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Jonathan Steinberg

20 October 1983
Kissinger: The Price of Power 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 699 pp., £15, October 1983, 0 571 13175 1
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... SeymourHersh belongs to that small group of American newspaper reporters who made national reputations during the Vietnam War and Watergate. He won a Pultizer Prize in 1970 for his exposure of the My Lai massacre ...
23 October 1986
‘The target is destroyed’: What really happened to Flight 007 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 282 pp., £9.95, September 1986, 0 571 14772 0
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... Throughout the time I was working on my own book on the KAL 007 tragedy I heard reports that SeymourHersh was working on a parallel book, and I looked forward to it keenly. Ever since he sprang to prominence with his exposure of the My Lai massacre 17 years ago I have read his writings with respect ...

Short Cuts

Norman Dombey: False Intelligence

19 February 2004
... points to MI6 as the sponsor of the forgery. When President Bush cited the supposed uranium deal with Niger in his 2003 State of the Union speech, he named Britain as the source of the information. SeymourHersh, in a New Yorker article last March, quoted a former American intelligence officer as saying that ‘at least one member of the UN inspection team who supported the American and British ...

I figured what the heck

Jackson Lears: Seymour Hersh

27 September 2018
by Seymour​ M. Hersh.
Allen Lane, 355 pp., £20, June 2018, 978 0 241 35952 5
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... The world​ needs SeymourHersh. Without his indefatigable reporting, we would know even less than we do about the crimes committed by the US national security state over the last fifty years. While most of his peers in the press ...

Dual Loyalty

Victor Mallet

5 December 1991
The Samson Option: Israel, America and the Bomb 
by Seymour Hersh.
Faber, 256 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 571 16619 9
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Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship 
by Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn.
Bodley Head, 423 pp., £17.99, January 1991, 0 370 31405 0
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... Liaison both examine the dilemmas produced by the US-Israeli relationship at a time when it is undergoing a profound transformation. Walworth Barbour, then US Ambassador to Israel, is quoted in SeymourHersh’s book as saying alter the 1967 war that ‘Arab oil is not as important as Israel is to us. Therefore I’m going to side with Israel in all of my reporting.’ Such a statement would sound ...

Iran and the Bomb

Norman Dombey: Don’t Do It

25 January 2007
... in addition to its declared programme, as Iraq had. Israeli intelligence claims that Iran is close to having an implosion capability, which it will need to make compact weapons. Yet according to SeymourHersh, writing in the New Yorker in November, the CIA recently completed an assessment of the evidence for the existence of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons programme. The report, which was based on ...


David Gilmour

1 June 1989
Prepared for the worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Chatto, 357 pp., £15.95, April 1989, 0 7011 3459 3
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... Australia) Kissinger created havoc, sustaining old dictatorships and conjuring new ones, sabotaging peace efforts and instigating lethal military adventures. Many years ago William Shawcross and SeymourHersh revealed the extent of his hooliganism in Cambodia and elsewhere. More recently Patrick Seale showed in his biography of Asad that Kissinger almost single-handedly wrecked the chances of a ...

Brief Shining Moments

Christopher Hitchens: Donkey Business in the White House

19 February 1998
Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65 
by Taylor Branch.
Simon and Schuster, 746 pp., $30, February 1998, 0 684 80819 6
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‘One Hell of a Gamble’: Khrushchev, Castro and Kennedy, 1958-64 
by Aleksandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali.
Murray, 416 pp., September 1997, 0 7195 5518 3
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The Dark Side of Camelot 
by Seymour Hersh.
HarperCollins, 497 pp., £8.99, February 1998, 9780006530770
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Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson , Bobby Kennedy and the Feud that Defined a Decade 
by Jeff Shesol.
Norton, 591 pp., £23.50, January 1998, 9780393040784
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The Year the Dream Died 
by Jules Witcover.
Warner, 512 pp., £25, June 1997, 0 446 51849 2
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Without Honor: The Impeachment of President Nixon and the Crimes of Camelot 
by Jerry Zeifman.
Thunder's Mouth, 262 pp., $24.95, November 1996, 9781560251286
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The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis 
edited by Ernest May and Philip Zelikow.
Howard, 740 pp., £23.50, September 1997, 0 674 17926 9
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Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vietnam Papers: A Documentary Collection 
edited by David Barrett.
Texas A & M, 906 pp., $94, June 1997, 0 89096 741 5
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Taking Charge: The Johnson Whitehouse Tapes 1963-64 
edited by Michael Beschloss.
Simon and Schuster, 624 pp., £20, April 1998, 0 684 80407 7
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Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes 
edited by Stanley Kutler.
Free Press, 675 pp., $30, November 1997, 0 684 84127 4
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The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy and the Jupiters, 1957-63 
by Philip Nash.
North Carolina, 231 pp., £34.70, October 1997, 0 8078 4647 3
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... Dr Martin Luther King is the slain hero and absent knight who – though they don’t teach you this in school – fell victim to the swords of all three. Now this is a fairly routine passage from SeymourHersh’s new book, ill-advisedly (and unironically) entitled The Dark Side of Camelot: Even aboard Air Force One, the President was forced to wear a stiff brace that stretched from his shoulders to ...

