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4 April 1991
... as to the outcome of President Bush’s promise must necessarily be pessimistic. If, as Lloyd George charged in 1909, the House of Lords was ‘Mr Balfour’s Poodle’, the American Congress is today Israel’s spaniel. I doubt that any progress will ever be made unless the Security Council arranges some form of international conference in which the ...
25 February 1993
The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement with Israel 
by George Ball and Douglas Ball.
Norton, 382 pp., £17.95, January 1993, 0 393 02933 6
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... In his farewell address in 1796 George Washington counselled the new nation to refrain from ‘passionate attachment’ to or ‘inveterate hatred’ of any other nation and to cultivate instead peace and harmony with all. A passionate attachment to another nation, he warned, could create the illusion of a common interest where no common interest exists ...

New World

George Ball

22 June 1989
... as to the current state of affairs: for my part, I strongly agree with the scholar and diplomat George Kennan, who has spent a lifetime studying the Soviet Union, and who has written that the remnants of the Cold War are ‘now being dismantled at a pace that renders it no longer a serious impediment to normal Soviet-American relationships’. A number of ...

Knucklehead Truman

Douglas Johnson

2 June 1983
The Eisenhower Diaries 
edited by Robert Ferrell.
Norton, 445 pp., £15.25, April 1983, 0 393 01432 0
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The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy: A Biography 
by Thomas Reeves.
Blond and Briggs, 819 pp., £11.95, June 1983, 0 85634 131 2
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The past has another pattern 
by George Ball.
Norton, 544 pp., £14.95, September 1982, 0 393 01481 9
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Torn Lace Curtain 
by Frank Saunders and James Southwood.
Sidgwick, 361 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 283 98946 7
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The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power 
by Robert Caro.
Collins, 882 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 00 217062 0
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The Politician: The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson 
by Ronnie Dugger.
Norton, 514 pp., £13.25, September 1982, 9780393015980
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Years of Upheaval 
by Henry Kissinger.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 1312 pp., £15.95, March 1982, 0 7181 2115 5
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Richard Nixon: The Shaping of his Character 
by Fawn Brodie.
Norton, 574 pp., £14.95, October 1982, 0 393 01467 3
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Haig: The General’s Progress 
by Roger Morris.
Robson, 458 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 9780860511885
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Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President 
by Jimmy Carter.
Collins, 622 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 00 216648 8
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Crisis: The Last Year of the Carter Presidency 
by Hamilton Jordan.
Joseph, 431 pp., £12.95, November 1982, 0 7181 2248 8
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Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser 1977-81 
by Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Weidenfeld, 587 pp., £15, April 1983, 0 297 78220 7
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... But this is in comparison with the clichéridden public pronouncements he was given to making: George Ball, who twice campaigned against him, has written of ‘a plodding fivestar general uttering pedestrian language written by some journalistic hack with all the grace of a gun-carriage being hauled across cobblestones’. It appears from the diaries ...

Sterling and Strings

Peter Davies: Harold Wilson and Vietnam

20 November 2008
... support for resistance to aggression in Vietnam and for a peaceful settlement in Vietnam. McGeorge Bundy, the national security adviser, went further, informing the ambassador in Washington, Patrick Dean, that ‘what the president particularly wanted from us was a military contribution in the form of men on the ground. Two platoons were suggested or ...
6 September 1984
by Christopher Hitchens.
Quartet, 192 pp., £8.95, June 1984, 0 7043 2436 9
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The Cyprus Dispute and the Birth of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 
by Necati Ertekun.
K. Rustem, Nicosia, PO Box 239, Lefkosa, via Mersin 10, Turkey, 507 pp., £12.50
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... since Barabbas’ was how Adlai Stevenson commended him to his friend Under-Secretary of State George Ball in 1964. The Americans wanted to eliminate any danger of war between two of their allies and to ensure that Cyprus should not fall into hands that were hostile to Nato. They were keenly aware of the strength of Akel, the Cyprus Communist ...


Martin Monahan

7 October 2015
... slugs decorate an undulating hem; her sleeve is frilled in hedgehog quills, all for this infernal ball in Piccadilly. ‘George, you don’t suppose it’s too much, the flowers? I don’t want them to fall out of my hair and into my soup: though they are quite wonderful.’ Sir ...

