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Buggering on

Paul Addison, 21 July 1983

Winston Churchill: Companion Vol. V, Part III, The Coming of War 1936-1939 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1684 pp., £75, October 1982, 0 434 29188 9
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Finest Hour: Winston Churchill, 1939-1941 
by Martin Gilbert.
Heinemann, 1308 pp., £15.95, June 1983, 0 434 29187 0
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Churchill 1874-1915 
by Ted Morgan.
Cape, 571 pp., £12.50, April 1983, 0 224 02044 7
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The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 
by William Manchester.
Michael Joseph, 973 pp., £14.95, June 1983, 0 7181 2275 5
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... KBO. If the official biography is definitive, why should two American authors, Ted Morgan and William Manchester, have embarked on their own lives of Churchill? Many authors explain in a preface how and why they came to begin a book, but neither Morgan nor Manchester offers a clue. From the tone of celebration in ...

At Manchester Art Gallery

Inigo Thomas: Annie Swynnerton, 27 September 2018

... it did make such a difference – of May 1910.’ He was referring to the death of his brother William. He then told Alice that Mrs Swynnerton was ‘doing – finishing – the portrait of me that she pushed on so last year’. Doing, finishing, pushed – James isn’t pleased with the picture. Mrs Swynnerton was Annie Swynnerton; she doesn’t seem to ...

William Rodgers reads the papers

William Rodgers, 19 February 1987

The Market for Glory: Fleet Street Ownership in the 20th Century 
by Simon Jenkins.
Faber, 247 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 571 14627 9
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The End of the Street 
by Linda Melvern.
Methuen, 276 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 413 14640 5
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... press was an honourable estate. At the centenary of the birth of C.P. Scott, The Making of the ‘Manchester Guardian’ was an ideal anthology for a sixth-form prize on Speech Day. Here were Scott’s lieutenants: W.T. Arnold, grandson of Arnold of Rugby; L.T. Hobhouse, social philosopher and member of a Liberal dynasty; and Herbert Sidebotham, sent on a ...

Ruthless Young Man

Michael Brock, 14 September 1989

Churchill: 1874-1922 
by Frederick Earl of Birkenhead, edited by Sir John Colville.
Harrap, 552 pp., £19.95, August 1989, 0 245 54779 7
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... delineating Churchill to the mid-career point would become manageable. The studies of Churchill by William Manchester and Ted Morgan, published in 1983, were produced in this way, the first extending to 1932 and the second to 1915. Both authors were careful to acknowledge their debt to the official volumes. Neither seems to have suffered under copyright ...

Nothing They Wouldn’t Do

Richard J. Evans: Krupp, 21 June 2012

Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm 
by Harold James.
Princeton, 360 pp., £24.95, March 2012, 978 0 691 15340 7
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... view. The most widely read study was The Arms of Krupp, a thousand-page epic published in 1968 by William Manchester, better known for his account of the assassination of his wartime friend, John F. Kennedy, Death of a President. Written in a racy, sometimes sensational style, the book was full of sweeping generalisations about Germany and the ...

There’s Daddy

Michael Wood, 13 February 1992

Flying in to Love 
by D.M. Thomas.
Bloomsbury, 262 pp., £14.99, February 1992, 0 7475 1129 2
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directed by Oliver Stone.
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... Kennedy spoke to just before he was shot – ‘He was always alert for a glimpse of Sisters,’ William Manchester says with unconscious irony – re-lives and reconstructs that day in November 1963, teaches history to her pupils as an immediate and bewildering experience. Oswald gets ready, thinks he is to kill Governor Connally, not Kennedy; David ...

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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... hussars and the 13th regiment of foot; there was a wood-panelled room, like the one from which the Manchester magistrates had looked out over the crowd. I walked away from the hustings to gauge whether it would be possible to hear a speaker from five hundred yards. As an exercise in historical accuracy, it was pretty impressive, even if this wasn’t ...

