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Fear in Those Blue Eyes

David Runciman: Thatcher in Her Bubble, 3 December 2015

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. II: Everything She Wants 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 821 pp., £30, October 2015, 978 0 7139 9288 5
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... principles and her private interests were at odds with each other. She was a conservative. Charles Moore’s​ recounting of this episode reveals the strengths and weaknesses of his biography as it arrives at the apogee of Thatcher’s power. He is excellent on the high politics and the potency of personal connections. Powell, who provides the source for some ...

A Predilection for the Zinger

Rebecca Mead: Lorrie Moore, 10 December 1998

Birds of America 
by Lorrie Moore.
Faber, 291 pp., £9.99, November 1998, 0 571 19529 6
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... television shows. But that is what happened in January 1997, when the New Yorker published Lorrie Moore’s short story, ‘People like that Are the Only People Here’. What was so powerful about this story? The subject-matter, in the first place, was irresistibly painful. It concerns a mother, never named, who finds a blood clot while changing her ...

Capital W, Capital W

Michael Wood: Women writers, 19 August 1999

Women Writers at Work 
edited by George Plimpton.
Harvill, 381 pp., £9.99, February 1999, 1 86046 586 2
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Just as I Thought 
by Grace Paley.
Virago, 332 pp., £8.99, August 1999, 1 86049 696 2
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... world, how should we manage with one only?’ And when Woolf’s imaginary young writer Mary Carmichael learns the ‘first great lesson’, it is this: ‘she wrote as a woman, but as a woman who has forgotten that she is a woman’ – the fatality, it turns out, is a matter of too much consciousness rather than of too much gender – ‘so that her pages ...

Heart of Darkness

Christopher Hitchens, 28 June 1990

Not Many Dead: Journal of a Year in Fleet Street 
by Nicholas Garland.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £16.95, April 1990, 0 09 174449 0
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A Slight Case of Libel: Meacher v. Trelford and Others 
by Alan Watkins.
Duckworth, 241 pp., £14.95, June 1990, 0 7156 2334 6
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... general and President Reagan in particular. Entry for 18 April 1986, Not Many Dead The success of Michael Moore’s film about Roger Smith and General Motors has aroused an envious spirit of emulation in my breast. ‘Conrad and Me’, a script which I hone and burnish in slack moments, has the following points of mild interest. In the summer of 1985, I ...

Rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat

David Runciman: Thatcher’s Rise, 6 June 2013

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography. Vol. I: Not for Turning 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 859 pp., £30, April 2013, 978 0 7139 9282 3
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... keep going longest. But it does. That is one of the clear lessons from the first volume of Charles Moore’s exhaustive and exhausting authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher, which takes the story up to the Falklands War in 1982. The person on display here is not more intelligent than her rivals, or more principled. She chops and changes as much as they ...

Conspire Slowly, Act Quickly

David Runciman: Thatcher Undone, 2 January 2020

Margaret Thatcher: The Authorised Biography Vol. III: Herself Alone 
by Charles Moore.
Allen Lane, 1072 pp., £35, October 2019, 978 0 241 32474 5
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... halfway through a war?’It was not a coup, not even a very British one. But it was, as Charles Moore describes, the result of a very Tory conspiracy. Thatcher fell following the first ballot of a leadership election among Conservative MPs in which she secured more votes than her rival Michael Heseltine but not quite ...

Hoydens

Susannah Clapp, 18 February 1988

A Woman of Passion: The Life of E. Nesbit, 1858-1924 
by Julia Briggs.
Hutchinson, 473 pp., £16.95, November 1987, 9780091682101
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Narratives of Love and Loss: Studies in Modern Children’s Fiction 
by Margaret Rustin and Michael Rustin.
Verso, 268 pp., £22.95, November 1987, 9780860911876
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... by the idea of herself as a child. In 1933, nine years after Nesbit’s death, Doris Langley Moore published an extremely lively biography. She did so in the face of considerable difficulties. Nesbit’s family was wary; important witnesses to her life were squeamish about providing testimony. George Bernard Shaw announced that ‘as Edith was an ...

