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Christian v. Cannibal

Michael Rogin: Norman Mailer and American history, 1 April 1999

The American Century 
by Harold Evans.
Cape, 710 pp., £40, November 1998, 0 224 05217 9
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The Time of Our Time 
by Norman Mailer.
Little, Brown, 1286 pp., £25, September 1998, 0 316 64571 0
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... civilisation by acts of courage, generosity and vision unparalleled in the history of man.’ So Harold Evans introduces his lavishly illustrated ‘popular political history’ of ‘the American century’, written to educate American immigrants like himself about the ‘nature of their heritage’. Something goes wrong when the page numbers change ...

Cross Words

Neal Ascherson, 17 November 1983

The Story of the ‘Times’ 
by Oliver Woods and James Bishop.
Joseph, 392 pp., £14.95, October 1983, 0 7181 1462 0
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Good Times, Bad Times 
by Harold Evans.
Weidenfeld, 430 pp., £11.95, October 1983, 0 297 78295 9
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... had every reason to know what he was doing ... The costly changes introduced by the Editor [Harold Evans] had been accompanied by a substantial number of new senior editorial appointments. Not all of these were welcomed by the existing editorial staff, whose responsibilities sometimes seemed to be in conflict with those of the new appointments. The ...

Lucky Lad

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Harold Evans, 17 December 2009

My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times – An Autobiography 
by Harold Evans.
Little, Brown, 515 pp., £25, September 2009, 978 1 4087 0203 1
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... man who took him as his hero was appointed editor of his old paper, the Northern Echo. At 33, Harold Evans wasn’t quite as precocious as his predecessor, but he came from a world in some ways closer to Stead’s than to England today. In the engaging early pages of My Paper Chase, Evans describes his upbringing ...

Owners and Editors

David Astor, 15 April 1982

... no explanation. But, whatever was happening, the position of editor of the Times, as well as Mr Harold Evans personally, was taking a knock. In the Thirties, there were a number of editors to whom this could not have happened. They may have been right or wrong as political guides, but they were a power in the land and had secure arrangements with their ...

Memoriousness

E.S. Turner, 15 September 1988

Memories of Times Past 
by Louis Heren.
Hamish Hamilton, 313 pp., £15.95, July 1988, 0 241 12427 1
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Chances: An Autobiography 
by Mervyn Jones.
Verso, 311 pp., £14.95, September 1987, 0 86091 167 5
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... when Rupert Murdoch bought the newspaper. Heren was told that, at 61, he was too old. Under Harold Evans he failed to flourish (‘Evans trashes me, to use the US Army expression, and most of my former colleagues in his book Good Times, Bad Times’), so he took his redundancy money and settled for writing ...

Silly Buggers

James Fox, 7 March 1991

The Theatre of Embarrassment 
by Francis Wyndham.
Chatto, 205 pp., £15, February 1991, 0 7011 3726 6
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... newspaper itself was perhaps the best in the world, well financed, brimming with talent and zeal. Harold Evans had taken over as Editor the previous year. Francis Wyndham and I later became close friends but at first he seemed formidable, even a little intimidating. He was already a legend among his contemporaries for his intellectual prowess, which ...

Kissinger’s Crises

Christopher Serpell, 20 December 1979

The White House Years 
by Henry Kissinger.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 1476 pp., £14.95
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... exposition to lucid narration lies in a sentence found in the foreword to the present book: ‘Harold Evans, assisted by Oscar Turnill, read through the entire volume with a brilliant editorial eye; they taught me what skilled and intelligent editing can contribute to organisation and to lightening prose.’ Obviously the book’s main claim to ...

The Waugh between the Diaries

Ian Hamilton, 5 December 1985

The Diaries of Auberon Waugh: A Turbulent Decade 1976-1985 
edited by Anna Galli-Pahlavi.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 207 pp., £4.95, September 1985, 0 233 97811 9
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... old age pensioner, or a half-Jew, or a young novelist, or a Negro, or an Anglican archbishop, or Harold Evans, or even the editor of an Arts Council-backed literary magazine, I suppose I would find some sections of this often amusing book offensive. Actually, more than offensive. I think I would want to do something pretty unpleasant to A. Waugh. But ...

Lotus and Seed Corn

Austin Mitchell, 5 March 1981

Downing Street Diary: The Macmillan Years 1957-1963 
by Harold Evans.
Hodder, 318 pp., £9.95, February 1981, 0 340 25897 7
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... Macmillan’s bloated biographical memorial to his own ego has embalmed the era. The more prosaic Evans tells it like it was: the manipulations, the strategies, the fussing over the facade, while Macmillan stayed in bed reading the papers, and down in the basement – alternating between sulkiness and silkiness – Rab Butler kept the antiquated boiler ...

