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Paper this thing over

Colin Kidd: The Watergate Tapes, 5 November 2015

The Nixon Tapes: 1971-72 
by Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 758 pp., $35, July 2014, 978 0 544 27415 0
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The Nixon Defence: What He Knew and When He Knew It 
by John W. Dean.
Penguin, 784 pp., £14.99, June 2015, 978 0 14 312738 3
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Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall 
by Elizabeth Drew.
Duckworth Overlook, 450 pp., £20, August 2014, 978 0 7156 4916 9
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Chasing Shadows: The Nixon Tapes, the Chennault Affair and the Origins of Watergate 
by Ken Hughes.
Virginia, 228 pp., $16.95, August 2015, 978 0 8139 3664 2
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The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan 
by Rick Perlstein.
Simon and Schuster, 860 pp., £25, August 2014, 978 1 4767 8241 6
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... was Mark Felt, a Hoover loyalist and associate director of the FBI. Hoover plays a central role in Ken Hughes’s gripping investigation, Chasing Shadows, which takes as its point of departure the only break-in ordered by Nixon on 2658 hours of tape: not at Watergate, but at a liberal think-tank, the Brookings Institution. The burglary never took ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: Ken or Boris?, 10 April 2008

... per cent wins the election outright. (This doesn’t seem likely: the best performance so far was Ken Livingstone’s 39 per cent in 2000.) If no one has 50 per cent, the top two candidates have their second-choice votes added to their first-choice, and the one with the most votes is the winner. At the start of the campaign, opinion polls were showing Boris ...

White Boy Walking

Evan Hughes: Jonathan Lethem, 5 July 2007

You Don’t Love Me Yet 
by Jonathan Lethem.
Faber, 224 pp., £10.99, May 2007, 978 0 571 23562 9
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... Coming across a business called Yorkville Zendo sends him on a riff: ‘Don’t know from Zendo, Ken-like Zung Fu, Feng Shui master, Fungo bastard, Zen masturbation, Eat me!’ The wordplay is often wildly witty, but there is an undertone that is less exuberant. Through Lionel, Lethem dramatises, sometimes ostentatiously, the profound obstacles to ...

Only Incognito

Gaby Wood, 6 July 1995

Katharine Hepburn 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 549 pp., £20, March 1995, 0 297 81319 6
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... for and partly about her by Philip Barry. It had a two-year run on Broadway, and (since Howard Hughes had bought her the rights) she starred in the film version for MGM. Quite apart from the life it portrayed, for a time The Philadelphia Story was her life. Many scripts were written with her in mind, and Dudley Nichols wrote some of her best comic lines in ...


Robert Crawford, 20 April 1989

by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £8.95, September 1988, 0 571 15229 5
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A Field of Vision 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 68 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 333 48229 8
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Seeker, Reaper 
by George Campbell Hay and Archie MacAlister.
Saltire Society, 30 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 85411 041 0
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In Through the Head 
by William McIlvanney.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 1 85158 169 3
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The New British Poetry 
edited by Gillian Allnutt, Fred D’Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram.
Paladin, 361 pp., £6.95, September 1988, 0 586 08765 6
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Complete Poems 
by Martin Bell, edited by Peter Porter.
Bloodaxe, 240 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 1 85224 043 1
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First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital 
edited by Lawrence Sail.
Faber, 69 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 571 55374 5
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by Mick Imlah.
Chatto, 61 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3358 9
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... the rest of the poetry in this anthology reads like replayed Pound, Zukofsky and Olson. Even among Ken Edwards’s ‘Younger Poets’, there’s a faded Sixties feeling to the rhythms, an angrily nostalgic glow, though sometimes a phrase or a line (‘Teacosies portraying “The Poet’s head in the throes of inspiration” ’) surfaces like a collectable ...

In Farageland

James Meek, 9 October 2014

... unpaid harbour fees. The council had to write off the debt. In 2012, a Tory member of the council, Ken Gregory, was cautioned by police after he left a voicemail message on the phone of a fellow councillor, the independent John Worrow, who is bisexual, saying: ‘With a bit of luck, you’ll get Aids.’ Not long afterwards the police called on a Labour ...

