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Can Gorbachev succeed?

John Barber, 4 December 1986

Crisis in the Kremlin: Soviet Succession and the Rise of Gorbachev 
by Richard Owen.
Gollancz, 253 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 575 03635 4
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The Waking Giant: The Soviet Union Under Gorbachev 
by Martin Walker.
Joseph, 282 pp., £14.95, October 1986, 0 7181 2719 6
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The Artful Albanian: The Memoirs of Enver Hoxha 
edited by Jon Halliday.
Chatto, 394 pp., £5.95, May 1986, 0 7011 2970 0
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... prospects for change. Richard Owen was the Times correspondent in Moscow from 1982 to 1985, while Martin Walker has been the Guardian’s correspondent since 1984. Their approaches provide an interesting contrast. Owen’s, as his title indicates, is avowedly Kremlinological, and the chapter headings reflect the personal, power-politics ...

Bad News at the ‘Observer’

Colin Legum, 4 November 1982

Powers of the Press: The World’s Great Newspapers 
by Martin Walker.
Quartet, 401 pp., £15, July 1982, 0 7043 2271 4
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Goodbye Gutenberg: The Newspaper Revolution of the 1980s 
by Anthony Smith.
Oxford, 367 pp., £3.95, January 1982, 9780198272434
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New Technology and Industrial Relations in Fleet Street 
by Roderick Martin.
Oxford, 367 pp., £17.50, October 1981, 9780198272434
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News Ltd: Why you can’t read all about it 
by Brian Whitaker.
Minority Press Group, 176 pp., £3.25, June 1981, 0 906890 04 7
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... of relationship, however, exists between newspapers and the national Establishment. On this point Martin Walker quotes approvingly the views of Wilbur Schramm: ‘Prestige papers are shaped, to an important degree, by what the leadership in the country wants to know and wants known. The leadership in the country is also shaped, to an important degree, by ...

Phut-Phut

James Wood: The ‘TLS’, 27 June 2002

Critical Times: The History of the ‘Times Literary Supplement’ 
by Derwent May.
HarperCollins, 606 pp., £25, November 2001, 0 00 711449 4
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... the piquant information that the TLS was for a while so mistrusted by literary theorists that Martin Walker of the Guardian was dispatched in the hope of writing a piece that would expose ‘a vast Murdochian conspiracy to purify Eng-Lit of structuralists and leftists, with the TLS as the spearhead of a Thatcherite purge among the ...

Miss Fleur gave me the most awful restyle

Elaine Showalter: Joe Orton, 10 December 1998

Between Us Girls 
by Joe Orton.
Hern, 224 pp., £14.99, October 1998, 1 85459 374 9
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‘Fred & Madge’ and ‘The Visitors’ 
by Joe Orton.
Hern, 224 pp., £12.99, October 1998, 1 85459 354 4
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... party to which, invariably failing to attract a new ‘number’, she will take her dependable gay walker, Ollie Martin. The interchangeable parties feature the same ‘divine Hungarian musicians in green coats’, and the life of the party, Stewie Hunter, who dresses up in various costumes and leads the band with a shoe, a ...

Diary

Ben Walker: ‘A test case for Corbynism’, 25 November 2019

... the election had been called. Towards the end of my conversation with Hussain, another councillor, Martin Repton, came along. He told me the situation with Williamson’s candidacy was ‘a little localised problem, which should be resolved today’. An hour later the NEC ruled that Williamson would not after all be permitted to stand in Derby North. A few ...

Fourth from the top

Martin Kemp, 1 December 1983

Collected Essays: Vols I and II 
by Frances Yates.
Routledge, 279 pp., £12.50, May 1982, 0 7100 0952 6
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... She belonged to a small band of pioneers – including Lynn Thorndike, Eugenio Garin and D.P. Walker – who moved scientific and spiritual magic to the centre of the history of European thought. She rescued important facets of our intellectual heritage from what she called ‘the dust-heap of useless speculations’, recognising forces within occult ...

The Moral Solipsism of Global Ethics Inc

Alex de Waal: Human rights, democracy and Amnesty International, 23 August 2001

Like Water on Stone: The Story of Amnesty International 
by Jonathan Power.
Allen Lane, 332 pp., £12.99, May 2001, 0 7139 9319 7
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Future Positive: International Co-operation in the 21st Century 
by Michael Edwards.
Earthscan, 292 pp., £12.99, September 2000, 1 85383 740 7
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East Meets West: Human Rights and Democracy in East Asia 
by Daniel Bell.
Princeton, 369 pp., £12.50, May 2000, 0 691 00508 7
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... mobilising in pursuit of their rights, legitimately claimed. The movement’s success owed much to Martin Luther King’s strategy of non-violence, but it also had to do with the co-ordination between a ‘primary’ mass mobilisation of citizens and a skilful activist leadership, who could channel popular energy into sustained and effective campaigns, and ...

