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They both hated DLT

Andy Beckett: Radio 1, 15 April 1999

The Nation’s Favourite: The True Adventures of Radio 1 
by Simon Garfield.
Faber, 273 pp., £9.99, October 1998, 0 571 19435 4
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... were Radio 1 car stickers on Ford Sierras. There were conservatories being added to the strains of Simon Bates’s mid-morning show. There were big and tidy back gardens, on hot Saturdays, ringing with the amplified chuckle of Dave Lee Travis. I was 12 or 13. I’d stay in the car when my parents went to the garden centre, trying to get a better reception on ...

How Jeans Got Their Fade

Peter Campbell: Mauve and indigo, 14 December 2000

Indigo 
by Jenny Balfour-Paul.
British Museum, 264 pp., £19.99, October 2000, 0 7141 2550 4
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Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour that Changed the World 
by Simon Garfield.
Faber, 222 pp., £9.99, September 2000, 0 571 20197 0
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... is the kind of thinking involved. Balfour-Paul is very good at giving an idea of how dyers think; Simon Garfield is not so successful with his organic chemists. Mauve is about William Perkin, and about what followed from his discovery. As it is possible, at a pinch, to trace the achievements of all the chemical industries which once used coal and now use ...

Urgency Is Not Enough

Peter Campbell, 6 April 1995

Don’t Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of Aids 
compiled by Ted Gott.
Thames and Hudson, 246 pp., £12.95, March 1995, 0 642 13030 2
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The End of Innocence: Britain in the Time of Aids 
by Simon Garfield.
Faber, 406 pp., £17.50, November 1994, 0 571 15353 4
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... something practical, what right have you to it as subject-matter? What can you possibly say? Simon Garfield had qualms when writing The End of Innocence, a factual account which should, on the face of it, be useful: spreading the word, disentangling the truth, demythologising, softening prejudice. It is objective about difficult issues – how, for ...

Oh those Lotharios

Alison Light: Jean Lucey Pratt, 17 March 2016

A Notable Woman: The Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt 
edited by Simon Garfield.
Canongate, 736 pp., £12.99, April 2016, 978 1 78211 572 4
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... In 1939 she moves to an isolated cottage surrounded by acres of woodland deep in Buckinghamshire. Simon Garfield first came across Pratt as one of the anonymous volunteers who kept a diary for Mass Observation, the organisation set up in 1937 which sought to capture the mood and mores of the British public; he included her in three earlier anthologies of ...

Here was a plague

Tom Crewe, 27 September 2018

How to Survive a Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed Aids 
by David France.
Picador, 624 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 5098 3940 7
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Patient Zero and the Making of the Aids Epidemic 
by Richard A. McKay.
Chicago, 432 pp., £26.50, November 2017, 978 0 226 06395 9
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Modern Nature: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1989-90 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 314 pp., £9.99, May 2018, 978 1 78487 387 5
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Smiling in Slow Motion: The Journals of Derek Jarman, 1991-94 
by Derek Jarman.
Vintage, 388 pp., £9.99, August 2018, 978 1 78487 516 9
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The Ward 
by Gideon Mendel.
Trolley, 88 pp., £25, December 2017, 978 1 907112 56 0
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... say “A friend of mine just died” doesn’t mean anything any more,’ the historian Simon Watney said in 1994, but that network is qualitatively and quantitively specific to how gay men live. Deaths in those networks mean deaths of whole areas of memory and association. Death for most heterosexuals means family deaths most of the time, up to the ...

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