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Down there

Isabel Hilton, 11 July 1991

In Search of the Assassin 
by Susie Morgan.
Bloomsbury, 207 pp., £15.99, May 1991, 0 7475 0401 6
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... It may be that the grotesque world of the small wars waged by the Reagan Administration in Central America has faded from public memory. Even at the time, there were never that many who were prepared to make the effort to distinguish between Nicaragua and El Salvador, let alone the even more obscure Honduras and Costa Rica. Nowhere was this more true than in the United States ...

Dying for the Malvinas

Isabel Hilton, 3 March 1988

The Land that Lost its Heroes: Argentina, the Falklands and Alfonsin 
by Jimmy Burns.
Bloomsbury, 287 pp., £5.95, November 1987, 0 7475 0111 4
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Falklands: The Secret Plot 
by Oscar Raul Cardoso, Ricardo Kirschbaum and Eduardo van der Kooy, translated by Bernard Ethell.
Preston, 327 pp., £12, November 1987, 1 870615 05 0
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... There was a junior minister in General Galtieri’s government who, in April 1982, made one of the few perceptive remarks to be made by government ministers on either side of the strange little war that was then being fought. After a brief visit to the newly recovered Malvinas, he said: ‘Every Argentine seems prepared to die for the Malvinas, but none would wish to live there ...

Monasteries into Motorways

Isabel Hilton: The Destruction of Lhasa, 7 September 2006

Lhasa: Streets with Memories 
by Robert Barnett.
Columbia, 219 pp., £16, March 2006, 0 231 13680 3
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... from the projection of Western desires and fantasy: the image of Shangri-la, derived from James Hilton’s 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, stands for a way of seeing in which Tibet and its people play little part. To look at a city’s details without feeling their associations, Barnett argues, is to misread it. To know a city as its inhabitants do, to read the ...

How to Defect

Isabel Hilton: North Korea, 10 June 2010

Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea 
by Barbara Demick.
Granta, 314 pp., £14.99, February 2010, 978 1 84708 014 1
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... Our father, we have nothing to envy in the world, Our house is within the embrace of the Workers’ Party. We are all brothers and sisters. Even if a sea of fire comes toward us, sweet children do not need to be afraid, Our father is here. We have nothing to envy in this world. North Korean children’s song What do we know about North Korea? The ‘quintessential rogue regime’ in the words of Jasper Becker, the most secretive of states, member of the ‘axis of evil’, run by a crazy dictator who ‘brutalised his own population … murdering or starving to death some four million people’ while he ‘swilled imported French cognac and gifted concubines with Swiss watches ...

Speak Bitterness

Isabel Hilton: Growing up in Tibet, 5 March 2015

My Tibetan Childhood: When Ice Shattered Stone 
by Naktsang Nulo, translated by Angus Cargill and Sonam Lhamo.
Duke, 286 pp., £17.99, November 2014, 978 0 8223 5726 1
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... Last August​ , speaking at an international forum on development in Tibet sponsored by the Chinese government, Neil Davidson, a Labour peer and former advocate general for Scotland, criticised the Western media for bias. The story they had failed to tell, according to Davidson, was that of the remarkable economic development the Chinese government had brought to Tibet in a ‘short time’, by which we must presume he meant the more than sixty years since its ‘liberation’ by Chinese military force ...

The Nominated Boy

Robert Macfarlane: The Panchen Lama, 29 November 2001

The Search for the Panchen Lama 
by Isabel Hilton.
Penguin, 336 pp., £7.99, August 2001, 0 14 024670 3
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... Ganj also enjoys a thriving tourist trade, fed chiefly by Westerners who have contracted what Isabel Hilton calls ‘Shangri-La Syndrome’. Despite its prosperity and solid infrastructure, McLeod Ganj has an air of temporariness, of waiting for something: there is a sense that when the time comes, the community will just up sticks and relocate to ...

The Rat Line

Christopher Driver, 6 December 1984

The Fourth Reich 
by Magnus Linklater, Isabel Hilton and Neal Ascherson.
Hodder, 352 pp., £9.95, November 1984, 0 340 34443 1
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I didn’t say goodbye 
by Claudine Vegh.
Caliban, 179 pp., £7.95, October 1984, 0 904573 93 1
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... non-disclosure. The story falls into three distinct phases, and it seems reasonable to assume that Isabel Hilton, who covers Latin America for the Sunday Times, dug round the Bolivian period, while Neal Ascherson, an old German hand, accumulated the material about Barbie’s youth in Trier, the ancient city on the Mosel whose venerated rabbi, Adolf ...

By San Carlos Water

Neal Ascherson, 18 November 1982

Authors take sides on the Falklands 
edited by Cecil Woolf and Jean Moorcroft Wilson.
Cecil Woolf, 144 pp., £4.95, August 1982, 0 900821 63 9
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The Falklands War: The Full Story 
by the Sunday Times ‘Insight’ Team.
Deutsch and Sphere, 276 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 0 233 97515 2
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The Winter War: The Falklands 
by Patrick Bishop and John Witherow.
Quartet, 153 pp., £2.95, September 1982, 0 7043 3424 0
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Iron Britannia: Why Parliament waged its Falklands war 
by Anthony Barnett.
Allison and Busby, 160 pp., £2.95, November 1982, 0 85031 494 1
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Falklands/Malvinas: Whose Crisis? 
by Martin Honeywell.
Latin American Bureau, 135 pp., £1.95, September 1982, 0 906156 15 7
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Los Chicos de la Guerra 
by Daniel Kon.
Editorial Galerna, Buenos Aires, August 1982
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A Message from the Falklands: The Life and Gallant Death of David Tinker, Lieut RN 
compiled by Hugh Tinker.
Junction, 224 pp., £3.50, November 1982, 0 86245 102 7
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... war ended. John Shirley had the inspiration to travel home with the men of the Task Force by sea; Isabel Hilton intercepted the Argentine airmen and naval officers at the moment when they felt they could speak and Buenos Aires had not yet realised what they might say. Among other small coups of reporting is the transcript of Falklands radio through the ...

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