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23 September 1993
Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices 
by Shelley Fishkin.
Oxford, 270 pp., £17.50, June 1993, 0 19 508214 1
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Black Legacy: America’s Hidden Heritage 
by William Piersen.
Massachusetts, 264 pp., £36, August 1993, 9780870238543
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Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism 
by Kenneth Warren.
Chicago, 178 pp., £21.95, August 1993, 0 226 87384 6
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... whatever American culture is, it is a blending, a blending in which the Afro is an essential part.’ But in stressing only ‘black to white acculturation’, he risks gravely weakening his case. KennethWarren’s Black and White Strangers is an altogether subtler exercise. The motivating question of his inquiry is ‘the story of African Americans from emancipation through the turn of the century ...

Psychodisney

Peter Robins: Gary Indiana

25 July 2002
Depraved Indifference 
by Gary Indiana.
HarperCollins, 336 pp., $24.95, January 2002, 0 06 019726 9
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... you are rarely more than a paragraph from some recognisable detail of the trial it was based on, and hardly ever in the presence of a fact that is incontestably made up. If you think that Evangeline, Warren and Devin Slote are silly names for a family of villains, you must remember that their originals are the even less plausible-sounding Sante, Kenneth and Kenny Kimes. If you think it a bit much to ...

Skating Charm

James Wolcott: Kenneth​ Tynan

13 December 2001
The Diaries of Kenneth​ Tynan 
edited by John Lahr.
Bloomsbury, 439 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 7475 5418 8
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... Kenneth Tynan smoked like a maestro, an aficionado of his own smooth technique. As the stripper sings in Gypsy, ‘Ya gotta have a gimmick,’ and photograph after photograph shows Tynan squiring a cigarette ...

Modern Shakespeare

Graham Bradshaw

21 April 1983
The Taming of the Shrew 
edited by H.J. Oliver.
Oxford, 248 pp., £9.50, September 1982, 0 19 812907 6
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Henry V 
edited by Gary Taylor.
Oxford, 330 pp., £9.50, September 1982, 0 19 812912 2
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Troilus and Cressida 
edited by Kenneth​ Muir.
Oxford, 205 pp., £9.50, September 1982, 0 19 812903 3
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Troilus and Cressida 
edited by Kenneth​ Palmer.
Methuen, 337 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 0 416 47680 5
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... keep our aunt. Is she worth keeping? – Why, she is a pearl Whose price hath launch’d above a thousand ships, and it is perfectly clear that ‘her’ and ‘she’ refer to Helen throughout. If Kenneth Palmer had retained the Folio colon after ‘aunt’, it would be necessary to explain in a note that the first ‘she’ does not refer to Aunty Hesione. It may be argued that this is what notes are ...

At Pallant House

Eleanor Birne: Pauline Boty

6 February 2014
... going and – Frida Kahlo-like – painted and sketched sitting up in bed. The last work she made was called BUM, a brightly coloured painting of exactly that, under a proscenium arch, created for Kenneth Tynan’s revue Oh! Calcutta! (or ‘O quel cul t’as!’). Her daughter was born in February 1966 and Boty died five months later. Clive Goodwin died in 1978 in LA of a cerebral haemorrhage. He ...

Empty Cookie Jar

Donald MacKenzie: Ethnoaccountancy

22 May 2003
Pipe Dreams: Greed, Ego and the Death of Enron 
by Robert Bryce.
PublicAffairs, 394 pp., £9.99, November 2002, 1 903985 54 4
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Enron: The Rise and Fall 
by Loren Fox.
Wiley, 384 pp., £18.50, October 2002, 0 471 23760 4
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... with deep roots in Houston’s local politics, and went beyond financial contributions: in 1986, Enron was involved in joint drilling with Bush’s company, Spectrum 7. Enron’s chairman, Kenneth Lay, seems to have developed a joshing intimacy with Bush. Loren Fox reproduces Bush’s 1997 birthday letter to Lay: ‘55 years old. Wow! That is really old. Thank goodness you have such a young ...
7 November 2019
... from the late David Rockefeller, longtime chairman of the board (his mother, Abby, was a co-founder of the museum), and the other half from just four people: the hedge fund billionaires Leon Black, Kenneth Griffin and Steven Cohen, and the media mogul David Geffen (a new centre is named after Cohen and his wife, and an entire wing after Geffen). They responded to the call of MoMA’s director, Glenn ...