Captain’s Log

John Torode, 21 April 1983

Back from the Brink: An Apocalyptic Experience 
by Michael Edwardes.
Collins, 301 pp., £9.95, March 1983, 0 00 217074 4
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... has a first-rate labour team. Edwardes ignored them. Instead, as he reports with pride, he phoned Harold Evans, then editor, leaked the tale and set the hounds after the news. It worked. Edwardes disliked and distrusted working journalists. But then he disliked and distrusted almost anybody who would not buy his package without first fingering the ...

At Tate Britain

Jeremy Harding: Don McCullin, 18 April 2019

... work he was doing, in part because his own public was quickly learning to become distracted. When Harold Evans ran the Sunday Times, from the late 1960s until 1981, British readers on the left and right could still assent to the paper’s international news coverage in the hope of a future without the damage and misery that McCullin’s images of proxy ...

Bill and Dick’s Excellent Adventure

Christopher Hitchens, 20 February 1997

Behind the Oval Office: Winning the Presidency in the Nineties 
by Dick Morris.
Random House, 382 pp., $25.95, January 1997, 9780679457473
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... not trust him and with whom he wants to settle accounts, the most prominent two – Chief of Staff Harold Ickes and Senior Policy Adviser George Stephanopoulos – have since departed the scene. Ickes was fired in humiliating circumstances after years of canine loyalty, and Stephanopoulos had had enough for other reasons. But neither man received any ...

Bad News at the ‘Observer’

Colin Legum, 4 November 1982

Powers of the Press: The World’s Great Newspapers 
by Martin Walker.
Quartet, 401 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 7043 2271 4
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Goodbye Gutenberg: The Newspaper Revolution of the 1980s 
by Anthony Smith.
Oxford, 367 pp., £3.95, January 1982, 9780198272434
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New Technology and Industrial Relations in Fleet Street 
by Roderick Martin.
Oxford, 367 pp., £17.50, October 1981, 9780198272434
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News Ltd: Why you can’t read all about it 
by Brian Whitaker.
Minority Press Group, 176 pp., £3.25, June 1981, 0 906890 04 7
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... Any naive notion to the contrary ought finally to have been dispelled by the cavalier treatment of Harold Evans, whose editorship of the Times was terminated after less than a year. He was removed by Murdoch with hardly a cheep from the independent directors. So much for their value as watchdogs of the public interest. ...

Green Thoughts

Colin Ward, 19 January 1989

Seasons of the Seal 
by Fred Bruemmer and Brian Davies.
Bloomsbury, 160 pp., £16.95, October 1988, 0 7475 0214 5
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Whale Nation 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 191 pp., £15, August 1988, 0 224 02555 4
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Falling for a dolphin 
by Heathcote Williams.
Cape, 47 pp., £4.95, November 1988, 0 224 02659 3
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Prisoners of the Seas 
by K.A. Gourlay.
Zed, 256 pp., £25.95, November 1988, 0 86232 686 9
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Progress for a Small Planet 
by Barbara Ward.
Earthscan, 298 pp., £5.95, September 1988, 1 85383 028 3
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Future Earth: Exploring the Frontiers of Space 
edited by Nigel Calder and John Newell.
Christopher Helm, 255 pp., £14.95, November 1988, 9780747004202
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Sizewell B: An Anatomy of the Enquiry 
by Timothy O’Riordan, Ray Kemp and Michael Purdue.
Macmillan, 474 pp., £45, September 1988, 0 333 38944 1
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Early Green Politics 
by Peter Gould.
Harvester, 225 pp., £29.95, June 1988, 0 7108 1192 6
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Dreamers of the Absolute 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
Radius, 312 pp., £7.95, October 1988, 0 09 173240 9
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The Coming of the Greens 
by Jonathon Porritt and David Winner.
Fontana, 287 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 00 637244 9
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Ecology and Socialism 
by Martin Ryle.
Radius, 122 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 09 182247 5
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... environmental degradation.’ The interviews recorded in their book contain a telling comment by Harold Evans on the arrogance of middle-class Labour Party leaders in assuming that their traditional franchise is not interested in the environment: They have a vision of the working class as proles just waiting to be liberated. You see a similar attitude ...

Swinging it

Mark Ford, 7 July 1988

S.J. Perelman: A Life 
by Dorothy Herrmann.
Simon and Schuster, 337 pp., £14.95, November 1987, 0 671 65460 8
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Don’t tread on me: The Selected Letters of S.J. Perelman 
edited by Prudence Crowther.
Viking, 372 pp., £14.95, October 1987, 0 670 81759 7
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... copy: this was the write-up of the disastrously dull car trip from Paris to Peking commissioned by Harold Evans for the Sunday Times in 1978, the year before Perelman died. Though Herrmann mines the essays for evidence of his states of mind over the years, her endeavour is mostly wasted. The Perelmans’ open marriage, in which they were to tolerate each ...

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