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Is there a health crisis?

Roy Porter, 19 May 1988

The Public Health Challenge 
edited by Stephen Farrow.
Hutchinson, 160 pp., £12.95, November 1987, 0 09 173165 8
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The Truth about the Aids Panic 
by Michael Fitzpatrick and Don Milligan.
Junius, 68 pp., £1.95, March 1987, 9780948392078
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Dangerous Sexualities: Medico-Moral Politics in England since 1830 
by Frank Mort.
Routledge, 280 pp., £7.95, October 1987, 0 7102 0856 1
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Medicine and Labour: The Politics of a Profession 
by Steve Watkins.
Lawrence and Wishart, 272 pp., £6.95, May 1987, 0 85315 639 5
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... as in budgeting the NHS. Indeed, political rhetoric wears hardly a fig-leaf in Fitzpatrick and Milligan’s broadside, even though the authors promise us The Truth about the Aids Panic – and we’d better listen because their message carries the weight of medical authority (FitzPatrick is titled ‘Dr’ on the front cover, and on the back we are told he ...


Alan Brien, 5 December 1985

Orson Welles 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 562 pp., £14.95, October 1985, 0 297 78476 5
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The Making of ‘Citizen Kane’ 
by Robert Carringer.
Murray, 180 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 7195 4248 0
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Spike Milligan 
by Pauline Scudamore.
Granada, 318 pp., £8.95, October 1985, 0 246 12275 7
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Nancy Mitford 
by Selina Hastings.
Hamish Hamilton, 274 pp., £12.50, October 1985, 0 241 11684 8
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Rebel: The Short Life of Esmond Romilly 
by Kevin Ingram.
Weidenfeld, 252 pp., £12.95, October 1985, 0 297 78707 1
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The Mitford Family Album 
by Sophia Murphy.
Sidgwick, 160 pp., £12.95, November 1985, 0 283 99115 1
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... the entire project with a glancing mockery that might have reminded a bookish provincial lad of Don Juan or the Dunciad, but of nothing he had previously encountered, or expected, in the cinema. At least where I lived, these were the days when art – that is, something shaped, polished, individual, original, impassioned but controlled, encompassing ideas ...


Sean French: Fortress Wapping, 6 March 1986

... first, as journalists tend to say on occasions like this, a stunned silence. The first to speak is Don Berry, a senior editor with over 17 years’ service on the paper. Speaking slowly, his voice trembling slightly, he says that the journalists of the Sunday Times have been treated with contempt: we have been told lies and our house agreement (guaranteeing ...

The Biographer’s Story

Jonathan Coe, 8 September 1994

The Life and Death of Peter Sellers 
by Roger Lewis.
Century, 817 pp., £20, April 1994, 0 7126 3801 6
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... Reader’s Gang Shows. Soon afterwards he teamed up with Michael Bentine, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan to form The Goons: slightly wearing to listen to now (I suppose you had to be there at the time) but routinely credited with having ‘revolutionised British post-war comedy’ – unless that was Monty Python or Beyond the Fringe. He moved slowly but ...

Who Are They?

Jenny Turner: The Institute of Ideas, 8 July 2010

... greed and the recession’, it was called ‘Who Ate All the Pies?’, and I’m afraid I don’t know the answer, because I went to ‘Rethinking Freedom in an Illiberal Age: Securing Rights or Celebrating Liberty?’ instead. I’d bought a two-day ticket at £80, for which I got a red plastic bracelet. I had to keep it on overnight, the man told ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2010, 16 December 2010

... to find out the identity of the culprits, the crime frequently described as ‘unimaginable’. I don’t find it hard to imagine at all. When I was eight or nine I used to play torture games with two other boys at my elementary school up on the recreation ground in Armley. I would pretend to whip them or they me and with a forwardness that I never afterwards ...

Four Moptop Yobbos

Ian Penman, 17 June 2021

One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 642 pp., £9.99, March, 978 0 00 834003 2
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The Beatles and Sixties Britain 
by Marcus Collins.
Cambridge, 382 pp., £90, March 2020, 978 1 108 47724 6
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The Beatles in Context 
edited by Kenneth Womack.
Cambridge, 372 pp., £74.99, January 2020, 978 1 108 41911 6
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... eyes, before deciding to move in together.Ahalf-century​ on from the band’s messy divorce, you don’t have to go searching for Beatles bumpf: it’s everywhere. They’re as much a part of the public conversation as they ever were. Here is an incomplete log of Beatles sightings I kept as 2020 tiptoed hesitantly into 2021: in a Pierre Cardin obituary; in a ...

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