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Dirty Linen

Lorna Scott Fox

6 April 1995
Days of Obligation: An Argument with My Mexican Father 
by Richard Rodriguez.
Penguin, 230 pp., £6.99, November 1994, 0 14 009622 1
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... At the end of Hunger of Memory, RichardRodriguez’s 1982 account of becoming an American, he tells how his mother came across one of his articles and was moved to write to him. Her letter begins tenderly, urging Rodriguez not to blame himself, as ...

Robinson’s Footprints

Richard​ Gott: Hugo Chávez and the Venezuelan Revolution

17 February 2000
... The mountains of Venezuela rise up almost sheer from the shores of the Caribbean, with gashes of red earth below and vivid green forest above, the peaks entirely lost in grey cloud. From the aeroplane window I have often liked to imagine this as the land on which the local Indians stood when they first discovered Columbus on their beach in 1498 – although he landed some four hundred miles to the ...

Battle of Britain

Patrick O’Brian

7 July 1988
The Spanish Armada 
by Colin Martin and Geoffrey Parker.
Hamish Hamilton, 296 pp., £15, April 1988, 0 241 12125 6
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Armada 1588-1988 
by M.J. Rodriguez-Salgado.
Penguin and the National Maritime Museum, 295 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 14 010301 5
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Armada: A Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the Defeat of the Spanish Armada 1588-1988 
by Peter Padfield.
Gollancz, 208 pp., £14.95, April 1988, 0 575 03729 6
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Froude’s ‘Spanish Story of the Armada’, and Other Essays 
edited by A.L. Rowse.
Sutton, 262 pp., £5.95, May 1988, 0 86299 500 0
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Ireland’s Armada Legacy 
by Laurence Flanagan.
Sutton, 210 pp., £9.95, April 1988, 9780862994730
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The Armada in the Public Records 
by N.A.M. Rodger.
HMSO, 76 pp., £5.95, April 1988, 0 11 440215 9
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The Spanish Armada: The Experience of War in 1588 
by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.
Oxford, 300 pp., £14.95, June 1988, 0 19 822926 7
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... in the Lord Deputy’s order to his officers in the western provinces ‘to apprehend and execute all Spaniards found, of what quality soever. Torture may be used in prosecuting this enquiry.’ Sir Richard Bingham, Governor of Connaught, proudly claimed to have disposed of 1,100 survivors, virtually all ‘put to the sword’, and they unarmed. It is some comfort to know that Medina Sidonia reached ...

Diary

Richard​ Gott: Paraguayan Power

21 February 2008
... At one end of the desolate park that stretches down from the public buildings of Asunción to the bay adjacent to the Paraguay River, where conquistadors first found refuge in the 16th century, stands a strange construction of concrete and metal that looks more like a contemporary artwork than a memorial. Scrambled within the cement are bronze hands sticking out and an upturned human face, crushed ...

A Lucrative War

Ben Ehrenreich: Mexico’s Drug Business

21 October 2010
The Last Narco: Hunting El Chapo, the World’s Most Wanted Drug Lord 
by Malcolm Beith.
Penguin, 261 pp., £9.99, September 2010, 978 0 14 104839 0
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... were permitted to operate, and who in turn took their place in a chain of command that rose all the way to the presidency. This arrangement ran smoothly until marijuana’s newfound popularity led Richard Nixon to declare a ‘war on drugs’ and to begin putting pressure on the Mexican government to staunch the flow. Even then, other motives were concealed beneath the American government’s apparent ...
21 August 1997
Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life 
by Jon Lee Anderson.
Bantam, 814 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 593 03403 1
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Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara 
by Jorge Castañeda, translated by Marina Castañeda.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 7475 3334 2
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... Alliance for Progress, Kennedy’s answer to the Cuban revolution. All the new biographies give good accounts of Guevara’s impact on the conference, and his inconclusive private discussions with Richard Goodwin, one of Kennedy’s advisers. But this is well-trodden ground, and there is little new material. Many Latin American governments were still run by civilians, and under popular pressure to ...

Flat-Nose, Stocky and Beautugly

James Davidson: Greek Names

23 September 2010
A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names. Vol. V.A Coastal Asia Minor: Pontos to Ionia 
edited by T. Corsten.
Oxford, 496 pp., £125, March 2010, 978 0 19 956743 0
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... names, especially for boys. On my first day at primary school I was surrounded by boys with what I still think of as normal classic names: Simon, Mark, Peter, Andrew, Paul, Martin, Michael, Stephen, Richard, Robert, David. Girls’ names remained more modish: some Sarahs, Anns and Elizabeths and even some residual Marys, but also plenty of Janets, Jackies, Lisas and Debbies, who soared and plummeted ...

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