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Boomster and the Quack

Stefan Collini: How to Get on in the Literary World

2 November 2006
Writers, Readers and Reputations: Literary Life in Britain 1870-1918 
by Philip Waller.
Oxford, 1181 pp., £85, April 2006, 0 19 820677 1
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... of ‘eminent authors’, attended by William Archer, J.M. Barrie, Arnold Bennett, A.C. Benson, Hugh Benson, Laurence Binyon, Robert Bridges, Hall Caine, G.K. Chesterton, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Galsworthy, Thomas Hardy, Maurice Hewlett, Anthony Hope, W.J. Locke, E.V. Lucas, J.W. Mackail, John Masefield, A.E.W. Mason, Gilbert Murray, Henry Newbolt, Owen Seaman, G.M. Trevelyan, H.G. Wells and ...
3 October 1985
Here lies: An Autobiography 
by Eric Ambler.
Weidenfeld, 234 pp., £10.95, June 1985, 0 297 78588 5
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The Levanter 
by Eric Ambler.
Weidenfeld, 216 pp., £8.95, June 1985, 0 297 99521 9
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Doctor Frigo 
by Eric Ambler.
Weidenfeld, 250 pp., £8.95, June 1985, 0 297 76848 4
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The Other Side of the Moon: The Life of David Niven 
by Sheridan Morley.
Weidenfeld, 300 pp., £10.95, September 1985, 9780297787082
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Secrets: Boyhood in a Jewish Hotel 1932-1954 
by Ronald Hayman.
Peter Owen, 224 pp., £12, July 1985, 9780720606423
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A Woman in Custody 
by Audrey Peckham.
Fontana, 253 pp., £3.95, June 1985, 0 00 636952 9
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No Gangster More Bold 
by John Morgan.
Hodder, 179 pp., £9.95, July 1985, 0 340 26387 3
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... morale. It was made, then aborted as subversive by the War Office; enough influential people had liked it, however, to ensure that a sequel was both made and shown. Ambler was then sent to help John Huston make a film about the liberation of Italy: his account of this collaboration, which took them into front-line fighting, is by turns funny, frightening and, in the miseries they witnessed ...

Diary

Paul Foot: Awaiting the Truth about Hanratty

11 December 1997
... but he had heard later from several people that a young Londoner had been looking for him that night. Could he find any of these people, we asked? Yes, he would try. The following week Jo Mennel and JohnMorgan, the reporter, went back to interview the Rhyl witnesses on camera. Over a cup of tea in a café, Terry Evans gave them the disappointing news that he could not find the main man he was ...
7 February 1985
The Fountain 
by Charles Morgan.
Boydell, 434 pp., £4.95, November 1984, 0 85115 237 6
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... The interest of superior best-sellers, which flourish and fade, is in detecting why they appeal as they do to the spirit of the age in which they appear. The Fountain, the novel which made Charles Morgan’s reputation, came out in 1932 and had a very considerable succès d’estime. It was much admired in France, where Morgan still has a solid reputation. Valéry admired it, writing that in Morgan ...

Is he winking?

Joseph J. Ellis: Benjamin Franklin

20 March 2003
Benjamin Franklin 
by Edmund S. Morgan.
Yale, 339 pp., £19.95, October 2002, 0 300 09532 5
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... upstart with two loaves of bread tucked under his arm, the original poor American boy about to make good. One of the leading historians of early American history during the last half-century, Edmund Morgan has, like Franklin, demonstrated great range, oblivious to the habit of specialisation and the accompanying turf wars that claim so many academic casualties. He has written biographies of John ...

Mirror Images

Jenny Diski: Piers Morgan

31 March 2005
The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade 
by Piers Morgan.
Ebury, 484 pp., £17.99, March 2005, 0 09 190506 0
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... Life, Piers Morgan says about being sacked in 2004 as editor of the Mirror, is as serious as you want it to be. Lighten up, he repeatedly tells sad celebrities who complain about his front page exposés that result in ...
16 March 2000
MorganAmerican Financier 
by Jean Strouse.
Harvill, 816 pp., £25, June 1999, 9781860463556
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... currency, ‘blind and dishonest frenzy’, ‘reckless booming anarchy’. For all that, the concentration of wealth and power was alarming. In 1912, officials from five New York banks – J.P. Morgan and Co, National City, the First National, Bankers Trust and Guaranty Trust – held 341 directorships in 112 US companies, including other banks, public utilities, and companies involved in ...

All Those Arrows

Donald MacKenzie: A Major Cause of the Financial Crisis

25 June 2009
Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe 
by Gillian Tett.
Little, Brown, 338 pp., £18.99, April 2009, 978 1 4087 0164 5
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... tangible human beings.’ She whispered to the man sitting beside her, asking who the key actors in the ceremony were – those up on the conference hall’s stage. ‘They used to all work at J.P. Morgan,’ he answered. ‘It’s like this Morgan mafia thing. They sort of created the credit derivatives market.’ The answer surprised her. J.P. Morgan was not Goldman Sachs; it wasn’t an exciting ...

