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Short Legs

E.S. Turner, 24 January 1980

Eminent Edwardians 
by Piers Brendon.
Secker, 255 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 436 06810 9
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... Who prizes objectivity? Not Piers Brendon, who has had enough of long ‘photographic’ biographies and is all for ‘the irradiation of an epoch by means of sharp biographical vignettes’ in the Lytton Strachey tradition. ‘The camera’s lens reflects verisimilitude,’ he writes, ‘whereas the prism of the artist’s imagination refracts truth ...


Alan Brinkley, 7 January 1988

Armed Truce 
by Hugh Thomas.
Hamish Hamilton, 667 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 241 11843 3
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The Wise Men 
by Walter Isaacson and Evan Thomas.
Faber, 853 pp., £15.95, January 1987, 0 571 14606 6
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by Piers Brendon.
Secker, 478 pp., £12.95, January 1987, 0 436 06813 3
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by Michael Beschloss.
Faber, 494 pp., £14.95, November 1986, 0 571 14593 0
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... command of his own Administration even if he preferred to govern quietly, by indirection. But as Piers Brendon points out in his engaging biography, the argument that Eisenhower was a clever ‘master of disguise, concealing his political adroitness beneath a cloak of geniality, vagueness, and even ineptitude’ is a curiously substanceless defence of ...

Down among the press lords

Alan Rusbridger, 3 March 1983

The Life and Death of the Press Barons 
by Piers Brendon.
Secker, 288 pp., £12.50, December 1982, 0 436 06811 7
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... airlines and minerals. ‘The paramount commitment of such organisations,’ according to Piers Brendon, ‘is to profits, and they are disposed to apply only commerical criteria to what is a trust as well as a business. This can warp and dehumanise the organisation of a newspaper and reduce its contents to universally acceptable ...

On Trying to Be Portugal

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Zionist Terrorism, 6 August 2009

‘A Senseless, Squalid War’: Voices from Palestine 1945-48 
by Norman Rose.
Bodley Head, 278 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 224 07938 9
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Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, Scandal and Britain’s War against Jewish Terrorism 1945-48 
by David Cesarani.
Heinemann, 290 pp., £20, March 2009, 978 0 434 01844 4
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... than angry frustration, best expressed by a graffiti exchange on a wall in Jerusalem described by Piers Brendon in The Decline and Fall of the British Empire (2007). Under the Zionist slogan ‘Tommy Go Home,’ one such Tommy replied: ‘I Wish I Fucking Well Could.’ These events are judiciously related by Rose, a professor of history at the Hebrew ...

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