Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia

Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia

Francis Wheen

Language: English

Pages: 295

ISBN: 0007244282

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Strange Days Indeed tells the story of how the paranoia exemplified by Nixon and Wilson became the defining characteristic of western politics and culture in the 1970s.

Francis Wheen will vividly evoke the characters, events and atmosphere of an era in which the truth was far stranger than even the most outlandish fiction.

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earshot he was more usually referred to as the White Rat. ‘I never had the influence with Amin which people make out. I saw him fairly infrequently,’ Astles told a British journalist in 1985, six years after the tyrant’s downfall. Moments later in the interview, however, he couldn’t resist bragging about their intimacy: ‘I was the only person he could trust because I never asked him for anything – no fine house, no privileges, no Mercedes-Benz. I was the only one, perhaps because I was white,

2007, a man who reappeared five years after he had supposedly drowned while canoeing in the North Sea was unanimously dubbed a ‘real-life Reggie Perrin’ by Fleet Street. ‘The disappearing canoeist has highlighted the growing phenomenon of “pseudocide” or “doing a Reggie Perrin” – faking your own death to avoid debt or unhappiness, or simply to start anew,’ the Financial Times commented. ‘Such stories have long caught the imagination, but the urge to escape seems to have increased in the age of

Lancaster, Burt, 282, 304 Langella, Frank, 33 Larkin, Philip, 4, 6, 46 Lasch, Christopher, 137, 275, 277 Last Tango in Paris, 135 Leach, Edmund, 79–80 Leahy, Donald, 142 Leary, Brian, 123–8 Leary, Timothy, 195 Lees-Milne, James, 18 Lennon, John, 10, 66 Lerner, Max, 299, 300, 305–6, 307 Lessing, Doris, 57 Levin, Bernard, 132, 257 Lewis, Anthony, 293 Liddy, G. Gordon, 12, 110, 112–14, 115, 116, 174, 281 Nazi fetish, 107, 108, 111, 113, 171 proposes murder, 293 Life (magazine), 21

Records Reveal Vast Paranoia of Idi Amin’s Regime’, New York Times, 18 April 1979, p.A1 243 ‘Amin would lounge’ ‘Amin’s Horror Chamber’, Time, 30 April 1979 244 ‘I kept my eyes shut’ Giles Foden, ‘Thoughts of Major Bob’, Guardian, 4 March 1998 Twelve: Morbid Symptoms 245 ‘The John Stonehouse drowning’ Benn, Against the Tide, pp.272–3 246 ‘When we first started’ John Stonehouse, Death of an Idealist (W.H. Allen, London, 1975), p.221 246 ‘the pressures and tensions’ Ibid., p.183 246 ‘The

irrational, and for that reason not likely to be appeased by changes in feminist tactics designed to reassure men that liberated women threaten no one. When even Mom is a menace, there is not much that feminists can say to soften the sex war or to assure their adversaries that men and women will live happily when it is over.’ How could it ever be over? At least the POWs had a heroes’ welcome and a reception at the White House before limping home to a wife who was reading Our Bodies Ourselves: A

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