5 APRIL 1980

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The great American illusion

The Spectator

The great American illusion American foreign policy has never been in greater disarray. In part this is the result, not novel but more calamitous than ever, of the election...

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The drawbacks of withdrawing

The Spectator

Political commentary The drawbacks of withdrawing Ferdinand Mount Is this it? Have we come to the point at which the British people can stand no more of the Common Market?...

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The Spectator

Notebook 'The martyrdom of an Archbishop' was the headline above last week's Times leading article about the murder of the Archbishop of San Salvador, Monsignor Oscar Romero....

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State of the gutter

The Spectator

Another voice State of the gutter Auberon Waugh Admittedly, it was a spectacularly boring Budget, and the nation's 'popular' or gutter press can't really be blamed for trying...

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The tourists of Kabul

The Spectator

The tourists of Kabul Karan Thapar New Delhi It was raining as my Pakistan Fokker aircraft dropped down over the hills surroundIng Kabul, and came in to land. On either Side...

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Politics as soap opera

The Spectator

Politics as soap opera Nicholas von Hoffman Washington Unless the present experiment with the resurrected man, Mr Kennedy, pulls big ratings by this time next week, the...

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Night train to Chiangmai

The Spectator

Night train to Chiangmai Richard West Chiangmai, Thailand As long as I have known it, which is now 17 years, Bangkok has been an unpleasant, noisy and mechanised place, but...

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The land without Wagner

The Spectator

The land without Wagner Hans Keller It is an elementary cultural issue - so elementary that as a Jew, one cannot raise it Without blushing, without a deep feeling of shame...

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Howe's muffed opportunity

The Spectator

Howe's muffed opportunity Tim Congdon Budgets tend to attract driving metaphors, which have the merit of simplicity, cornprehensibility and, from a headline-writer's...

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Castle Carmelite

The Spectator

Castle Carmelite Wilfred De Ath There was a deafening silence in the Minibus that was taking us from Maidstone East station to the Castle. I tried to make friendly overtures...

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George Hutchinson

The Spectator

George Hutchinson Patrick Cosgrave I first met George Hutchinson at a dinner party at Peterhouse in 1966. The guest of honour was Mr Enoch Powell. The host was my tutor, the...

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The real Catholics

The Spectator

The real Catholics Sir: Patrick Marnham, writing in your issue of 29 March, recalls for us an occasion when Lord Fisher was asked 'if he ever suspected that English Catholic...


The Spectator

Breakfasts Sir: It is unwise of Mr Waugh (15 March) to sneer at American breakfasts and allude in the same breath to his own English breakfast table, which doubtless features a...

Wrong film

The Spectator

Wrong film ,Sir: While it is one thing for Private Eye to Poke fun at Hollywood, surely when commenting on this TV celebration of the American silent film in your columns it...

Gnostics and Quakers

The Spectator

Letters Gnostics and Quakers Sir: Mr Nicolas Walter misrepresented (15 March) the religious faith of the Society of Friends (the Quakers). I am led to think that he is gravely...

No supertoff

The Spectator

No supertoff Sir: As a former constituent of Ian Gilmour may I confirm the substance of Mrs Joan Mills's letter? I do not recall Ian Gilmour or his wife ever acting the part of...

The Bevin Boys

The Spectator

The Bevin Boys Sir: I am working on a book on the history of the 'Bevin Boys', those men who were directed to work in the mines rather than in the services during the war. The...

Oliver Heaviside

The Spectator

Oliver Heaviside Sir: I am working on a biography of Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925), and shall be very grateful for any information on his life. In particular, I am interested in...

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Memoirs of an Unjust Fella J. M. Richards

The Spectator

Books The new machine order Gavin Stamp Memoirs of an Unjust Fella J. M. Richards (Weidenfeld £1 0) Self-justification by former partisans of the Modern Movement in the...

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Heinrich Heine: A Modern Biography Jeffrey L. Sammons

The Spectator

Masquerade Ferdinand Mount Heinrich Heine: A Modern Biography Jeffrey L. Sammons (Carcanet £6.95) A classic straight man is not so much slow in the uptake as perpetually...

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The Robbers and Wallenstein: Schiller Trans. F.J. Lamport

The Spectator

Authentic - Michael Hulse The Robbers and Wallenstein: Schiller Trans. F.J. Lamport (Penguin £2.75) Schiller's monumental Wrallenstein trilogy has been ill served by its...

Out of this Century: Confessions of an Art Addict Peggy Guggenheim

The Spectator

Art addicted -- | John Peter Out of this Century: Confessions of an Art Addict Peggy Guggenheim (Deutsch £7.95) In 1937 Peggy Guggenheim was 39 and didn't know what to do...

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Held Fast For England Guy Arnold

The Spectator

Heroic age Benny Green Held Fast For England Guy Arnold (Ham- ish Hamilton £8.95) What have the following in common: C.S. Forrester, Field Marshal Montgomery, Howard Spring,...

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Summer People Janice Elliott

The Spectator

See the joke Paul Ableman Summer People Janice Elliott (Hodder £5.95) This book belongs to that relatively new genre, the female subjective novel. Since contemporary fiction...

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Make and Break (Lyric, Hammersmith) Threads (Hampstead) On the Twentieth Century (Her Majesty's)

The Spectator

Theatre Homo faber Peter Jenkins Make and Break (Lyric, Hammersmith) Threads (Hampstead) On the Twentieth Century (Her Majesty's) Michael Frayn's new play is his most...

Tapping the subconcious

The Spectator

Tapping the subconcious John McEwen A new show of paintings by John Walker (Nigel Greenwood till 19 April) is always an event. No British painter of his age - he is 40 - or...

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Get Out Your Handkerchiefs North Dallas Forty

The Spectator

Cinema Child's play Peter Ackroyd Get Out Your Handkerchiefs ('X' Curzon) North Dallas Forty ('X Ritz, Leicester Square French film-makers are adept at presenting...

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Punk criticism

The Spectator

Television Punk criticism E*. - Richard Ingrams Jilly Cooper, who was being interviewed on five Plus One, was asked how she could reconcile her occasionally savage comments...


The Spectator

High life Abandoned Taki The flightfrom London to Athenswas rather uneventful except for proletarian noises from the back of the aircraft and the slurping noises from a fat...

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The Spectator

Postscript Dumbledor Patrick Marnham Among the little creatures which are just now beginning to stir after the long winter hibernation is one which we frequently overlook,...

Change of life

The Spectator

Low life Change of life Jeffrey Bernard My man in Long Island has sent me an extraordinary story about~a woman who says she can't survive on a half-million dollars a year....