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The Lobby Falters

John Mearsheimer: Charles Freeman speaks out, 26 March 2009

... Many people in Washington were surprised when the Obama administration tapped Charles Freeman to chair the National Intelligence Council, the body that oversees the production of National Intelligence Estimates: Freeman had a distinguished 30-year career as a diplomat and Defense Department official, but he has publicly criticised Israeli policy and America’s special relationship with Israel, saying, for example, in a speech in 2005, that ‘as long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected ...

Extraordinarily Graceful Exits from Power

Nicholas Guyatt: George Washington’s Reticence, 17 November 2005

His Excellency George Washington 
by Joseph J. Ellis.
Faber, 320 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 571 21212 3
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... his cabinet. (‘Pablo’ for the hapless Paul O’Neill; ‘Z-Man’ for Robert Zoellick.) George Washington, on the other hand, was so aloof that even his contemporaries tried to make light of the fact. According to one story, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, Alexander Hamilton dared his fellow delegate Gouverneur Morris to clap ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dick Cheney’s Homepage, 18 November 2004

... where one can.In his recent book Dick: The Man who Is President (New Press, £14.99), John Nichols, the Nation’s Washington correspondent, makes a persuasive case for the (by now fairly familiar) idea that the vice-presidency is the real locus of power in the current US administration: Cheney runs the show ...

Back to Byzantium

John Thompson, 22 January 1981

Destinations 
by Jan Morris.
Oxford, 242 pp., £7.95, July 1980, 0 19 502708 6
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The Venetian Empire 
by Jan Morris.
Faber, 192 pp., £9.50, October 1980, 9780571099368
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... down in a quick succession of trouble-torn areas – India in the Emergency, post-Watergate Washington, Southern Africa, Panama, even London with its National Front marches – then screams off again for a further twenty culturally-absorbent pages elsewhere. As Ms Morris says, Rolling Stone is an ‘urgent kind of magazine’, so all this rushing around ...

Radical Literary Theory

John Ellis, 8 February 1990

Fraud: Literary Theory and the End of English 
by Peter Washington.
Fontana, 188 pp., £4.99, September 1989, 0 00 686138 5
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... as the reference of a word which used to be about the business of analysing such things. Peter Washington’s book is a polemic against the viewpoint which is often spoken of as if it were quite simply modern theory of literature rather than the particular critical ideology that it is. While his title accepts the identification of theory with this ...

John and Henry

Christopher Reid, 2 December 1982

The Life of John Berryman 
by John Haffenden.
Routledge, 451 pp., £15, September 1982, 0 7100 9216 4
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Poets in their Youth: A Memoir 
by Eileen Simpson.
Faber, 272 pp., £10.95, September 1982, 0 571 11925 5
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... When John Berryman’s first full-length collection of poems, The Dispossessed, was published in 1948, Yvor Winters wrote a notice of it for the Hudson Review. Here Winters drew attention to Berryman’s ‘disinclination to understand and discipline his emotions’, and went on to suggest: ‘Most of his poems appear to deal with a single all-inclusive topic: the desperate chaos, social, religious, philosophical and psychological, of modern life, and the corresponding chaos and desperation of John Berryman ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘BlacKkKlansman’, 27 September 2018

... who you are taken to be? When and how do you assert or hide who you are? Stallworth, played by John David Washington complete with 1970s Afro, infiltrates the Klan on the telephone and with his name; a white colleague using the name does the actual hanging out with the bad guys. So ‘black’ here means imagined to be ...

Those Genes!

Charles Wheeler, 17 July 1997

Personal History 
by Katharine Graham.
Weidenfeld, 642 pp., £25, May 1997, 9780297819646
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... successively, the most influential publishers in the world: Philip Graham, who inherited the Washington Post from his father-in-law, Eugene Meyer, and his shy, self-effacing wife, Katharine, who took over the company when her husband shot himself in 1963. It was Philip Graham who induced John Kennedy to choose Lyndon ...

The Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: The Israel Lobby, 23 March 2006

... country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical. Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing that given to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, and is the largest recipient in total since World War Two, to the tune ...

Lumpy, Semi-Dorky, Slouchy, Smarmy

John Lanchester, 23 August 2001

Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous 
by Don Foster.
Macmillan, 340 pp., £14.99, April 2001, 0 333 78170 8
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... the cops had in December consulted a New York psychiatrist called James Brussel, described by John Douglas as ‘the father of behavioural profiling’. Douglas is the FBI man who inspired Thomas Harris to invent the character Jack Crawford in the Hannibal Lecter novels, so he should know. This is the psychological portrait Brussel came up with of the Mad ...

First Puppet, Now Scapegoat

Inigo Thomas: Ass-Chewing in Washington, 30 November 2006

State of Denial: Bush at War 
by Bob Woodward.
Simon and Schuster, 560 pp., £18.99, October 2006, 0 7432 9566 8
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... about Woodward? He’s a former navy man, who wrote several hundred articles on Watergate for the Washington Post with his colleague Carl Bernstein. The two then wrote famous books about the fall of Nixon, All the President’s Men and The Final Days, the first made into a well-known movie. Bernstein went to New York and wrote a book about the papacy, but he ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Blair’s wars, 6 November 2003

... action. ‘It is some feat to go to war five times in six years,’ are the opening words of John Kampfner’s Blair’s Wars (Free Press, £17.99). ‘That statistic impelled me to write this book.’ It’s good that Kampfner was impelled to write it because he has done an excellent job in going back, Blair war by Blair war, over the political history ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: Reading Butler, 5 August 2004

... the House of Commons he had been acting in when marching lockstep into Iraq with his role model in Washington. Tony Blair’s assurance was given as a response to the publication of the Butler Report (Stationery Office, £22.50), which he assumes has demonstrated that he is not in fact the Bliar of all those banners that were carried down Whitehall eighteen ...

Short Cuts

John Sturrock: On Bullshit, 17 April 2003

... expressed at this piece of enemy callousness by the paired Presidents, the one in Washington and the other in London? The assumption that we should all share that outrage was an insult, in the face of what is being inflicted on the population of Iraq. It’s not even clear that the airing of such images is an offence against the Geneva ...

Higher Man

John Sutherland, 22 May 1997

The Turner Diaries 
by ‘Andrew Macdonald’.
National Vauguard Books, 211 pp., $12.95, May 1978, 0 937944 02 5
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... Pierce wrote the book). Earl Turner, an ordinary Joe Q. Public American, is politicised by the Washington DC ‘gun raids’ of September 1991. These have been sanctioned by the ‘Cohen Act’. Posses of deputised blacks (egged on by the Jewish-owned Washington Post) raid the homes of white people, seizing their weapons ...

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