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Hinsley’s History

Noël Annan, 1 August 1985

Diplomacy and Intelligence during the Second World War: Essays in Honour of F.H. Hinsley 
edited by Richard Langhorne.
Cambridge, 329 pp., £27.50, May 1985, 0 521 26840 0
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British Intelligence and the Second World War. Vol. I: 1939-Summer 1941, Vol. II: Mid-1941-Mid-1943, Vol. III, Part I: June 1943-June 1944 
by F.H. Hinsley, E.E. Thomas, C.F.G. Ransom and R.C. Knight.
HMSO, 616 pp., £12.95, September 1979, 0 11 630933 4
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... Pursuit of Peace (1963), where his review from the English Historical Review demolishing A.J.P. Taylor’s egregious Origins of the Second World War was reprinted. That was a book which saddened many of those who respect Taylor as the greatest British maestro of the diplomatic and political history of the past hundred and ...
... in the present. Some younger people saw her as a sort of relic – people like the Sitwells and Ronald Firbank and Harold Acton – but all that rather bored her. She was very up to the minute, and would be full of the latest musical comedy or the latest thing that had been written. But she wrote a memoir of Wilde, which I published along with his letters ...

The Ugly Revolution

Michael Rogin: Martin Luther King Jr, 10 May 2001

I May Not Get there with You: The True Martin Luther King Jr 
by Michael Eric Dyson.
Free Press, 404 pp., £15.99, May 2000, 0 684 86776 1
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The Papers of Martin Luther King Jr. Vol. IV: Symbol of the Movement January 1957-December 1958 
edited by Clayborne Carson et al.
California, 637 pp., £31.50, May 2000, 0 520 22231 8
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... death. Dyson’s book enters the fray over who gets to speak for the icon of Martin Luther King. Ronald Reagan, who had opposed not only the civil rights movement but also the national legislation ending legal discrimination and guaranteeing the black right to vote, was the President who signed the Bill declaring King’s birthday a national holiday. There ...

Mandela: Death of a Politician

Stephen W. Smith: Mandela, the Politician, 9 January 2014

... opinion, which has now canonised Mandela, would be outraged were a ‘warlord’ such as Charles Taylor not brought to justice, though Taylor gave up power in 2003 when he left Monrovia for exile in Nigeria. In 2006, when the former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano negotiated with Joseph Kony for his peaceful ...

The History Boy

Alan Bennett: Exam-taking, 3 June 2004

... it. A stock vision of undergraduates then (gleaned from movies like A Yank at Oxford with Robert Taylor) was of a young man in dressing-gown and slippers, a towel round his neck en route for the distant baths. I didn’t run to a dressing-gown and slippers either: ‘Nobody’ll mind if you just wear your raincoat,’ my mother reassuringly said. I wasn’t ...

Don’t be a Kerensky!

David Runciman: Kissinger looks for his prince, 3 December 2020

The Inevitability of Tragedy: Henry Kissinger and His World 
by Barry Gewen.
Norton, 452 pp., £22.99, April 2020, 978 1 324 00405 9
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Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography 
by Thomas Schwartz.
Hill and Wang, 548 pp., £27.99, September 2020, 978 0 8090 9537 7
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... the decade that followed, his was still the third most cited name in the American press, behind Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth Taylor. He went on to advise presidents of all stripes, commanded huge fees on Wall Street, was lionised in China and feted by publishers. This has continued into his late nineties. Kissinger has ...

A Hard Dog to Keep on the Porch

Christopher Hitchens, 6 June 1996

... campaign, in Texas, in 1972. Clinton was sent down to the Lone Star state, along with his friend Taylor Branch, at a moment when the Nixon forces seemed almost unstoppable. (A subsequent post-Watergate myth has depicted the press as anti-Nixon during this period. In point of fact, the general refusal of the media to discuss Nixon’s illegal use of state ...

Death-Qualified

Gary Indiana: The Brothers Tsarnaev, 10 September 2015

The Brothers: The Road to an American Tragedy 
by Masha Gessen.
Riverhead, 273 pp., £18.45, April 2015, 978 1 59463 264 8
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... Zubeidat was arrested for shoplifting from the Cambridge branch of the department store Lord & Taylor in 2012; she then took off for Dagestan, two weeks after Tamerlan returned from a seven-month visit. With both parents gone, Tamerlan was, by custom, now the head of the family in America, though Bella and Ailina, haphazardly in and out of Cambridge with ...

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