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Barclay’s War

David Chandler, 19 March 1981

The Commander: A Life of Barclay de Tolly 
by Michael Josselson and Diana Josselson.
Oxford, 275 pp., £12.95, June 1980, 0 19 215854 6
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... serious disadvantages, several of which stemmed from his background. A fourth-generation Livonian (Josselson himself, incidentally, was an Estonian by origin), Barclay drew his antecedents from a shadowy Barclay of Towie in Scotland. The transfer to the Baltic scene came in the early 1620s, and by 1664 his direct ancestor had moved to Riga. The family was ...

A Sort of Nobody

Michael Wood, 9 May 1996

Not Entitled: A Memoir 
by Frank Kermode.
HarperCollins, 263 pp., £18, May 1996, 0 00 255519 0
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... results of his trust. This doesn’t mean that trusting is wrong, only that trust can be betrayed. Michael Josselson, of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, which funded Encounter, told Kermode that there was no truth at all in what Conor Cruise O’Brien was saying about the magazine: that it was an instrument of covert American operations, that ‘it was ...

Hey, Mister, you want dirty book?

Edward Said: The CIA, 30 September 1999

Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War 
by Frances Stonor Saunders.
Granta, 509 pp., £20, July 1999, 1 86207 029 6
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... The main vehicle for all of this was the Congress for Cultural Freedom, ‘run by CIA agent Michael Josselson from 1950 till 1967’. My first encounter (pun unintended) with the Congress was through The God that Failed, a compendium of confessions by well-known former Communists (and/or sympathisers) that included Gide, Silone and Koestler; it was ...

Stainless Splendour

Stefan Collini: How innocent was Stephen Spender?, 22 July 2004

Stephen Spender: The Authorised Biography 
by John Sutherland.
Viking, 627 pp., £25, May 2004, 0 670 88303 4
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... Spender was closely involved in manoeuvres within the British branch of the CCF to oust Michael Goodwin, the editor of Twentieth Century, a periodical that had already been covertly subsidised by the Americans to provide an alternative platform in Britain to the ‘pro-Soviet’ New Statesman. Stonor Saunders, whose book tells the story of CCF ...

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