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At the Barbican

Jeremy Harding: Pilger pictures, 23 August 2001

... Work by 18 of the photographers with whom John Pilger has collaborated over the last thirty or forty years is on show in Reporting the World, at the Barbican Gallery until 30 September. The exhibition is a record of events we remember – vaguely or clearly – having followed and others that we didn’t follow, even if we tell ourselves now that we did ...

Histories of Australia

Stuart Macintyre, 28 September 1989

The Oxford History of Autralia. Vol III: 1860-1900 
by Beverley Kingston.
Oxford, 368 pp., £22.50, July 1989, 0 19 554611 3
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The Road from Coorain: An Australian Memoir 
by Jill Ker Conway.
Heinemann, 238 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 434 14244 1
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A Secret Country 
by John Pilger.
Cape, 286 pp., £12.95, September 1989, 0 224 02600 3
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Convict Workers: Reinterpreting Australia’s Past 
edited by Stephen Nicholas.
Cambridge, 246 pp., $45, June 1989, 0 521 36126 5
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... frees her from maternal tyranny and unlocks her emotions from the dungeon of Australian stoicism. John Pilger’s journey back to A Secret Country begins also in a state of nature, Bondi beach, where all are equal, the light has a diamond incandescence and life is ‘healthier and freer sexually than anywhere outside the Trobriand islands’. His ...


Glen Newey: Life with WikiLeaks, 6 January 2011

... appeared in a Westminster court for a pre-extradition hearing, there was the odd spectacle of John Pilger and Ken Loach outside pledging surety for Assange’s bail, along with Jemima Khan, the daughter of the late tycoon and anarcho-capitalist James Goldsmith, whose contributions to British public life included repeated libel actions against Private ...

‘Bye Bye Baghdad’

Paul Foot, 7 February 1991

... the politicians against the war, the writers against the war – Edward Pearce in the Guardian, John Diamond in the Mirror, John Pilger wherever anyone prints what he writes – have to be winkled out from the chauvinist mass. How to explain the mood which swept otherwise independent-minded journalists and editors ...


Owen Bennett-Jones: Night Shifts at Bush House, 8 July 1993

... keep them involved in the negotiating process for as long as possible was fiercely criticised by John Pilger and others, but in the event the strategy was vindicated. For the time being anyway, Pol Pot has been denied a decisive role in Cambodian politics. These are great (and unforeseen) achievements. And they rest on a solid basis of diplomatic and ...

Opera Mundi

Michael Neve, 1 December 1983

Out of Order 
by Frank Johnson.
Robson, 256 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 86051 190 1
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Frank Johnson’s Election Year 
by Frank Johnson.
Robson, 192 pp., £6.95, October 1983, 0 86051 254 1
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by Bernard Levin.
Cape, 264 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 224 02114 1
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Poem of the Year 
by Clive James.
Cape, 79 pp., £4.95, November 1983, 0 224 02961 4
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The Original Michael Frayn 
by Michael Frayn.
Salamander, 203 pp., £8.50, October 1983, 0 907540 32 5
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... as he had been when Jenkins took it in the first place. It is the facetiousness that annoys. Is John Pilger really so dreadful? Can the Stephen Waldorf affair be taken lightly? Does Johnson have to talk about Greenham women as if he were an agent of Lord Gnome? The British Library will catalogue him under ‘Anecdotes, facetiae, satire etc’ – which ...

Down among the press lords

Alan Rusbridger, 3 March 1983

The Life and Death of the Press Barons 
by Piers Brendon.
Secker, 288 pp., £12.50, December 1982, 0 436 06811 7
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... who purchased 13-year-old girls for £5 in order to expose alleged wrong-doing (London, 1885 – John Pilger was using the same technique for the Daily Mirror in 1982); barons who lived on giant soundproof yachts (Pulitzer in 1907, Scripps in the 1920s); barons who helped start wars and stirred up riots; barons who drank a gallon of whisky every day and ...

