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Hitler’s Common Market

Philip Purser, 6 August 1992

Fatherland 
by Robert Harris.
Hutchinson, 372 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 09 174827 5
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... life rather than art to art, or fiction to fiction. In two respects, unfortunately, Fatherland by Robert Harris makes artistic comparisons inescapable. It belongs, first, to that select genre of fiction which deals in the Alternative Present, or in this case an alternative recent past. It is set in 1964 in the vast, imperial, intimidating Berlin of an ...

What is this Bernard?

Christopher Hitchens, 10 January 1991

Good and Faithful Servant: The Unauthorised Biography of Bernard Ingham 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 202 pp., £14.99, December 1990, 0 571 16108 1
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... Here was a then-regular sodality, consisting at different times of Kingsley Amis, Bernard Levin, Robert Conquest, Anthony Powell, Russell Lewis and assorted others, and calling itself with heavy and definite self-mockery ‘Bertorelli’s Blackshirts’. The conversational scheme was simple (I think it had evolved from a once-famous letter to the Times ...

The Lady in the Back Seat

Thomas Jones: Robert Harris’s Alternative Realities, 15 November 2007

The Ghost 
by Robert Harris.
Hutchinson, 310 pp., £18.99, October 2007, 978 0 09 179626 6
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... Robert Harris’s first novel, Fatherland (1992), was a counterfactual historical thriller set in Nazi Germany in 1964. In the alternative reality of the book, Germany defeated the Soviet Union in the Caucasus in 1943, lured the Royal Navy to its destruction after learning that the British had cracked the Enigma code, and intimidated the United States into signing a peace treaty by successfully testing an atom bomb and launching an intercontinental V3 rocket across the Atlantic ...

New Man from Nowhere

James Davidson: Cicero, 4 February 2016

Dictator 
by Robert Harris.
Hutchinson, 299 pp., £20, October 2015, 978 0 09 175210 1
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... the authors either overwhelmed by the data or not properly engaging with his writings at all. Robert Harris​ is a former journalist who began by writing bestselling non-fiction about journalism, war and politics in the 20th century – Gotcha about the media and the Falklands War, Selling Hitler about the Sunday Times and the forged Hitler diaries ...

Bevan’s Boy

John Campbell, 20 September 1984

The Making of Neil Kinnock 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 256 pp., £9.95, September 1984, 0 571 13266 9
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Neil Kinnock: The Path to Leadership 
by G.M.F. Drower.
Weidenfeld, 162 pp., £8.95, July 1984, 0 297 78467 6
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... to do so: it is the first great piece of luck on which his career has flourished. The second, as Robert Harris points out, was the date of his birth: Kinnock is just old enough to have imbibed at first hand from his parents, uncles and grandparents vivid memories of the hardship and degradation of Tredegar between the wars, but just young enough to have ...

Holy Relics

Alan Milward, 3 April 1986

Selling Hitler: The story of the Hitler Diaries 
by Robert Harris.
Faber, 402 pp., £10.95, February 1986, 0 571 13557 9
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... boldly written about their authenticity in the Sunday Times, Murdoch swept him aside, according to Robert Harris, with the memorable line: ‘Fuck Dacre, publish.’ Meanwhile the historian David Irving denounced the diaries as fakes, on the radio and television of three countries, although he had no sound evidence for saying so. Two weeks later, when ...

Schadenfreude

R.W. Johnson, 2 December 1993

The Downing Street Years 
by Margaret Thatcher.
HarperCollins, 914 pp., £25, October 1993, 0 00 255049 0
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... public reaction to the book has centred too narrowly on its slighting references to ex-colleagues. Robert Harris’s furious depiction of it (in the Independent on Sunday) as spluttering with ‘rage, malice, contempt and hatred’ is probably the extreme case. The memoirs of other premiers, Harris notes, have shown ...

