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John Kenneth Galbraith

6 March 1986
Truman 
by Roy Jenkins.
Collins, 220 pp., £12.95, February 1986, 0 00 217584 3
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... a model. Let British politicians on leaving office in the next years write about Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and not about themselves. And let Americans ponder also the Jenkins example. There should be a matching of talents. Henry Kissinger should have written about, say, Lloyd George, Enoch Powell or, perhaps now, Anthony Wedgwood Benn. And ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Bob Dylan’s Tall Tales

21 October 2004
... independent of the New York Review, Ronald Reagan didn’t simply take the US presidency from Jimmy Carter: he also, as Danny Goldberg argues in Dispatches from the Culture Wars: How the Left Lost Teen Spirit (Miramax, $23.95), wrested political access to pop culture from the Democrats. Reagan overstepped the mark in 1984, however, when he tried to ...
20 November 1986
With the Contras: A Reporter in the Wilds of Nicaragua 
by Christopher Dickey.
Faber, 327 pp., £12.50, September 1986, 9780571146048
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Jonas Savimbi: A Key to Africa 
by Fred Bridgland.
Mainstream, 513 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 906391 99 7
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... foreign policy has changed in pendulum swings. In the post-Vietnam/post-Nixon mood which brought Jimmy Carter to the White House, it swung quite a long way against interventionism, and even conservative Republicans like California’s Governor, Ronald Reagan, fulminated against the idea of America being expected to act as policeman for the ...
18 April 1985
Objections to Nuclear Defence: Philosophers on Deterrence 
edited by Nigel Blake and Kay Pole.
Routledge, 187 pp., £5.95, September 1984, 0 7102 0249 0
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Reagan and the World: Imperial Policy in the New Cold War 
by Jeff McMahan.
Pluto, 214 pp., £3.95, August 1984, 0 86104 602 1
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A future that will work 
by David Owen.
Viking, 192 pp., £12.95, August 1984, 0 670 80564 5
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The Most Dangerous Decade: World Militarism and the New Non-Aligned Peace Movement 
by Ken Coates.
Spokesman, 211 pp., £15, July 1984, 9780851244051
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... hasn’t got any ideas of his own,’ an American who held high office in the Pentagon under Jimmy Carter remarked recently. ‘The trouble is that he has such peculiar ones.’ He was referring to what has been officially termed the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) but what is much more appropriately called Star Wars. It is the President’s idea ...
19 December 1991
Songs of the Doomed: More Notes on the Death of the American Dream 
by Hunter S. Thompson.
Picador, 316 pp., £15.95, October 1991, 0 330 31994 9
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... Although Ronald Reagan was poised to become the arbiter of the collective conscience of America, Jimmy Carter was still President and social liberalism was in full swing – or so those gathered to celebrate a year’s worth of victories for civil liberty in America’s courts and legislatures wanted to believe. The house was richly appointed and hotly ...
3 September 1987
... for bringing fellow conservative Republicans into office in 1980 during the national rejection of Carter, enmeshed in the misery of Iran, now appeared painfully short. The rule that had governed Washington’s post-war politics, a rule temporarily broken between 1981 and 1986, was back in force: whichever party nominally controls the White House, the ...

Strait is the gate

Christopher Hitchens

21 July 1994
Watergate: The Corruption and Fall of Richard Nixon 
by Fred Emery.
Cape, 448 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 224 03694 7
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The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House 
by H.R. Haldeman.
Putnam, 698 pp., $27.50, May 1994, 0 399 13962 1
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... Nixon and now columnist for the New York Times. He it was who, during the dismal days of the Jimmy Carter Presidency, came up with ‘Koreagate’, ‘Peanutgate’, ‘Billygate’ and – his own favourite, concerning some fiddle of government expenses – ‘Double Billingsgate’. In an interview with Eric Alterman for the latter’s excellent ...

Short Cuts

Adam Shatz: Condoleezza Rice

3 January 2008
... but she was never a neocon. She wrote ‘leftist’ papers in graduate school and voted for Jimmy Carter before joining the Republican Party. Throughout the 1990s, her views on foreign policy were defined by a cautious realism, bearing the heavy imprint of her mentor, Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser under Bush père. In a Foreign Affairs ...

