pp., £25, July 2010, 978 0 297 85214 8
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... among them the Nazi-nostalgic François Genoud, Himmler’s masseur Felix Kersten and the young David Irving – to whom he initially gave more trust than they deserved. As Colin Kidd has suggested, Trevor-Roper had a curious weakness for con men. He found them fascinating. But he overestimated his own ability to see through them, and underestimated ...

Exit Humbug

David Edgar: Theatrical Families, 1 January 2009

A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving and Their Remarkable Families 
by Michael Holroyd.
Chatto, 620 pp., £25, September 2008, 978 0 7011 7987 8
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... the stage. Her performance as Portia in The Merchant of Venice drew her to the attention of Henry Irving, an emerging actor-manager who fired his current Ophelia and cast Terry in her place. From then on, in Britain and increasingly in North America, Henry Irving and Ellen Terry became the undisputed first couple of the ...

Holocaust History

Geoff Eley, 3 March 1983

... presence within Western society – more self-assured, more integrated, more legitimate. What Irving Howe calls in his new autobiography ‘the reconquest of Jewishness’, or ‘the gradual process of Jewish self-acceptance’, had taken place. Another was the re-emergence of a new ‘Jewish question’ – namely, the attitude to be taken by the ...

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