Hi, Louise!

Stephanie Burt: Frank O’Hara

20 July 2000
In Memory of My Feelings: Frank O’Hara and American Art 
by Russell Ferguson.
California, 160 pp., £24.50, October 1999, 0 520 22243 1
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The Last Avant-Garde: The Making of the New York School of Poets 
by David Lehman.
Anchor, 448 pp., $16.95, November 1999, 0 385 49533 1
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Frank O’Hara: Poet among Painters 
by Marjorie Perloff.
Chicago, 266 pp., £13.50, March 1998, 0 226 66059 1
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... his classmate, John Ashbery. After a year (1950-51) in Michigan writing and translating poetry, he moved to New York, where he rejoined his Harvard friends and their friends – among them the poets Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler and Barbara Guest – becoming part of a social circle that was soon dominated by painters. In 1951 and again from 1955 until his death, O’Hara worked at the Museum of Modern ...
19 December 1991
England’s dreaming: The Sex Pistols and Punk Rock 
by Jon Savage.
Faber, 602 pp., £17.50, October 1991, 0 571 13975 2
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... Sex Pistols (1978), a snapshot album with trashy, knowing captions and Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill’s The boy looked at Johnny (also 1978), a book of scurrilous mythologies adapted from Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon, are elegantly tacky and anti-intellectual exercises in mimetic form. Greil Marcus’s much-admired and equally mocked Lipstick Traces (1989), on the other hand, is a ...
2 March 2000
No Other Book: Selected Essays 
by Randall Jarrell, edited by Brad Leithauser.
HarperCollins, 376 pp., $27.50, June 1999, 0 06 118012 2
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Remembering Randall: A Memoir of Poet, Critic and Teacher Randall Jarrell 
by Mary von Schrader Jarrell.
HarperCollins, 173 pp., $22, June 1999, 0 06 118011 4
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... Not that Jarrell ever felt inclined to gratitude: another of his famous, and most joyous, thrusts as a reviewer was aimed at the vitals of his early Agrarian mentors: ‘To expect Tate’s and Warren’s poems to be most influenced by Ransom’s is like expecting two nightmares to be influenced by a daydream.’ To ‘get’ most of Jarrell’s reviewing jokes you had to be well in the know, and ...

Bush’s Useful Idiots

Tony Judt: Whatever happened to American liberalism?

21 September 2006
... intellectuals, writers and businessmen: among them Daniel Bell, J.K. Galbraith, Felix Rohatyn, Arthur Schlesinger Jr, Irving Howe and Eudora Welty. These and other signatories – the economist Kenneth Arrow, the poet Robert Penn Warren – were the critical intellectual core, the steady moral centre of American public life. But who, now, would sign such a protest? Liberalism in the United States ...

Squealing to Survive

John Lahr: Clancy was here

19 July 2018
Black Sunset: Hollywood Sex, Lies, Glamour, Betrayal and Raging Egos 
by Clancy Sigal.
Icon, 352 pp., £12.99, May 2018, 978 1 78578 439 2
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The London Lover: My Weekend that Lasted Thirty Years 
by Clancy Sigal.
Bloomsbury, 274 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 1 4088 8580 2
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... the head of Clancy’s Hollywood agency observed. He moved sharpish up the literary food chain, becoming part of the talentocracy he was drawn to. Laurence Olivier commissioned him (along with Kenneth Tynan) to write a musical on nuclear war; the Spectator appointed him film critic, and his friend David Astor got him permanent residence and made him a regular reporter on the Observer. Lessing and ...

