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Gangs

D.A.N. Jones

8 January 1987
The Old School: A Study 
by Simon Raven.
Hamish Hamilton, 139 pp., £12, September 1986, 0 241 11929 4
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The Best Years of their Lives: The National Service Experience 1945-63 
by Trevor Royle.
Joseph, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 7181 2459 6
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Murder without Conviction: Inside the World of the Krays 
by John Dickson.
Sidgwick, 164 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780283994074
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Inside ‘Private Eye’ 
by Peter McKay.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 947795 80 4
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Malice in Wonderland: Robert Maxwell v. ‘Private Eye’ 
by Robert Maxwell, John Jackson, Peter​ Donnelly and Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 191 pp., £10.95, December 1986, 0 356 14616 2
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... Eye that broke through the hype: larger journals seemed awed by the potent Krays, the editors fearful of having their knees nailed to the furniture. The fallen state of Private Eye is illustrated by PeterMcKay’s foolish and ill-written book, Inside Private Eye, but scornful young readers should remember that this downmarket old fogey was once a young fogey. It stood up to the Krays, a plucky little ...
21 May 1998
... farewell to Franz von Schober, who was leaving Vienna briefly, is the only example of his setting his own words to music. ‘Klage an das Volk’ is the last of his poems to survive. Elizabeth Norman McKay, in her biography of Schubert, describes it as a summary of his thoughts about the decline in aesthetic standards in Vienna at the time (1824). My translation sticks as far as possible to the stanza ...
2 December 1982
The ‘Private Eye’ Story: The First 21 Years 
by Patrick Marnham.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 232 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 233 97509 8
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One for the Road: Further Letters of Denis Thatcher 
by Richard Ingrams and John Wells.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 9780233975115
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Sir James Goldsmith: The Man and the Myth 
by Geoffrey Wansell.
Fontana, 222 pp., £1.95, April 1982, 0 00 636503 5
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... organisation. Where once its politics were leftish, its stance investigative, and its key influence Paul Foot, now its politics are rightish, its stance prurient, and its key figures Nigel Dempster, PeterMcKay and Auberon Waugh. The radical lampoon has become required reading on the magazine syllabus of every Sloane Ranger. Moreover, the Eye, that fearless exposer of the faintest mafia, now runs a ...
21 April 1983
Back from the Brink: An Apocalyptic Experience 
by Michael Edwardes.
Collins, 301 pp., £9.95, March 1983, 0 00 217074 4
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... types with tubular steel desks and potted plants. ‘At first I felt able to trust only three people in a company of about 198,000,’ Edwardes writes: his secretary, his personal assistant and John McKay, the communications director, all of whom had moved across from Chloride with the boss. It was some time before we hacks cottoned on to the fact that McKay was not an industrial public relations man ...

Baby Power

Marina Warner

6 July 1989
The Romantic Child: From Runge to Sendak 
by Robert Rosenblum.
Thames and Hudson, 64 pp., £5.95, February 1989, 0 500 55020 4
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Caldecott & Co: Notes on Books and Pictures 
by Maurice Sendak.
Reinhardt, 216 pp., £13.95, March 1989, 1 871061 06 7
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Dear Mili 
by Wilhelm Grimm, translated by Ralph Manheim and Maurice Sendak.
Viking Kestrel, £9.95, November 1988, 0 670 80168 2
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Grimms’ Bad Girls and Bold Boys: The Moral and Social Vision of the ‘Tales’ 
by Ruth Bottigheimer.
Yale, 211 pp., £8.95, April 1989, 0 300 04389 9
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The one who set out to study fear 
by Peter​ Redgrove.
Bloomsbury, 183 pp., £13.95, April 1989, 0 7475 0187 4
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... nature of that pain or confusion ... the simple heroism of children and their touching efforts at concealment, as though to shield grown ups from too much pain’. When he celebrates Winsor McKay, the creator of the newspaper strip ‘Little Nemo’ in the first decades of the century, he writes: ‘McKay and I serve the same master, our child selves.’ But Sendak also criticises McKay for ...

Diary

Susan McKay: Breakdown in Power-Sharing

8 March 2018
... come,’ was the rallying cry of the IRA. Poetry helped, once or twice. When power-sharing collapsed in 2015, it was mended with the Fresh Start Agreement. The then first and deputy first ministers, Peter Robinson and McGuinness, issued a joint statement signalling ‘our resolve to engender the sea change so longed for by our communities’. The reference was to Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy, in ...

White Lies

James Campbell: Nella Larsen

5 October 2006
In Search of Nella Larsen: A Biography of the Colour Line 
by George Hutchinson.
Harvard, 611 pp., £25.95, June 2006, 0 674 02180 0
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... she spoke the language, and her first publications were translations from Danish of children’s games and riddles. Her mother, Marie Hansen, had immigrated to the US in the 1880s, and her father, Peter Walker, whom she never knew, was born in the Danish West Indies (after 1917, the US-controlled Virgin Islands). The little that is known about him suggests that he was half-Danish. By any logical ...
27 September 2018
How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed Aids 
by David France.
Picador, 624 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 5098 3940 7
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Patient Zero and the Making of the Aids Epidemic 
by Richard A. McKay.
Chicago, 432 pp., £26.50, November 2017, 978 0 226 06395 9
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Modern Nature: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1989-90 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 314 pp., £9.99, May 2018, 978 1 78487 387 5
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Smiling in Slow Motion: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1991-94 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 388 pp., £9.99, August 2018, 978 1 78487 516 9
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The Ward 
by Gideon Mendel.
Trolley, 88 pp., £25, December 2017, 978 1 907112 56 0
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... my dad said to me when I came out. Two months after that, my cousin asked: ‘Have you got Aids yet?’ How​ should we write the story of Aids? Where should we start? David France and Richard McKay’s books are both in dialogue with Randy Shilts’s bestselling And the Band Played On, published in 1987, when an end to the story was impossible to imagine. France is closer to Shilts in his ...

The Club and the Mob

James Meek: The Shock of the News

6 December 2018
Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now 
by Alan Rusbridger.
Canongate, 464 pp., £20, September 2018, 978 1 78689 093 1
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... or the LRB. I know from experience that while some do, many don’t. If one journalist cheats and lies, the rest are tainted: disillusionment sets in. Back in the pre-digital days, when Sergeant Ian McKay, a soldier who died in an act of extraordinary military sacrifice in the Falklands, was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross, the Sun tried and failed to interview his widow Marica, who spoke to the ...

Tiny Little Lars

Joanna Kavenna: Von Trier’s Provocations

15 April 2004
Trier on von Trier 
edited by Stig Björkman, translated by Neil Smith.
Faber, 288 pp., £16.99, February 2004, 0 571 20707 3
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Dogville 
directed by Lars von Trier.
May 2003
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... see any new films. I don’t think much of films that are fashionable today. Like Brazil by Terry Gilliam. I hated it! Or . . . Delicatessen. I couldn’t stand it . . . And I feel the same way about Peter Greenaway’s films . . . Yet I still get compared to these directors now and then.’ In the introduction to Trier on von Trier, Stig Björkman makes it clear where he places von Trier: ‘His ...

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