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Alexander Cockburn, 7 February 1991

An American Life 
by Ronald Reagan.
Hutchinson, 748 pp., £19.99, November 1990, 0 09 174507 1
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... that ‘damaging stories’ would go on making a difference. I was writing a political column with James Ridgeway at the time, and when Jimmy Carter’s fortunes began to rise in the 1976 campaign we had a researcher work through documentary records in the Georgia State archives, amassed during his stint as Governor. Our man toiled diligently away – so ...

Of the Mule Breed

David Bromwich: Robert Southey, 21 May 1998

Robert Southey: A Life 
by Mark Storey.
Oxford, 405 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 19 811246 7
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... press. Then chance played him an unpleasant trick. In 1794, he had smuggled to the radical printer James Ridgeway, in prison, a draft of his revolutionary drama Wat Tyler. It passed out of sight, to emerge, in 1817, from the firm of Sherwood, Neeley and Jones – ‘associated’, says Storey, savouring the mischief, ‘with polite travel literature or ...

Atone and Move Forward

Michael Stewart, 11 December 1997

Balkan Justice: The Story behind the First International War Crimes Trial since Nuremberg 
by Michael Scharf.
Carolina, 340 pp., $28, October 1997, 0 89089 919 3
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The Tenth Circle of Hell: A Memoir of Life in the Death Camps of Bosnia 
by Rezak Hukanovic.
Little, Brown, 164 pp., £14.99, May 1997, 0 316 63955 9
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Burn This House: The Making and Unmaking of Yugoslavia 
edited by Jasminka Udovicki and James Ridgeway.
Duke, 326 pp., $49.95, November 1997, 0 8223 1997 7
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A Safe Area: Srebrenica, Europe’s Worst Massacre since the Second World War 
by David Rohde.
Simon and Schuster, 440 pp., £8.99, June 1997, 0 671 00499 9
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Triumph of the Lack of Will: International Diplomacy and the Yugoslav War 
by James Gow.
Hurst, 343 pp., £14.95, May 1997, 1 85065 208 2
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... the next generation depends in part on what one believes caused the former Yugoslavia to break up. James Gow, who was an early, and at that time isolated, advocate of a Tribunal, provides a good account of the bad timing, bad judgment, disunity and, crucially, lack of political will which weakened international diplomacy and allowed the crisis to turn into a ...

Fried Fish

Thomas Chatterton Williams: Colson Whitehead, 17 November 2016

The Underground Railroad 
by Colson Whitehead.
Fleet, 320 pp., £14.99, October 2016, 978 0 7088 9839 0
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... books like Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Jesmyn Ward’s anthology The Fire This Time, James McBride’s The Good Lord Bird and the poet Claudia Rankine’s award-winning Citizen. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, on receiving the MacArthur ‘Genius’ grant, Rankine acknowledged as much: ‘To me, the getting of this honour is ...

Masters

Christopher Ricks, 3 May 1984

Swift: The Man, His Works and the Age: Vol III. Dean Swift 
by Irvin Ehrenpreis.
Methuen, 1066 pp., £40, December 1983, 0 416 85400 1
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Swift’s Tory Politics 
by F.P. Lock.
Duckworth, 189 pp., £18, November 1983, 0 7156 1755 9
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Jonathan Swift: Political Writer 
by J.A. Downie.
Routledge, 391 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 7100 9645 3
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The Character of Swift’s Satire 
edited by Claude Rawson.
Associated University Presses, 343 pp., £22.50, April 1984, 0 87413 209 6
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... against his nature, been disciplined to coolness. The terms in which he praises a fellow scholar (James Woolley) have to take the risk of seeming to wish to be transferred home, as indeed would be deserved: ‘The whole essay is a model of rigorous but imaginative scholarship.’ It has been easy for people to be snide about Ehrenpreis’s having taken more ...

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