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Blame Robert Maxwell

Frederick Wilmot-Smith: How Public Inquiries Go Wrong, 17 March 2016

... This is the process, named after a legal battle involving the disgraced media mogul Robert Maxwell, 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 cabinet meetings and the correspondence between Tony ...

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 Robert Maxwell’s ego would seem to preclude the possibility of having the one while being with the other for 47 years ...

Do what you wish, du Maurier

E.S. Turner, 31 March 1988

Maxwell 
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 prime ministers, with a pop star or a footballer thrown in ...

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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... 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 smuggled ...

Gangs

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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... also used this column to attack Paul Foot for writing both in Private Eye and in a paper owned by Robert Maxwell, 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, ‘there was also the Jewish question ... The picture ...
... Press. During my visit I am informed that this first-ever biography of Kadar was inspired by Robert Maxwell 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 that as rare a trait among politicians as I do. On the ...

Short Cuts

Glen Newey: Murdoch, 28 July 2011

... themselves have not scrupled to use the law to gag speech, as with the indefatigably litigious Robert Maxwell 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 little, though not nothing, if the opportunities for ...

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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... The fascination of this theme seems as strong as ever, perhaps affecting our curiosity about Robert Maxwell, 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 only a few flying hours away, it may be time to ...

Cityscrape

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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... 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. Robert Maxwell was a rogue of the first order, but no one can say that we were not warned: in 1971 the Department of Trade and ...

Half-Timbering, Homosexuality and Whingeing

Ian Sansom: Julian Barnes, 1 October 1998

England, England 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 272 pp., £15.99, September 1998, 0 224 05275 6
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... terrible vision in On Trust for the Nation). The central character is a composite caricature (part Robert Maxwell, part Mohamed al-Fayed). The story is as old as the hills (love, betrayal, the search for happiness). The plot structure is both obvious and predictable (a three-parter, with the requisite climaxes and crises), the themes comforting and ...

There is only one Harrods

Paul Foot, 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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... was ignored, seems to come up like a ghost at the feast throughout this remarkable book. Just as Robert Maxwell 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 company Lonrho were allowed to take over the Observer ...

Candles for the living

Julian Barnes, 22 November 1990

... I ask. ‘We must show that we deserve help. We must show that we can work.’ Who will help them? Robert Maxwell says he is helping them, which is a dismaying thought. To be introduced to the delights of capitalism by Robert Maxwell? By Robert Maxwell, friend and publisher ...

At the V&A

Jeremy Harding: 50 Years of ‘Private Eye’, 15 December 2011

... Kissinger in South Africa (HK to Vorster: ‘I’m only here for De Beers’) via James Goldsmith, Robert Maxwell, 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 ghoulish photo of Norman Tebbit, the ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book, 15 August 2019

... 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 Robert Maxwell), and there are industrialists, publicists and the editors of fashion magazines, most of whom, in my experience, would happily attend a ...

Prince of Darkness

Ian Aitken, 28 January 1993

Rupert Murdoch 
by William Shawcross.
Chatto, 616 pp., £18.99, September 1992, 0 7011 8451 5
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... his preposterous spider’s web of debt and counter-debt when the man who yearned to emulate him, Robert Maxwell, 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 that there was something in common between him and ...

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