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Juiced

David Runciman: Winners Do Drugs, 3 August 2006

Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, Balco and the Steroids Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports 
by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams.
Gotham, 332 pp., $26, March 2006, 1 59240 199 6
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... just a few glass-fronted displays of old shirts, balls and assorted memorabilia for people to glance at on their way to spend money on something else – is that Maris made it clear before his death from lymphoma at the age of 51 that he didn’t want anyone to make a fuss. They had made a fuss of him once before, and he hadn’t liked it at all. In ...

Cadmus and the Dragon

Tom Paulin, 8 April 1993

... Stormont Hotel the winter of ’90 or ’91 – there was a civil servant on my right and when I glanced at his left hand a signet ring cut with a tiny gold pentagram was making its point quite silently while beyond the picture window the neoclassical gateway the long straight drive – it dips into the underworld and that hollow muscly facade were also ...

A Hammer in His Hands

Frank Kermode: Lowell’s Letters, 22 September 2005

The Letters of Robert Lowell 
edited by Saskia Hamilton.
Faber, 852 pp., £30, July 2005, 0 571 20204 7
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... former lover, Gertrude Buckman, a sentence to George Santayana and two sentences to William Carlos Williams. Of these communications, those to Bishop, Buckman and Williams are certified as ‘written during an acute manic episode’, but the others are not. A few days later everything again becomes manic for a while. How ...

Shop Talk

John Lennard, 27 January 1994

Jargon: Its Uses and Abuses 
by Walter Nash.
Blackwell, 214 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 9780631180630
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... not often you get a hook so worthy of purpose, so forthright, so amusing and yet so balanced.’ The reviewer for the Scotsman, traditionally anonymous, was given pride of place: ‘If we all listened to Hudson,’ he said, ‘we would think and write a little better. Some of us might even say what we meant, and be understood.’ What a happy day ...

Corbyn in the Media

Paul Myerscough, 21 October 2015

... resignation. A scattering of dissident voices on the payroll – Seumas Milne, Owen Jones, Zoe Williams, George Monbiot – were drowned out by a host of detractors, from within the paper and without: Tim Bale, Nick Cohen, Anne Perkins, Michael White, Martin Kettle, Peter Hain, Alan Johnson, Tony Blair (twice), Jonathan Jones, Frank Field, David Miliband ...

Did Harold really get it in the eye?

Patrick Wormald: The Normans, 3 June 2004

The Battle of Hastings, 1066 
by M.K. Lawson.
Tempus, 288 pp., £16.99, October 2003, 0 7524 1998 6
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The Normans: The History of a Dynasty 
by David Crouch.
Hambledon, 345 pp., £25, July 2002, 1 85285 387 5
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Domesday Book: A Complete Translation 
edited by Ann Williams and G.H. Martin.
Penguin, 1436 pp., £18.99, October 2003, 0 14 143994 7
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... was not so much that northern French chivalry perfected the technique of the mounted charge with lance at rest (only one or two combatants in the tapestry do anything like that), or that this was a freshly ‘feudal’ society confronting ploughboys carrying superannuated kit. More to the point was the all-round professionalism and esprit honed by constant ...

Living with Monsters

Ferdinand Mount: PMs v. the Media, 22 April 2010

Where Power Lies: Prime Ministers v. the Media 
by Lance Price.
Simon & Schuster, 498 pp., £20, February 2010, 978 1 84737 253 6
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... secretary: ‘I think the basic dishonesty of the whole thing was a trouble.’ Now, 30 years on, Lance Price, himself a former BBC reporter who then worked as a media adviser to Tony Blair, has brought the story up to the present (his title and subtitle are on much the same lines as Margach’s). At first blush, it is hard to see that much has changed. Price ...

‘We prefer their company’

Sadiah Qureshi: Black British History, 14 June 2017

Black and British: A Forgotten History 
by David Olusoga.
Pan Macmillan, 624 pp., £25, November 2016, 978 1 4472 9973 8
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... draws on new research that supports the argument made in Capitalism and Slavery (1944) by Eric Williams, the future prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, that the wealth generated by enslavement contributed to 19th-century industrialisation and thus to the reshaping of British culture and society.In the Victorian era black people weren’t an unusual ...

Seductress Extraordinaire

Terry Castle: The vampiric Mercedes de Acosta, 24 June 2004

‘That Furious Lesbian’: The Story of Mercedes de Acosta 
by Robert Schanke.
Southern Illinois, 210 pp., £16.95, June 2004, 0 8093 2579 9
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Women in Turmoil: Six Plays 
by Mercedes de Acosta, edited by Robert Schanke.
Southern Illinois, 252 pp., £26.95, June 2003, 0 8093 2509 8
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... Michael Strange and Eva Le Gallienne in the 1920s and 1930s to Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Hope Williams, Libby Holman, Ona Munson (Belle Watling in Gone with the Wind), Poppy Kirk (a Schiaparelli model and prominent diplomat’s wife) and many others in Hollywood, Paris and New York in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. She had ‘a small white body, like a small ...

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