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The Iceman Cometh

Ross McKibbin: Tony Adams, 6 January 2000

Addicted 
by Tony Adams and Ian Ridley.
HarperCollins, 384 pp., £6.99, August 1999, 0 00 218795 7
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... remains almost bulldog British: in its ageing but still formidable defence. Which brings us to Tony Adams. Of those bulldogs Adams is the most redoubtable; a man of immense pertinacity and skill who has saved both Arsenal and England on many occasions. And he has been in the game long enough to see it transformed ...

Tony

Elaine Feinstein, 18 April 1996

... after a delivery of Naked Lunch from Olympia. For a few years, you moved whenever we did, from Adams Road to Sherlock, then De Freville where the printer we owed money lived next door. You wrote your first book for three hours a day and then felt restless, since your body liked to use its energies and you could lift a car. Your hair was thick and brown ...

We want our Mars Bars!

Will Frears: Arsène Who?, 7 January 2021

My Life in Red and White 
by Arsène Wenger, translated by Daniel Hahn and Andrea Reece.
Weidenfeld, 352 pp., £25, October 2020, 978 1 4746 1824 3
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... Stillness and Speed: My Story by Dennis Bergkamp (Arsenal striker, 1995-2006); Addicted by Tony Adams (Arsenal centre-back, 1983-2002); and, now, Arsène Wenger’s My Life in Red and White. Arsène Wenger on the touchline at the Emirates Stadium, 29 March 2014. The Premier League has come a long way since it started nearly thirty years ...

Scoutmaster General

Peter Clarke, 24 September 1992

Tony Benn 
by Jad Adams.
Macmillan, 576 pp., £20, July 1992, 0 333 52558 2
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The End of an Era: Diaries, 1980-1990 
by Tony Benn, edited by Ruth Winstone.
Hutchinson, 704 pp., £25, September 1992, 0 09 174857 7
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... candidate in a by-election in Bristol South East. He was literally returned to Westminster. Jad Adams has written a much needed biography, largely based on Benn’s own voluminous archive, notably his massive diaries, which are a major source for the political history of the past thirty years. Ruth Winstone has edited them for publication and the welcome ...

Out of the Pound Loney

Ronan Bennett: The demonising of Gerry Adams, 5 March 1998

Man of War, Man of Peace? The Unauthorised Biography of Gerry Adams 
by David Sharrock and Mark Devenport.
Macmillan, 488 pp., £16.99, November 1997, 0 333 69883 5
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... Shortly after the 1994 IRA ceasefire, the New Statesman ran a cartoon depicting Gerry Adams as a reptilian protohuman emerging from a primordial sea to take his first trepid step on the long evolutionary walk from terrorist godfather to constitutional politician. To judge from this biography, the Sinn Féin leader still has some way to go ...

Tony, Ray and the Duchess

Alan Bell, 21 May 1981

A Lonely Business: A Self-Portrait of James Pope-Hennessy 
edited by Peter Quennell.
Weidenfeld, 278 pp., £12.50, April 1981, 0 297 77918 4
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... onerous than he expected.’ It was therefore fortunate for him that a pugnacious paratrooper, Len Adams, first encountered in a Holland Park underground station lift in 1948, remained a stabilising influence in his life ever after. Among the Tonys, Rays, Jeffreys, the guardsmen and the convicts, it was useful to have such a friend, along with a number of ...

I only want to keep my hand in

Owen Bennett-Jones: Gerry Adams, 16 November 2017

Gerry AdamsAn Unauthorised Life 
by Malachi O’Doherty.
Faber, 356 pp., £14.99, September 2017, 978 0 571 31595 6
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... these sources reveal is the extent of the British state’s confusion about how to deal with Gerry Adams. Police repeatedly raided Adams’s childhood home. When he was 23 the courts interned him for five years, beginning with a spell on a prison ship. A few months later he was released so that the RAF could fly him to ...

