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3 October 1985
Great Britons: 20th-Century Lives 
by Harold Oxbury.
Oxford, 371 pp., £14.95, September 1985, 0 19 211599 5
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The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes 
edited by Max Hastings.
Oxford, 514 pp., £9.50, October 1985, 0 19 214107 4
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The Long Affray: The Poaching Wars in Britain 
by Harry Hopkins.
Secker, 344 pp., £12.95, August 1985, 9780436201028
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... convicted of wounding (but not killing) one of his lordship’s keepers, did not die for England, but to uphold the sanctity of England’s game laws. His trial, in 1822, is minutely examined by HarryHopkins in The Long Affray, a masterly account of the poaching wars of last century. In France the game laws were scrapped in the Revolution and the gentlemen of England greatly feared for their own ...

Churchill’s Jackal

Kenneth O. Morgan

24 January 1980
Brendan Bracken 
by Charles Edward Lysaght.
Allen Lane, 372 pp., £10, September 1980, 0 7139 0969 2
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... by mainstream Tory opinion to be given any post at all; nor did he complain. His role was covert and indirect – though one with much influence, as in his negotiations on Churchill’s behalf with HarryHopkins in early 1941 (Bracken was always an ardent apostle of the Anglo-American alliance). He was, however, sent by Churchill to the Ministry of Information in July 1941, by far the most important ...

Mansions in Bloom

Ruth Richardson

23 May 1991
A Paradise out of a Common Field: The Pleasures and Plenty of the Victorian Garden 
by Joan Morgan and Alison Richards.
Century, 256 pp., £16.95, May 1990, 0 7126 2209 8
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Private Gardens of London 
by Arabella Lennox-Boyd.
Weidenfeld, 224 pp., £25, September 1990, 0 297 83025 2
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The Greatest Glasshouse: The Rainforest Recreated 
edited by Sue Minter.
HMSO, 216 pp., £25, July 1990, 0 11 250035 8
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Religion and Society in a Cotswold Vale: Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, 1780-1865 
by Albion Urdank.
California, 448 pp., $47.50, May 1990, 0 520 06670 7
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... lawnmowers employed? What relationship had these huge and carefully organised gardens to the battles over enclosure of common lands, and to the poaching wars so well described by Edward Thompson and HarryHopkins? What is the history of the plant auction? Was there a Victorian market in topsoil, peat, turf? When was the sprinkler introduced? What happened to experiments using human guano as a ...

Her Guns

Jeremy Harding

8 March 1990
The View from the Ground 
by Martha Gellhorn.
Granta, 459 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 14 014200 2
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Towards Asmara 
by Thomas Keneally.
Hodder, 320 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 340 41517 7
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... invitation – ‘my enthusiasm for free meals was unbounded’ – and a tip from the bureau chief that she was staying in a brothel. By 1934, she was back in the United States looking for work. HarryHopkins, the director of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, agreed to see her. ‘I painted my face like Parisian ladies, lots of eye shadow, mascara and lipstick, which was not at all the ...

Pork Chops

John Bayley

25 April 1991
Gerard Manley HopkinsA Very Private Life 
by Robert Bernard Martin.
HarperCollins, 448 pp., £18, April 1991, 0 00 217662 9
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... On a walking tour in 1866, just before his conversion, Hopkins visited Tintern Abbey, and paid it the highest compliment he could think of by saying it reminded him of the architecture of Butterfield, designer of Keble College. When we say X has no sense of ...

No One Leaves Her Place in Line

Jeremy Harding: Martha Gellhorn

7 May 1998
... international indifference (or worse). In the mid-Thirties, she travelled across the United States, researching the effects of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration for the head of the agency, HarryHopkins; fifty years later in Britain, she watched the gap between the rich and the poor widen again, and she railed against the spirit of Thatcherism. Two days before she died, at the age of 89, she ...

Had he not run

David Reynolds: America’s longest-serving president

2 June 2005
Franklin Delano Roosevelt 
by Roy Jenkins.
Pan, 208 pp., £7.99, May 2005, 0 330 43206 0
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Franklin D. Roosevelt 
by Patrick Renshaw.
Longman, 223 pp., $16.95, December 2003, 0 582 43803 9
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom 
by Conrad Black.
Weidenfeld, 1280 pp., £17.99, October 2004, 0 7538 1848 5
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... wall of newspaper owners and editors. He also benefited from the creative ingenuity of those around him, including his ‘Brains Trust’ of Columbia University academics and advisers such as HarryHopkins, a former social worker who became the president’s confidant after the death of Louis Howe in April 1936. Inventive, loyal and industrious, Hopkins worked himself to death in Roosevelt’s service ...

