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Luke Hughes: The ghosts of Everest, 20 July 2000

Ghosts of Everest: The Authorised Story of the Search for Mallory & Irvine 
by Jochen Hemmleb and Larry Johnson.
Macmillan, 206 pp., £20, October 1999, 9780333783146
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Lost on Everest: The Search for Mallory and Irvine 
by Peter Firstbrook.
BBC, 244 pp., £16.99, September 1999, 0 563 55129 1
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The Last Climb: The Legendary Everest Expeditions of George Mallory 
by David Breashears and Audrey Salkeld.
National Geographic, 240 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 7922 7538 1
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... is an Everest junkie who collects Mallory marginalia with the obsession of a train-spotter, Larry Johnson is a publishing consultant specialising in the marketing of outdoor books, and Eric Simonson is a professional mountain guide who has led more than seventy high altitude expeditions, seven to Everest. Their book was ghosted by William ...

The President’s Alternate

Fredrik Logevall: Bobby Kennedy, 17 May 2017

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon 
by Larry Tye.
Ballantine, 624 pp., £15.58, May 2017, 978 0 8129 8350 0
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... RFK winning the Democratic nomination and then the presidential election, and it animates Larry Tye’s absorbing new biography. In the current American political moment, with its corrosive polarisation and its deep and pervasive cynicism about politics and politicians, even normally sober-minded observers are pining for a political superhero, someone ...

Mixed Up

Joanna Kavenna: In the génocidaire’s wake, 3 March 2005

The Optimists 
by Andrew Miller.
Sceptre, 313 pp., £16.99, March 2005, 9780340825129
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... own atmosphere of black tobacco and failed cooking’ – and works as an underpaid translator; Larry from a drugs marathon in LA, where he has been a successful TV actor, though his fortunes are now faded and his marriage has collapsed. Through Alec and Larry, Miller develops a wider opposition, between Europe and ...

Like a boll weevil to a cotton bud

A. Craig Copetas, 18 November 1993

New York Days 
by Willie Morris.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £19.45, September 1993, 0 316 58421 5
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... Baldwin is alive. Janis Joplin is alive. Jack Kerouac is alive. Jimi Hendrix is alive. Lyndon Johnson is alive. James Jones is alive. Jim Morrison and Robert Penn Warren are alive. Richard Nixon is dead; and a Soviet-bloc skier named Ivana Trump – someone overhears Sixties psychic Jeanne Dixon saying – will assign her name to a novel she does not ...

Too early or too late?

David Runciman, 2 April 2020

... Produce Responsive Government, published in 2016, the political scientists Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels described what happened when sharks started attacking bathers off the New Jersey shore in the summer of 1916. It was a wholly unexpected turn of events: sharks had never been seen that far north before. When lifeguards began pulling mauled and dying ...

Strait is the gate

Christopher Hitchens, 21 July 1994

Watergate: The Corruption and Fall of Richard Nixon 
by Fred Emery.
Cape, 448 pp., £20, May 1994, 0 224 03694 7
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The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House 
by H.R. Haldeman.
Putnam, 698 pp., $27.50, May 1994, 0 399 13962 1
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... Richard Nixon is that he never gave up being part of the action and passion of his times.’ As Dr Johnson correctly and humanely observed, a man is not under oath when delivering a funeral oration. But as Kissinger himself brushed away a tear, this ceremony took on more the aspect of a Central Committee interment, where black limousines and dark-spectacled ...

Between centuries

Frank Kermode, 11 January 1990

In the Nineties 
by John Stokes.
Harvester, 199 pp., £17.50, September 1989, 0 7450 0604 3
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Olivia Shakespear and W.B. Yeats 
by John Harwood.
Macmillan, 218 pp., £35, January 1990, 0 333 42518 9
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Letters to the New Island 
by W.B. Yeats, edited by George Bornstein and Hugh Witemeyer.
Macmillan, 200 pp., £45, November 1989, 0 333 43878 7
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The Letters of Ezra Pound to Margaret Anderson: The ‘Little Review’ Correspondence 
edited by Thomas Scott, Melvin Friedman and Jackson Bryer.
Faber, 368 pp., £30, July 1989, 0 571 14099 8
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Ezra Pound and Margaret Cravens: A Tragic Friendship, 1910-1912 
edited by Omar Pound and Robert Spoo.
Duke, 181 pp., £20.75, January 1989, 0 8223 0862 2
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Postcards from the End of the World: An Investigation into the Mind of Fin-de-Siècle Vienna 
by Larry Wolff.
Collins, 275 pp., £15, January 1990, 0 00 215171 5
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Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age 
by Modris Eksteins.
Bantam, 396 pp., £14.95, September 1989, 0 593 01862 1
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Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-Garde and the First World War, 1916-1925 
by Kenneth Silver.
Thames and Hudson, 506 pp., £32, October 1989, 0 500 23567 8
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... here, but it is for her association with Yeats that she is now remembered. A cousin of Lionel Johnson, she was married to the much older, and apparently very dull, Hope Shakespear. Yeats met Olivia at a Yellow Book dinner in 1894. He was 29, she a couple of years older. The nervous hesitations preceding their affair, which terminated the poet’s ...