Protocols of Machismo

Corey Robin: In the Name of National Security

19 May 2005
Arguing about War 
by Michael Walzer.
Yale, 208 pp., £16.99, July 2004, 0 300 10365 4
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Chain of Command 
by Seymour Hersh.
Penguin, 394 pp., £17.99, September 2004, 0 7139 9845 8
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Torture: A Collection 
edited by Sanford Levinson.
Oxford, 319 pp., £18.50, November 2004, 0 19 517289 2
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... good description of the logic animating the Cold War: fight them there – in Vietnam, Nicaragua, Angola – lest we must stop them here, at the Rio Grande, the Canadian border, on Main Street. As SeymourHersh shows in his indispensable guide to the politics of American security after 9/11, these are by no means merely ancient or academic formulations. While liberal critics claim that the Bush ...

Flyweight Belligerents

Michael Byers: À la carte multilateralism

5 May 2005
... Israeli threat must be taken seriously. The US is currently providing Israel with 500 precision-guided BLU-109 ‘bunker-buster’ bombs capable of penetrating up to six feet of concrete. In January, SeymourHersh reported in the New Yorker that US special forces were already in Iran trying to pinpoint underground nuclear facilities and other potential targets. Earlier this year, US and Israeli forces ...
7 November 1991
Harlot’s Ghost 
by Norman Mailer.
Joseph, 1122 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7181 2934 2
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A Very Thin Line: The Iran-Contra Affairs 
by Theodore Draper.
Hill and Wang, 690 pp., $27.95, June 1991, 0 8090 9613 7
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... and treason really have been the foundation of the storied ‘Reagan revolution’? Contemporary historians like Theodore Draper, Arthur Schlesinger and Garry Wills, or political journalists like SeymourHersh, Lou Cannon and Robert Woodward, deal with this difficulty in various ways, but seldom succeed for long in firing the general consciousness. This is because they are either apologists for power ...

Ethnic Cleansers

Stephen Smith

8 October 1992
Four Hours in My Lai: A War Crime and its Aftermath 
by Michael Bilton and Kevin Sim.
Viking, 430 pp., £17.99, May 1992, 0 670 83233 2
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Tiger Balm: Travels in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia 
by Lucretia Stewart.
Chatto, 261 pp., £10.99, June 1992, 0 7011 3892 0
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... executions. When at last word got out, and My Lai became a news story, the American media exhibited serial amnesia in covering it. Journalists wrote about My Lai all right, but with the exception of SeymourHersh and a handful of others, they hardly pursued it. They attended the opening days of Calley’s court-martial in November 1970, but some of the most damning details revealed in the four-month ...

Nuclear Blindness

Brian Jones: The Case for Nuclear Proliferation

22 June 2006
... claims at face value, even when they appear to be incriminating. The claim that they are capable of uranium enrichment could be an exaggeration, designed to pre-empt the pre-emptive attack that SeymourHersh has recently suggested the US is planning for. The ultracentrifuge cascades that are used for enrichment are complex structures, containing some very delicate mechanisms. They have the ...

Bush’s Useful Idiots

Tony Judt: Whatever happened to American liberalism?

21 September 2006
... 1 and a corrupted Congress is awash in lobbies and favours, the place of the liberal intellectual has been largely taken over by an admirable cohort of ‘muck-raking’ investigative journalists – SeymourHersh, Michael Massing and Mark Danner, writing in the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. The collapse of liberal self-confidence in the contemporary US can be variously explained. In part ...

How to Defect

Isabel Hilton: North Korea

10 June 2010
Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea 
by Barbara Demick.
Granta, 314 pp., £14.99, February 2010, 978 1 84708 014 1
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... the election in 2000, the US position flipped and North Korea was listed as a target for pre-emptive attack in what Condoleezza Rice termed ‘anticipatory self-defence’. As one US official said to SeymourHersh: ‘Don’t be distracted by all this talk of negotiations … they have a plan and they are going to get this guy after Iraq. He’s their version of Hitler.’ Such rhetoric may play well at ...

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