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Bill and Dick’s Excellent Adventure

Christopher Hitchens, 20 February 1997

Behind the Oval Office: Winning the Presidency in the Nineties 
by Dick Morris.
Random House, 382 pp., $25.95, January 1997, 9780679457473
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... and consultants: the spongy, protean surface upon which one can grow tendrils like Mr Morris and, for the matter of that, Mr Clinton. The President is justly renowned for dropping old friends like hot bricks if they threaten him with embarrassment, but he clung to Morris long after he had been exposed as a ...

Mendacious Flowers

Martin Jay: Clinton Baiting, 29 July 1999

All too Human: A Political Education 
by George Stephanopoulos.
Hutchinson, 456 pp., £17.99, March 1999, 0 09 180063 3
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No One Left to Lie to: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Verso, 122 pp., £12, May 1999, 1 85984 736 6
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... Presidency, Stephanopoulos attributes it to his desperate embrace in late 1994 of the loathsome Dick Morris. But for him, as for Hitchens, ‘triangulation’ is ‘just a fancy word for betrayal’. Even Morris’s fall from grace following the disclosure that he’d allowed prostitutes to listen in on Presidential ...

Not Like the Rest of Us

Linda Colley: The Clinton Succession, 16 August 2007

A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton 
by Carl Bernstein.
Hutchinson, 628 pp., £25, June 2007, 978 0 09 192078 4
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Hillary Clinton: Her Way: The Biography 
by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta.
Murray, 438 pp., £20, June 2007, 978 0 7195 6892 3
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... possible, too, that she actually shies away from ideas. Bernstein quotes the electoral strategist Dick Morris, who worked for the Clintons, as arguing that Hillary is ‘not a creative thinker’, and states that ‘her intellectual firepower was not nearly so spectacular’ as her husband’s. Both Clintons have turned author so as to reveal and conceal ...

A Hard Dog to Keep on the Porch

Christopher Hitchens, 6 June 1996

... Republican, he has embraced the idea. He has even hired a Republican political strategist, Dick Morris, to guide his campaign. And Mr Morris has been sharing poll data with Robert Dole, who was until recently Clinton’s complicit partner in the management of the Hill. Only the other week, speaking in ...


James Wood, 8 December 1994

Shadow Dance 
by Angela Carter.
Virago, 182 pp., £9.99, September 1994, 1 85381 840 2
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Flesh and the Mirror: Essays on the Art of Angela Carter 
edited by Lorna Sage.
Virago, 358 pp., £8.99, September 1994, 1 85381 760 0
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... appeared in 1966); there is very little gaucherie or unsureness. Shadow Dance tells the story of Morris, a failed painter and antique-collector, and his ruthless, fraudulent partner, Honeybuzzard. Honey, like the wicked uncle in Carter’s next novel The Magic Toyshop (1967), is more interested in puppets than in humans: he manipulates humans like toys, he ...

My body is my own

David Miller, 31 October 1996

Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality 
by G.A. Cohen.
Cambridge, 277 pp., £40, October 1995, 0 521 47174 5
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... served one another according to the principle, ‘to each according to his needs’; in William Morris’s land of Nowhere, Dick the boatman is puzzled when the narrator attempts to pay for his ride and explains that ‘this ferrying and giving people casts about the water is my business, which I would do for ...

Living the Life

Andrew O’Hagan, 6 October 2016

Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency 
by James Andrew Miller.
Custom House, 703 pp., £20, August 2016, 978 0 06 244137 9
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... he loves). In Some Like It Hot, the talent booker, Mr Poliakoff, is on the phone to the William Morris Agency. Standing in his office are Jerry and Joe – Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis – a bass and a saxophone player. Jerry tries to persuade Poliakoff to give them the job – three weeks in Florida with Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators – but ...

Strenuously Modern

Rosemary Hill: At Home with the Stracheys, 3 March 2005

Bombay to Bloomsbury: A Biography of the Strachey Family 
by Barbara Caine.
Oxford, 488 pp., £25, February 2005, 0 19 925034 0
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... pathological … a house afflicted with elephantiasis’. As an absolute verdict on the age of Morris and Ruskin, however, it was ridiculous, though it still persists. Caine is sometimes too inclined to take at face value the post-Freudian Stracheys’ own estimation of themselves, especially their claim to be living lives of ‘unprecedented’ sexual and ...


