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Alcohology

Victor Mallet, 8 December 1988

Constructive Drinking: Perspectives on Drink from Anthropology 
edited by Mary Douglas.
Cambridge, 291 pp., £25, September 1987, 0 521 33504 3
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For Prayer and Profit: The Ritual, Economic and Social Importance of Beer in Gwembe District, Zambia, 1950-1982 
by Elizabeth Colson and Thayer Scudder.
Stanford, 147 pp., $32.50, August 1988, 0 8047 1444 4
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... the Brazilian border to buy industrial alcohol to drink. And in For Prayer and Profit, Elizabeth Colson and Thayer Scudder paint a comprehensive – and grim – picture of the alcohol-assisted decline of the rural Tonga communities in Zambia’s Gwembe District. In Zambia drink and economic decay have complemented each other over the years ...

Paper this thing over

Colin Kidd: The Watergate Tapes, 5 November 2015

The Nixon Tapes: 1971-72 
by Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 758 pp., $35, July 2014, 978 0 544 27415 0
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The Nixon Defence: What He Knew and When He Knew It 
by John W. Dean.
Penguin, 784 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 0 14 312738 3
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Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall 
by Elizabeth Drew.
Duckworth Overlook, 450 pp., £20, August 2014, 978 0 7156 4916 9
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Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair and the Origins of Watergate 
by Ken Hughes.
Virginia, 228 pp., $16.95, August 2015, 978 0 8139 3664 2
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The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan 
by Rick Perlstein.
Simon and Schuster, 860 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 1 4767 8241 6
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... decency? In a series of articles that first appeared in the New Yorker as Watergate unfolded, Elizabeth Drew confesses a hardened journalist’s shock at ‘the contempt for everyone – the public, the Congress, their colleagues, each other’ the transcripts reveal. ‘He seems to be trying to be candid, but he hasn’t had much experience in that ...

The Devil upon Two Sticks

Charles Nicholl: Samuel Foote, 23 May 2013

Mr Foote’s Other Leg: Comedy, Tragedy and Murder in Georgian London 
by Ian Kelly.
Picador, 462 pp., £18.99, October 2012, 978 0 330 51783 6
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... glance might be thought another Reynolds but which is actually by a French artist, Jean-François Colson. Painted in 1769, it shows Foote in his late forties. With his droll, puffy face, and the bleary twinkle in his eye, he is not a million miles from W.C. Fields. There was something infectious about Foote, whether on the stage or in person. You might not ...

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