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After-Time

Christopher Hitchens, 19 October 1995

Palimpsest: A Memoir 
by Gore Vidal.
Deutsch, 432 pp., £17.99, October 1995, 0 233 98891 2
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... between himself and Mailer, himself and Capote, himself and Tennessee Williams, or himself and William Buckley. Rather, we learn, not without preceding markers but in many ways for the first time, about Vidal’s family and about the Kennedy branch of it. We come to understand how divided a self he is; not just as between love and death but as between ...

The Vice President’s Men

Seymour M. Hersh, 24 January 2019

... not listen. It would have been natural to turn instead to the director of the CIA, but this was William Casey, a former businessman and Nixon aide who had been controversially appointed by Reagan as the reward for managing his 1980 election campaign. As the intelligence professionals working with the executive saw it, Casey was reckless, uninformed, and ...

Rising Moon

R.W. Johnson, 18 December 1986

L’Empire Moon 
by Jean-Francois Boyer.
La Découverte, 419 pp., August 1986, 2 7071 1604 1
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The Rise and Fall of the Bulgarian Connection 
by Edward Herman and Frank Brodhead.
Sheridan Square, 255 pp., $19.95, May 1986, 0 940380 07 2
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... supporters into the Moonie milieu with his Accuracy in Media movement: among AIM’s patrons were William Simon, the former Treasury Secretary, Joseph Coors, the beer magnate and Reagan confidant, Claire Booth Luce, Jimmy Goldsmith and Richard Mellon-Scaife. Moon now felt confident enough to take on the hated New York Times by launching the New York News ...

Newtopia

Christopher Hitchens, 24 August 1995

To Renew America 
by Newt Gingrich.
HarperCollins, 260 pp., £18, July 1995, 9780060173364
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... by Richard Nixon out of Nancy Reagan. Many more consistent libertarian anti-statists, such as William Buckley, have publicly called for decriminalisation – a cumbersome term for a simple concept. It is when he writes as a techno-libertarian that Gingrich shows his engaging side: Imagine a morning in just a decade or so. You wake up to a ...

It’s Been a Lot of Fun

David Runciman: Hitchens’s Hitchens, 24 June 2010

Hitch-22: A Memoir 
by Christopher Hitchens.
Atlantic, 435 pp., £20, June 2010, 978 1 84354 921 5
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... of this puzzle when he recalls his experience of reading the memoir of his friend Christopher Buckley, son of the conservative commentator William Buckley. Hitchens discovers a line he particularly likes, about ‘bringing to life a circuit that will spare the republic’, but is horrified to realise that it comes ...

Top Dog

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 6 December 1990

Nippon, New Superpower: Japan since 1945 
by William Horsley and Roger Buckley.
BBC, 278 pp., £15, November 1990, 0 563 20875 9
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United Nations Human Development Report 1990 
by Mahbub al Haq.
Oxford, 189 pp., £9.95, May 1990, 9780195064810
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Nationalism and International Society 
by James Mayall.
Cambridge, 175 pp., £25, March 1990, 0 521 37312 3
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The International Relations of Japan 
edited by Kathleen Newland.
Macmillan, 232 pp., £40, November 1990, 0 333 53456 5
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... of the world’s ten largest banks and the 21 largest financial institutions are also Japanese. As William Horsley and Roger Buckley observe in their vivid review of the past 45 years, it is not surprising that by 1983, the Japanese prime minister had come in from the edge of the photographs that are taken at the end of ...

The Head in the Shed

Gavin Francis: Reading Bones, 21 January 2021

Written in Bone: Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind 
by Sue Black.
Doubleday, 359 pp., £18.99, September 2020, 978 0 85752 690 8
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... Ian​ Hamilton once recounted in the LRB (22 October 1992) that ‘when William F. Buckley Jr sent a copy of his essays to Norman Mailer, he pencilled a welcoming “Hi, Norman!” in the index, next to Mailer’s name.’ The index discloses a lot about the nature of a book, and the passions of its author, more than is sometimes realised (‘acknowledgments’ are similarly illuminating ...

Mailer’s Muddy Friend

Stephen Ambrose, 1 September 1988

Citizen Cohn 
by Nicholas von Hoffman.
Harrap, 483 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 0 245 54605 7
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... the top Mafia people, Richard Nixon, Si Newhouse, Rupert Murdoch, Frank Sinatra, J. Edgar Hoover, William F. Buckley, an endless list of Congressmen and judges and society swells, of the rich and famous. Cohn knew, dealt with, worked for, went to parties with and generally hobnobbed with more celebrities than any other ...

