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Sukhdev Sandhu: Memories of Michael X, 4 February 1999

Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multiracial Britain 
by Mike Phillips and Trevor Phillips.
HarperCollins, 422 pp., £16.99, May 1998, 0 00 255909 9
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... and failure, ecstasy and impasse’ constitute by far the most interesting section of Windrush, Mike and Trevor Phillips’s history of postwar black England. Early arrivals who had been weaned on Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Dickens imagined the metropolis as ancient and archival. They had peered at celluloid images of ...

Cloud Cover

Adam Phillips, 16 October 1997

Night Train 
by Martin Amis.
Cape, 149 pp., £10.99, October 1997, 0 224 05018 4
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... has become a more complicated thing. ‘Allow me to apologise in advance,’ the policewoman Mike Hoolihan, the heroine and narrator of Night Train, says very early on in the book, ‘for the bad language, the diseased sarcasm, and the bigotry.’ Night Train tries to be partly about what there might be to apologise for. In Venus Envy, the most riveting ...

Be Dull, Mr President

Kim Phillips-Fein: Remembering Reagan, 19 October 2006

President Reagan: The Triumph of Imagination 
by Richard Reeves.
Simon and Schuster, 571 pp., £20, March 2006, 0 7432 3022 1
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... Day, he called Blair House, where Reagan was sleeping, with exciting news about progress. Mike Deaver, the president-elect’s aide, told Carter it was too soon to wake him. At 8 o’clock, when Deaver finally tried to rouse the new president, telling him it would soon be time to be sworn in, Reagan groaned: ‘Do I have to?’ On the way to the ...

Short Cuts

John Lanchester: #tevezexcuses, 20 October 2011

... with an ample-figured blonde. Why is this news? Because the player was the England captain, Mike Tindall, who a few weeks before had married Zara Phillips, Princess Anne’s daughter and 13th in line to the throne. As several commentators observed, it’s hard for the tabloids to go wrong with a story which features ...

He blinks and night is day

Adam Mars-Jones: ‘Light Perpetual’, 17 June 2021

Light Perpetual 
by Francis Spufford.
Faber, 336 pp., £16.99, February, 978 0 571 33648 7
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... of racist thugs, some of them all too sincere in their belief in their mission and in her man, Mike, ‘the only beautiful thing in her life, as well as being the cause of all the ugly ones’.To choose a group for its representative quality, its ordinariness, implies a recognition of individual limitation. But fiction chafes against ordinariness. Jo has ...

Blackberry Apocalypse

Nicholas Guyatt: Evangelical Disarray, 15 November 2007

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America 
by Chris Hedges.
Cape, 254 pp., £12.99, February 2007, 978 0 224 07820 7
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... the more off-putting: that he served as governor of hippie Massachusetts or that he is a Mormon. Mike Huckabee, who was a Southern Baptist minister before he became governor of Arkansas, has cluttered his anti-abortion platform with liberal ideas about fighting poverty, protecting the environment and limiting the pay of corporate executives. Even the dark ...


David Bromwich: This was Orson Welles, 3 June 2004

Orson Welles: The Stories of His Life 
by Peter Conrad.
Faber, 384 pp., £20, September 2003, 0 571 20978 5
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... had crashed to earth at Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Professor Pierson and his interviewer, Carl Phillips, were speeding to the scene. Thus began a 57-minute experiment on mass opinion in America. Carl Phillips was obviously the sort of brave reporter who would die at his post rather than deny his listeners a break in a ...

Very like St Paul

Ian Sansom: Johnny Cash, 9 March 2006

The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend 
by Steve Turner.
Bloomsbury, 363 pp., £8.99, February 2006, 0 7475 8079 0
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Walk the Line 
directed by James Mangold.
November 2005
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... a point at which a movement becomes a signature and that guitar on the back, face up close to the mike, is definitely Cash’s own, though Joe Strummer used to try and imitate it, and now so does that man out of Green Day, though frankly they look like they’re wearing daddy’s clothes. All of this obviously goes to make Cash the man and the myth – the ...

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