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  1. Ann Leslie's memoir of her life in journalism is packed with fascinating details of her life of reporting in over 70 countries through wars and civil disorders. Where hasn't she been, the reader wonders - China, Tibet, Thailand, Philippines, Mexico, Berlin, Hollywood, New York, Russia, Albania - you name it, she's been there. And even more amazing who hasn't she met and interviewed, from pop stars like the Beatles, to movie queens, sportsmen (Ali), singers (Tom Jones) politicians, rulers, dictators, thieves and spies. Ann is perhaps best known to those like me who never read the papers for her radio and television 'appearances' on programmes such as Stop the Week, Question Time and Any Questions. When I lived in the Gulf she and her colleagues in Stop the Week were to me a lifeline of sanity and fun. She has a very amusing chapter called Stop the Rot dealing with her spats with male contenders for who couild bore who the most. Robert Robinson seemed to come out tops. Having something of a leftish viewpoint, she makes short shrift of the Bushes, but has even less time for the sycophantic Clinton. Thatcher is more in her line, but she has some engagingly catty remarks about even the Iron Lady's clothes and demeanor. She is quite priceless on the Queen and her entourage. Ann Leslie is a lively and amusing woman in what is essentially a male-dominated world. Not that she has much time for the feminists of the day - Freidan, Greer et al. She much prefers the vitriolic but balanced Rebecca West, although only meeting her when the latter was of a certain age. It's an eccentric title, but a book of sanity, humanity and commonsense
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