Up the Garden Path

R.W. Johnson: Michael Foot

26 April 2007
Michael Foot: A Life 
by Kenneth O. Morgan.
Harper, 568 pp., £25, March 2007, 978 0 00 717826 1
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... warmth evoked by a politician, but my guess is that I was one of the few people on the bus who’d actually voted for him ten years earlier, and I’d done it with some exasperation. Kenneth Morgan’s over-long biography brings back all these feelings. Part of the problem is Morgan himself. He has written a long list of books about Wales, the Labour Party, Lloyd George, Wales, Jim Callaghan ...

Middle Way

Paul Addison

6 December 1979
Consensus and Disunity: The Lloyd George Coalition Government 1918-1922 
by Kenneth O. Morgan.
Oxford, 436 pp., £15
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... break with the past. In recent years, the idea of coalition has again achieved a certain respectability, and, as if in sympathy, historians have moved to reassess the forgotten regimes. Now Kenneth Morgan has written a first-class study of the Lloyd Georgian experiment of 1918-1922. For some time a muffled debate has been in progress about how political history should be interpreted; from the top ...

Gaelic Communist

Graham Walker

12 October 1989
James Connolly: A Political Biography 
by Austen Morgan.
Manchester, 244 pp., £9.95, October 1989, 0 7190 2958 9
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James Connolly: Selected Writings 
edited by P. Beresford Ellis.
Pluto, 256 pp., £8.95, April 1988, 9780745302676
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... figures in whom the dilemmas, conundrums and contradictions of Ireland are more comprehensively and intensively concentrated than Connolly. The welcome and long overdue appearance of Austen Morgan’s book provides an opportunity to assess the state of the Connolly historiography and to examine themes which are central to his reputation. The book is a critical study which, in conjunction with ...

Bankocracy

John​ Lanchester: Lehman Brothers

5 November 2009
The Murder of Lehman Brothers: An Insider’s Look at the Global Meltdown 
by Joseph Tibman.
Brick Tower, 243 pp., £16.95, September 2009, 978 1 883283 71 1
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A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers 
by Larry McDonald, in collaboration with Patrick Robinson.
Ebury, 351 pp., £7.99, September 2009, 978 0 09 193615 0
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... accounts didn’t tell the whole truth; the bank announced a record loss of $2.8 billion for the second quarter of 2008, and then another record of $3.9 billion for the third; its own bankers, J.P. Morgan, asked for an increase in its Lehman collateral – in effect, its safety margin of deposits – of $5 billion; Lehman couldn’t find the cash, and went to the Treasury for help. The response of ...

Buggering on

Paul Addison

21 July 1983
Winston Churchill: Companion Vol. V, Part III, The Coming of War 1936-1939 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1684 pp., £75, October 1982, 0 434 29188 9
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Finest Hour: Winston Churchill, 1939-1941 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1308 pp., £15.95, June 1983, 0 434 29187 0
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Churchill 1874-1915 
by Ted Morgan.
Cape, 571 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 224 02044 7
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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 
by William Manchester.
Michael Joseph, 973 pp., £14.95, June 1983, 0 7181 2275 5
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... when infused with anti-war feeling and social satire, as in Tony Richardson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade. In recent years there has been a conservative revival, apparent in the reappearance of John Buchan on the shelves, or the clean-cut manly values of Chariots of Fire. Churchill is modish again, and all the more so after the Falklands. Those who followed Southern Television’s series about ...

Attercliffe

Nicholas Spice

17 May 1984
Present Times 
by David Storey.
Cape, 270 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 0 224 02188 5
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The Uses of Fiction: Essays on the Modern Novel in Honour of Arnold Kettle 
edited by Douglas Jefferson and Graham Martin.
Open University, 296 pp., £15, December 1982, 9780335101818
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The Hawthorn Goddess 
by Glyn Hughes.
Chatto, 232 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 7011 2818 6
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... 47 years old, father of five, separated from his wife – takes notes on the Saturday afternoon match. One eye on the game below, he chats to his fellow journalists: ‘the pug-nosed, the pug-eared Morgan’, Davidson-Smith (‘overcoated’, ‘deerstalker-hatted’) and Freddie Fredericks, Frank Attercliffe’s aging and alcoholic mentor, and co-author with him of Pindar’s Weekend Round-up, a ...

May I come to your house to philosophise?

John​ Barrell: Godwin’s Letters

8 September 2011
The Letters of William Godwin Vol. I: 1778-97 
by Pamela Clemit.
Oxford, 306 pp., £100, February 2011, 978 0 19 956261 9
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... after the death in September 1797 of Mary Wollstonecraft, six months after their marriage, during the darkest period of his mourning. The volume includes letters to Joseph Priestley, Thomas Lawrence, John Thelwall, Samuel Parr (‘the Whig Dr Johnson’), the great liberal advocate Thomas Erskine, R.B. Sheridan, Charles James Fox, the novelists and dramatists Elizabeth Inchbald, Thomas Holcroft ...

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