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Dirty Money

Paul Foot, 17 December 1992

A Full Service Bank: How BCCI stole millions around the world 
by James Ring Adams and Douglas Frantz.
Simon and Schuster, 381 pp., £16.99, April 1992, 0 671 71133 4
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Bankrupt: The BCCI Fraud 
by Nick Kochan and Bob Whittington.
Gollancz, 234 pp., £4.99, November 1991, 0 575 05279 1
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The BCCI Affair: A Report to The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 
by Senators John Kerry and Hank Brown.
US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 800 pp., September 1992
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Inquiry into the Supervision of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International 
by Lord Justice Bingham.
HMSO, 218 pp., £19.30, October 1992, 0 10 219893 4
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... but the two men were firm friends for life. Another much more distinguished convert was Clark Clifford, the beautifully-spoken lawyer who had been a friend of the Kennedys and Defence Secretary to Lyndon Johnson. When Abedi first met him Clifford was looking for a cause – especially if it had a few million dollars ...

Gaelic Communist

Graham Walker, 12 October 1989

James Connolly: A Political Biography 
by Austen Morgan.
Manchester, 244 pp., £9.95, October 1989, 0 7190 2958 9
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James Connolly: Selected Writings 
edited by P. Beresford Ellis.
Pluto, 256 pp., £8.95, April 1988, 9780745302676
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... James Connolly is not a figure historians can confidently aspire to demythologise. His importance in Irish history lies as much in the images which have been fashioned of him as in his actual writings and actions. Images and myths, of course, are central to the creed of Irish nationalism, and it is hardly surprising, therefore, that many influential ones have been constructed around the only leader, and martyr, of the Easter Rising of 1916 with a socialist reputation ...

Report from Sirius B

Jeremy Harding: ‘Phantom Africa’, 22 March 2018

Phantom Africa 
by Michel Leiris, translated by Brent Hayes Edwards.
Seagull, 711 pp., £42, January 2017, 978 0 85742 377 1
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... Not really, Edwards thinks. Can the journal be described, as the historian James Clifford argued in a famous essay in 1981, as ‘ethnographic surrealism’? Hardly. Was Leiris really in pursuit of the exotic ‘black Edens’ he had glimpsed with the arrival of jazz in Paris after World War One? Pretty much: they led him to Africa ...

Reasons to be Miserable

James Meek: The Day My Pants Froze, 8 July 2004

The Siberian Curse: How Communist Planners Left Russia out in the Cold 
by Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy.
Brookings, 303 pp., £13.50, December 2003, 0 8157 3645 2
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... are, or not working at all, but with nowhere else to go. Thus far, the thesis in Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy’s book is right. Anyone who’s visited a Russian government office will have seen one of those gigantic, boastful maps of the country, covering an entire wall. It is only after a while that you realise how misleading the maps are. Most of the ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: ‘Inside the Dream Palace’, 6 February 2014

... lived to tell the tale as they’d seen it unfold at three in the morning from the stairway: ‘Clifford Irving in boxer shorts and a mink coat’; ‘Viva clutching her baby’; ‘Miloš Forman wearing a skirt borrowed from a neighbour’; and the weaver Juliette Hamelcourt, once a lady in waiting to Queen Astrid of the Belgians, with her dog under one ...

Likeable People

John Sutherland, 15 May 1980

Book Society 
by Graham Watson.
Deutsch, 164 pp., £6.50, April 1980, 0 233 97160 2
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The Publishers Association Annual Report 1979-80 
73 pp.Show More
Private Presses and Publishing in England since 1945 
by H.E. Bellamy.
Clive Bingley, 168 pp., £15, March 1980, 0 85157 297 9
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... James Hepburn opens his history of literary agency – The Author’s Empty Purse, published in l968 – with the same quotation that Graham Watson uses to conclude his reminiscences of a lifetime spent in the profession: This is the age of the middleman. He is generally a parasite. He always flourishes. I have been forced to give him some little attention lately in my particular business ...

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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... anyway much like it here. No, let him live. But still, what do you do if you’re a bachelor, or James Goldsmith, or a lesbian, or Welsh, or a good-looking nun, or Peter Parker, or a social worker, or a cat? You could always (well, not the cat) try taking Waugh to court. But who would want to stand up in the Old Bailey and declare himself not ‘the silliest ...