Short Cuts

Inigo Thomas: The Hudson Plane Crash

11 February 2010
... but flying commercial planes has ceased to be the well-paid occupation it was before 1978 when Jimmy Carter deregulated the aviation industry (with Edward Kennedy’s help) and the monopoly airlines had on their most profitable routes was lost. Sullenberger and Skiles have to hold down second jobs to make ends meet. It’s also a less glamorous ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Death of an Airline

22 April 2015
... the probity not to stoop to such measures – and even suggest Delta had a special connection to Jimmy Carter because they both came from Georgia, though they stop short of accusing rival airlines or the Oval Office of placing the bomb on Flight 103. In July 1992 a US federal court found Pan Am guilty of wilful misconduct for allowing an unaccompanied ...

Dad & Jr

Christian Lorentzen: Bushes Jr & Sr

4 December 2014
... the Bushes seem to have suffered little that wasn’t cushioned by their money and power. When Jimmy Carter let Dad go as CIA director, ‘my father didn’t like the idea of cashing in on his government service, but he had always been interested in the business world.’ He made enough sitting on corporate boards ...
6 January 1994
In the Heat of the Struggle: Twenty-Five Years of ‘Socialist Worker’ 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 288 pp., £12.50, November 1993, 0 906224 94 2
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Why You Should Join the Socialists 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 70 pp., £1.90, November 1993, 0 906224 80 2
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... in Indo-China, and should henceforth be extremely prudent about overseas military commitments. Jimmy Carter put it very gruffly, when he said that both America and Vietnam had suffered equally. Henry Kissinger, in his memoir Years of Upheaval, phrased it even more prettily: ‘Hanoi and Washington had inflicted grievous wounds on each other; theirs ...

Knucklehead Truman

Douglas Johnson

2 June 1983
The Eisenhower Diaries 
edited by Robert Ferrell.
Norton, 445 pp., £15.25, April 1983, 0 393 01432 0
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The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy: A Biography 
by Thomas Reeves.
Blond and Briggs, 819 pp., £11.95, June 1983, 0 85634 131 2
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The past has another pattern 
by George Ball.
Norton, 544 pp., £14.95, September 1982, 0 393 01481 9
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Torn Lace Curtain 
by Frank Saunders and James Southwood.
Sidgwick, 361 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 283 98946 7
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The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power 
by Robert Caro.
Collins, 882 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 00 217062 0
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The Politician: The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson 
by Ronnie Dugger.
Norton, 514 pp., £13.25, September 1982, 9780393015980
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Years of Upheaval 
by Henry Kissinger.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 1312 pp., £15.95, March 1982, 0 7181 2115 5
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Richard Nixon: The Shaping of his Character 
by Fawn Brodie.
Norton, 574 pp., £14.95, October 1982, 0 393 01467 3
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Haig: The General’s Progress 
by Roger Morris.
Robson, 458 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 9780860511885
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Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President 
by Jimmy Carter.
Collins, 622 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 00 216648 8
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Crisis: The Last Year of the Carter Presidency 
by Hamilton Jordan.
Joseph, 431 pp., £12.95, November 1982, 0 7181 2248 8
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Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser 1977-81 
by Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Weidenfeld, 587 pp., £15, April 1983, 0 297 78220 7
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... that those who described him as being without either ability or personality were wrong. Carter was inexperienced, unpredictable and weak. Reagan, even for his loyal supporters, has now shown himself to be ineffective, proceeding inconsequentially from one unsuccessful initiative to another. This is a depressing catalogue. It is in vain that other ...

Be Dull, Mr President

Kim Phillips-Fein: Remembering Reagan

19 October 2006
President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination 
by Richard Reeves.
Simon and Schuster, 571 pp., £20, March 2006, 0 7432 3022 1
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... that he got a good night’s sleep, carefully instructing his aides not to wake him until 8 a.m. Jimmy Carter, meanwhile, about to step down from office, had been awake for 48 hours, supervising the negotiations over the release of American hostages in Tehran. In the early hours of the morning on Inauguration Day, he called Blair House, where Reagan was ...

Take a nap

James Meek: Keeping cool

6 February 2003
Cool Comfort: America’s Romance with Air-Conditioning 
by M. Ackerman.
Smithsonian, 248 pp., £21.50, July 2002, 1 58834 040 6
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... than the only President who tried to rein in his nation’s growing addiction to air-conditioning, Jimmy Carter. In 1979, in the wake of the leap in oil prices, Carter gave 55 million white-collar workers what Ackermann calls ‘a sweaty sense of grievance’ by pushing through a law banning all businesses and ...

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