The Bloody Sixth

Joshua Brown: The Real Gangs of New York, 23 January 2003

The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld 
by Herbert Asbury.
Arrow, 366 pp., £6.99, January 2003, 0 09 943674 4
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Gangs of New York 
directed by Martin Scorsese.
December 2002
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... to bolster the movie’s plot – the future Tammany Hall boss William M. Tweed, Archbishop John Hughes and the showman P.T. Barnum – are either transported backwards in time or engage in alliances with gangs that defy the actual marginality of these gangs within the class and power structure of the mid-century city. As for Gangs of New York’s ...

Colloquially Speaking

Patrick McGuinness: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945, 1 April 1999

The Penguin Book of Poetry from Britain and Ireland since 1945 
edited by Simon Armitage and Robert Crawford.
Viking, 480 pp., £10.99, September 1998, 0 670 86829 9
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The Firebox: Poetry from Britain and Ireland after 1945 
edited by Sean O’Brien.
Picador, 534 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 0 330 36918 0
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... sights set lower and horizons diminished. There were, and still are, alternatives to Larkin. Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney and Tony Harrison are powerfully present in these books, as are a number of the poets Motion and Morrison published in Contemporary British Poetry: Douglas Dunn, Anne Stevenson, Craig Raine, James Fenton, Andrew ...


Tobias Jones: The Politics of Football, 7 May 1998

... To get to the 1994 Cup Final against Man United, Chelsea fans were invited by their chairman, Ken Bates, to purchase a piece of the pitch for £200 – in return he would dish out his spare ticket allocation for Wembley. As Colin Ward predicted in 1996, ‘stand up fisticuffs’ on the terraces have been replaced by ‘boardroom pugilism’. When the ...

Newspapers of the Consensus

Neal Ascherson, 21 February 1985

The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain. Vol. II: The 20th Century 
by Stephen Koss.
Hamish Hamilton, 718 pp., £25, March 1984, 0 241 11181 1
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Lies, Damned Lies and Some Exclusives 
by Henry Porter.
Chatto, 211 pp., £9.95, October 1984, 0 7011 2841 0
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Garvin of the ‘Observer’ 
by David Ayerst.
Croom Helm, 314 pp., £25, January 1985, 0 7099 0560 2
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The Beaverbrook I Knew 
edited by Logan Gourlay.
Quartet, 272 pp., £11.95, September 1984, 0 7043 2331 1
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... defence. Evil men are crawling forward, determined to tear up the weedy old turf. Scargill, Benn, Ken Livingstone, even the pathetic Peter Tatchell, are harassed and hounded with a venom and persistence which have no justification and no precedent. Well, perhaps one precedent. When the right-wing press launched the New Bullying some ten years ago by ...

The poet steamed

Iain Sinclair: Tom Raworth, 19 August 2004

Collected Poems 
by Tom Raworth.
Carcanet, 576 pp., £16.95, February 2003, 1 85754 624 5
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Removed for Further Study: The Poetry of Tom Raworth 
edited by Nate Dorward.
The Gig, 288 pp., £15, March 2003, 0 9685294 3 7
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... best we have.’ And there they were, Tom Raworth and Lee Harwood, linked in a Penguin, like Ted Hughes and Thom Gunn before them, markers for a generation. So where did it all go wrong? (Not for the poets, for us.) Raworth’s first proper book, The Relation Ship, was published by his own Goliard Press in 1967. Three illustrations by Barry Hall. ‘Off-set ...

Karl Miller Remembered

Neal Ascherson, John Lanchester and Andrew O’Hagan, 23 October 2014

... was in the area of editorial solipsism. Karl was very interested in things that swam into his ken, and less likely to be interested in things that hadn’t. This could be maddeningly inconsistent: he would say something wasn’t worth a piece because he didn’t already know about it, whereas a mention by a friend or university colleague could make a ...

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