Opprobrious Epithets

Katrina Navickas: The Peterloo Massacre, 20 December 2018

Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre 
by Jacqueline Riding.
Head of Zeus, 386 pp., £25, October 2018, 978 1 78669 583 3
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... among ‘members unlimited’. The loyalist reaction against this popular agitation was severe. William Pitt the Younger’s government legislated against ‘seditious’ meetings and writings, and imprisoned leaders of reform societies and printers of the radical press. ‘Church and King’ was the watchword of magistrates and manufacturers, who employed ...

Fake it till you make it

Anthony Grafton: Indexing, 23 September 2021

Index, A History of the 
by Dennis Duncan.
Allen Lane, 352 pp., £20, September, 978 0 241 37423 8
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... this has been a central function of indexes since the great days of white male writers, when William F. Buckley sent Norman Mailer a copy of his book The Unmaking of a Mayor and wrote ‘Hi!’ in the index next to Mailer’s name. Job’s comforters will want to be the first to tell you that the entry for ‘clocks ...

If you don’t swing, don’t ring

Christopher Turner: Playboy Mansions, 21 April 2016

Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture and Biopolitics 
by Beatriz Preciado.
Zone, 303 pp., £20.95, October 2014, 978 1 935408 48 2
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Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny 
by Holly Madison.
Dey Street, 334 pp., £16.99, July 2015, 978 0 06 237210 9
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... began defining ‘The Playboy Philosophy’ – a kind of ‘hedonistic utilitarianism’, as William F. Buckley put it. The magazine was originally designed, Hefner admitted, as a ‘romantic reflection of earlier times’. His achievement was to associate sex with upward mobility by making his readers feel they were ...

Irangate

Edward Said, 7 May 1987

The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey 
by Salman Rushdie.
Picador, 171 pp., £2.95, January 1987, 0 330 29990 5
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Turning the Tide: US Intervention in Central America and the Struggle for Peace 
by Noam Chomsky.
Pluto, 298 pp., £5.95, September 1986, 0 7453 0184 3
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... over ten thousand deaths), it comes to seem probable that the geo-political opening undertaken by William Casey, McFarlane, North and company was nothing less than an attempted coup whose goal was either the fomenting of prolonged instability in Iran or the accession to power of some person or group less hostile to the US and Israel. The man publicly ...

Who’s sorry now?

Andrew O’Hagan: Michael Finkel gets lucky, 2 June 2005

True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa 
by Michael Finkel.
Chatto, 312 pp., £15.99, May 2005, 0 7011 7688 1
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Burning Down My Master’s House 
by Jayson Blair.
New Millennium, 288 pp., $24.95, March 2004, 9781932407266
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The Journalist and the Murderer 
by Janet Malcolm.
Granta, 163 pp., £8.99, January 2004, 1 86207 637 5
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... defence as an ‘expert on the author-subject relationship’ (chosen to give evidence, along with William F. Buckley, from a list that included Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin and Victor Navasky), said that a writer was always wholly justified in being untrue in his relationship with a subject. Here is how the exchange went in ...

How to play the piano

Nicholas Spice, 26 March 1992

Music Sounded Out 
by Alfred Brendel.
Robson, 258 pp., £16.95, September 1990, 0 86051 666 0
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Glenn Gould: A Life and Variations 
by Otto Friedrich.
Lime Tree, 441 pp., £12.99, October 1990, 9780413452313
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... Tom Nagel, the sociologist Richard Sennett, the poet Fred Seidel and the conservative sage William Buckley. I suppose Brendel’s intellectual and technical mastery is about the only kind to which sensible people of almost every description want to pay tribute, even if to do so involves a degree of ostentation of which the pianist is as it were ...

White Power

Thomas Meaney, 1 August 2019

Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America 
by Kathleen Belew.
Harvard, 330 pp., £23.95, April 2018, 978 0 674 28607 8
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Revolutionaries for the Right Anti-Communist Internationalism and Paramilitary Warfare in the Cold War 
by Kyle Burke.
North Carolina, 337 pp., June 2018, 978 1 4696 4073 0
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... travelled to Taipei and helped draft the league’s agenda; at the league’s 1974 conference William F. Buckley gave the keynote address. And then there was John Singlaub, a retired general and another of the league’s main organisers, who thought the US government had fumbled the urban counter-insurgency against the ...

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