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I figured what the heck

Jackson Lears: Seymour Hersh, 27 September 2018

by Seymour M. Hersh.
Allen Lane, 355 pp., £20, June 2018, 978 0 241 35952 5
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... War. Hersh wanted the story to speak for itself. He finally gave it to the independent journalist David Obst’s Dispatch News Service. Thirty-six newspapers picked up the story, but the New York Times wasn’t among them; Time, Newsweek and the television networks ignored it. Self-censorship was pervasive. The Washington Post was an exception: the Post’s ...

Ready to Rumble

John Upton, 16 March 2000

King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero 
by David Remnick.
Picador, 326 pp., £14.99, October 1999, 0 330 37188 6
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Muhammad Ali: Ringside 
edited by John Miller and Aaron Kenedi.
Virgin, 128 pp., £14.99, September 1999, 1 85227 852 8
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... out of line. Enter Muhammad Ali, who over the next few years was to change the face of boxing. David Remnick’s book in fact concentrates on the two astonishing fights Ali had with Liston (Ali won the title in the first and defended it successfully in the second), and on the relationship between Ali, Liston and Patterson. For ...

The Bad Thing

Lidija Haas: Ariel Levy’s Memoir, 4 May 2017

The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir 
by Ariel Levy.
Fleet, 207 pp., £16.99, March 2017, 978 0 349 00529 4
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... moment of maturity never arrives; success does instead. By the age of 34, Levy has talked David Remnick into hiring her as a staff writer at the New Yorker, and after that there is, as her dad rather ominously puts it, ‘Nowhere to go but down.’ When she and Lucy decide to have a baby – Levy, never one to miss out on an adventure, does the ...

Tomorrow it’ll all be over

Nicholas Spice: The Trouble with Philip Roth’s ‘Everyman’, 25 May 2006

by Philip Roth.
Cape, 182 pp., £10, May 2006, 0 224 07869 0
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... too. Here he is, for example, talking about Coleman Silk (the protagonist of The Human Stain) to David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, in a TV interview filmed in 2003: He wants to separate himself from the predicament into which he was born. Not the first person to want to do that. You needn’t be black to want to do that. You needn’t be ...

The Operatic Theory of History

Paul Seabright: A new Russia, 26 November 1998

Rebirth of a Nation: An Anatomy of Russia 
by John Lloyd.
Joseph, 478 pp., £20, January 1998, 0 7181 3862 7
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Resurrection: The Struggle for a New Russia 
by David Remnick.
Picador, 412 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 330 36916 4
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... in the book makes no clearer what Lloyd takes Yeltsin’s options realistically to have been. David Remnick’s book is at its best on the Chechen conflict, though not because it tries to answer the hard questions. It more or less takes for granted that the invasion was both a folly and a crime, and concentrates on bringing home its human cost. The ...


W.G. Runciman: Exit Blair, 24 May 2007

... for Labour’s success was that Brown’s economic policies were a direct continuation of his. David Cameron may have been right when he said that he didn’t need to attack the Labour Party since it was already destroying itself. But Blair got off more lightly than he might. David Remnick of the New Yorker, who was ...

Slumming with Rappers at the Roxy

Hal Foster: Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture by John Seabrook, 21 September 2000

Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture 
by John Seabrook.
Methuen, 215 pp., £9.99, March 2000, 0 413 74470 1
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... Tina. ‘Wonderful! … Where’s the library?’) At the end of 1997 Brown was replaced by David Remnick, who as an editor is less Buzz-happy than Brown, but as a writer ranges, browlessly, from Kremlin politics to Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile Seabrook lived to tell the tale, though half his chapters are revamped articles written for Brown, whom he ...

Who’s the big one?

Irina Aleksander: Gary Shteyngart, 22 May 2014

Little Failure: A Memoir 
by Gary Shteyngart.
Hamish Hamilton, 368 pp., £16.99, February 2014, 978 0 241 14665 1
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... birthday: ‘A ranking of New York writers came out on the internet. You were ranked thirty, and David Remnick was eight positions ahead of you. Philip Gourevitch was ranked number eleven. They are both ahead of you.’ Nina, pulling her son aside during the same dinner: ‘It seems like you don’t really know me.’ Semyon, again to Shteyngart’s ...

Feeling Good about Feeling Bad

Nathan Thrall: Liberal Zionism, 9 October 2014

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel 
by Ari Shavit.
Scribe, 447 pp., £20, February 2014, 978 1 922247 54 4
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... the survivors with machine-gun fire. More than two hundred were killed. The prime minister, David Ben Gurion, instructed Yigal Allon, the operation’s leader, to deport the surviving residents. Another commander, Yitzhak Rabin, issued the order: ‘The inhabitants of Lydda must be expelled quickly, without regard to age.’ These and other episodes of ...

Bush’s Useful Idiots

Tony Judt: Whatever happened to American liberalism?, 21 September 2006

... so intellectual supporters of the Iraq War – among them Michael Ignatieff, Leon Wieseltier, David Remnick and other prominent figures in the North American liberal establishment – have focused their regrets not on the catastrophic invasion itself (which they all supported) but on its incompetent execution. They are irritated with Bush for giving ...

Thriving on Chaos

Patrick Cockburn: After al-Baghdadi, 21 November 2019

... Baghdad, and that the Iraqi army could not get them out. Earlier that month Barack Obama had told David Remnick of the New Yorker that, compared to al-Qaida, IS was a junior varsity basketball team playing out of its league; a few months later its fighters emerged from the desert to defeat six Iraqi army divisions and capture Mosul. Wary of making the ...

Loaded Dice

Thomas Chatterton Williams: Ta-Nehisi Coates, 3 December 2015

Between the World and Me 
by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Text, 152 pp., £10.99, September 2015, 978 1 925240 70 2
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... that’s been nearly universally praised. Before it was even published, the New Yorker’s editor, David Remnick, called it ‘extraordinary’; the New York Times critic A.O. Scott said it was ‘essential, like water or air’; in a widely circulated blurb, Toni Morrison likened Coates to Baldwin and declared the book ‘required reading’; even Jay-Z ...

Black and White Life

Mark Greif: Ralph Ellison, 1 November 2007

Ralph Ellison: A Biography 
by Arnold Rampersad.
Knopf, 657 pp., $35, April 2007, 978 0 375 40827 4
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... Ellison like to make lists of the amazing prodigies that flowed to him from his single novel. David Remnick, writing in the New Yorker in 1994, noted the ‘National Book Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres, a place in the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a position at New York University ...

Why do white people like what I write?

Pankaj Mishra: Ta-Nehisi Coates, 22 February 2018

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy 
by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Hamish Hamilton, 367 pp., £16.99, October 2017, 978 0 241 32523 0
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... Baldwin died’. Philip Roth has been led to histories of American racism by Coates’s books. David Brooks credits him for advancing an ‘education for white people’ that evidently began after ‘Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston and the other killings’. Even USA Today thinks that ‘to have such a voice, in such a moment, is a ray of light.’ Coates ...

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