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Blame Robert Maxwell

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: How Public Inquiries Go Wrong

17 March 2016
... more than two million’. Still, Chilcot might have reported sooner had he not gone through ‘Maxwellisation’. This is the process, named after a legal battle involving the disgraced media mogul RobertMaxwell, whereby those criticised in the first draft of a report are given an opportunity to respond. Chilcot hoped to begin this process in 2013, but negotiations over the publication of minutes of ...

Bob and Betty

Jenny Diski

26 January 1995
A Mind of My Own: My Life with Robert​ Maxwell 
by Elizabeth Maxwell.
Sidgwick, 536 pp., £16.99, November 1994, 0 283 06251 7
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... Those given to hasty judgments might find the title of Betty Maxwell’s autobiography something of a logical contradiction. Even leaving aside the strangeness, to feminist eyes, of the title’s construction, just a passing knowledge of the dynamics of RobertMaxwell ...
31 March 1988
by Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 525 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 356 17172 8
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MaxwellThe Outsider 
by Tom Bower.
Aurum, 374 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 948149 88 4
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MaxwellA Portrait of Power 
by Peter Thompson and Anthony Delano.
Bantam, 256 pp., £12.95, February 1988, 0 593 01499 5
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Goodbye Fleet Street 
by Robert​ Edwards.
Cape, 260 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 224 02457 4
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... A reviewer faced with 1,155 pages about RobertMaxwell is entitled to look at the pictures first. Joe Haines’s biography contains over eighty photographs of his hero, many in colour. Mostly they show him hobnobbing with crowned heads, presidents or ...

Max the Impaler

Jeremy Warner

12 March 1992
MaxwellThe Outsider 
by Tom Bower.
Heinemann, 520 pp., £16.99, December 1991, 0 7493 0238 0
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... inhabitants of Slatinske Doly, a small Ruthenian village on what was then the border between Czechoslovakia and Romania, smuggling was an honoured and necessary trade. This is where Ludvik Hoch, or RobertMaxwell as he was later to rename himself, was born and brought up. Tax differences on the slaughter of animals and the sale of meat provided an opportunity for a lucrative and illegal trade in ...


D.A.N. Jones

8 January 1987
The Old School: A Study 
by Simon Raven.
Hamish Hamilton, 139 pp., £12, September 1986, 0 241 11929 4
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The Best Years of their Lives: The National Service Experience 1945-63 
by Trevor Royle.
Joseph, 288 pp., £12.95, September 1986, 0 7181 2459 6
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Murder without Conviction: Inside the World of the Krays 
by John Dickson.
Sidgwick, 164 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 9780283994074
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Inside ‘Private Eye’ 
by Peter McKay.
Fourth Estate, 192 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 947795 80 4
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Malice in Wonderland: Robert Maxwell​ v. ‘Private Eye’ 
by Robert Maxwell, John Jackson, Peter Donnelly and Joe Haines.
Macdonald, 191 pp., £10.95, December 1986, 0 356 14616 2
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... non-sequiturs as his chapter in this book, attempting to defend the morality of Private Eye. He has also used this column to attack Paul Foot for writing both in Private Eye and in a paper owned by RobertMaxwell, Private Eye’s enemy. In his book, he explains that the magazine is ‘particularly suspicious of those of East European origin’ and, with reference to another enemy, James Goldsmith ...
7 October 1982
... by Laszlo Gyurko, and will be part of a larger study of Kadar to be published later this year by Pergamon Press. During my visit I am informed that this first-ever biography of Kadar was inspired by RobertMaxwell during a visit to Budapest. People talk about Mr Kadar with an affection that surprises me. ‘He says in public what he says in private,’ says an editor I meet at a party, who considers ...

Short Cuts

Glen Newey: Murdoch

28 July 2011
... ve seen, enforcing the law in this area is not something to be entrusted to the police. Press barons themselves have not scrupled to use the law to gag speech, as with the indefatigably litigious RobertMaxwell and James Goldsmith. The real argument about free speech lies elsewhere. It’s not just whether you get a platform, but how big yours is compared with other people’s. Free speech means ...

