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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 ...


John Kenneth Galbraith, 6 March 1986

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 ...

World Policeman

Colin Legum, 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 ...
... 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 ...

When the going gets weird

A. Craig Copetas, 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 ...

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

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 ...

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 ...

Nuclear Argument

Keith Kyle, 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 ...

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 ...

In the bright autumn of my senescence

Christopher Hitchens, 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 ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Death of an Airline, 23 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 ...

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 ...

Mouse Mouth Mitt

Eliot Weinberger, 13 September 2012

... states his hope that there will a crisis like the Iranian hostage situation that sandbagged Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election (‘if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity’), which explains why he was so quick to jump on the Libyan crisis, oblivious to the unfolding violence. (In a ...

Blackberry Apocalypse

Nicholas Guyatt: Evangelical Disarray, 15 November 2007

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America 
by Chris Hedges.
Cape, 254 pp., £12.99, February 2007, 978 0 224 07820 7
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... opinions of its opponents. ‘It is not mollified because John Kerry prays,’ Hedges notes, ‘or Jimmy Carter teaches Sunday school.’ By the end of the book, Hedges is pleading with liberal readers to give up ‘naive attempts to reach out to the movement’. This is a call to arms: it’s time for liberals to meet intolerance with intolerance. After ...

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