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The New Yorker

Journalism is on the back foot. That’s putting it kindly. Hundreds of newspapers and thousands of careers have been consigned to the great media burial ground since the dawning of the digital age. Those still standing operate in a climate of deepening mistrust. From Trump’s America to Erdoğan’s Turkey, demagogues saddled with democratic political systems trum ...

Things I Didn’t Know by Robert Hughes & North Face of Soho by Clive James

December 2006–January 2007, no. 287

In the early 1980s, Clive James met William Shawn – at the Algonquin, of course. Shawn, the long-time editor of the New Yorker, invited James to become the magazine’s television critic. James, though awed by the offer, quickly said no, perhaps the first time this had happened to Shawn since World War II, he speculates in North Face of Soho, the fourth volume of his Unreliable Memoirs. Had James accepted, his life would have been very different, and this ‘brilliant bunch of guys’ (as the magazine later dubbed him) might still be in New York. But his wife’s work was in Cambridge, and he knew America wouldn’t suit him, or rather, might suit him too well. (‘America appealed too much to my sweet tooth.’)

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