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Babe-Ruthing

A.​ Craig Copetas

19 October 1995
Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825-1908 
edited by Dean​ A. Sullivan.
Nebraska,​ 312 pp., £44.50, May 1995, 0 8032 4237 9
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... living in the New York area made no secret of their allegiance to England. New York’s aristocratic sympathy – cultural, commercialand religious – was not shared in Massachusetts, the home of a growing Irish population and of the Boston Tea Party. These pro and anti-Tory emotions often spilled onto the playing field, which is one of the reasons the game of baseball in 1858 boasted two sets ...
4 July 1985
Shah​ of Shahs 
by Ryszard Kapuściński, translated by William​ Brand.
Quartet, 152 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 7043 2473 3
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The Pride and the Fall: Iran​ 1974-1979 
by Anthony Parsons.
Cape, 160 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 224 02196 6
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Iran​ under the Ayatollahs 
by Dilip Hiro.
Routledge, 416 pp., £20, January 1985, 9780710099242
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Obbligato: Notes on a Foreign Service Career 
by William Sullivan.
Norton, 279 pp., £13.95, October 1984, 0 393 01809 1
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Envoy to the Middle World: Adventures in Diplomacy 
by George McGhee.
Harper and Row, 458 pp., £15.95, January 1984, 0 06 039025 5
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The Persians amongst the English 
by Denis Wright.
Tauris, 273 pp., £17.95, February 1985, 1 85043 002 0
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... The Iranian revolution of 1978-79 is the most massive popular upheaval to have occurred in a developing country since the Second World War. Within a period of a few months the Middle East’s most powerful military autocratand the West’s most trusted ally in the region had been overthrown by an unarmed but disciplined crowd of citizens acting under the ...

Bebop

Andrew O’Hagan

5 October 1995
Jack KerouacSelected Letters 1940-56 
edited by Ann Charters.
Viking, 629 pp., £25, August 1995, 0 670 84952 9
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... New York in August, and inside is the only place to be. The people around me, each at his own console, were watching their chosen moments in the history of Americanairtime. Elvis Presley’s top half on the Ed Sullivan Show; John F. Kennedy’s live debate with a melting Richar...

Public Enemy

R.W. Johnson

26 November 1987
Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar​ Hoover 
by Richard Gid Powers.
Hutchinson, 624 pp., £16.95, August 1987, 0 02 925060 9
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... Dick, you will come to depend on Edgar. He is a pillar of strength in a city of weak men. You will rely on him time and time again to maintain security. He’s the only one you can put your complete trust in’: thus Lyndon Johnson to Richard Nixon, 1968. It is not often ...

Shapeshifter

Ian​ Penman: Elvis looks for meaning

24 September 2014
Elvis Has​ Left the Building: The Day​ the King Died 
by Dylan​ Jones.
Duckworth, 307 pp., £16.99, July 2014, 978 0 7156 4856 8
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Elvis Presley: A Southern Life 
by Joel Williamson.
Oxford, 384 pp., £25, November 2014, 978 0 19 986317 4
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... In the spring of 1965​ , on the road between Memphis and Hollywood, desert plains all around, his bloodstream torqued by a tinnital static of prescription ups and downs, Elvis Presley finally broke down. He poured out his troubles to Larry Geller, celebrity hair stylist and, lately, something of a spirit guide for Elvis ...
15 April 1982
From Bauhaus to Our House 
by Tom Wolfe.
Cape, 143 pp., £6.95, March 1982, 0 224 02030 7
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... Tom Wolfe’s earlier squib against Modernism, The Painted Word, wasa reasonable succès de scandale among those with enough interest in the New York School of painting to want to defend it, but went little further than that. From Bauhaus to Our House, on the other han...

Female Bandits? What​ next!

Wendy Doniger: The incarnations of Robin Hood

22 July 2004
Robin Hood: A Mythic Biography 
by Stephen Knight.
Cornell, 247 pp., £14.50, May​ 2003, 0 8014 3885 3
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... In the 1964 film Robin and the Seven Hoods, when someone compares ‘Robbo’ (Frank Sinatra) to Robin Hood, one of the gangsters asks: ‘Who’s Robin Hood?’ And another replies: ‘Well, he wasa hood, some Englishman who lived long ago and hadan operation going for him in the forest. And I guess the "robin” means he stole birds.’ Robin is more likely to be a nickname for Robert, though ...

Diary

Alan​ Bennett: A Shameful Year

8 January 2004
... 1 January 2003. A Christmas card from Eric Korn: This is the one about Jesus And his father who constantly sees us Like CCTV from above But they call it heavenly love; And the other a spook or a bird Or possibly merely a Word. Rejoice! We are ruled thru’ infinity By this highly dysfunctional Trinity! 10 January. In George Lyttelton’s Commonplace Book it’s recorded that Yeats told Peter ...

What​ I heard about Iraq in 2005

Eliot Weinberger: Iraq

5 January 2006
... bulldozers had dug trenches through the site and cleared areas for helicopter landing pads and parking lots, that thousands of sandbags had been filled with dirt and archaeological fragments, thata 2600-year-old brick pavement had been crushed by tanks, and that the moulded bricks of dragons had been gouged out from the Ishtar Gate by soldiers collecting souvenirs. I heard that the ruins of the ...

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