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Of course, his superior up top was no better. Indeed, if the reader is looking to the book as a way to indict Burns and the Fed more broadly, he or she will be sorely disappointed.

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The gold window may have to be closed tomorrow because we now have a government that seems incapable, not only of constructive leadership, but of any action at all. What a tragedy for mankind! About all this, it should be stressed that this review is in no way meant to defend the Federal Reserve. If in control, this writer would abolish it. So while The Secret Diary offers very little evidence that most readers may want about the Burns Fed conspiring to weaken the dollar, it does once again offer unique insights into the personnel behind the policies, along with perhaps unwitting observations that show the sheer folly of keeping government small.

What vanity! Why do grown men act so foolishly? For those who persist in the false belief that the Fed "printed" outrageous amounts of money in the '70s, the stubborn fact remains that the Fed's monetary base grew the same in the '70s as it did in the '80s. Yet for all the acclaim that has come the way of this legendary magazine editor, Brown has also been persistently underestimated.

Here not only is her voice and sensibility, but also her searching and candid self-assessment.

Through the s and s, Brown remade first British and then American magazine journalism. Brown reinvented the celebrity profile and celebrity photography. She published forensic profiles of the Gary Hart sex scandal and of the murder of the primatologist Dian Fossey in Rwanda. Her rule was high-low: high culture joined to low gossip, insisting on the highest standards of accuracy and narration for both.

She deployed known writers in unexpected ways, while generously promoting new talent. It rankles me too, but for the opposite reason. I experienced the Brown editorial method personally, and while money certainly occupied a place in her instrument chest, it by no means predominated. At that time, just after the recession, gold dust lay a lot thinner on the ground for print journalism than in the gaudy s. Brown had launched a website, The Daily Beast , which had just merged with the tottering Newsweek. She took me to lunch to ask: What would it take to hire me at the Beast?

BBC - The Secret Life of Books Series 2 (2015) Part 3: The Mill on the Floss

I suggested what seemed to me an attractive number. The strange thing was that somehow I always could squeeze in that uncontracted column—and enjoy doing it too. Tina rewarded effort not only in dollars and cents, but also in enthusiasm. In spite of Morrison's pro-Japanese stand, the chief Russian negotiator, Count de Witte, sought him out for a lengthy discussion. Returning to China via England and Europe, Morrison exercised some influence on the choice of a new British minister to Peking and in the development of British policy ending the opium trade from India.

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He had reached the apogee of his political and diplomatic influence. He was, however, entering another period of uncertainty. He clearly felt the lack of any sustained, close personal relationship; his health, no doubt affected by the rigours he had experienced, was worsening, while he was increasingly dissatisfied with the editing of his reports.

In he rejected an invitation to become foreign editor of The Times in London, and he speculated about returning to Australia, which he had revisited in and , in order to enter political life.


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He corresponded occasionally with prominent Australians including Alfred Deakin and H. Higgins , his brother-in-law. Another idea he entertained was to become British minister in Peking.

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But in fact he remained as The Times representative there, albeit often absent. He was present in , however, to report, once again more sharply and accurately than other correspondents, on the revolutionary events culminating in the end of Manchu rule. In August Morrison quickly accepted President Yuan Shi-kai's offer of a well-paid place as government adviser.

He found in his marriage a new happiness and emotional security. But his change of professional status was far less rewarding and he was soon complaining of being more in the dark than when he was a correspondent.

Nevertheless, he had some limited successes. He must take some of the credit, for example, for the tempering of Japan's notorious Twenty-One Demands on China in ; although he did not participate in negotiations, he obtained publication of the demands in foreign papers which had initially doubted their authenticity. Convinced that the new republic must enter actively into world diplomacy, Morrison worked to bring China into the war against Germany. He also wanted to maintain China's integrity in the face of what he now saw as the major threat of an aggressive, exclusivist Japanese imperialism; he considered the best way to do this was to preserve the old links with Britain.

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China's entry into World War I gave it a place at the Versailles conference and Morrison helped to prepare its submissions. These were quite unsuccessful in preventing China's 'allies' from subordinating her interests to Japan's and the great surge of Chinese nationalism known as the May Fourth movement erupted. Morrison, however, was to see nothing of this. By then very ill, he left Paris in May for England. After a year of suffering and desperate searches for a cure, he died of inanition associated with chronic pancreatitis at Sidmouth, Devon, on 30 May ; survived by his wife d.

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Morrison had visited Australia once more in late Although deeply attached to the country of his birth he was very critical, especially of the defeat of the second conscription referendum which he interpreted as a triumph for Catholic and women voters. He spoke publicly for conscription, but even more of trade prospects with China and to warn that an easy-going Australia could not for long ignore hard-working Japan. Earlier, he had sold his remarkable library of Western language works on China—over 20, volumes, maps and pamphlets.

The collection is now held by the Tokyo Toyo Bunka Kenkyusho. In an annual series of lectures on China was founded in honour of Morrison by Chinese residents in Australia; the series continues under the auspices of the Australian National University. View the front pages for Volume Australian Dictionary of Biography person text Tip: searches only the name field Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase.