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President François Misprint

Richard Mayne, 1 April 1983

The Wheat and the Chaff: The Personal Diaries of the President of France 1971-1978 
by François Mitterrand, translated by Richard Woodward, Helen Lane and Concilia Hayter.
Weidenfeld, 284 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 0 297 78101 4
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The French 
by Theodore Zeldin.
Collins, 542 pp., £12.95, January 1983, 0 00 216806 5
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... lame little creature nowadays dismissed as secondary) ...’ The bemused translator, Mr Woodward, has missed the pun involving that crippled aristocrat, le Comte du Bonheur. On page 56, again, he actually reverses Mitterrand’s meaning. ‘Des visages surgissent qui restituent au mien les marques, les blessures que le miroir me dissimule’ becomes ...

Who won the Falklands War?

Edward Luttwak, 23 April 1992

One Hundred Days: The Memoirs of the Falklands Battle Group Commander 
by Admiral Sandy Woodward and Patrick Robinson.
HarperCollins, 359 pp., £18, January 1992, 0 00 215723 3
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... like Brittany – until the British came along, and found the façades irresistible. Admiral Woodward convincingly estimates in his efficiently co-authored memoirs that because of the Royal Navy’s electronic incapacity, it was only for want of a few dozen Exocets that the Argentinians failed to wreck either HMS Hermes or HMS Valiant or both, thereby ...

Serried Yuppiedromes

Owen Hatherley: What happened to London?, 21 August 2014

Guide to the Architecture of London 
by Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward.
Phoenix, 511 pp., £16.99, July 2013, 978 1 78022 493 0
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... to compare the introductions to the first and most recent editions of Edward Jones and Christopher Woodward’s Guide to the Architecture of London. In 1983, they wrote of a city in decline, its population down by about a sixth from its postwar height. ‘London is cleaner and uglier than it was at the beginning of the century; but it is still ...

First Puppet, Now Scapegoat

Inigo Thomas: Ass-Chewing in Washington, 30 November 2006

State of Denial: Bush at War 
by Bob Woodward.
Simon and Schuster, 560 pp., £18.99, October 2006, 0 7432 9566 8
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... Who is Bob Woodward? If his books had no jackets, if the prefaces and acknowledgments were ripped away; if you’d never watched American television or read the US papers; if all you had were the texts and you read them from cover to cover, would you know who Bob Woodward is? No, you wouldn’t, but if you read the jackets, acknowledgments and prefaces and followed the TV news, you still wouldn’t know that much about him ...

Nothing could have been odder or more prophetic

Gillian Darley: Ruins, 29 November 2001

In Ruins 
by Christopher Woodward.
Chatto, 280 pp., £12.99, September 2001, 9780701168964
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... I read Christopher Woodward’s book in August and then reread it in September: what a difference a month can make. Insistent images of newly ravaged places, like the ghostly fretwork silhouette which looms over Ground Zero, seem to sneer at us, laughing at our fragile optimism. The notion of the ruin as an expression of violence and blind hatred is not Woodward’s subject, however hard it may be to avoid the connection ...

Homage to Ezra Pound

C.K. Stead, 19 March 1981

The Poetic Achievement of Ezra Pound 
by Michael Alexander.
Faber, 247 pp., £7.95, April 1979, 0 571 10560 2
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Ezra Pound and the Pisan Cantos 
by Anthony Woodward.
Routledge, 128 pp., £7.95, April 1980, 0 7100 0372 2
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Ezra Pound and the Cantos: A Record of Struggle 
by Wendy Stallard Flory.
Yale, 321 pp., £12.60, July 1980, 0 300 02392 8
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Ezra Pound and His World 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Thames and Hudson, 127 pp., £5.95, February 1981, 0 500 13069 8
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End to Torment: A Memoir of Ezra Pound with Poems from Ezra Pound’s H.D. Book 
edited by Norman Holmes Pearson and Michael King.
Carcanet, 84 pp., £2.95, February 1980, 0 85635 318 3
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... I concentrate for the moment on The Pisan Cantos because that seems to me, as it does to Anthony Woodward, Pound’s ‘greatest achievement’. Everything that had begun to go wrong with The Cantos – their obsessive, one-dimensional quality in that forced march the reader takes through Cantos 52 to 71 – is righted at Pisa; and if literature in English ...

On the imagining of conspiracy

Christopher Hitchens, 7 November 1991

Harlot’s Ghost 
by Norman Mailer.
Joseph, 1122 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7181 2934 2
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A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs 
by Theodore Draper.
Hill and Wang, 690 pp., $27.95, June 1991, 0 8090 9613 7
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... down in the light of broad day. His assassin was murdered on camera while in maximum security. Richard Nixon’s intimates fed high-denomination dollar bills into a shredder in order to disguise their provenance in the empire of – Howard Hughes? Marilyn Monroe fucked both Kennedy brothers before taking her own life, if she did indeed take it. Frank ...

Southern Discomfort

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, 8 June 1995

The Southern Tradition: The Achievement and Limitations of an American Conservatism 
by Eugene Genovese.
Harvard, 138 pp., £17.95, October 1994, 0 674 82527 6
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... interpretations of the Southern past than any other scholar with the possible exception of C. Vann Woodward. Perhaps he can also make sense of the right-wing garbage that nowadays fills American papers and airwaves (his devastating National Review article on The Bell Curve should be required reading). Liberals can take comfort in the fact that, despite the ...

Jungle Book

John Pym, 21 November 1985

Money into Light 
by John Boorman.
Faber, 241 pp., £4.95, September 1985, 0 571 13731 8
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... never been slow to dish the dirt, but few books have equalled the misguided obsessiveness of Bob Woodward’s recent life of the drug-addicted comedian John Belushi, and, it should be added, few have been so telling or so readable as Indecent Exposure, David McClintick’s relentlessly documented account of the scandalous behaviour of the unsinkable ...

‘Damn right,’ I said

Eliot Weinberger: Bush Meets Foucault, 6 January 2011

Decision Points 
by George W. Bush.
Virgin, 497 pp., £25, November 2010, 978 0 7535 3966 8
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... taken from the memoirs of members of the Bush administration and journalistic accounts such as Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack and Bush at War. To complete the cycle of postmodernity, there are bits of dialogue lifted from Woodward, who is notorious for inventing dialogue. Occasionally, someone on Team DP will insert a ...

Advantage Pyongyang

Richard Lloyd Parry, 9 May 2013

The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future 
by Victor Cha.
Bodley Head, 527 pp., £14.99, August 2012, 978 1 84792 236 6
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... with a group of senators, he called Kim Jong Il ‘a spoiled child’ and a ‘pygmy’. When Bob Woodward raised the subject, he feared the president was about to vault out of his chair. ‘I loathe Kim Jong Il,’ Bush told him, ‘waving his finger in the air’. Human rights in North Korea became a political weapon, wielded by the right as a means of ...

Utopian about the Present

Christopher Turner: The Brutalist Ethic, 4 July 2019

Alison and Peter Smithson 
by Mark Crinson.
Historic England, 150 pp., £30, June 2018, 978 1 84802 352 9
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Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing 
by John Boughton.
Verso, 330 pp., £9.99, April 2019, 978 1 78478 740 0
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... major roads, from which it was protected, in the words of the Smithsons’ assistant Christopher Woodward, by an ‘almost manic system of walls and moats’. The perimeter of the estate was marked by a high wall designed to bounce back traffic noise, and to allow for oblique views through it, but which made the site seem heavily fortified. Garages were sunk ...

The God Squad

Andrew O’Hagan: Bushland, 23 September 2004

... would remake his politics and get his father out of his system. In more recent times, asked by Bob Woodward why he didn’t seek the opinion of his father before going to war with Saddam Hussein (given that his father was the only other person in the world to have been a president and to have done that), he said: ‘He is the wrong father to appeal to in terms ...

Lectures about Heaven

Thomas Laqueur: Forgiving Germany, 7 June 2007

Five Germanys I Have Known 
by Fritz Stern.
Farrar, Straus, 560 pp., £11.25, July 2007, 978 0 374 53086 0
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... he gets rave reviews from all sorts of famous people. The president of the Federal Republic, Richard von Weizsäcker, sends Stern a note to tell him that he had read one of his lectures ‘with liveliest interest and gratitude’; McGeorge Bundy says that he thought another piece ‘uncommonly good’ and Lionel Trilling found an earlier draft of it ...

I need money

Christian Lorentzen: Biden Tries Again, 10 September 2020

Yesterday’s Man: The Case against Joe Biden 
by Branko Marcetic.
Verso, 288 pp., £12.99, March, 978 1 83976 028 0
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... hadn’t got into the black. In What It Takes (1992), a breathless work of campaign stenography, Richard Ben Cramer described the confession Biden made to his aides before deciding to run: ‘The debts – he went through his finances whole, the mortgages, the credit cards. He was into Visa, Amex for thousands.’The letter to his tenants appears in ...

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