Short Cuts

Paul Myerscough: Zidane at work

5 October 2006
... still, he is working hard. The film is 90 minutes long, a real-time record of a single football match made with 17 cameras placed at different vantage points in the Bernabéu, all of them trained exclusively on Zidane. We see the kick-off on a television monitor; but the film camera immediately draws nearer to pick out Zidane, who blurs and dissolves ...

The Pink Hotel

Wayne Koestenbaum

3 April 1997
The Last Thing He Wanted 
by Joan Didion.
Flamingo, 227 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 0 00 224080 7
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... sentence fragment, Didion evokes the storm around the hotel: The power failing, the tennis balls long since dead, the candles blowing out at the table in the main dining-room where Douglas Dillon and his wife and George Ball and his wife and Robert McNamara and Arthur Schlesinger are sitting (not eating, no ...

Iron Tearing Soil

James Francken: Golf

4 October 2001
A Gentleman's Game 
by Tom Coyne.
Atlantic, 264 pp., £15, July 2001, 1 903809 05 3
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Riverbank Tweed and Roadmap Jenkins: Tales from the Caddie Yard 
by Bo Links.
Simon and Schuster, 302 pp., £15, May 2001, 0 684 87362 1
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by Michael Griffith.
Arcade, 258 pp., £17, February 2001, 1 55970 536 1
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... where Golden Wonder grew potatoes for their crisps – the pros will often have to clobber the ball close to three hundred yards to be in with a chance. There is no hope for the second-drawer golfer: most players try to buy distance, and golf shops sell longer clubs with graphite shafts and large titanium faces which come with a promise to add a few yards ...
5 January 1989
The King’s Jaunt: George IV in Scotland, 1822 
by John Prebble.
Collins, 399 pp., £15, November 1988, 0 00 215404 8
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... Prebble’s that all these tartans were nothing but hype: a stunt devised chiefly by Scott to make George IV’s visit to Edinburgh in August 1822 as splendiferous as possible. In his anonymous shilling pamphlet ‘HINTS addressed to the INHABITANTS OF EDINBURGH AND OTHERS in prospect of HIS MAJESTY’S VISIT by an Old Citizen’, Scott dubbed a principal ...


Nina Bawden

2 February 1984
At the Jazz Band BallA Memory of the 1950s 
by Philip Oakes.
Deutsch, 251 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 233 97591 8
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... superbly. His trilogy, From Middle England, Dwellers All in Time and Space and At the Jazz Band Ball, is a very funny, lively and often enthralling record of a childhood, adolescence and young manhood, convincing in its detail, and set down with verve and style. His family were poor. His father died when he was four years old and his mother, a ...

Boulevard Brogues

Rosemary Hill: Having your grouse and eating it

13 May 1999
Girlitude: A Memoir of the Fifties and Sixties 
by Emma Tennant.
Cape, 224 pp., £15.99, April 1999, 0 224 05952 1
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... term’, and indicated only by his sending ‘a muff of gardenias’ to his niece’s coming-out ball. Her parents, Lord and Lady Glenconner, launched their daughter with Austerity-busting splendour. A marquee, a New Look dress from Dior, a pillar of dry ice and she was ‘out’. Out into what is the question that occupies the rest of the book. What is a ...
13 October 1988
A History of West Indies Cricket 
by Michael Manley.
Deutsch, 575 pp., £17.95, May 1988, 0 233 98259 0
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Sobers: Twenty Years at the Top 
by Garfield Sobers and Brian Scovell.
Macmillan, 204 pp., £11.95, June 1988, 0 333 37267 0
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... wicket. Sobers, who could bowl fast, reveals that he offered to try taking the long overdue new ball, but Goddard would not take this risk! Ramadhin himself was demoralised and took only five further wickets in the series. It is not generally realised in Britain that this undoubtedly very great partnership was achieved against a crippled attack, and was ...

Whose Bodies?

Elizabeth Lowry: ‘Tinkers’

23 September 2010
by Paul Harding.
Heinemann, 191 pp., £12.99, July 2010, 978 0 434 02084 3
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... George Crosby, the hero of Paul Harding’s Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel, Tinkers, has been laid out to die on a rented hospital bed in his living-room, surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren. He is 80, a retired teacher and clock repairer, and is suffering from cancer and renal failure. In the last week of his life he begins to hallucinate about his childhood in rural Maine ...

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