Doctor Feelgood

R.W. Johnson, 3 March 1988

Reagan’s America: Innocents at Home 
by Garry Wills.
Heinemann, 488 pp., £14.95, February 1988, 0 434 86623 7
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... Reagan re-installed such Nixon stalwarts as Haig, Shultz, Weinberger and Casey, while Ed Meese and Larry Speakes gave imitations of John Mitchell and Ron Ziegler which had all but the cognoscenti fooled. This time, however, there were no residual concessions to the Eastern Establishment – no Harvard professors like Kissinger (indeed, virtually no eggheads or ...

End of an Elite

R.W. Johnson, 21 March 1996

Slovo: The Unfinished Autobiography 
by Joe Slovo.
Hodder, 253 pp., £18.99, February 1996, 0 340 66566 1
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... such as that of the Trotskyist leader, Itchke Skikne, who could never forgive his brother Larry for deserting ‘our great cause’ to become the millionaire film actor, Laurence Harvey. (Slovo doesn’t mention him but Sid James, of Carry On and Honcock’s Half-Hour fame, came out of much the same stable.) Slovo was an able and ambitious ...

Why the bastards wouldn’t stand and fight

Murray Sayle: Mao in Vietnam, 21 February 2002

China and the Vietnam Wars 1950-75 
by Qiang Zhai.
North Carolina, 304 pp., $49.95, April 2000, 0 8078 4842 5
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None so Blind: A Personal Account of the Intelligence Failure in Vietnam 
by George Allen.
Ivan Dee, 296 pp., $27.50, October 2001, 1 56663 387 7
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No Peace, No Honour: Nixon, Kissinger and Betrayal in Vietnam 
by Larry Berman.
Free Press, 334 pp., $27.50, November 2001, 0 684 84968 2
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... ally it had solemnly sworn to defend. ‘If we are driven from the field in Vietnam,’ President Johnson had pledged in July 1965, ‘then no nation can ever have the same confidence in American promises or American protection. We will stand in Vietnam.’ Uncomfortable precedents indeed for America’s allies in a new open-ended crusade against another ...

Mad to Be Saved

Thomas Powers: The Kerouac Years, 25 October 2012

The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac 
by Joyce Johnson.
Viking, 489 pp., £25, September 2012, 978 0 670 02510 7
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... of books. Glassman was the first with a memoir and now, writing under her married name as Joyce Johnson, has added a second, more substantial account. Kerouac’s friend and champion Allen Ginsberg, who longed to be his lover as well, kept a journal famous for its bulk. Many of Kerouac’s friends wrote books and all seem to have written long letters no one ...

Maybe he made it up

Terry Eagleton: Faking It, 6 June 2002

The Forger’s Shadow: How Forgery Changed the Course of Literature 
by Nick Groom.
Picador, 351 pp., £20, April 2002, 9780330374323
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... were almost as fine as the originals. Moore’s poem Lalla Rookh (or ‘Larry O’Rourke’, as one Englishwoman misheard the title), originally appeared in the Mogul language in the audience chamber of the King of Delhi, so Mahony earnestly claimed. Mahony’s anti-plagiarist pursuits were themselves, he confessed, plagiarised from ...

Rising Moon

R.W. Johnson, 18 December 1986

L’Empire Moon 
by Jean-Francois Boyer.
La Découverte, 419 pp., August 1986, 2 7071 1604 1
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The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection 
by Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead.
Sheridan Square, 255 pp., $19.95, May 1986, 0 940380 07 2
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... and its columns featured articles by such luminaries of the conservative movement as Congressman Larry McDonald (head of the John Birch Society), Fred and Phyllis Schafly, Ray Cline (former deputy-director of the CIA), General Daniel Graham (now leader of the High Frontier – i.e. Star Wars – lobby) and Reed Irvine. Irvine brought a fresh raft of ...

Frognal Days

Zachary Leader: Files on the Fifties, 4 June 1998

Previous Convictions: A Journey Through the Fifties 
by Nora Sayre.
Rutgers, 464 pp., £27.95, April 1997, 0 8135 2231 5
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... their living room in New York: Edmund Wilson, James Thurber, Walker Evans, James M. Cain, Nunnally Johnson, S.J. Perelman, Dawn Powell, Joseph Mitchell and John O’Hara. Many of these celebrated figures, artists and authors approaching fifty at the start of the decade or only lately past it, grew up in small provincial towns, emigrated to New York in the Jazz ...

Oswaldworld

Andrew O’Hagan, 14 December 1995

Oswald’s Tale: An American Mystery 
by Norman Mailer.
Little, Brown, 791 pp., £25, September 1995, 0 316 87620 8
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... Mailer warbled to gossip-columnist Liz Smith of the New York Daily News in the mid-Eighties, ‘Larry Schiller makes Baron von Munchausen look like George Washington.’ Yet at the beginning of this new book there is an appreciation: ‘to Larry Schiller, my skilled and wily colleague in interview and investigation, for ...

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