Francis Wheen

Mystery of Gargantua’s Top Secret Powder Puff

The Unknown Maxwell 

By Nicholas Davies 

Sidgwick & Jackson 346 pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

When Robert Maxwell bought the Mirror Group, in July 1984, no commentator gave him a more enthusiastic or reckless welcome to the Street of Shame than Paul Johnson. ‘I don’t care a damn about his early business record or what the Board of Trade said about him umpteen years ago,’ Johnson roared in his Spectator column. ‘That is all ancient history.’ He predicted, approvingly, that the new proprietor would soon oversee a mass eviction of the Mirror’s overfed, overindulged journalists. ‘Maxwell is a hard man, with a sharp nose for extravagance, waste and freeloading of any kind.’

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