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Signs of the ‘Times’

Peter Jenkins, 22 January 1981

Stop Press 
by Eric Jacobs.
Deutsch, 166 pp., £6.95, November 1980, 0 233 97286 2
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... of the Establishment survive the crumbling of its pillar? There may have been a tendency, as Eric Jacobs suggests in his chronicle of the 11-month shut-down which brought about the present disaster, for the boardroom protagonists to regard the affair in the light of one of Mr William Rees-Mogg’s editorials. However, we should be careful about ...
... journal will probably remember the review (LRB, Vol. 3, No 1) by Peter Jenkins of Stop Press by Eric Jacobs, which deals with the dispute which stopped publication of the Times for so long. This is perhaps an extreme example of a practice with which all employers are familiar, but the fact that we tolerated it at all speaks volumes for the pass to ...

Performance Art

John Bayley, 16 November 1995

... obliging child in the natural Amis. The only revelation of interest in the authorised biography by Eric Jacobs is that he liked his mother to spoon-feed him when he was 12: Mrs Amis senior was sure that with his finicky habits he wasn’t getting enough to eat.† The Biographer’s Moustache presents a Wodehousian idyll of a big country house where ...

Be interesting!

John Lanchester: Martin Amis, 6 July 2000

Experience 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 401 pp., £18, May 2000, 0 224 05060 5
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... about the British press. (He permits himself only a short but stinging appendix on the subject of Eric Jacobs, his father’s biographer.) The book is full of good humour, of the ‘gossip and jokes’ which Gore Vidal once convincingly said were the things for which people read memoirs. Experience is full of a lovely warmth about Amis’s mother ...

Do you think he didn’t know?

Stefan Collini: Kingsley Amis, 14 December 2006

The Life of Kingsley Amis 
by Zachary Leader.
Cape, 996 pp., £25, November 2006, 0 224 06227 1
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... an account of the comprehensive falling-out of the Amis family with Kingsley’s first biographer, Eric Jacobs. In agreeing to take on the tasks of, first, editing the letters, and then writing the ‘authorised’ biography, Leader, a close friend of Martin Amis, was thus taking on a delicate and highly charged project, which makes it the more impressive ...

Suicide by Mouth

Deborah Friedell: Richard Price, 17 July 2008

Lush Life 
by Richard Price.
Bloomsbury, 455 pp., £12.99, August 2008, 978 0 7475 9601 1
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... on the Lower East Side.) One of the men wants to be a screenwriter, another an actor. The third, Eric Cash, has ‘no particular talent or skill, or what was worse, he had a little talent, some skill’; he can write a little, act a little, but he’s 35, and his ‘unsatisfied yearning for validation’ makes him uncomfortable with the other two men, who ...

Sisters

John Sutherland, 4 June 1981

Tit for Tat 
by Verity Bargate.
Cape, 167 pp., £5.95, April 1981, 0 224 01908 2
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Watching Me, Watching You 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 208 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 340 25600 1
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Maggie Muggins 
by Keith Waterhouse.
Joseph, 220 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 7181 2014 0
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Mr Lonely 
by Eric Morecambe.
Eyre Methuen, 189 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 413 48170 0
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... interjection Threnody’s tumultuous monologue allows, is merely echoed at us: So you see, Miss Jacobs, all is well. What did you say? Nothing is ever as good as one hopes or as bad as one fears? What a very sort of intermediate remark. ‘Intermediate’ is a useful term for understanding the impact of Weldon’s stories. Short in length and telegrammatic ...

It’s a Knock-Out

Tom Nairn, 27 May 1993

The Spirit of the Age: An Account of Our Times 
by David Selbourne.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 388 pp., £20, February 1993, 1 85619 204 0
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... myself among them, Jewish intellectuals who should have known better fare worst of the lot. Eric Hobsbawm, for instance: he ends up floored no less than nine times, for everything from Stalinism to ‘gratuitous vernacular’ and joking about Nietzsche. Since the Zeitgeist business is so vigorous just now many may find Selbourne’s title and prophetic ...

Summer Simmer

Tom Vanderbilt: Chicago heatwaves, 22 August 2002

Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago 
by Eric Klinenberg.
Chicago, 305 pp., £19.50, August 2002, 0 226 44321 3
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... as well all be living in Corpus Christi then. The implications of these changes are elucidated in Eric Klinenberg’s revealing and provocative ‘social autopsy’ of the heatwave that struck Chicago in the summer of 1995, resulting in more than seven hundred deaths – the worst heat disaster in Illinois history. Chicago, exposed on the plains and ...

The Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: The Israel Lobby, 23 March 2006

... perspective prevails in the mainstream media: the debate among Middle East pundits, the journalist Eric Alterman writes, is ‘dominated by people who cannot imagine criticising Israel’. He lists 61 ‘columnists and commentators who can be counted on to support Israel reflexively and without qualification’. Conversely, he found just five pundits who ...

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