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Tunnel Vision

Jenny Diski: Princess Diana

2 August 2007
The Diana Chronicles 
by Tina Brown.
Century, 481 pp., £18.99, June 2007, 978 1 84605 286 6
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by Sarah Bradford.
Penguin, 443 pp., £7.99, July 2007, 978 0 14 027671 8
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... people in the Panorama interview, slipping naturally into the third person. It was more like a trailer than a warning. Still, you wonder, is there really anything more to say? The answer is no, but TinaBrown and Sarah Bradford soldier on nevertheless. Each of them has produced hundreds of pages based on books already written (by journalists, her friends, his friends, butlers, nannies, ex-employers ...

Room for the Lambs

Elizabeth Spelman: Sexual equality

26 January 2006
Women’s Lives, Men’s Laws 
by Catharine MacKinnon.
Harvard, 558 pp., £25.95, March 2005, 0 674 01540 1
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... One reporter recalled with evident glee that the gay men in the audience, at least, laughed uproariously in response to MacKinnon’s claim that the eponymous act of the original film was dangerous. TinaBrown, former editor of the New Yorker, described her, with a ‘tight white face and 19th-century hairdo’ making ‘her look like Carry Nation on the South Beach diet’, launching into ‘a ...

Slumming with Rappers at the Roxy

Hal Foster: Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture by John Seabrook

21 September 2000
Nobrow: The Culture of Marketing, the Marketing of Culture 
by John Seabrook.
Methuen, 215 pp., £9.99, March 2000, 0 413 74470 1
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... and profitability. But the compromise didn’t work well or for long – respectability went down, profitability did not go up – and Gottlieb was axed in 1992, at which time Newhouse moved TinaBrown over from the editorship of Vanity Fair. Immediately she embraced the mass culture that Shawn had shunned and Gottlieb had parried. (Seabrook tells a signal story of this role reversal. Steven ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Looking Ahead

18 May 2000
... Someone who, in all likelihood, didn’t spend his adolescence on acid is Douglas Murray, a 21-year-old undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford, who’s written a biography of Lord Alfred Douglas. TinaBrown flew all the way from New York to meet young Douglas (Murray not Alfred) before buying the US rights to the book. It’s been embargoed till 15 June, but presumably it’s all right to reveal ...


Christopher Hitchens: Men (and Women) of the Year

14 December 1995
... mention of his name. To say nothing of the conscription of the only two industries that I work for – publishing and journalism – into auxiliary volunteer militias. Between them, Harry Evans and TinaBrown raised whole regiments of foot, horse and guns; flooding the bookstores and news-stands with the reassuring visage of the hero of Panama and Vietnam. Not to say an unfeeling thing, but if there ...
1 October 1998
England, England 
by Julian Barnes.
Cape, 272 pp., £15.99, September 1998, 0 224 05275 6
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... nothing between me and her beyond a fleeting friendship’) and hailed her as ‘a burning angel’. In another article, entitled ‘Woman in Earnest: What was on Diana’s mind as summer began?’, TinaBrown, then editor of the magazine, thought that Diana had perhaps found a place to channel all that unrequited love, and was ‘learning to be sustained by it’, while Salman Rushdie (‘Crash: Was ...

Lucky Lad

Geoffrey Wheatcroft: Harold Evans

17 December 2009
My Paper Chase: True Stories of Vanished Times – An Autobiography 
by Harold Evans.
Little, Brown, 515 pp., £25, September 2009, 978 1 4087 0203 1
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... wear clogs,’ his mother said, and in their stockings every Christmas ‘there was always an apple, a nut and a shiny new penny.’ Despite living for many years in London and New York (and marrying TinaBrown), Evans has retained an agreeable touch of puzzled or even prudish innocence: ‘the effing and blinding that is the vernacular today’ was unknown in his family. Perhaps he doesn’t realise ...