Noddy is on page 248

Jay Griffiths: On the streets, 10 June 1999

The Penguin Book of 20th-Century Protest 
edited by Brian MacArthur.
Penguin, 440 pp., £20, October 1998, 0 670 87052 8
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DIY Culture: Party and Protest in Nineties Britain 
edited by George McKay.
Verso, 310 pp., £11, July 1998, 1 85984 260 7
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... of, the Times on seven other pages. The Sunday Times features on six pages. The Times columnist Robert Harris gets two entries compared to Germaine Greer’s one, Gandhi’s one, or Mandela’s one. Noam Chomsky: nil. E.P Thompson: nil. The Times columnist Bernard Levin: two. Levin deserves a special mention. In the Times in May 1996, he implied that ...

No Bottle

Rose George: Water, 18 December 2014

Drinking Water: A History 
by James Salzman.
Overlook Duckworth, 320 pp., £9.99, October 2013, 978 0 7156 4528 4
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Parched City: A History of London’s Public and Private Drinking Water 
by Emma Jones.
Zero Books, 361 pp., £17.99, June 2013, 978 1 78099 158 0
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Water 4.0: The Past, Present and Future of the World’s Most Vital Resource 
by David Sedlak.
Yale, 352 pp., £20, March 2014, 978 0 300 17649 0
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... in the 20th century, until there emerged what Sedlak calls the ‘chlorine dilemma’. In 1974, Robert Harris, an employee of the Environmental Defense Fund, conducted research in New Orleans and found that ‘men whose drinking water came from the Mississippi River had a 15 per cent higher chance of dying from cancer than men who consumed well ...

Three Poems

Robert Crawford, 24 June 2004

... falconer Shouting and shouting to a blank blue sky Until at last, just as he knew it would, The Harris hawk comes from its other world Beyond the human eye, senses his calling, Stoops, and disappears back into view. On Hereditary Slavery A bicycling monarchy? That talk Is wrong. We need to make them ...

Immoralist

José Harris, 1 December 1983

John Maynard Keynes: Hopes Betrayed 1883-1920 
by Robert Skidelsky.
Macmillan, 447 pp., £14.95, November 1983, 0 333 11599 6
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... but of symbolic logic). Such an acquiescence in classical models is scarcely surprising since, as Robert Skidelsky clearly demonstrates, there was virtually nothing in the world before 1914 to suggest to an academic liberal of Keynes’s background that the classical economic system had failed or broken down. Keynes’s economics before 1914 were therefore ...

Born to Lying

Theo Tait: Le Carré, 3 December 2015

John le Carré: The Biography 
by Adam Sisman.
Bloomsbury, 652 pp., £25, October 2015, 978 1 4088 2792 5
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... of David Cornwell, the former spy who has written under that curious pseudonym since 1961. Robert Harris chose not to proceed, for reasons that are hinted at but not made clear in this book, while in the early 1990s the journalist Graham Lord withdrew under a heavy legal barrage, after circulating an allegedly libellous proposal for his book. ‘I ...

Making My Moan

Irina Dumitrescu: Medieval Smut, 7 May 2020

Obscene Pedagogies: Transgressive Talk and Sexual Education in Late Medieval Britain 
by Carissa Harris.
Cornell, 306 pp., £36, December 2018, 978 1 5017 3040 5
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... a man called Warner who lived in Normandy wrote a very dirty Latin poem. Addressed to Archbishop Robert of Rouen, it relates the adventures of an Irish grammarian called Moriuht, who has a series of graphic and often disturbing sexual encounters while searching for his wife, who has been kidnapped. He is captured by Vikings, chained, flogged, urinated ...

Warthog Dynamism

David Bromwich, 19 November 2020

... in the insomniac hours, the former vice president had a convalescent look.What possessed the Biden-Harris campaign to approach their victory as a foregone conclusion may never be known: it seems, at any rate, to have been a tight operation, unlikely to extrude the usual mass of memoirs. Kamala Harris might have been supposed ...

Marvellous Boys

Mark Ford, 9 September 1993

The Ern Malley Affair 
by Michael Heyward.
Faber, 278 pp., £15, August 1993, 0 571 16781 0
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... to the only avant-garde journal of the time, Angry Penguins. Angry Penguins was edited by Max Harris, a student at Adelaide University, and John Reed, who was 10 years Harris’s senior and lived just outside Melbourne. Independently wealthy, Reed was committed to sponsoring any form of artistic originality that caught ...

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