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Monday, October 22, 2012

George McGovern and The History Man

George McGovern died this weekend at ninety. Most of the people furiously tweeting about the Presidential election won't know who he was. For my generation he was quite a big story. He opposed the Vietnam war. He also served with distinction in the Second World War. As the Economist piece says, in those days politicians thought it tasteless to talk about it.

The funny thing is this weekend I've also been re-reading Malcolm Bradbury's The History Man, his satire of campus politics in the 70s, first published in 1975 and turned into a hit TV drama in 1981. McGovern's there in the first paragraph of the book, referred to by just his surname as if it was bound to reverberate down the ages.