Diary

David Bromwich: President-Speak, 10 April 2008

... and a few celebrated statements about the duties and limitations of democracy by John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Adams’s 1821 Independence Day address to the House of Representatives was delivered while he was secretary of state in the administration of James Monroe. A sceptic might see this ...

Marching Orders

Ronan Bennett: The new future of Northern Ireland, 30 July 1998

... ceasefire was then entering its second year. Trimble declared that he did not believe that Gerry Adams and Sinn Fein were committed to achieving a settlement by exclusively peaceful means, and consistently played on the issue of the decommissioning of IRA arms as an excuse to prevent progress towards all-party talks, using his party’s leverage in the ...

Extraordinarily Graceful Exits from Power

Nicholas Guyatt: George Washington’s Reticence, 17 November 2005

His Excellency George Washington 
by Joseph J. Ellis.
Faber, 320 pp., £20, March 2005, 0 571 21212 3
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... Ellis should now venture an answer to this question, having already produced biographies of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, as well as a book about the 1790s, Founding Brothers, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. Like many Americans, George Washington took arms against Britain in 1775 resignedly. He was 43, a veteran of the Seven Years’ War and a ...

Ghost Ions

Jonathan Coe: AA-Rated Memories, 18 August 2022

Offbeat: British Cinema’s Curiosities, Obscurities and Forgotten Gems 
edited by Julian Upton.
Headpress, 595 pp., £22.99, April, 978 1 909394 93 3
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The Magic Box: Viewing Britain through the Rectangular Window 
by Rob Young.
Faber, 500 pp., £12.99, August, 978 0 571 28460 3
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... whereby the narration – including stiffly delivered dialogue – was provided by the RP tones of Tony Bilbow, with the original German voices dimly audible in the background. The result was spooky enough, even before you took into account the trippy visuals, which included a talking bear, a malevolent dwarf and a giant goldfish, which had been trapped in a ...

Not Rough Enough

Tony Tanner, 19 October 1995

Bret Harte: Selected Stories and Sketches 
by David Wyatt.
Oxford, 332 pp., £5.99, February 1995, 9780192823540
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... often referred, as directly as he could or dared, to problems posed by sexual passion. When Henry Adams claimed that American writers had ‘used sex for sentiment, never for force’, he made exceptions of both Walt Whitman and Bret Harte ‘as far as the magazines would let him venture’. There are a lot of women in his stories, some quite frankly ...

Adored Gazelle

Ferdinand Mount: Cherubino at Number Ten, 20 March 2008

Balfour: The Last Grandee 
by R.J.Q. Adams.
Murray, 479 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 7195 5424 7
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... Five years later, Rosebery bitterly opposed Balfour’s OM. It is perhaps over the top for R.J.Q. Adams to subtitle his Life of Balfour, ‘The Last Grandee’, with Rosebery lurking up the Firth of Forth getting steadily fatter and redder in the face, while Balfour remained lithe and bonny on his 36 holes a day. But ...

Christian v. Cannibal

Michael Rogin: Norman Mailer and American history, 1 April 1999

The American Century 
by Harold Evans.
Cape, 710 pp., £40, November 1998, 0 224 05217 9
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The Time of Our Time 
by Norman Mailer.
Little, Brown, 1286 pp., £25, September 1998, 0 316 64571 0
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... of British origins, Paul Johnson (once on the Left, then Thatcherite, now an admirer of Tony Blair), whose own celebratory history of the United States appeared in 1997. In imagining an American narrative around which a renewed progressivism could unite, Evans adopts the Popular Front model that other liberal public intellectuals are now ...

What happened to Good Friday?

Garret FitzGerald, 2 September 1999

... were well aware of this, as were the Unionists. In 1993, however, John Hume’s talks with Gerry Adams reached the point where an unconditional cessation of IRA violence became a real possibility and the Major Government was persuaded by Dublin to open the way for such a development by committing itself publicly to the Irish people’s right to ...

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