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I am a false alarm

Robert Irwin: Khalil Gibran, 3 September 1998

Kahlil Gibran: Man and Poet 
by Suheil Bushrui and Joe Jenkins.
One World, 372 pp., £18.99, August 1998, 1 85168 177 9
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Prophet: The Life and Times of Kahlil Gibran 
by Robin Waterfield.
Allen Lane, 366 pp., £20, August 1998, 0 7139 9209 3
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... about. Waterfield’s book is sharper, better-written and less repetitive, even if Bushrui and Jenkins give fuller weight to Gibran’s importance for the history of modern Arab literature. They place less stress than Waterfield on Gibran’s drinking and womanising, but then his weaknesses were made public long ago. The broad facts are deducible from ...

Decisions

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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... to justify a really interesting book. From this depressing background there now emerges Roy Jenkins. As a contrast he is nothing short of spectacular. In Birmingham, long in Whitehall, then in Brussels and lately in Glasgow and over the whole of the Kingdom he has had a political career more obviously interesting than most. Of this he writes not a ...

My Life with Harold Wilson

Peter Jenkins, 20 December 1979

Final Term: The Labour Government 1974-76 
by Harold Wilson.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 322 pp., £8.95
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... staying in Europe. He has shown great political skill and insight.’ He reports also that Roy Jenkins subsequently conceded, most generously, that he had ‘misunderstood’ Wilson’s handling of the issue. It is true, I now think, that Wilson could not have held the European line, and the Labour Party together, through the years of opposition between ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: 1920s v. 1980s, 17 March 1988

... First Reform Bill or the Charge of the Light Brigade. I have started by reading in parallel Peter Jenkins’s Mrs Thatcher’s Revolution and the two concluding volumes of Halévy’s magisterial History of the English People in the 19th Century, which between them take the story from 1895 to 1914. The contrast is not so much between an era of greatness and ...

Diary

David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991, 25 January 1996

... threw cup of tea all over us. Got home before seven local time. Saturday 5: Invitation from Joe Allard of Essex University to read with Jeremy Reed at the Colchester Arts Festival. Went shopping at local supermarket after lunch. Dull TV. Made asparagus and prawn soufflé for supper. Tuesday 8: Watched first episode of new series Twin Peaks. Who cares ...

Had he not run

David Reynolds: America’s longest-serving president, 2 June 2005

Franklin Delano Roosevelt 
by Roy Jenkins.
Pan, 208 pp., £7.99, May 2005, 0 330 43206 0
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Franklin D. Roosevelt 
by Patrick Renshaw.
Longman, 223 pp., $16.95, December 2003, 0 582 43803 9
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Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom 
by Conrad Black.
Weidenfeld, 1280 pp., £17.99, October 2004, 0 7538 1848 5
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... and heaved into bed. ‘Rubberlegs’ – the nickname he was given by General ‘Vinegar’ Joe Stilwell – was characteristically nasty yet entirely apt. All the pictures of a smiling, jaunty Roosevelt at wartime conferences were carefully staged, with the president wheeled into position, lifted onto his chair and settled in place before the other ...

Diary

Adam Shatz: Ornette Coleman, 16 July 2015

... of Coleman’s 1959 composition ‘Peace’, with Geri Allen on piano. The tenor saxophonists Joe Lovano and David Murray howled their way through Coleman’s most famous tune, ‘Lonely Woman’. There was a haunting duet between Henry Threadgill, on alto flute, and Jason Moran, on piano, and an electric dialogue between the drummer Jack DeJohnette and ...

Frock Consciousness

Rosemary Hill: Fashion and frocks, 20 January 2000

The Penguin Book of 20th-Century Fashion Writing 
edited by Judith Watt.
Viking, 360 pp., £20, November 1999, 0 670 88215 1
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Twentieth-Century Fashion 
by Valerie Mendes and Amy de la Haye.
Thames and Hudson, 288 pp., £8.95, November 1999, 0 500 20321 0
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A Century of Fashion 
by François Baudot.
Thames and Hudson, 400 pp., £19.95, November 1999, 0 500 28178 5
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The Hidden Consumer: Masculinities, Fashion and City Life 1860-1914 
by Christopher Breward.
Manchester, 278 pp., £45, September 1999, 0 7190 4799 4
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Black in Fashion 
by Valerie Mendes.
Victoria & Albert Museum, 144 pp., £35, October 1999, 1 85177 278 2
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... allowed a degree of personal expression without attracting suspicions of camp. Watt includes Alan Jenkins’s touching elegy for his father, whom he conjures up through the ties he wore and which Jenkins remembers borrowing down to the last – ‘a sort of crepe he bought for funerals, and hated’. As Breward argues was ...

Coalition Phobia

Brian Harrison, 4 June 1987

Labour People, Leaders and Lieutenants: Hardie to Kinnock 
by Kenneth O. Morgan.
Oxford, 370 pp., £12.95, April 1987, 0 19 822929 1
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J. Ramsay MacDonald 
by Austen Morgan.
Manchester, 276 pp., £19.50, June 1987, 0 7190 2168 5
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Sylvia Pankhurst: Portrait of a Radical 
by Patricia Romero.
Yale, 334 pp., £17.50, March 1987, 0 300 03691 4
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Sylvia and Christabel Pankhurst 
by Barbara Castle.
Penguin, 159 pp., £3.95, May 1987, 0 14 008761 3
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... for he knows how amply each can enrich the other. Take, for instance, his excellent chapter on ‘Joe Gormley, Arthur Scargill and the Miners’. If all historians during the miners’ strike of 1984-5 had shown such balance, knowledge of context and willingness to face unpalatable truths, their profession might have done more to reduce the dreadful suffering ...

Very like St Paul

Ian Sansom: Johnny Cash, 9 March 2006

The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend 
by Steve Turner.
Bloomsbury, 363 pp., £8.99, February 2006, 0 7475 8079 0
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Walk the Line 
directed by James Mangold.
November 2005
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... notes that the words and melody of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ were lifted from a song by Gordon Jenkins, who reached an out-of-court settlement with Cash in the late 1960s. ‘Ring of Fire’, ‘Boy Named Sue’ and ‘The Ballad of Ira Hayes’ were all written by others; likewise, cover versions of Cash’s songs are often an improvement on the ...

Criminal Justice

Ronan Bennett, 24 June 1993

... shift in perceptions must be underway. Other commentators were even more outspoken. Peter Jenkins in the Independent described the law as ‘an enemy of justice’. He went on: Plainly, after what has happened, radical changes are required in the whole system of police interrogation and in the law relating to confessions. But not only that, the ...

The Tower

Andrew O’Hagan, 7 June 2018

... the darkness behind him suddenly lit up as the fire approached from the other side. Down below, Joe Delaney, a resident in Barandon Walk, one of the low-rise housing blocks that run from the base of the tower, had called 999 at 1.37 a.m. – ‘You have to send ambulances!’ he says on the recording – before going upstairs and telling his neighbour to ...

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