No Intention of Retreating

Lorna Scott Fox: Martha Gellhorn’s Wars, 2 September 2004

Martha Gellhorn: A Life 
by Caroline Moorehead.
Vintage, 550 pp., £8.99, June 2004, 0 09 928401 4
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... visa for Vietnam, she campaigned, outraged and impotent, from the sidelines. Meanwhile, the young John Pilger was instructed by the Daily Mirror to follow her lead, and won prizes for his stories about civilian casualties. Later, the two became close friends, but it would be fair to say that the pioneer of a kind of war reporting epitomised today by ...

Utopia in Texas

Glen Newey: Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’, 19 January 2017

by Thomas More, edited by George M. Logan, translated by Robert M. Adams.
Cambridge, 141 pp., £9.99, August 2016, 978 1 107 56873 0
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by Thomas More, translated by Gilbert Burnet.
Verso, 216 pp., £8.99, November 2016, 978 1 78478 760 8
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... they did to his hagiolaters. To the charge that More had an unnatural fondness for torture (when John Tewkesbury, a London leather merchant and Protestant, was incinerated after torture in 1531, More – by then lord chancellor – imagined ‘a hot firebrand burning at his back, that all the water of the world will never be able to quench’), one recent ...

Belgravia Cockney

Christopher Tayler: On being a le Carré bore, 25 January 2007

The Mission Song 
by John le Carré.
Hodder, 339 pp., £17.99, September 2006, 9780340921968
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... When John le Carré published A Perfect Spy in 1986, Philip Roth, then spending a lot of time in London, called it ‘the best English novel since the war’. Not being such a fan of A Perfect Spy, I’ve occasionally wondered what Roth’s generous blurb says about the postwar English novel. As a le Carré bore, however, I’ve also wondered how Roth managed to overlook Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974), the central novel in le Carré’s career, in which George Smiley – an outwardly diffident ex-spook with a strenuously unfaithful wife and an interest in 17th-century German literature – comes out of retirement to identify the turncoat in a secret service that’s explicitly presented as a metaphorical ‘vision of the British establishment at play ...

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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... maybe more than just as an editor. His narrative is entirely about being taken seriously by Elton John, Princess Diana, George Michael, Anthea Turner, Richard Branson, Paul McCartney, Patsy Kensit, Ian Botham, Jordan, Mohammed al Fayed, Cherie Blair, Alastair Campbell, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair. (If there are names in that list you haven’t heard ...

My Castaway This Week

Miranda Carter: Desert Island Dreams, 9 June 2022

... of Desert Island Discs’ ten best episodes. Many included Yoko Ono on being hated and witnessing John Lennon’s murder, the actor Stephen Graham on his suicide attempt, Maya Angelou on childhood trauma, Simon Cowell boasting, Alfred Wainwright on his last walk in the Lakes as his eyes failed (‘the mountains wept for me that day’) and Tom Hanks moved to ...

Red Pill, Blue Pill

James Meek, 22 October 2020

... for their root causes. He took out a subscription to New Internationalist. He read Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Greg Palast. ‘It slowly dawned on me,’ he wrote, ‘that there could be a hidden hand behind seemingly random, unconnected events. I came to this realisation myself, long before hearing of the term “conspiracy theory” or “new world ...

In the Streets of Londonistan

John Upton: Terror, Muslims and the Met, 22 January 2004

... led to several investigations into an alleged shoot to kill policy, the most notable headed by John Stalker, then deputy chief constable of Manchester. Stalker’s inquiry was continually obstructed by elements within the RUC and he was eventually, and very controversially, dismissed from the police. The findings of his inquiry were never published. ‘I ...


Andrew O’Hagan: Julian Assange, 6 March 2014

... X when he ghosted his autobiography? To what extent did Ted Sorensen create the verbal manner of John F. Kennedy when he wrote Profiles in Courage, a book for which the future president won the Pulitzer Prize? And are the science fiction stories H.P. Lovecraft ghosted for Harry Houdini not the best things he ever wrote? There would be a touch of all this in ...

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