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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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... he loved Doris’s money more’. What if you sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me? David Kaufman 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 away again, but the image lingers. A tall, pushy ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Anomalisa’, 21 April 2016

... 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 psychological meltdown, we ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’, 24 September 2020

... little heavily on I’m Thinking of Ending Things, originally a novel by Iain Reid, which Charlie Kaufman has now adapted as a movie (on Netflix). Out of context, I’m Thinking of Ending Things strongly suggests the possibility of suicide. In context too, as it happens. However, in both Reid and Kaufman’s versions it ...

Insider-Outsiders

Abigail Green: The Rothschilds, 18 February 2021

Rothschild: Glanz und Untergang des Wiener Welthauses 
by Roman Sandgruber.
Molden Verlag, 531 pp., £29, October 2018, 978 3 222 15024 1
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The Gunzburgs: A Family Biography 
by Lorraine de Meaux, translated by Steven Rendall.
Halban, 484 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 1 905559 99 2
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A Jewish Woman of Distinction: The Life and Diaries of Zinaida Poliakova 
by ChaeRan Y. Freeze, translated by Gregory L. Freeze.
Brandeis, 397 pp., £23, February 2020, 978 1 68458 001 9
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Kings of Shanghai: Two Rival Dynasties and the Creation of Modern China 
by Jonathan Kaufman.
Little Brown, 384 pp., £20, November 2020, 978 1 4087 1004 3
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... a contemporary of Goethe, who started off dealing antiquities in the Frankfurt ghetto; David Sassoon (1792-1864), heir to a distinguished Baghdadi-Jewish dynasty, who fled the political machinations of his hometown for British India; Joseph Evzel Gunzburg (1812-78), an alcohol magnate from Podolia with a prestigious rabbinic genealogy stretching ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Who’s the arts minister?, 5 April 2001

... 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 must be easy even for an active member of the House of ...

How Utterly Depraved!

Deborah Friedell: What did Ethel know?, 1 July 2021

Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy 
by Anne Sebba.
Weidenfeld, 288 pp., £20, June, 978 0 297 87100 2
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... sounded good to her. She was envious of her clever only daughter and favoured her youngest child, David. One of Ethel’s childhood friends remembered that Tessie was ‘more bigoted than religious … If God had meant for Ethel to have music lessons, he would have provided them. As he hadn’t there was something sinful about music lessons.’ Much of the ...

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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... 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 to say at a ...

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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... 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 local authorities by the Heseltine-King regime. Gwyneth ...

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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... 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. That sentiment persisted until the 1967 war. Even two ...

How long before Ofop steps in?

Patrick Carnegy, 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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... 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 Solti era (1961-71). Tooley presided over the rather ...

Diary

Alan Bennett: What I did in 1990, 24 January 1991

... 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 the musicians just nod and listen, try out a few bars here ...

Why do you make me do it?

David Bromwich: Robert Ryan, 18 February 2016

... 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. Crossfire gave Ryan his first role as a psychopath, and he ...

Trouble at the Fees Office

Jonathan Raban: Alice in Expenses Land, 11 June 2009

... 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. He’s since said that submitting the bill to the Fees ...

Stalker & Co

Damian Grant, 20 November 1986

... 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 surrounding his case, John Stalker is understandably ...

Like a boll weevil to a cotton bud

A. Craig Copetas, 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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... 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, politically and just about every other way-ally unfit for ...

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