Excellence

Patrick Wright

21 May 1987
Creating excellence: Managing corporate culture, strategy and change in the New Age 
by Craig Hickman and Michael Silva.
Allen and Unwin, 305 pp., £12.50, April 1985, 0 04 658252 5
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Intrapreneuring: Why you don’t have to leave the corporation to become an entrepreneur 
by Gifford Pinchot.
Harper and Row, 368 pp., £15.95, August 1985, 0 06 015305 9
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The IBM Way: Insights into the World’s Most Successful Marketing Organisation 
by Buck Rodgers.
Harper and Row, 224 pp., £12.95, April 1986, 0 06 015522 1
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Innovation: The Attacker’s Advantage 
by Richard Foster.
Macmillan, 316 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 333 43511 7
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Ford 
by Robert Lacey.
Heinemann, 778 pp., £15, July 1986, 0 434 40192 7
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Company of Adventurers: The Story of the Hudson’s Bay Company 
by Peter Newman.
Viking, 413 pp., £14.95, March 1986, 0 670 80379 0
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Augustine’s Laws 
by Norman Augustine.
Viking, 380 pp., £12.95, July 1986, 9780670809424
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Peak Performers: The New Heroes in Business 
by Charles Garfield.
Hutchinson, 333 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 0 09 167391 7
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Going for it: How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur 
by Victor Kiam.
Collins, 223 pp., £9.95, May 1986, 0 00 217603 3
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Take a chance to be first: The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success 
by Warren​ Avis.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 02 504410 9
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The Winning Streak 
by Walter Goldsmith and David Clutterbuck.
Weidenfeld/Penguin, 224 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 297 78469 2
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The Roots of Excellence 
by Ronnie Lessem.
Fontana, 318 pp., £3.95, December 1985, 0 00 636874 3
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The New Management of Local Government 
by John Stewart.
Allen and Unwin, 208 pp., £20, October 1986, 0 00 435232 7
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... Word of Truth writ clear. There will be Morality, Adventure, Speculation, Judgment, Outcome and Reward. Stories of personal and corporate triumph abound, but narrative is put to other uses too. Kenneth Blanchard’s best-selling ‘One Minute Manager’ series combines the barely worded zen fable with the idiom of the children’s story. Other books use narrative to bring large-scale history back ...

O brambles, chain me too

Tom Paulin: Life and Vowels of Andrew Marvell

25 November 1999
World Enough and Time: The Life of Andrew Marvell 
by Nicholas Murray.
Little, Brown, 294 pp., £20, September 1999, 0 316 64863 9
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Marvell and Liberty 
edited by Warren​ Chernaik and Martin Dzelzainis.
Macmillan, 365 pp., £47.50, July 1999, 0 333 72585 9
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Andrew Marvell 
edited by Thomas Healy.
Longman, 212 pp., £12.99, September 1998, 0 582 21910 8
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... trails, Me licks, and clasps, and curls, and hales. Under this antic cope I move Like some great prelate of the grove. I can never read the last couplet without imagining how Frankie Howerd or Kenneth Williams would have delivered it – this is quite deliciously camp, and that word ‘antic’ is also theatrical, for it inescapably carries a memory of Hamlet’s ‘antic disposition’. However ...

Last Exit

Murray Sayle

27 November 1997
The Last Governor: Chris Patten and the Handover of Hong Kong 
by Jonathan Dimbleby.
Little, Brown, 461 pp., £22.50, July 1997, 0 316 64018 2
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In Pursuit of British Interests: Reflections on Foreign Policy under Margaret Thatcher and John Major 
by Percy Cradock.
Murray, 228 pp., £18.99, September 1997, 0 7195 5464 0
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Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule: The Economic and Political Implications of Reversion 
edited by Warren​ Cohen and Li Zhao.
Cambridge, 255 pp., £45, August 1997, 0 521 62158 5
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The Hong Kong Advantage 
by Michael Enright, Edith Scott and David Dodwell.
Oxford, 369 pp., £20, July 1997, 0 19 590322 6
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... and Wus living on both sides of the border – is the likeliest, indeed the only possible explanation. Does it still hold? Will the Chinese Communist Party now be permitted to operate in Hong Kong? Kenneth Lieberthal raises this interesting question in his contribution to Hong Kong under Chinese Rule, but has no ready answer. Hong Kong’s British governors were all appointed by, and solely responsible ...

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