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Fear and Loathing in Limehouse

Richard Holme, 3 September 1987

Campaign! The Selling of the Prime Minister 
by Rodney Tyler.
Grafton, 251 pp., £6.95, July 1987, 0 246 13277 9
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Battle for Power 
by Des Wilson.
Sphere, 326 pp., £4.99, July 1987, 0 7221 9074 3
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David Owen: Personally Speaking 
by Kenneth Harris.
Weidenfeld, 248 pp., £12.95, September 1987, 0 297 79206 7
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... make your flesh creep,’ said the fat boy, and that is what the parties set out to do in 1987. As Rodney Tyler’s book shows, the key decision in the Conservative camp, on which all their three great warlords agreed – Margaret Thatcher, Norman Tebbit and Lord Young – as did their retinues of ad-men and advisers, was to run a campaign fuelled by ...

Wartime

Alan Ryan, 6 November 1986

The Enemies Within: The Story of the Miners’ Strike 1984-5 
by Ian MacGregor and Rodney Tyler.
Collins, 384 pp., £15, October 1986, 0 00 217706 4
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A Balance of Power 
by Jim Prior.
Hamish Hamilton, 278 pp., £12.95, October 1986, 9780241119570
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... right to manage’. In writing The Enemies Within MacGregor has been assisted by Robert Tyler, late of the tabloid press, but my guess is that the strange mixture of Zane Grey Western and Harvard Business School management-speak which MacGregor’s ghost employs in place of English prose accurately reflects his employer’s mode of thought. At all ...

Promises, Promises

David Carpenter: The Peasants’ Revolt, 2 June 2016

England, Arise: The People, the King and the Great Revolt of 1381 
by Juliet Barker.
Abacus, 506 pp., £10.99, September 2015, 978 0 349 12382 0
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... Hill. On 15 June the rebels and the king met again, this time at Smithfield. Their leader, Wat Tyler, failed to doff his cap, instead taking the king’s arm and shaking it roughly in greeting. He then refused with a great oath to dismiss his men and promised that within a fortnight there would be forty thousand of them. As he spoke, he threw a dagger from ...

The Robots Are Coming

John Lanchester, 5 March 2015

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies 
by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee.
Norton, 306 pp., £17.99, January 2014, 978 0 393 23935 5
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Average Is Over: Powering America beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation 
by Tyler Cowen.
Plume, 290 pp., £12.99, September 2014, 978 0 14 218111 9
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... and futurism, and is discussed at length in both John Kelly and Steve Hamm’s Smart Machines and Tyler Cowen’s Average Is Over.2 Watson won, easily. Its performance wasn’t perfect: it thought Toronto was in the US, and when asked about a word with the double meaning ‘stylish elegance, or students who all graduated in the same year’, it ...

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