Inside Every Foreigner

Jackson Lears: America Intervenes

21 February 2019
Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life 
by Robert M. Dallek..
Allen Lane, 692 pp., £30, November 2017, 978 0 241 31584 2
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... leaders define the national interest? How do citizens distinguish leadership from demagoguery? Dallek shies away from the ambiguities and resorts to conventional wisdom. His list of leaders includes Harry Truman and John Kennedy – two presidents who risked war by exacerbating tensions with the Soviet Union. Dallek views FDR from the perspective of a mid-century liberal who has apparently made his ...
21 September 1995
Secret Affairs: Franklin Roosevelt, Cordell Hull and Sumner Welles 
by Irwin Gellman.
Johns Hopkins, 499 pp., $29.95, April 1995, 0 8018 5083 5
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Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship between Franklin Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley 
edited by Geoffrey Ward.
Houghton Mifflin, 444 pp., $24.95, April 1995, 0 395 66080 7
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No Ordinary Time. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War Two 
by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Simon and Schuster, 759 pp., £18, June 1995, 0 671 64240 5
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The End of Reform 
by Alan Brinkley.
Knopf, 371 pp., $27.50, March 1995, 0 394 53573 1
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... at Yalta to Stalin’s demand for Soviet hegemony in Poland because of the disposition of allied troops in Europe and the desire to get the Soviet Union into the Pacific war, not because he or HarryHopkins were tired and ill or because they lacked wise State Department counsel. The political significance of the Welles-Hull debacle lies, for Irving Gellman, in FDR’s ‘divisive management style ...

Subject, Spectator, Phantom

J. Hoberman: The Strangest Personality Ever to Lead the Free World

17 February 2005
Nixon at the Movies: A Book about Belief 
by Mark Feeney.
Chicago, 422 pp., £19.50, November 2004, 0 226 23968 3
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... selected, or, as a matter of fact, my daughter Tricia selected it, was Chisum with John Wayne. It was a Western. FDR was known to admire Myrna Loy and Ike to enjoy watching shoot-’em-ups; underdog Harry Truman had been inspired by Frank Capra’s 1948 State of the Union and, as the son of a sometime Hollywood mogul, Kennedy was groomed for glamorous stardom. But no American president before Nixon ...
6 September 2017
... telescope in the Andes to observe life on Venus. In the course of his studies, he had become smitten by the sight of a beautiful Venusian female, whom he kept watching. A Weird Appointment (1901) by Harry S. Tedrow    At the local diner, a waitress tells the narrator that a Martian has moved into town. Going by the name of Miss Dora Wolf, she is part of a team studying human institutions. Miss Wolf ...

Made in Algiers

Jeremy Harding: De Gaulle

4 November 2010
Le mythe gaullien 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Gallimard, 280 pp., €21, May 2010, 978 2 07 012851 8
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The General: Charles de Gaulle and the France He Saved 
by Jonathan Fenby.
Simon and Schuster, 707 pp., £30, June 2010, 978 1 84737 392 2
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... Gaulle replied. As the talks drew to an end, De Gaulle saw many sticking points and believed a break with the Allies could be imminent. But with gentle persuasion from his senior diplomatic adviser, HarryHopkins, Roosevelt began to think that the general might, after all, serve as joint head of the prospective committee, alongside Giraud. In asparagus mode, De Gaulle posed with Giraud for the cameras ...
25 January 1990
Just Looking: Essays on Art 
by John Updike.
Deutsch, 210 pp., £19.95, November 1989, 0 233 98501 8
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... title for this gathering of essays, Just looking is as engagingly unpretentious as its contents, and yet misleading. Lavishly illustrated, sometimes with pictures that aren’t actually discussed (by Hopkins, Poe and Oscar Wilde), apparently effortless, occasional, these pieces are freighted with the chronic preoccupations evident since the beginning of this intelligent writer’s long career. They are ...

Pound & Co.

August Kleinzahler: Davenport and Kenner

26 September 2019
Questioning Minds: Vols I-II: The Letters of Guy Davenport and Hugh Kenner 
edited by Edward Burns.
Counterpoint, 1817 pp., $95, October 2018, 978 1 61902 181 5
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... university’s first thesis on Joyce. When Kenner wrote to him in 1958 he was finishing a Harvard PhD on Pound’s Cantos. When he answered Kenner’s letter he complained to him about ‘the dread [Harry] Levin’, his supervisor, who seemed unimpressed by his choice of subject and methodology. ‘Damn Levin,’ Kenner wrote to Davenport in April 1961, annoyed that Levin’s behaviour might block ...

X marks the self

Thomas Jones

16 November 2017
Pinpoint: How GPS Is Changing Our World 
by Greg Milner.
Granta, 336 pp., £9.99, June 2017, 978 1 84708 709 6
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... We’re the navy, we know where we are’), inter-service rivalry and a more or less steady influx of government cash. Within days of Sputnik’s launch in 1957, two young engineers at Johns Hopkins University were using the Russian satellite’s radio signal to plot and then predict its position. GPS came of age in the 1991 Gulf War. The US air force bought the first GPS-enabled missiles in ...

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