Evening at Dorneywood

Alan Rusbridger, 22 June 1989

The Whitelaw Memoirs 
by William Whitelaw.
Aurum, 280 pp., £14.95, May 1989, 1 85410 028 9
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... up and down Britain like Armada beacons. Brixton resembled post-Blitz London. Whole areas of Manchester, Preston, Wolverhampton and Hull were reduced to rubble and glass. In July, Liverpool lit up in a haze of flame and CS gas. Shortly afterwards Manchester erupted once again. The Home Secretary at the time was ...


Linda Colley, 9 July 1987

Richard Cobden: A Victorian Outsider 
by Wendy Hinde.
Yale, 379 pp., £14.95, April 1987, 0 300 03880 1
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Richard Cobden: Independent Radical 
by Nicholas Edsall.
Harvard, 479 pp., £23.95, February 1987, 0 674 76879 5
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... a fault.’ A special train was laid on from London to take the great and the good to his funeral; William Gladstone helped to carry his coffin; statues were raised by public subscription; and the London and provincial presses enshrined his memory in laudatory poems and improving books for the young. But it was not to last. When John Morley published his ...

Elizabeth’s Chamber

Frank Kermode, 9 May 1991

The Infection of Thomas De Quincey: A Psychopathology of Imperialism 
by John Barrell.
Yale, 235 pp., £18.95, May 1991, 0 300 04932 3
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... for the St Paul’s story occurs as part of the account of his clandestine departure from Manchester Grammar School, his fear of detection, his daydream recalling that earlier moment when, at the age of 15, he had heard a whisper return as a series of ‘volleying thunders’: ‘Once leave this house, and a Rubicon is placed between thee and all ...

Who am I prepared to kill?

William Davies: The Politics of Like and Dislike, 30 July 2020

... that they become the focus of these divisions. Context is important. The statue of the former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson outside Old Trafford wouldn’t go down so well – with Manchester City fans in particular – if it were placed anywhere else in Manchester. But by ...

Swiping at Suburbs

Andrew Saint: The course of British urbanism, 31 March 2005

Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City 
by Tristram Hunt.
Weidenfeld, 432 pp., £25, June 2004, 0 297 60767 7
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... also a strange sublimity. That is the ferocious phase of the Victorian city, best represented by Manchester, which comes first in Hunt’s affections. After 1850 there follows the reform of local politics, welfare, infrastructure and architecture, exemplified above all by Birmingham and Joseph Chamberlain, whose dapper personality adds style to the narrative ...


Paul Foot: Two Views of John Stalker, 3 March 1988

... VIP than the Deputy Chief Constable of the biggest provincial Police Force in Britain – Greater Manchester – was called in to command it. John Stalker was an excellent choice. Nothing in his life had distinguished him as a subversive. It is true that his father had been a Labour man, and an admirer of the Daily Herald, but he himself had not shown any ...

How to be a wife

Colm Tóibín: The Discretion of Jackie Kennedy, 6 June 2002

Janet & Jackie: The Story of a Mother and Her Daughter, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis 
by Jan Pottker.
St Martin’s, 381 pp., $24.95, October 2001, 0 312 26607 3
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Mrs Kennedy: The Missing History of the Kennedy Years 
by Barbara Leaming.
Weidenfeld, 389 pp., £20, October 2001, 0 297 64333 9
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... defining eloquence, as though they are trying to compete with the camera or the silkscreen print. William Manchester, whose book The Death of a President caused her such grief (she believed it had invaded her privacy and compromised her relationship with Johnson), remembered his first meeting with her as he researched the book: ‘My first impression ...

Up to Islip

Rosalind Mitchison, 2 August 1984

An Old Man’s Diary 
by A.J.P. Taylor.
Hamish Hamilton, 155 pp., £8.95, April 1984, 0 241 11247 8
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... have it. Pennine worship is one of the mistakes of the North of England. I remember from my own Manchester days the ghastliness of excursions to the Peak district, a dreary plateau specialising in beastly weather, covered with tussock grass imbued with the soot of early industrialisation. If Taylor had met the gentle gradients and brilliant colours of the ...

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