Notes From the Margins…
Posts for Writers and Writing Category

Niall Ferguson – a man of our time

  • November 27, 2011
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I have never read any of Niall Ferguson’s books and I hope I won’t have to.  But I have read his articles and the occasional interview and I have always found him an insufferably pompous, arrogant,  self-regarding prat (eg. ” the real point about me isn’t that I’m good-looking, it’s that I’m clever” – I mean, what kind of jerk says something like that?) .  Ok, I can already hear you scholars out there telling me to think about the ideas, not the man, but Ferguson’s ideas, at least the ones...

The deadline cometh

  • November 19, 2011
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It’s been a bit difficult to find time to blog over the last week or so.  The main reason is the approaching deadline for my book on borders and immigration, which is due to be handed over to my publishers next month.   I always find the process of finishing a book difficult...

Rami Zurayk’s war diary

  • October 02, 2011
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I’ve just read Rami Zurayk’s magnificent War Diary: Lebanon 2006, a searing account of the 33-day Israel-Hizbullah war that began in July 2006, when Hizbullah carried out a cross-border raid in which 2 Israeli soldiers were kidnapped and 3 killed.

Determined to restore the ‘credibility of its military deterrent’,  Israel unleashed what later became known...

Harigate and the Independent’s shameful cover-up

  • September 15, 2011
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After nearly two months of expectation and speculation, the Independent has announced the result of its ‘inquiry’ into the various accusations levelled against its columnist Johann Hari.

Yesterday Hari published a characteristically  self-serving apology, which admitted to plagiarism and conducting vicious ‘sock-puppeting’ campaigns against people he dislikes on the Internet, and yet still managed to...

Hari goes down

  • June 28, 2011
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Can’t say I’m sorry – or surprised – that The Independent’s Johann Hari has been caught out inserting quotations from his interviewees’ books or articles in his own interview/profiles and then passing them off as his own quotes.   I’ve always found his writing wheedling, bombastic and manipulative, and his analyses of people and...

About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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