Daily Archives: July 20, 2009

Amol Rajan at The Independent has e-mailed me to tell me, in the politest possible terms, that rival blogger – Daniel Finkelstein – has already done a blog on “famous things that were never really said.” Irritatingly, his list is longer and funnier than mine – and shows more signs of diligent research.

The Finklestein list includes “Elementary, my dear Watson”; “Play it again, Sam” (I knew that one), Benjamin Franklin on death and taxes and Lenin on “useful idiots”. I always thought it was Stalin who called western communists “useful idiots”? Anyway, whether or not it was said, it’s a useful concept.

I wrote a long review for the Weekend FT about three new books on America and the world. It began:

“There are still a few people who regard the foreign policy of President George W. Bush as a runaway success. Dick Cheney, Bush himself and the inmates of some of the harder-line Washington think-tanks. Read more