Closed Windows

T.H. Barrett

11 January 1990
The Question of Hu 
by Jonathan Spence.
Faber, 187 pp., £12.99, September 1989, 0 571 14118 8
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... by luck or guile, triumph even though uprooted from their own societies: men such as Joseph or Odysseus. The fascination of this theme seems as strong as ever, perhaps affecting our curiosity about RobertMaxwell, as well as our taste for the works of Thubron or Theroux. But today, when jumbo jets deposit increasing numbers of ordinary people in the middle of totally unfamiliar cultures which are now ...


Kathleen Burk

9 July 1992
The Barlow Clowes Affair 
by Lawrence Lever.
Macmillan, 278 pp., £17.50, February 1992, 0 333 51377 0
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For whom the bell tolls: The Lesson of Lloyd’s of London 
by Jonathan Mantle.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 358 pp., £18, June 1992, 1 85619 152 4
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The City of London: Continuity and Change, 1850-1990 
by Ranald Michie.
Macmillan, 238 pp., £30, January 1992, 0 333 55025 0
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... has been relatively light. Advantage has repeatedly been taken of the latter, and certainly the past few years have seen a series of scandals, notably Lloyd’s, Guinness, Barlow Clowes, BCCI and now Maxwell. Indeed, Maxwell bids fair to be one of the best. RobertMaxwell was a rogue of the first order, but no one can say that we were not warned: in 1971 the Department of Trade and Industry warned that ...
23 September 1993
Tiny Rowland: A Rebel Tycoon 
by Tom Bower.
Heinemann, 659 pp., £16.99, May 1993, 0 434 07339 3
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... dismissed the idea with three monosyllables: ‘They’re all crooks.’ The Earl’s warning, which was ignored, seems to come up like a ghost at the feast throughout this remarkable book. Just as RobertMaxwell was officially declared unfit to run a public company before he was allowed to take over and rob the biggest printing company in the country, so Roland ‘Tiny’ Rowland, before he and his ...

At the V&A

Jeremy Harding: 50 Years of ‘Private Eye’

15 December 2011
... lifeblood of the paper. Every reader has a cherished bubble photo, from Wilson and Biafra through Kissinger in South Africa (HK to Vorster: ‘I’m only here for De Beers’) via James Goldsmith, RobertMaxwell, Rupert Murdoch, to Mugabe, Bush and Blair. For fans of a pensionable age, Verwoerd’s assassination (‘A Nation Mourns’, 17 September 1966) is a star cover. Younger readers may prefer a ...
22 November 1990
... a strong lobby in the United States. Bulgaria has none of these. ‘Who is going to help you?’ I ask. ‘We must show that we deserve help. We must show that we can work.’ Who will help them? RobertMaxwell says he is helping them, which is a dismaying thought. To be introduced to the delights of capitalism by RobertMaxwell? By RobertMaxwell, friend and publisher of Todor Zhivkov? Not ...
28 January 1993
Rupert Murdoch 
by William Shawcross.
Chatto, 616 pp., £18.99, September 1992, 0 7011 8451 5
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... of us, he clearly has urgent need of a world upturn. How is it that Murdoch succeeded in refinancing his preposterous spider’s web of debt and counter-debt when the man who yearned to emulate him, RobertMaxwell, failed to achieve the same thing in a not dissimilar situation? Mr Shawcross records more than once that one of the few things capable of ruffling Murdoch’s cool temper was the suggestion ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book

15 August 2019
... Tony Blair (home number only) and the former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg (who also lived on Tom Wolfe’s street). There are lots of British socialites (brought to him by his friend Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of the late newspaper magnate and pensions-thief RobertMaxwell), and there are industrialists, publicists and the editors of fashion magazines, most of whom, in my experience, would ...
10 November 1994
Hanson: A Biography 
by Alex Brummer and Roger Cowe.
Fourth Estate, 336 pp., £20, September 1994, 1 85702 189 4
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... and other goods across the Pennines to Manchester on packhorses – pulsed through the veins of her great-grandsons,’ Alex Brummer and Roger Cowe write without a trace of irony. One of these was Robert Hanson, the great James’s father, through whose veins the entrepreneurial spirit pulsed so fiercely that he stored other people’s furniture in a warehouse next to a garage packed with petrol. One ...

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