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House-Cleaning

David Bromwich: I met a Republican, 7 March 2019

... time) in order to allow him to assist another possibly related prosecution in Virginia.Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, was sentenced in December in a New York federal court for tax fraud, lying to Congress and paying hush money to prevent Trump’s affairs with two women coming to light during the campaign. It has since emerged that ...

Change at MoMA

Hal Foster, 7 November 2019

... half from just four people: the hedge fund billionaires Leon Black, Kenneth Griffin and Steven Cohen, and the media mogul David Geffen (a new centre is named after Cohen and his wife, and an entire wing after Geffen). They responded to the call of MoMA’s director, Glenn Lowry, to recapture the idea proposed by Alfred ...

Last Exit

Murray Sayle, 27 November 1997

The Last Governor: Chris Patten and the Handover of Hong Kong 
by Jonathan Dimbleby.
Little, Brown, 461 pp., £22.50, July 1997, 0 316 64018 2
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In Pursuit of British Interests: Reflections on Foreign Policy under Margaret Thatcher and John Major 
by Percy Cradock.
Murray, 228 pp., £18.99, September 1997, 0 7195 5464 0
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Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule: The Economic and Political Implications of Reversion 
edited by Warren Cohen and Li Zhao.
Cambridge, 255 pp., £45, August 1997, 0 521 62158 5
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The Hong Kong Advantage 
by Michael Enright, Edith Scott and David Dodwell.
Oxford, 369 pp., £20, July 1997, 0 19 590322 6
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... Sovereignty: supremacy in respect of power, domination or rank; supreme dominion, authority, or rule. OED Without conflicting mental reservations, international agreements would be impossible. French diplomatic maxim Christopher Francis Patten, Hong Kong’s last governor, famously wept just before he left aboard the royal yacht Britannia at midnight on 30 June, while sirens whooped and rockets soared over Asia’s most stunning harbour ...

Joan Didion’s Style

Martin Amis, 7 February 1980

The White Album 
by Joan Didion.
Weidenfeld, 223 pp., £5.95, October 1980, 0 297 77702 5
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... Allen used to be with Diane Keaton, as is well-known; as is also well-known, Diane is now with Warren Beatty, or was at the time of writing). Such self-advertisement feels cheap and, for all its coy alienations, looks thick-skinned. Miss Didion would dismiss the comparison as footling when compared to the inescapability of her new-found emotional ...

Heroes

Pat Rogers, 6 November 1986

Hume and the Heroic Portrait: Studies in 18th-Century Imagery 
by Edgar Wind, edited by Jaynie Anderson.
Oxford, 139 pp., £29.50, May 1986, 0 19 817371 7
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Augustan Studies: Essays in honour of Irvin Ehrenpreis 
edited by Douglas Lane Patey and Timothy Keegan.
University of Delaware Press, 270 pp., £24.50, May 1986, 9780874132724
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The 18th Century: The Intellectual and Cultural Context of English Literature 1700-1789 
by James Sambrook.
Longman, 290 pp., £15.95, April 1986, 0 582 49306 4
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... is a kind of delusion, a substitute for reality and often an illicit improvement upon it.’ Ralph Cohen follows the transgeneric fortunes and misfortunes of George Barnwell, and Maximillian Novak pursues sincerity and authenticity in Defoe. He sees Bishop Hoadly as a catalyst here, but doesn’t note one irony: Hoadly may have ‘shared more than a few ideas ...

American Breakdown

David Bromwich, 2 August 2018

... Democratic leaders who are known to many Americans are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and their combined age is 220. How did that happen? The Clinton-Obama dollar tree cast a shade for a quarter-century in which smaller political fortunes have struggled even to breathe. Meanwhile, the Democrats remain in denial about the charm of ...

I’m an intelligence

Joanna Biggs: Sylvia Plath at 86, 20 December 2018

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. I: 1940-56 
edited by Peter Steinberg and Karen Kukil.
Faber, 1388 pp., £35, September 2017, 978 0 571 32899 4
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The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Vol. II: 1956-63 
edited by Peter Steinberg and Karen Kukil.
Faber, 1025 pp., £35, September 2018, 978 0 571 33920 4
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... gangrenous leg: the result of undiagnosed diabetes. Aurelia moved Sylvia and her younger brother, Warren, to Wellesley, Massachusetts, so that her parents could help while she went out to work. At 13, Plath wrote to her mother from summer camp nearly every day. Always prone to losing weight, she reassured Aurelia by listing everything she ate (‘Two bowls of ...
... East Asia’s richest man, the Hong Kong-based Li Ka-shing? In north-east England, they work for Warren Buffett; in Birmingham, Cardiff and Plymouth, the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company; in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Liverpool, Iberdrola; in Manchester, a consortium of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and a J.P. Morgan investment fund. More than ...

One Summer in America

Eliot Weinberger, 26 September 2019

... company owned by Vekselberg wired $500,000 for reasons unknown to a shell company owned by Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney at the time – the same shell company which then paid the porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money.The president says: ‘Mitch McConnell is a man that knows less about Russia and Russian influence than even Donald Trump. And ...

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