Stand the baby on its head

John Bayley, 22 July 1993

The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales 
edited by Alison Luire.
Oxford, 455 pp., £17.95, May 1993, 0 19 214218 6
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The Second Virago Book of Fairy Tales 
edited by Angela Carter.
Virago, 230 pp., £7.99, July 1993, 1 85381 616 7
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... could use symbolism as easily as allegory, but it only worked if it got out of hand. In Lucy Lane Clifford’s ‘The New Mother’ (1882) it gets out of hand in an odd and sinister way. Although the art and the power of the tale are never compromised one feels that the author is quite scared herself by the djinn which has come out of the bottle. The horror ...

My son has been poisoned!

David Bromwich: Cold War movies, 26 January 2012

An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War 
by J. Hoberman.
New Press, 383 pp., £21.99, March 2011, 978 1 59558 005 4
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... compiling lists, but the lists themselves are interesting. For example: Jean Renoir, Orson Welles, James Wong Howe, Dudley Nichols, Clifford Odets, Robert Rossen, John Garfield, Charlie Chaplin and Leo McCarey all attended a reception in July 1943 for the Soviet director and administrator Mikhail Kalatozov. At that time ...

Skipwith and Anktill

David Wootton: Tudor Microhistory, 10 August 2000

Travesties and Transgressions in Tudor and Stuart England 
by David Cressy.
Oxford, 351 pp., £25, November 1999, 0 19 820781 6
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A House in Gross Disorder: Sex, Law, and the Second Earl of Castlehaven 
by Cynthia Herrup.
Oxford, 216 pp., £18.99, December 1999, 0 19 512518 5
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... these accounts. Davis and Darnton both taught at Princeton, where they attended the seminars of Clifford Geertz, who encouraged the belief that the simplest events (his classic account was of a cock-fight in Bali) were invested with the preoccupations and styles of thought of the whole culture; that objects and actions could be interpreted as if they were ...

At the Brunei Gallery

Peter Campbell: Indian photography, 1 November 2001

... in a picture can speak for him or her self. Official portraiture offered its own opportunities. James Waterhouse, who was having a terrible struggle with the heat on an excursion during which he not uncommonly took a portrait nine times before getting a good negative, struck gold in Bhopal, where the Begum joined in the photographic game with ...

Tired of Giving in

Eric Foner: Rosa Parks, 10 May 2001

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Life of Rosa Parks 
by Douglas Brinkley.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £12.99, January 2001, 0 297 60708 1
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... match between subject and author make the series distinctive. The ‘concept’, as its editor James Atlas explained to me a few years ago, is to produce books that airline passengers can read on a flight from New York to San Francisco and finish before they reach the Golden Gate. Given the entertainment options available at 35,000 feet this is not an ...

Modern Virginity

Paul Delany, 27 February 1992

Song of Love: The Letters of Rupert Brooke and Noel Olivier 1909-1915 
edited by Pippa Harris.
Bloomsbury, 302 pp., £17.99, November 1991, 0 7475 1048 2
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... the great elm clump at Grantchester; – bathing in early morning by Oxford; – the heights above Clifford Bridge camp; – a thousand times when we’ve gone hand in hand – as no other two people could; – – twice this year 1 felt your tears, Noel’s tears, on my hand. There are such things, such things that bind us ... I cannot live without you. I ...

Who can blame him?

Frank Kermode, 5 April 1990

Critical Terms for Literary Study 
edited by Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin.
Chicago, 369 pp., £35.95, March 1990, 0 226 47201 9
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The Ideology of the Aesthetic 
by Terry Eagleton.
Blackwell, 426 pp., £35, February 1990, 0 631 16302 6
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... Something is happening to the way we think,’ said Clifford Geertz in 1980, and Stanley Fish is right to add that Geertz was partly responsible for the shift. But Fish, in a bold essay on rhetoric included in the Lentricchia-McLaughlin volume, qualifies Geertz’s remark: ‘something,’ he adds, ‘is always happening to the way we think ...

Journos de nos jours

Anthony Howard, 8 March 1990

Alan Moorehead 
by Tom Pocock.
Bodley Head, 311 pp., £16.95, February 1990, 0 370 31261 9
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Loyalties: A Son’s Memoir 
by Carl Bernstein.
Macmillan, 254 pp., £15.95, January 1990, 0 333 52135 8
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Downstart 
by Brian Inglis.
Chatto, 298 pp., £15.95, January 1990, 0 7011 3390 2
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... The late James Cameron always liked to claim that the only male company in which he felt at home was that of his fellow journalists. They offered him, he wrote in his autobiography, ‘the conversational shorthand of completely common understanding’. Nor was his in any way an exceptional reaction. The existence across the world of various favoured journalistic watering-holes – sometimes grandly known as Press Clubs, more usually simply hotel bars with squatters’ rights established – is one proof of that ...

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