A Different Sort of Tory

Ronald Stevens: Max Hastings, 12 December 2002

Editor: An Inside Story of Newspapers 
by Max Hastings.
Macmillan, 398 pp., £20, October 2002, 0 333 90837 6
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... of Lord Hartwell, who inherited the business on the death of his father, Lord Camrose, in 1954. As Michael Berry he served a long apprenticeship on newspapers in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Manchester and London before joining the Army in 1939. His verdict on himself after this experience was that he was a better sub-editor than a writer, and he demonstrated the truth ...

The Age of Detesting Trump

David Bromwich, 12 July 2017

... of the last two terminations. On 29 December, Trump’s nominee as National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, spoke on the phone with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, about the possibility of sanctions relief for Russia. On 26 January, Yates informed the White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn was in legal jeopardy and had made statements ‘we ...

Short Cuts

Paul Laity: Little England, 24 May 2001

... honorary members – there’s Jilly Cooper, Peter Hitchens, Norris McWhirter, mad Patrick Moore – includes the name of the universally adored J.K. Rowling OBE. Is this not taking the antique Englishness of Harry Potter just a little too far? But then I remember that the ‘feasts’ served up at Hogwarts boarding school are of ‘roast beef, roast ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Simpsons Movie’, 16 August 2007

The Simpsons Movie 
directed by David Silverman.
July 2007
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... Short Films about Springfield’ (1996) was a photograph of Sean Connery signed by Roger Moore. At one point in the big-screen film the action stops abruptly and the words ‘To be continued’ appear, as if we were back on television, and entangled in a programming schedule. The words are followed, almost immediately, by the words ‘almost ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Hunger Games’, 17 December 2015

... to look glamorous at times and a pudgy mess at others without changing her character. Julianne Moore is very good too, as Alma Coin, president of District 13. She is smooth and eloquent, and no one suspects her of being anything other than the idealistic leader of the opposition. Perhaps the Mao suit might have given us a clue, and we should have known ...

At the Movies

Michael Wood: ‘The Awful Truth’, 24 May 2018

... are, which now sounds like a forerunner of the philosophy sketch in Beyond the Fringe (‘”Moore,” I said …’). ‘It’s funny,’ Lucy says, ‘that everything is the way it is on account of the way you feel.’ Jerry says: ‘But things are the way you made them.’ Lucy says: ‘Oh no. No, things are the way you think I made them. I didn’t ...

The Capitalocene

Benjamin Kunkel: The Anthropocene, 2 March 2017

The Birth of the Anthropocene 
by Jeremy Davies.
California, 240 pp., £24.95, June 2016, 978 0 520 28997 0
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Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital 
by Jason Moore.
Verso, 336 pp., £19.99, August 2015, 978 1 78168 902 8
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Fossil Capital: The Rise of Steam-Power and the Roots of Global Warming 
by Andreas Malm.
Verso, 496 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 1 78478 129 3
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... so far to the literature of the Anthropocene come from authors who reject the term. Jason Moore in Capitalism in the Web of Life and Andreas Malm in Fossil Capital have overlapping criticisms of what Moore calls ‘the Anthropocene argument’. Its defect, as Moore sees it, is to ...

The Jump-out Boys

J. Robert Lennon: The Drug-Bust that Wasn’t, 3 August 2006

Tulia: Race, Cocaine and Corruption in a Small Texas Town 
by Nate Blakeslee.
PublicAffairs, 450 pp., £15.99, September 2005, 9781586482190
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... Tulians were happy to see behind bars. One was a former juke-joint owner and bootlegger called Joe Moore. These days, Moore made his living raising pigs and cows, but local police still remembered his more disreputable days. He’d been busted for cocaine possession a couple of times in the past, and had gone to prison ...

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