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Idi Roi

Victoria Brittain

21 August 1980
Ghosts of Kampala: The Rise and Fall of Idi Amin 
by George Ivan Smith.
Weidenfeld, 198 pp., £7.95, June 1980, 0 297 77721 1
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African Upheavals since Independence 
by G.S. Ibingira.
Westview/Benn, 349 pp., £14.95, January 1980, 0 89158 585 0
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A Political History of Uganda 
by S.R. Karugire.
Heinemann, 240 pp., £7.50, May 1980, 0 435 94524 6
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... late as September 1978 (at Kenyatta’s funeral) and from African heads of state, in the summer of the same year, at the Organisation of African Unity summit in Khartoum. To Britain’s disgrace, as GeorgeIvanSmith points out, it will be remembered that Uganda Airlines flights to Stansted, where Amin bought the Western luxury goods that kept his inner circle loyal, went on until 4 March 1979, when ...

Diary

Matthew Hughes: The Man Who Killed Hammarskjöld?

9 August 2001
... inquiries, two by the Rhodesian authorities in the Central African Federation and one by the UN, no firm evidence of skulduggery emerged. In 1992, Conor Cruise O’Brien and the Australian diplomat GeorgeIvanSmith, both of whom were working for the UN in the Congo in the early 1960s, wrote to the Guardian arguing that Hammarskjöld had been the victim of a kidnap that went wrong. The following year ...

Nation of Mutes

Tony Wood: Marquis de Custine

24 August 2000
A Taste for Freedom: The Life of Astolphe de Custine 
by Anka Muhlstein, translated by Teresa Waugh.
Helen Marx, 393 pp., $16.95, November 1999, 1 885983 41 7
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... thinking in the years before and after World War Two. La Russie en 1839 was rediscovered in the 1930s and 1940s by Western diplomats serving in Moscow, including the future American Ambassador, George Kennan, who praised it as the most faithful guide not only to 19th-century Russia, but also to Russia under Stalin. It is a rich source of aphorisms for Russianists and travellers to Russia, who are ...

Around Here

Alice Spawls: Drifting into the picture

4 February 2016
... doesn’t mention that Pevsner called it ‘an area of much character’. It has a peculiar assortment of coin shops and Korean grocers, ice cream parlours, language schools and camera shops. James Smith and Sons’ Umbrellas is the only one people remember. The area has never become obsolete, or not quite – there are shifts with changing tastes – but it has remained undefined: a little shabby, a ...

Social Policy

Ralf Dahrendorf

3 July 1980
Understanding Social Policy 
by Michael Hill.
Blackwell, 280 pp., £12, April 1980, 0 631 18170 9
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Poverty and Inequality in Common Market Countries 
edited by Vic George and Roger Lawson.
Routledge, 253 pp., £9.50, April 1980, 0 7100 0424 9
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Planning for Welfare: Social Policy and the Expenditure Process 
edited by Timothy Booth.
Blackwell, 208 pp., £12, November 1980, 0 631 19560 2
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The City and Social Theory 
by Michael Peter Smith.
Blackwell, 315 pp., £12, April 1980, 9780631121510
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The Good City: A Study of Urban Development and Policy in Britain 
by David Donnison.
Heinemann, 221 pp., £4.95, April 1980, 0 435 85217 5
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The Economics of Prosperity: Social Priorities in the Eighties 
by David Blake and Paul Ormerod.
Grant Mclntyre, 230 pp., £3.95, April 1980, 0 86216 013 8
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... society with its Darwinian ethic is not by itself humane. There are groups, or at any rate individuals, who need the compassion of the rest to survive, and to live a decent life. Who are they? Vic George and Roger Lawson provide much valuable material on Poverty and Inequality in Common Market Countries, though their book is misleading in some respects and all too predictable in others. However hard ...

That Disturbing Devil

Ferdinand Mount: Land Ownership

7 May 2014
Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership 
by Andro Linklater.
Bloomsbury, 482 pp., £20, January 2014, 978 1 4088 1574 8
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... that he was aware that his focus on land ownership ‘might seem old-fashioned to the point of eccentricity’. Certainly that is the reputation which has stuck to his best-known predecessor, Henry George. In his 1879 bestseller, Progress and Poverty, George set out the same thumping principle which inspires Linklater: ‘The ownership of land is the great fundamental fact which ultimately determines ...

How was it for you?

David Blackbourn

30 October 1997
Man Without a Face: The Memoirs of a Spymaster 
by Markus Wolf and Anne McElvoy.
Cape, 367 pp., £17.99, June 1997, 0 224 04498 2
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The File: A Personal History 
by Timothy Garton Ash.
HarperCollins, 227 pp., £12.99, July 1997, 0 00 255823 8
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... worth. In this game of universal cockups, the CIA’s activities provide the usual aid and comfort for everybody else. What does ring true is Wolf’s evident admiration for the work of spies such as George Blake, Fuchs and Guillaume, and his belief that espionage helped to keep the peace by reducing the element of surprise. By contrast, his line on the use of the GDR as a base for active (Carlos the ...

Even Hotter, Even Louder

Tony Wood: Shining Path

4 July 2019
The Shining Path: Love, Madness and Revolution in the Andes 
by Orin Starn and Miguel La Serna.
Norton, 404 pp., £19.99, May, 978 0 393 29280 0
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... they continue to operate to this day. But although Sendero has continued to carry out occasional attacks – notably a car bomb that went off outside the US embassy, killing nine people, just before George W. Bush’s visit to Peru in 2002 – it is no longer the threatening force it once was. Since 2000, when Fujimori was hounded from office, taking with him Montesinos and the architecture of ...

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