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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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... their views upon him whilst a stagnant, self-protecting bureaucracy stands by and watches. Hamilton Jordan tells of his negotiations over the hostages with a secret and unnamed Iranian (he was surprised when he met him to find that he did not drink wine and wondered whether he was anxious not to seem too friendly); Brzezinski tells us that he ...


Benjamin Markovits: Michael Jordan and Me, 23 May 2002

... rudeness, but partly because he captured the essence of my other, still breathing hero, Michael Jordan. ‘Half dust, half deity’, Byron wrote of man’s estate, but I applied his meaning more specifically. ‘Alike unfit to sink or soar’ seemed to describe that hanging space, a few feet off the ground, in which ...


Bernard Wasserstein, 23 September 1993

Imperial Warrior: The Life and Times of Field-Marshal Viscount Allenby 1861-1936 
by Lawrence James.
Weidenfeld, 279 pp., £20, January 1993, 0 297 81152 5
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... dress continued in Palestine: he denounced the wearing of shorts, even in the blazing heat of the Jordan Valley, as ‘indecent and abominable’. He directed the operations from Gaza to Aleppo, skilfully and energetically, but it also has to be said that he was one of the few generals in the war to be dealt a winning hand. He followed Clausewitz’s ...

Nowhere to Hide

Patrick Cockburn: A report from Iraq, 22 February 2007

... to leave the country, which he did, but he has no residence permit and can’t stay in Britain or Jordan indefinitely. He doesn’t know what to do. Bombs, kidnappings and sectarian killings: these are what people talk about in Baghdad. There is not much Iraqis can do about these threats, except run away. I am always talking to people about how to get to ...

God, what a victory!

Jeremy Harding, 10 February 1994

Martyr’s Day: Chronicle of Small War 
by Michael Kelly.
Macmillan, 354 pp., £16.99, October 1993, 0 333 60496 2
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Battling for News: The Rise of the Woman Reporter 
by Anne Sebba.
Hodder, 301 pp., £19.99, January 1994, 0 340 55599 8
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Women’s Letters in Wartime 
edited by Eva Figes.
Pandora, 304 pp., £20, October 1993, 0 04 440755 6
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The War at Sixteen: Autobiography, Vol. II 
by Julien Green, translated by Euan Cameron.
Marion Boyars, 207 pp., £19.95, November 1993, 0 7145 2969 9
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... any official front, studying pro-Iraq badges (‘Saddam. One Like You Makes Dream Come True’) in Jordan, watching Palestinians in the Occupied Territories slowly crushed under the weight of their support for Saddam, or discovering how a rich Kuwaiti hotelier kept most of his money and his family safe by buying off the Iraqi occupiers – mostly with TV ...

Convenient Death of a Hero

Arnold Rattenbury, 8 May 1997

Beyond the Frontier: the Politics of a Failed Mission, Bulgaria 1944 
by E.P. Thompson.
Merlin/Stanford, 120 pp., £12.95, December 1996, 0 85036 457 4
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... linguist, he was to serve between then and his death in the Western Desert, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Sicily, Serbia and Bulgaria, plucking languages out of the air as he went – and loving them: All the Slav languages are good, but beside Russian, Polish and Czech seem nervous and restless, Bulgarian poor and untutored, and ...

Burn Rate

Ed Harriman: The Iraq Disaster, 6 September 2007

... bases that Bush says will be left in Iraq long after US combat units are withdrawn. The Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group endorsed the idea of this massive and enduring American presence in its report published last December. ‘Well,’ Bush said in July, there’s a lot of discussion about a scenario in which our troop posture would be to guard the ...

If I Turn and Run

Iain Sinclair: In Hoxton, 1 June 2000

by Bill Drummond.
Little, Brown, 361 pp., £12.99, March 2000, 0 316 85385 2
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Crucify Me Again 
by Mark Manning.
Codex, 190 pp., £8.95, May 2000, 0 18 995814 6
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... criminous warren, twinned with the Jago, to a user-friendly film location. The sort of place Neil Jordan could shoot The Crying Game without paying protection money. A million ghosted memoirs (golden-hearted mum, dad on the trot from the Army, thieving from bombsites, clip around the ear from PC Plod, Borstal, Parkhurst, kneecapped by Ronnie, joins Firm, TV ...

11 September

LRB Contributors, 4 October 2001

... us when we were lost. A small image has remained with me: debris over the grave of Alexander Hamilton, the great champion of New York, in the old cemetery of Trinity Church near the WTC. While Thomas Jefferson waxed pastoral about an agrarian America, Hamilton insisted on the cosmopolitanism of the city as the ...

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