The God Squad

Andrew O’Hagan: Bushland

23 September 2004
... Arnie. And so he will, but not to Graz. He likes to use the titles of his movies to punctuate his speeches. Maybe he just forgot how good he was in Total Recall. New York was buzzy with parties, as TinaBrown might say. In fact she did say it, about something or other, on her new weekly television show Topic [A], with TinaBrown, which created its own buzz by having Hendrik Hertzberg and Armstrong ...
18 November 1993
New York Days 
by Willie Morris.
Little, Brown, 400 pp., £19.45, September 1993, 0 316 58421 5
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... at re-education clinics for Random House editors. ‘The violence in New York Days is a lesson, a bad lesson and no one wants to repeat it,’ a domestic policy adviser to interior minister TinaBrown told the New York Post in an article that was not published because its owner, Rupert Murdoch, had shut down the paper. ‘The prevailing view of this government is that Americans cannot be trusted ...

Four Poems

Tom Paulin

23 May 1985
... Ode to the Toffee-Nosed Gits Who Mocked My Accent’. Now your whinges get taught in class and the kids feel righteous – righteous but cosy. A Walk to Pubble Shrub Gardens for John and Tina McClelland This fawn plastic box contains my archive, a ghat of paper I set single words on like a loyal wife who must turn to ash and bone out of love. It’s the grist, I lie to them, for a curt ...

Chasing Kites

Michael Wood: The Craziness of Ved Mehta

23 February 2006
The Red Letters: My Father’s Enchanted Period 
by Ved Mehta.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 190 pp., £15.99, November 2004, 0 9543520 6 8
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Remembering Mr Shawn’s ‘New Yorker’ 
by Ved Mehta.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 414 pp., £19.99, November 2004, 9780954352059
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Dark Harbour 
by Ved Mehta.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 272 pp., £17.99, November 2004, 0 9543520 4 1
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... good to know your own mind. But Remembering Mr Shawn becomes melancholy as it chronicles what Mehta sees as the demise of the New Yorker. Shawn is fired in 1987; Robert Gottlieb becomes editor; then TinaBrown. David Remnick’s tenure is beyond the frame of this book. Mehta understands that times change and that the New Yorker had become more than a little unworldly. ‘We were courting disaster ...

Rise of the Rest

Pankaj Mishra: After America

6 November 2008
The Post-American World 
by Fareed Zakaria.
Allen Lane, 292 pp., £20, July 2008, 978 1 84614 153 9
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The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order 
by Parag Khanna.
Allen Lane, 466 pp., £25, April 2008, 978 0 7139 9937 2
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... it as ‘a defining piece on the meaning of the terror attacks’ in a profile studded with praise from Henry Kissinger which also proposed Zakaria as America’s first Muslim secretary of state. TinaBrown called him ‘New York’s hot brainiac of choice’. Zakaria’s article appeared during the moment of primitive fury that overcame even ‘liberal’ commentators. Amid the clamour for ...


Sheng Yun: Husband Shopping in Beijing

11 October 2018
... that NS officers also harassed her landlord and her friends’ landlord to push them to move to the suburbs. Hung Huang (some people call her the ‘Chinese Oprah’ but I think she’s more of a TinaBrown) once said that gender equality was handed to us overnight by the Communist Party at the end of the Civil War in 1949, and because Chinese women didn’t have to fight for it we don’t cherish ...
1 August 1996
Washington Babylon 
by Alexander Cockburn and Ken Silverstein.
Verso, 316 pp., £31.95, May 1996, 1 85984 092 2
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... Cokie Roberts $30,000 to give one speech; for a joint appearance at a Chicago bank, the Roberts couple pulled in $45,000. Readers out of sympathy with Diane Sawyer, and who relish the depiction of TinaBrown’s New Yorker as a salon for the rich and famous, may still feel that Washington Babylon gives equal opportunity for women a bad name. Dismissing the difference made by the President’s ...

Why do white people like what I write?

Pankaj Mishra: Ta-Nehisi Coates

22 February 2018
We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy 
by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Hamish Hamilton, 367 pp., £16.99, October 2017, 978 0 241 32523 0
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... It’s only now, with a white supremacist ensconced in the White House, that those same hardheaded liberals – who did so much to create a climate of opinion and a legal regime in which black and brown bodies could be seized, broken and destroyed outside all norms and laws of war – are coming to grips with ‘America’s Original Sin: Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy’ (an unlikely ...

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