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Miss Lachrymose

Liz Brown: Doris Day’s Performances

11 September 2008
Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door 
by David Kaufman.
Virgin, 628 pp., £29.95, June 2008, 978 1 905264 30 8
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... Marty ‘loved Patty’s money until Doris’s money came along and then, because there was more of it, he loved Doris’s money more’. What if you sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me? DavidKaufman doesn’t quote Patty Andrews on the matter, but he does say that she showed up one night at Doris Day’s front door swinging a baseball bat. After an hour no one had answered and she went ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Anomalisa’

20 April 2016
... on a fairly secure distinction: these figures want to be human but can’t, we are human but don’t behave as if we were. But then sometimes the distinction collapses, or is displaced, as in Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s stop-motion film Anomalisa, based on a play Kaufman wrote in 2005. When Michael Stone, the author of a bestselling book about improving human relations in business, has a ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Who’s the arts minister?

5 April 2001
... days – who can forget Colin Moynihan? – Sport was a sub-directory of Education, and Media was nowhere. And just to complicate things further, the Commons Media Select Committee, chaired by Gerald Kaufman, one-time Booker Prize judge and unlikely star of the LRB’s personal ads, has now recommended scrapping Smith’s ministry and replacing it with ‘a broader department of communications’. It ...

Long March

Martin Pugh

2 June 1983
Renewal: Labour’s Britain in the 1980s 
by Shadow Cabinet, edited by Gerald Kaufman.
Penguin, 201 pp., £2.50, April 1983, 0 14 052351 0
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Socialism in a Cold Climate 
edited by John Griffith.
Allen and Unwin, 230 pp., £2.95, April 1983, 9780043350508
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Liberal Party Politics 
edited by Vernon Bogdanor.
Oxford, 302 pp., £17.50, April 1983, 0 19 827465 3
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... to demolish it. Peter Shore displays the greatest awareness of such an approach when he writes what is a remarkably frank eulogy of both Labour and Conservative governments after 1945. Gerald Kaufman, who, incidentally, is going to restore Rutland and the Soke of Peterborough, is also alive to the openings offered by high-handed Tory reform in local government and the dictatorial treatment of ...

Who had the most fun?

David​ Bromwich: The Marx Brothers

10 May 2001
Groucho: The Life and Times of Julius Henry Marx 
by Stefan Kanfer.
Penguin, 480 pp., £7.99, April 2001, 0 14 029426 0
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The Essential Groucho 
by Groucho Marx, edited by Stefan Kanfer.
Penguin, 254 pp., £6.99, September 2000, 0 14 029425 2
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... drive Groucho’s comedy for the rest of his days. The Cocoanuts, which opened on Broadway in 1929 and ran for 377 shows, was their real breakthrough. The brothers had joined forces with George S. Kaufman, a great wit and a cabaret writer of exquisite timing and pitch, and as might have been predicted, the solid support made them even bolder with improvisations. ‘I may be wrong,’ Kaufman was heard ...

On Trying to Be Portugal

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Zionist Terrorism

6 August 2009
‘A Senseless, Squalid War’: Voices from Palestine 1945-48 
by Norman Rose.
Bodley Head, 278 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 224 07938 9
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Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain’s War against Jewish Terrorism 1945-48 
by David​ Cesarani.
Heinemann, 290 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 434 01844 4
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... No one would now say, as Orwell did late in 1945, that the left was ‘strongly committed to support the Jews against the Arabs’, and a long memory is needed to recall the days when what Gerald Kaufman calls ‘the beautiful democratic Israel’ was revered by liberals, the New Statesman hero-worshipped Ben-Gurion as a model social democrat and the left barely knew that the Palestinians existed ...
16 March 2000
In House: Covent Garden, 50 Years of Opera and Ballet 
by John Tooley.
Faber, 318 pp., £25, November 1999, 9780571194155
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Never Mind the Moon: My Time at the Royal Opera House 
by Jeremy Isaacs.
Bantam, 356 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 593 04355 3
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... knows just how the show ought to go. Hiring an outsider to have a say in that was not altogether popular. When Tooley stepped down in 1988 he’d been with the House since 1955, first as assistant to David Webster, the Liverpool department-store manager who’d built it up from its wartime use as a dance-hall, and then for 18 years as general director. The high point of Webster’s reign was the Georg ...

