October 21, 2004

Links of the Day

Some links:

  • Boston Phoenix media critic Dan Kennedy looks at "the Cheney myth". "The veep’s reputation is that of ‘the evil genius,’" Kennedy writes. "His record at Halliburton, though, reveals him to be nothing more than a corrupt, incompetent hack."
  • Rick Perlstein discusses the anti-democratic tendencies of the Bush administration in The Village Voice.
  • In The Telegraph, Noel Malcolm reviews the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Pitcairn Island, it seems, is a scary place.
  • The New Yorker profiles the political analyst Mark Halperin.
  • Prospect Magazine hails the rise of Asian cinema.
  • In Slate James Gleick explains how the New York Public Library got Isaac Newton wrong.

Malcolm's article is especially entertaining. In it, Malcolm looks at the joys of running various searches in the online ODNB and discusses some of the more fun entries:

You can also search for any given word or phrase. Entering the phrase "was not averse to… ", I came up with the following non-aversions: "…hard liquor" (James Hutton, the geologist); "…wealth and privilege" (Graham Greene); "…orating" (Sir Roy Harrod); " . . . manipulating the truth to suit his purposes" (Ailred of Rievaulx); "…war on principle" (Richard II); "…house building" (William Higgs, a building contractor - well, he wouldn't have been, would he?); and "…making critical comments on his parishioners when recording their burials" (The Rev. Francis Bunny).


One of the grander set-pieces here is the life of Harold Wilson by Roy Jenkins, which includes such gems as "the sweep of his mind was narrow and unadventurous"; "he loved talking about railway timetables", and (this is pure Jenkins) "just as Lytton Strachey wrote that there was a lobster salad side to Cardinal Wiseman, so there was a Walter Mitty side to Harold Wilson".

As always, I may add to the list of links later on.

Posted by Ed at October 21, 2004 12:32 PM

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