Christopher Driver, 6 October 1983

by Graham Swift.
Heinemann, 310 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 434 75330 0
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Perfect Happiness 
by Penelope Lively.
Heinemann, 233 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 434 42740 3
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Scenes from Later Life 
by William Cooper.
Macmillan, 258 pp., £7.95, September 1983, 0 333 34204 6
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Summer at The Haven 
by Katharine Moore.
Allison and Busby, 158 pp., £6.95, April 1983, 0 85031 511 5
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... Crick spends most of the novel explaining why, in his youth, his ‘potato-head’ half-brother Dick, fruit of an incestuous union between his mother and grandfather, kills their school-fellow Freddie Parr and dumps his body in the Leem, under the influence of the ancestral Atkinson ale and under the impression, planted by Freddie, that the baby in the womb ...

Pamphleteer’s Progress

Patrick Parrinder, 7 February 1985

The Function of Criticism: From the ‘Spectator’ to Post-Structuralism 
by Terry Eagleton.
Verso, 133 pp., £15, September 1984, 0 86091 091 1
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... lucubrations of literary theory. ‘In the times when art was abundant and healthy,’ William Morris once wrote, ‘all men were more or less artists.’ Modern criticism, Eagleton maintains, came into existence with the establishment of a bourgeois ‘public sphere’ in which all members of the propertied classes were more or less critics. The concept ...


Jon Halliday, 2 June 1983

In the Service of the Peacock Throne: The Diaries of the Shah’s Last Ambassador to London 
by Parviz Radji.
Hamish Hamilton, 343 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 241 10960 4
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... have had information about themselves embargoed: Princess Ashraf, Alexander Haig and Richard (‘Dick’) Helms. Manifestly evasive though the diaries are, they are nonetheless exceptionally illuminating on two issues: on the last years of the Shah’s regime, seen from the inside; and on how to try to nobble Britain’s media intelligentsia and ...

On Thinning Ice

Michael Byers: When the Ice Melts, 6 January 2005

Impacts of a Warming Arctic: Arctic Climate Impact Assessment 
Cambridge, 139 pp., £19.99, February 2005, 0 521 61778 2Show More
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... climate change is already disrupting the lives of millions of human beings. According to James Morris, the executive director of the World Food Programme, the number of people suffering food crises as a result of natural disasters has tripled in the last thirty years. Such effects are usually attributed to a combination of overpopulation, widespread ...

The Man Who Never Glared

John Pemble: Disraeli, 5 December 2013

Disraeli: or, The Two Lives 
by Douglas Hurd and Edward Young.
Orion, 320 pp., £20, July 2013, 978 0 297 86097 6
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The Great Rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli 
by Dick Leonard.
I.B. Tauris, 226 pp., £22.50, June 2013, 978 1 84885 925 8
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Disraeli: The Romance of Politics 
by Robert O’Kell.
Toronto, 595 pp., £66.99, February 2013, 978 1 4426 4459 5
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... Turkey to hold back Russia – thereby bringing out all the anti-Semitism of his enemies. William Morris called him ‘the Jew wretch’ who was ‘against freedom, against nature, against the hope of the world’. According to the historian E.A. Freeman, he was ‘the friend of the Turk and the enemy of the Christian … sacrificing the policy of ...

Making a Break

Terry Eagleton: Fredric Jameson’s Futures, 9 March 2006

Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 431 pp., £20, September 2005, 1 84467 033 3
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... book has some supple, remarkably powerful readings to offer of Le Guin, Brian Aldiss, Philip K. Dick (‘the Shakespeare of science fiction’), A.E. Van Vogt, Kim Stanley Robinson and a range of others. Jameson has always been an energetic retriever of the neglected and maligned, and a brilliant salvage job here on Charles Fourier reflects this ...

Keep Calm

Rosemary Hill: Desperate Housewives, 24 May 2007

Can Any Mother Help Me? Fifty Years of Friendship through a Secret Magazine 
by Jenna Bailey.
Faber, 330 pp., £16.99, March 2007, 978 0 571 23313 7
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... that could be controlled’. Childbirth itself, according to the other guru of the day, Grantly Dick-Read, was painful only if the mother was frightened, as this caused blood to drain from the uterus. It was her responsibility to be brave. Poor Accidia did her best, following the diet and doing the exercises, but nevertheless suffered agonies with all her ...

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