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Hiatus at 4 a.m.

David Trotter: What scared Hitchcock?, 4 June 2015

Alfred Hitchcock 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Chatto, 279 pp., £12.99, April 2015, 978 0 7011 6993 0
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Alfred Hitchcock: The Man Who Knew Too Much 
by Michael Wood.
New Harvest, 129 pp., £15, March 2015, 978 1 4778 0134 5
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Hitchcock à la carte 
by Jan Olsson.
Duke, 261 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 8223 5804 6
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Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Selected Writings and Interviews, Vol. II 
edited by Sidney Gottlieb.
California, 274 pp., £24.95, February 2015, 978 0 520 27960 5
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... of articles, essays and stories by Hitchcock and interviews with him that he has edited, Sidney Gottlieb notes that he has chosen to exclude material concerned primarily with food, weight and family life, topics ‘perhaps worth investigating’ as an element in the construction of a public persona, but not as important as the comments on ...

Lace the air with LSD

Mike Jay: Brain Warfare, 4 February 2021

Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control 
by Stephen Kinzer.
Henry Holt, 384 pp., £11.99, November 2020, 978 1 250 76262 7
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... deeper in the CIA’s records. The files were heavily redacted but one name surfaced repeatedly: Sidney Gottlieb, who appeared to have been the director of a secret chemical division within the agency. Gottlieb, it turned out, was now in India, where he and his wife were spending their retirement working as volunteers ...

Why use a Novichok?

Tom Stevenson, 6 May 2021

Toxic: A History of Nerve Agents from Nazi Germany to Putin’s Russia 
by Dan Kaszeta.
Hurst, 408 pp., £25, July 2020, 978 1 78738 306 7
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... its speciality. Not that America hasn’t dabbled in their use: in September 1960, the CIA agent Sidney Gottlieb travelled to Leopoldville, allegedly on the orders of President Eisenhower, to assassinate the Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba by putting poison on his toothbrush (he was too slow, and Lumumba was killed by Belgian and Katangan soldiers ...

Poison is better

Kevin Okoth: Africa’s Cold War, 15 June 2023

White Malice: The CIA and the Neocolonisation of Africa 
by Susan Williams.
Hurst, 651 pp., £25, September 2021, 978 1 78738 555 9
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Cold War Liberation: The Soviet Union and the Collapse of the Portuguese Empire in Africa, 1961-75 
by Natalia Telepneva.
North Carolina, 302 pp., £37.95, June, 978 1 4696 6586 3
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... or more onto a hard surface’ as the simplest way to cover up a murder. Poison was better still. Sidney Gottlieb, a biochemist who had overseen the CIA’s drug experiments, developed a kit to poison Lumumba and planned to travel to Léopoldville to hand it over to Devlin. But Devlin realised he wasn’t likely to get close enough and cabled his minders ...


Gabriele Annan, 5 November 1992

Death in Rome 
by Wolfgang Koeppen, translated by Michael Hofmann.
Hamish Hamilton, 192 pp., £9.99, November 1992, 9780241132388
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... mayor of a German town. He has come to Rome for a secret rendezvous with his brother-in-law, Gottlieb Judejahn (army). Gottlieb is Adolf’s father. He was a top-ranking general in the SS, who disappeared at the end of the war and was presumed dead. In fact, he escaped and has been training the army of a Gulf State ...

Back to Life

Christopher Benfey: Rothko’s Moment, 21 May 2015

Mark Rothko: Towards the Light in the Chapel 
by Annie Cohen-Solal.
Yale, 296 pp., £18.99, February 2015, 978 0 300 18204 0
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... immigrant boy? She notes that Rothko, along with his friends Barnett Newman and Adolph Gottlieb, was part of a circle of young artists encouraged by Milton Avery, ‘a pure-blooded American who singlehandedly led the way for Modernism in 1930s New York’. One balks at both the offensive adjective and the adverb, during a time when Alfred ...

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