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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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... the Cold War and, in a dig at Bush, for his ability to govern without partisan rancour. In 1985 Richard Reeves published The Reagan Detour, a book aimed at fellow Democrats who were disheartened by Reagan’s stunning victory in the 1984 election. He assured his readers that Reaganism would be short-lived: Americans still supported Social ...

America is back

Alan Brinkley, 1 November 1984

... to point out how starkly each differed from the other in its view of the state. The columnist Richard Reeves predicted in February that the contest for the Presidency would be decided by a single issue: what Americans think of the President’s statement that ‘government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.’ This would ...

Aviators and Movie Stars

Patricia Lockwood: Carson McCullers, 18 October 2017

Stories, Plays and Other Writings 
by Carson McCullers.
Library of America, 672 pp., £33.99, January 2017, 978 1 59853 511 2
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... her arrival. In the summer of 1935, she met a charismatic and literary-minded soldier called James Reeves McCullers, Jr. They married when she was 20 and he was 24, and set up house in North Carolina. The detail that somehow sticks with you is that she wore knee-high socks to the wedding. At first glance, Carson and ...

Bye Bye Labour

Richard Seymour, 22 April 2015

... courts respectability by pledging to honour all the coalition government’s spending cuts. Rachel Reeves gratuitously alienates the unemployed and welfare recipients – groups she treats as identical, although the majority of people who receive benefits are in work – by insisting that Labour ‘is not the party to represent those who are out of ...

The Crumbling of Camelot

Peter Riddell, 10 October 1991

Kennedy v. Khrushchev: The Crisis Years 1960-63 
by Michael Beschloss.
Faber, 816 pp., £18.50, August 1991, 0 571 16548 6
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A Question of Character: A Life of John F. Kennedy 
by Thomas Reeves.
Bloomsbury, 510 pp., £19.99, August 1991, 0 7475 1029 6
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... and nephews, is just one aspect of the flawed personality explored in vivid detail in Thomas Reeves’s book. He was in many respects more devious and ruthless – and certainly more hypocritical – than either Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon. Both Reeves and Beschloss show the ...

Sunshine

David Goldie: Morecambe and Wise, 15 April 1999

Morecambe and Wise 
by Graham McCann.
Fourth Estate, 416 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 1 85702 735 3
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... both national and televisual – that made them possible. To accept (and extend to Celtic Britain) Richard Hoggart’s assertion, in The Way We Live Now, that the English are ‘most characteristic of their collective selves when being irreverent, vulgar, nutty rather than when brought together in deference or respect for occasions invented by their ...

You are the we of me

Joyce Carol Oates: The Autobiography of Carson McCullers, 2 September 1999

Illumination and Night Glare: The Unfinished Autobiography of Carson McCullers 
edited by Carlos Dews.
Wisconsin, 256 pp., £19.95, September 1999, 0 299 16440 3
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... years later remarried the charming, handsome, emotionally unstable and fatally alcoholic bisexual, Reeves McCullers, who committed suicide in 1953, having failed to coerce McCullers to do the same. According to Carr, though it’s scarcely mentioned in Illumination, Carson McCullers was also a chronic alcoholic from her early twenties; even after her ...

If I Turn and Run

Iain Sinclair: In Hoxton, 1 June 2000

45 
by Bill Drummond.
Little, Brown, 361 pp., £12.99, March 2000, 0 316 85385 2
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Crucify Me Again 
by Mark Manning.
Codex, 190 pp., £8.95, May 2000, 0 18 995814 6
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... is deserted. In a splendid street-facing room there is an art manifestation, an exhibition by Mark Reeves, tagged Glamour, which consists of groups of monochrome prints, photographs of photographs. In the Zone there are essentially two types of pitch: small photographs (such as these) or very large photographs, such as those by Marc Atkins in the Foundry, on ...

The Conspiracists

Richard J. Evans: The Reichstag Fire, 7 May 2014

Burning the Reichstag: An Investigation into the Third Reich’s Enduring Mystery 
by Benjamin Carter Hett.
Oxford, 413 pp., £18.09, February 2014, 978 0 19 932232 9
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... of two interviews with Hitler allegedly conducted in 1931 by a senior newspaper editor called Richard Breiting, and subsequently supposedly buried by him in a canister in his garden because he feared for his life should they be discovered. The interviews showed Hitler was making plans to burn the Reichstag two years before the event. ‘In my ...

Knucklehead Truman

Douglas Johnson, 2 June 1983

The Eisenhower Diaries 
edited by Robert Ferrell.
Norton, 445 pp., £15.25, April 1983, 0 393 01432 0
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The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy: A Biography 
by Thomas Reeves.
Blond and Briggs, 819 pp., £11.95, June 1983, 0 85634 131 2
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The past has another pattern 
by George Ball.
Norton, 544 pp., £14.95, September 1982, 0 393 01481 9
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Torn Lace Curtain 
by Frank Saunders and James Southwood.
Sidgwick, 361 pp., £7.95, March 1983, 0 283 98946 7
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The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power 
by Robert Caro.
Collins, 882 pp., £15, February 1983, 0 00 217062 0
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The Politician: The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson 
by Ronnie Dugger.
Norton, 514 pp., £13.25, September 1982, 9780393015980
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Years of Upheaval 
by Henry Kissinger.
Weidenfeld/Joseph, 1312 pp., £15.95, March 1982, 0 7181 2115 5
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Richard Nixon: The Shaping of his Character 
by Fawn Brodie.
Norton, 574 pp., £14.95, October 1982, 0 393 01467 3
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Haig: The General’s Progress 
by Roger Morris.
Robson, 458 pp., £8.95, October 1982, 9780860511885
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Keeping Faith: Memoirs of a President 
by Jimmy Carter.
Collins, 622 pp., £15, November 1982, 0 00 216648 8
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Crisis: The Last Year of the Carter Presidency 
by Hamilton Jordan.
Joseph, 431 pp., £12.95, November 1982, 0 7181 2248 8
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Power and Principle: Memoirs of the National Security Adviser 1977-81 
by Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Weidenfeld, 587 pp., £15, April 1983, 0 297 78220 7
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... requiring political courage did President Eisenhower show himself to be courageous. Thomas Reeves, the latest historian of McCarthyism, is very clear that McCarthy could have been stopped cold at any time, by any man with authority. It could have been J. Edgar Hoover or Nixon. It ought to have been Eisenhower. In the event, it was McCarthy who was ...

Opprobrious Epithets

Katrina Navickas: The Peterloo Massacre, 20 December 2018

Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre 
by Jacqueline Riding.
Head of Zeus, 386 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 1 78669 583 3
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... Manchester and Salford were still governed by a medieval structure of lords of the manor, borough-reeves and constables. Like most other centres of manufacturing in Britain, Manchester had no MPs. And in common with most of the British population, the majority of its twenty thousand residents had no vote. To a large extent, up until 1776, no one seems to have ...

More a Voyeur

Colm Tóibín: Elton Took Me Hostage, 9 December 2019

Me 
by Elton John.
Macmillan, 376 pp., £25, October 2019, 978 1 5098 5331 1
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... the Royal Academy of Music, and eventually started playing in a bar, becoming fascinated by Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis. He got a Saturday job to fund his record-buying habit. As he became more involved with what was happening in music, he was aware that the older generation was not amused. ‘People fucking hated it. And no one hated it more than my ...

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