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It can happen here

Alan Milward, 2 May 1985

Hitler and the Final Solution 
by Gerald Fleming.
Hamish Hamilton, 219 pp., £12.95, January 1985, 0 241 11388 1
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Hitler in History 
by Eberhard Jäckel.
University Press of New England, 115 pp., $9.95, January 1985, 0 87451 311 1
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Albert Speer: The End of a Myth 
by Matthias Schmidt, translated by Joachim Neugroschel.
Harrap, 276 pp., £9.95, March 1985, 0 245 54244 2
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... Hitler only later bestowed his approval. To this debate two British writers, David Irving and Gerald Fleming, have contributed thunderous points. Irving claims, what no respectable German author has claimed, that not only was Hitler not the author of the ‘final solution’: he did not even know about it until 1943. He thought the Jews were being ...

‘No, no,’ replied the fat man

Michael Davie, 3 December 1992

The Power of News: The History of Reuters 
by Donald Read.
Oxford, 330 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 19 821776 5
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... supposed to be able to mix easily with diplomats and foreign ministers. In 1933 the Etonian Ian Fleming – ‘his appearance is good, and his manners are agreeable’ – covered the show trials in Moscow of the Vickers engineers. ‘Moscow, Wednesday. As the famous clock on the Kremlin Tower strikes 12 the six Metropolitan-Vickers English employees will ...

Enfield was nothing

P.N. Furbank: Norman Lewis, 18 December 2003

The Tomb in Seville 
by Norman Lewis.
Cape, 150 pp., £14.99, November 2003, 0 224 07120 3
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... adventures and escapes’ – the very things which, for good or evil, Evelyn Waugh and Peter Fleming and Robert Byron, not to mention Redmond O’Hanlon, assume to be the heart of travel writing. This leads us to the reflection that travel writing, or anyway the best sort, only pretends to be informative. The author, out of self-respect, and by mugging ...

I only want the OM

Christopher Tayler: Somerset Maugham, 1 September 2005

Somerset Maugham: A Life 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Vintage, 411 pp., £12, April 2005, 1 4000 3052 8
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... with the Red Cross in France. There, a few months before Syrie’s pregnancy, he had also met Gerald Haxton, a louche American expatriate who became the most important man in his life. Maugham eventually married Syrie for the child’s sake – their daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1915 – but he continued to see Haxton. Gossip proliferated. Maugham, it ...

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