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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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... 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 attached to it. Adams and Frantz describe in detail one deal in which Clifford and his partner Robert Altman, well-known in Washington social circles since he was married to Wonderwoman, bought and sold shares through ...

Terrorism

Ian Gilmour

23 October 1986
Britain’s Civil Wars: Counter-Insurgency in the 20th Century 
by Charles Townshend.
Faber, 220 pp., £14.95, June 1986, 0 571 13802 0
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Terrorism and the Liberal State 
by Paul Wilkinson.
Macmillan, 322 pp., £25, May 1986, 0 333 39490 9
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Terrorism: How the West can win 
edited by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Weidenfeld, 254 pp., £14.95, August 1986, 0 297 79025 0
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Political Murder: From Tyrannicide to Terrorism 
by Franklin Ford.
Harvard, 440 pp., £24.95, November 1985, 0 674 68635 7
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The Financing of Terror 
by James Adams.
New English Library, 294 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 0 450 06086 1
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They dare to speak out: People and institutions confront Israel’s lobby 
by Paul Findley.
Lawrence Hill (Connecticut), 362 pp., $16.95, May 1985, 0 88208 179 9
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... fashionable crusade, and few stop to consider the wisdom of the course the US is pursuing. In this country sensible discussion of terrorism is still possible. Charles Townshend, Paul Wilkinson and JamesAdams are immune to the hysteria that has afflicted Reagan’s America. Performing a miracle of compression, Mr Townshend tells the story of British ‘counter-insurgency’ in Ireland, the Middle ...

A Preference for Strenuous Ghosts

Michael Kammen: Theodore Roosevelt

6 June 2002
Theodore Rex 
by Edmund Morris.
HarperCollins, 772 pp., £25, March 2002, 0 00 217708 0
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... Americans seem to relish Presidential biographies. David McCullough’s Truman (1992) was on the bestseller lists for the better part of a year, and his John Adams (2001) is providing an astonishing repeat performance. Robert Caro’s dramatically detailed look at The Years of Lyndon Johnson has been unfolding since 1982, and large chunks of Volume Three have ...
5 February 1987
Trillion Year Spree: The History of Science Fiction 
by Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove.
Gollancz, 511 pp., £15, October 1986, 0 575 03942 6
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Eon 
by Greg Bear.
Gollancz, 504 pp., £10.95, October 1986, 0 575 03861 6
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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Four Parts 
by Douglas Adams.
Heinemann, 590 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 434 00920 2
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Humpty Dumpty in Oakland 
by Philip K. Dick.
Gollancz, 199 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 575 03875 6
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The Watcher 
by Jane Palmer.
Women’s Press, 177 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4038 0
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I, Vampire 
by Jody Scott.
Women’s Press, 206 pp., £2.50, September 1986, 0 7043 4036 4
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... of A.E. van Vogt’s Voyage of the Space Beagle. The presence of Darwinism can then be felt everywhere, from Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids (very clearly a novel about conflict between species) to James Blish’s A Case of Conscience (surely the only novel ever to have been based on a thorough reading of George Gosse’s Omphalos, his totally discredited reconciliation of Darwin and the Book of ...

Christian v. Cannibal

Michael Rogin: Norman Mailer and American history

1 April 1999
The American Century 
by Harold Evans.
Cape, 710 pp., £40, November 1998, 0 224 05217 9
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The Time of Our Time 
by Norman Mailer.
Little, Brown, 1286 pp., £25, September 1998, 0 316 64571 0
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... To demonstrate its continuing role in US politics, Evans cites Ronald Reagan’s decision to begin his 1980 Presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where the civil rights workers James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were murdered in 1964. The American Century details J. Edgar Hoover’s personal and the FBI’s institutional linking of white supremacist and anti ...

Bardbiz

Terence Hawkes

22 February 1990
Rebuilding Shakespeare’s Globe 
by Andrew Gurr and John Orrell.
Weidenfeld, 197 pp., £15.95, April 1989, 0 297 79346 2
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Shakespeare and the Popular Voice 
by Annabel Patterson.
Blackwell, 195 pp., £27.50, November 1989, 0 631 16873 7
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Re-Inventing Shakespeare: A Cultural History from the Restoration to the Present 
by Gary Taylor.
Hogarth, 461 pp., £18, January 1990, 0 7012 0888 0
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Shakespeare’s America, America’s Shakespeare 
by Michael Bristol.
Routledge, 237 pp., £30, January 1990, 0 415 01538 3
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... could no longer express comedically.’ As a result, that voice gradually becomes more direct and less ‘ventriloquised’. Hamlet marks the point of transition to the new dynamics of the reign of James. As the Prince increasingly uses the terms employed by artisans and the lower orders, he seems to commit himself to a language learned from the politically voiceless, and thus to become their ...

Howl, Howl, Howl!

Ruth Bernard Yeazell: Fanny Kemble

22 May 2008
Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life 
by Deirdre David.
Pennsylvania, 347 pp., £26, June 2007, 978 0 8122 4023 8
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... of candelabra, Kemble became as famous for her Falstaffs and Prosperos as for the heroines she played as a young woman. Louisa May Alcott thought Kemble ‘a whole stock company in herself’. Henry James, who recalled hearing her read King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a boy in London, professed himself still waiting some forty years later ‘for any approach to the splendid volume of Mrs ...

