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At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Vice’

21 February 2019
... time of speaking, so perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on his logic. Even so, this is not the question the film asks. The film’s question is, ‘Who do we want our central character, in this case Dick Cheney, to have been, and how far did he oblige?’ Cheney, played by Christian Bale, whose other larger than life roles include Bruce Wayne, Patrick Bateman and Jesus, looms effectively in the film ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Kicking Dick​ Cheney

2 August 2007
... The two things that everyone knows about Dick Cheney are that he was once the CEO of Halliburton and that he has for the past six and a half years been the most powerful vice-president in American history. In four long articles published in the ...

All together

Humphrey Carpenter

7 December 1989
The Safest Place in the World: A Personal History of British Rhythm and Blues 
by Dick​ Heckstall-Smith.
Quartet, 178 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 7043 2696 5
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Mama said there’d be days like these: My Life in the Jazz World 
by Val Wilmer.
Women’s Press, 336 pp., £16.95, September 1989, 0 7043 5040 8
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Lenya: A Life 
by Donald​ Spoto.
Viking, 371 pp., £15.95, September 1989, 0 670 81211 0
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... up (‘I’m not a Beatle any more!’ George Harrison is said to have cried delightedly after their last public appearance), and left one wondering how they had managed to stay together so long. Dick Heckstall-Smith defines a band as ‘a passengerless collective’, but he doesn’t say ‘driverless’, and his often rivetingly interesting book, which deals largely with the breakup of bands ...
7 July 1988
... tradition. But to help him in those days he had as collaborators people of very different casts of mind, people to whom he pays just tribute here. Grace Wyndham-Goldie added breadth to his vision and Donald Baverstock erratic flair. As DG, he was monarch of all he surveyed and could not see as far as he thought. Certainly an unfair disadvantage under which he suffered was the need to be seen as Director ...

Gangsters in Hats

Richard Mayne

17 May 1984
Essays on Detective Fiction 
edited by Bernard Benstock.
Macmillan, 218 pp., £20, February 1984, 0 333 32195 2
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Dashiell Hammett: A Life at the Edge 
by William Nolan.
Arthur Barker, 276 pp., £9.95, September 1983, 0 213 16886 3
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The Life of Dashiell Hammett 
by Diane Johnson.
Chatto, 344 pp., £12.95, January 1984, 9780701127664
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Hellman in Hollywood 
by Bernard Dick.
Associated University Presses, 183 pp., £14.95, September 1983, 0 8386 3140 1
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... saw propaganda in boys’ weeklies and ‘the worm’s-eye view of life’ in seaside postcards. He was hardly concerned with Frank Richards as a novelist or (despite his essay’s title) the art of Donald McGill. A better reason for paying attention to humble work is to identify its virtues. At worst, this can become highbrow slumming – overpraising incompetence like an eager nursery teacher or a ...
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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... embarrassment, but he clung to Morris long after he had been exposed as a sleazebag, and still speaks of him in terms of lip-biting regret. In fact, let’s have Bill’s dust-jacket endorsement of Dick in full: I think he is, first of all, brilliant, tactically and strategically. Secondly, with me he’s always been very straightforward and honest, the bad news as well as the good and, if possible ...

A Short History of the Trump Family

Sidney Blumenthal: The First Family

16 February 2017
... The​ most enduring blight left behind by Donald Trump, long after he has smashed things up, will be the pile of books devoted to trying to make sense of him. It will grow after investigative journalists have spent years diving for hidden records ...

What I heard about Iraq in 2005

Eliot Weinberger: Iraq

5 January 2006
... Rice say there were 120,000 Iraqi troops trained to take over the security of the country; I heard Senator Joseph Biden, Democrat from Delaware, say that the number was closer to 4000; I heard Donald Rumsfeld say: ‘The fact of the matter is that there are 130,200 who have been trained and equipped. That’s a fact. The idea that that number’s wrong is just not correct. The number is right ...

