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Olga Knipper

Virginia Llewellyn Smith, 7 February 1980

Chekhov’s Leading Lady 
by Harvey Pitcher.
Murray, 288 pp., £8.50, October 1980, 0 7195 3681 2
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... Olga lived on to see that world vanish for ever. A sense of that loss is the most sombre theme in Harvey Pitcher’s history of Knipper’s life with Chekhov and the Moscow Art Theatre. There are lighter moments: notably, an account of a dinner-party involving Isadora Duncan, Gordon Craig, Stanislavsky and Olga Knipper. We don’t know what the two ...

Jewish Blood

Michael Church, 7 February 1985

Moving Pictures: Memories of a Hollywood Prince 
by Budd Schulberg.
Penguin, 500 pp., £4.95, September 1984, 0 14 006769 8
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Baku to Baker Street: The Memoirs of Flora Solomon 
by Barnet Litvinoff.
Collins, 230 pp., £11.95, June 1984, 0 00 217094 9
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Wilfrid Israel: German Jewry’s Secret Ambassador 
by Naomi Shepherd.
Weidenfeld, 286 pp., £12.95, March 1984, 0 297 78308 4
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The Smiths of Moscow: A Story of Britons Abroad 
by Harvey Pitcher.
Swallow House Books, 176 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 905265 01 7
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Family Secrets 
by David Leitch.
Heinemann, 242 pp., £8.95, October 1984, 0 434 41345 3
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... of Scots boilermakers who throve quietly as Russia’s industrial revolution picked up steam. Harvey Pitcher’s chronicle of three generations is the distillation of a much fuller chronicle kept by Harry Smith, the last boss, who quit in 1917. The trouble with Harry is that he is more interested in boilermaking than in social observation. On the run ...

What if he’d made it earlier?

David Runciman: LBJ, 5 July 2012

The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Vol. IV: The Passage of Power 
by Robert Caro.
Bodley Head, 712 pp., £30, June 2012, 978 1 84792 217 5
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... and his own capacity to achieve it. His destiny was to be a deeply disappointed man, until Lee Harvey Oswald intervened to redeem him. (I am assuming that Johnson had nothing to do with the assassination, as does Caro, who says that in his many years of research he has found nothing to suggest any involvement or foreknowledge on Johnson’s part. You may ...

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