A Tentative Idea for a Lamp

Tim Radford: Thomas Edison

18 March 1999
Edison: A Life of Invention 
by Paul Israel.
Wiley, 552 pp., £19.50, November 1998, 0 471 52942 7
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... fixed in the cultural map of ‘then’. He was born in the year of Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights, the year Balzac wrote Cousin Pons, Verdi wrote Macbeth, Berlioz composed The Damnation of Faust, James Simpson first successfully used chloroform, the German Gustav Kirchhoff spelled out the laws of electric currents in a network of wires and Carl Zeiss opened an optics factory in Jena, Switzerland ...

Wounds

Stephen Fender

23 June 1988
Hemingway 
by Kenneth Lynn.
Simon and Schuster, 702 pp., £16, September 1987, 0 671 65482 9
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The Faces of Hemingway: Intimate Portraits of Ernest Hemingway by those who knew him 
by Denis Brian.
Grafton, 356 pp., £14.95, May 1988, 0 246 13326 0
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... on inventing it in his private life.’ The reaction started with the publication of Death in the Afternoon in 1932, the hero of which, as Kenneth Lynn cogently expresses it, is not ‘a haunted Nick Adams, or a crippled Jake Barnes, or a hollowed-out Frederic Henry, but an overbearing know-it-all named Ernest Hemingway’. Max Eastman said Hemingway had false hair on his chest. Gertrude Stein, in The ...

O brambles, chain me too

Tom Paulin: Life and Vowels of Andrew Marvell

25 November 1999
World Enough and Time: The Life of Andrew Marvell 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 294 pp., £20, September 1999, 0 316 64863 9
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Marvell and Liberty 
edited by Warren Chernaik and Martin Dzelzainis.
Macmillan, 365 pp., £47.50, July 1999, 0 333 72585 9
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Andrew Marvell 
edited by Thomas Healy.
Longman, 212 pp., £12.99, September 1998, 0 582 21910 8
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... In the great quilted cento that is Moby-Dick, there is a passage which might be interpreted as Melville’s response to James Barry’s 1776 engraving The Phoenix or the Resurrection of Freedom. In the engraving Andrew Marvell is depicted with Milton, Locke and Algernon Sidney among the mourners at the bier of Britain’s ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: Ulster’s Long Sunday

24 August 1995
... our talk and we fall silent. It’s a bit like stopping halfway across a dried-up river-bed, or looking round the sides of a maybe extinct volcano. I’m meditating on this when there’s a ring at the door. David goes to answer it and returns with a tall grey-haired man in his later fifties whom I’ve never met before but whose face is almost familiar. ‘Tom, meet the Reverend William ...

Diary

Tom Paulin: The Belfast agreement

18 June 1998
... Archbishop of Canterbury under the caption: ‘DR RAMSAY IS A BLASPHEMER.’ Then another friend, Ewall, predicts 67 per cent Yes and bets me a fiver. He reminds me that in the early Sixties Gerry Adams worked behind the bar here. No one I can hear is talking about the referendum. Mind you, Ewall says, releasing the Balcombe Street Gang and Michael Stone, that was a mistake. Typical colonialism ...

Diary

Mark Ford: Love and Theft

2 December 2004
... of extinction. The possibility adds an edge of menace to Stevens’s celebration of American spontaneity and independence, and complexly shadows the utopian vision of a ‘supple and turbulent’ ring of men singing a secular hymn to the sun in the poem’s previous stanza. One of the most powerful experiences of Stevens’s early manhood was a seven-week camping and hunting holiday in the ...

Insolence

Blair Worden

7 March 1985
Poetry and Politics in the English Renaissance 
by David Norbrook.
Routledge, 345 pp., £15.95, October 1984, 0 7100 9778 6
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Restoration Theatre Production 
by Jocelyn Powell.
Routledge, 226 pp., £19.95, November 1984, 0 7100 9321 7
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Theatre and Crisis: 1632-1642 
by Martin Butler.
Cambridge, 340 pp., £25, August 1984, 0 521 24632 6
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The Court Masque 
edited by David Lindley.
Manchester, 196 pp., £22.50, August 1984, 0 7190 0961 8
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Ben Jonson, Dramatist 
by Anne Barton.
Cambridge, 370 pp., £30, July 1984, 0 521 25883 9
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... Spenserian values. The word ‘tradition’ is carefully used, for Norbrook knows that men who place themselves within a political heritage usually misrepresent their forbears: the Spenserians of James I’s reign, and Milton after them, re-cast Spenser in their own image. The process Norbrook describes, of adaptation within continuity, runs parallel to, and seems largely to have been created by ...

Humdrum Selfishness

Nicholas Guyatt: Simon Schama’s Chauvinism

6 April 2006
Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution 
by Simon Schama.
BBC, 448 pp., £20, September 2005, 0 563 48709 7
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... at least, as being waged ‘first and foremost to protect slavery’, an audacious claim. His contrast between a Britain of eccentric abolitionists and an America of tyrannical slaveholders doesn’t ring true. Granville Sharp was an enthusiastic member of an Atlantic movement against slavery, corresponding avidly with Quakers such as Anthony Benezet of Philadelphia, and drawing inspiration from the ...

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