Looking Up

Donald​ Davie

15 July 1982
The Passages of Joy 
by Thom Gunn.
Faber, 93 pp., £4, June 1982, 0 571 11867 4
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The Occasions of Poetry 
by Thom Gunn.
Faber, 188 pp., £6.95, June 1982, 0 571 11733 3
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... imagination. Gunn’s review of Florida East Coast Champion is reprinted in The Occasions of Poetry, evenhandedly balancing an appreciation of a British product of by and large the same generation, Dick Davis’s In the Distance. And does any one recognise how rare it is, this saluting by a senior poet of juniors who are by no means of his stable, in no sense his ‘followers’? This is generosity ...

SH @ same time

Andrew Cockburn: Rumsfeld

31 March 2011
Known and Unknown: A Memoir 
by Donald​ Rumsfeld.
Sentinel, 815 pp., £25, February 2011, 978 1 59523 067 6
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... Donald Rumsfeld, you could say, has had a remarkable career, stretching from a middle-class upbringing amid wealthier neighbours on the edge of Chicago, through Congress and high office in the Nixon and ...
4 June 1981
Three Trapped Tigers 
by G. Cabrera Infante.
Picador, 487 pp., £2.95, August 1980, 0 330 26133 9
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... Cuban heels throng its now bright, now shadowed streets and dives. Even the heroine of the banned film PM is reincarnated here as the great black whale of a singer, ‘La’ Estrella, a warbling Moby Dick or, to allow this review to become infected by Cabrera’s advanced pun-ophilia, Moby Pussy. And there is a third reason. When this novel, under the title Vista del Amanecer en le Tropica (Vision of ...

What I Heard about Iraq

Eliot Weinberger: Watch and listen

3 February 2005
... In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get ‘bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq’. I heard him say: ‘The ...

Who Cares?

Jean McNicol

9 February 1995
The Report of the Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of Christopher Clunis 
by Jean Ritchie, Donald Dick and Richard Lingham.
HMSO, 146 pp., £9.50, February 1994, 0 11 701798 1
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Creating Community Care: Report of the Mental Health Foundation into Community Care for People with Severe Mental Illness 
by William Utting.
Mental Health Foundation, 76 pp., £9.50, September 1994, 0 901944 17 3
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Finding a Place: A Review of Mental Health Services for Adults 
HMSO, 94 pp., £11, November 1994, 0 11 886143 3Show More
The Falling Shadow: One Patient’s Mental Health Care. Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Events Leading up to and Surrounding the Fatal Incident at the Edith Morgan Centre, Torbay, on 1 September 1993 
by Louis Blom-Cooper, Helen Hally and Elaine Murphy.
Duckworth, 230 pp., £12.99, January 1995, 0 7156 2662 0
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... At around 9 p.m. on 9 December 1992 Nigel Bartlett was walking down a quiet suburban street near Wood Green in North London when a man began to follow him. The man – Bartlett said he looked ‘like the Michelin man’ – started walking backwards in front of him and asked him if he was the devil, and then if he was happy. He had something in his hand; Bartlett thought it was a knife as it glinted ...

How to Solve the Puzzle

Donald​ MacKenzie: On Short Selling

5 April 2018
... short selling and investigative journalism. Indeed, Chanos’s Kynikos Associates has hired several former journalists, including Weil. At the start of the 1980s, Chanos led the Forbes reporter Dick Stern through the tangled finances of Baldwin-United, which was Chanos’s first short; the company was a piano-maker which, at that point, had – somewhat bizarrely – diversified into insurance ...

Working the Dark Side

David Bromwich: On the Uses of Torture

8 January 2015
... report. No disgrace is deep enough, it seems, to stand up to the knock-down question: will it be good for America if people learn the truth? The US national security state is the lengthened shadow of Dick Cheney. He made himself a master of the levers of government when he was secretary of defence under George H.W. Bush. His sense of rightful authority will have been confirmed by his regular ...

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