Jack and Leo

John Sutherland, 27 July 1989

The Letters of Jack London 
edited by Earle Labor, Robert Leitz and Milo Shepard.
Stanford, 1657 pp., $139.50, October 1988, 0 8047 1227 1
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Tolstoy 
by A.N. Wilson.
Hamish Hamilton, 572 pp., £16.95, May 1988, 0 241 12190 6
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... There is not a shred of annotation attached to the text. Stone cannibalised whole chunks of Martin Eden (London’s ‘artistic memoirs’) and John Barleycorn (his ‘alcoholic memoirs’) as biographical narrative without any acknowledgement. When Stone reissued Sailor on Horseback in 1938, it was under the new label, ‘biographical novel’. It is ...

Mortal on Hooch

William Fiennes: Alan Warner, 30 July 1998

The Sopranos 
by Alan Warner.
Cape, 336 pp., £9.99, June 1998, 0 224 05108 3
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... she seemed to have read a lot of books. She refers to Joseph Conrad, William Golding’s Pincher Martin and Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer. Morvern’s palette has expanded to encompass the Updikean spectrum of emerald, cyan and tangerine. She uses the word ‘whorls’. That this was Alan Warner’s voice rather than ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’, 30 August 2018

... into a faintly smiling villain played by Jon Voight. This did not go down well with everyone. Martin Landau, who was the master of disguise in the television series, said the original show ‘was a mind game. The ideal mission was getting in and getting out without anyone ever knowing we were there.’ The film series, by contrast, was just ...

The Candidates

Chris Lehmann: Scott, Rick, Ted, Marco and Jeb, 17 June 2015

... nation’s first ever ‘stand your ground’ gun law (the legislation that gave us the Trayvon Martin killing and countless other instances of unpunished citizen bloodletting); and prolonging the life of the severely brain-damaged Terri Schiavo in a cynical bid to burnish his culture wars résumé. Also disgraceful was the disenfranchisement of Florida’s ...

The Obdurate Knoll

Colin Kidd: The Obdurate Knoll, 1 December 2011

Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics: JFK, RFK, Carter, Ford, Reagan 
by Jeff Greenfield.
Putnam, 434 pp., £20.25, March 2011, 978 0 399 15706 6
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11.22.63 
by Stephen King.
Hodder, 740 pp., £19.99, November 2011, 978 1 4447 2729 6
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... as well as satirise the paranoia which was exacerbated by the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King in 1968 and seemed to find its justification in the Watergate revelations. Richard Condon’s novel The Manchurian Candidate – an eerie anticipation published in 1959 and then turned into a Hollywood film which appeared during the Cuban ...

Molehunt

Christopher Andrew, 22 January 1987

Sword and Shield: Soviet Intelligence and Security Apparatus 
by Jeffrey Richelson.
Harper and Row, 279 pp., £11.95, February 1986, 0 88730 035 9
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The Red and the Blue: Intelligence, Treason and the University 
by Andrew Sinclair.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £12.95, June 1986, 0 297 78866 3
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Inside Stalin’s Secret Police: NKVD Politics 1936-39 
by Robert Conquest.
Macmillan, 222 pp., £25, January 1986, 0 333 39260 4
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Conspiracy of Silence: The Secret Life of Anthony Blunt 
by Barrie Penrose and Simon Freeman.
Grafton, 588 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 246 12200 5
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... make up by espionage. Even comparatively low-level spies like Geoffrey Prime in Britain and the Walker family in the United States are sometimes able to provide priceless technical intelligence. There is recent evidence that from 1976 to 1983 the KGB was able to read France’s diplomatic traffic with its Moscow embassy by bugging an embassy teleprinter ...

Mother

Wendy Steiner, 19 October 1995

Gertrude Stein in Words and Pictures 
by Renate Stendhal.
Thames and Hudson, 286 pp., £14.95, March 1995, 0 500 27832 6
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‘Favoured Strangers’: Gertrude Stein and Her Family 
by Linda Wagner-Martin.
Rutgers, 346 pp., $34.95, August 1995, 0 8135 2169 6
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... brother Leo in Europe. ‘Gertrude, Gertrude, remember the cause of women,’ her friend Marian Walker expostulated. Stein replied: ‘You don’t know what it is to be bored.’ For Stein, the personal was not the political, but the aesthetic. The ‘Mama of Dada’ and the ‘Mother of Modernism’, she anticipated several of the major developments of ...

When did you get hooked?

John Lanchester: Game of Thrones, 11 April 2013

A Song of Ice and Fire: Vols I-VII 
by George R.R. Martin.
Harper, 5232 pp., £55, July 2012, 978 0 00 747715 9
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Game of Thrones: The Complete First and Second Seasons 
Warner Home Video, £40, March 2013, 978 1 892122 20 9Show More
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... is, they couldn’t care less. The information is of no use to them. Until recently, George R.R. Martin would’ve been another serious candidate for that mayoralty. He has for decades been an immensely prolific and successful writer of fantasy, unusual in having more than one series on the go simultaneously. (He’s also a fan of his own milieu. ...

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