Trouble at the Fees Office

Jonathan Raban: Alice in Expenses Land

11 June 2009
... to have followed the example of Margaret Beckett, who confessed: ‘I just grabbed together the relevant things and bunged them into the Fees Office and left it to them to sort it out.’ So Gerald Kaufman, having spent £8865 on a Bang & Olufsen 40” BeoVision LCD TV, described by its manufacturers as an ‘entry-level’ model, wanted to claim his £750, the sum allowed for the purchase of a TV set ...

Stalker & Co

Damian Grant

20 November 1986
... has questioned and quoted in his report queue up to protest against misquotation and misrepresentation. These include local Labour and Tory MPs. One man, however, makes no protest: the paid informer David Bertlestein, source of several scandalous allegations against Stalker, who died of a heart attack in Preston prison in March 1985. Asked after his reinstatement about the strange circumstances ...

Why do you make me do it?

David​ Bromwich: Robert Ryan

18 February 2016
... laugh. They’re all mad dogs … I wish they’d leave us alone.’ ‘Leave you alone to do what?’ Tracy held his own in the scene magnificently, but later on the set he asked the writer Millard Kaufman, ‘Does Ryan scare you?’ and took no comfort from the reassuring reply. ‘Well, he scares the hell out of me.’ This effect was repeated too often to be called an accident of typecasting ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 1990

24 January 1991
... self-importance. They play a passage, listen to it back, then give each other notes, and run over sections again. George Fenton, who is co-ordinating the music, also chips in, but he’s a musician. David Hunter, the director, chips in too, but he isn’t a musician, just knows what atmosphere he wants at various points in the film. In the finish, even I chip in just because I know what I like. And ...
18 November 1993
New York Days 
by Willie Morris.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £19.45, September 1993, 0 316 58421 5
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... was Harper’s Magazine: Willie Morris, editor-in-chief. By God that masthead had downright dangerous passion. For the English department at Upper St Clair High School, however, the writing of David Halberstam, Norman Mailer, Larry King and Marshall Frady, to name just a handful of the Morris Boys, was considered precocious troublemaking, and duly expelled from class as stylistically ...
11 September 2008
Your Name Here 
by Helen DeWitt and Ilya Gridneff., 580 pp., £8, May 2008
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... Some years ago, the novelist David Foster Wallace submitted himself to a long television interview with Charlie Rose, the PBS chat-show host. It was a terrific performance, and in it Wallace talked about why, in much of his work ...

Seeing Things Flat

Jenny Turner: Tom McCarthy’s ‘C’

9 September 2010

by Tom McCarthy.
Cape, 310 pp., £16.99, August 2010, 978 0 224 09020 9
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... a nonsense, certainly helps the book stand out. C is organised to look a bit like a realist Bildungsroman, the life and impressions of one young man: he even gets born with a caul on him, as David Copperfield did. Serge, however, attracts no sympathy or empathy or whatever from his creator: he’s a convergence, or rather an area of concentration, where ideas, images, words, preoccupations ...
18 April 2019
Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities 
by Eric Kaufman.
Allen Lane, 617 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 0 241 31710 5
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National Populism: The Revolt against Liberal Democracy 
by Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin.
Pelican, 384 pp., £9.99, October 2018, 978 0 241 31200 1
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... quantities, to be allowed to flow or stoppered up as required; or they are potential threats to be neutralised or tolerated. Eatwell and Goodwin take their moral bearings from the Oxford philosopher David Miller, ‘who has defended the right of states to control their borders and exclude immigrants on the basis of community goals and preferences’. It is impossible, they write, ‘for reasonable ...

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