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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, eclectic, honest and funny
This could have been a rather pompous, fairly dull, chronological record of the life and times of Private Eye. It isn't. It is a warts and all A-Z of all the major happenings in the life of the Mag over its fifty years. I've read the magazine for the best part of 30 years now - admittedly intermittently during the 1990's - but as a subscriber for a number of years. This...
Published on 2 Jan 2012 by NorfolkBooks

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh Dear
Having read the Eye for years, I was dissapointed in the dis-jointed way it reads, some mistakes, and overall I wouldn't buy it for myself, my copy was bought for a relative. Will be interested to find out his comments once he's read it.
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by JT


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, eclectic, honest and funny, 2 Jan 2012
This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
This could have been a rather pompous, fairly dull, chronological record of the life and times of Private Eye. It isn't. It is a warts and all A-Z of all the major happenings in the life of the Mag over its fifty years. I've read the magazine for the best part of 30 years now - admittedly intermittently during the 1990's - but as a subscriber for a number of years. This trawl through its archives is a brilliant snapshot of Britain over the last fifty years. Private Eye has played a part in unearthing some of the biggest scandals this country has known. Some (like Phil Hammond's work on the hospital in Bristol) don't necessarily bring down the Government but they do make a difference. Holding people to account, pricking pomposity and doing so with wit and irreverence are all part of the Private Eye mixture and this book just captures it perfectly.

And it is honest about the fall outs and the arguments between the contributors. That's refreshing. No-one would believe it if Adam MacQueen had tried to pretend that there had been no major rows in 50 years so making it clear that there have and about what is great.

As with the magazine itself you can find yourself reading about a serious issue one moment and falling about laughing at some outrageous cartoon the next.

Another thing the book conveys, without setting out to do so, is just how well the magazine has done to keep up with the times. The message boards contributions which feature today are just hilarious.

When I ordered this I wasn't sure whether the A-Z approach would work but it makes it perfect to dip into, with brilliant cross references to take you to related items, or just to read straight through.

Great book.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff, guys!, 29 Oct 2011
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This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
As a fairly recent reader of Private Eye (for only the last five years or so), initially I held back from buying The First 50 Years thinking it might have too many in-jokes for a relative newbie to read. I'm gladly proved wrong as it's very informative and an excellent quality hardback.

It wasn't necessary to get further than opening the front cover before starting to laugh. The choice, derogatory, quotes from a wide variety of The Eye's enemies over the last half a century is just marvellous. (Favourite being: Pornographer Richard Desmond, 2010 "I've never bought a copy. I won't give them the satisfaction.")

The inclusion of a cross-reference system for section entries I found a very useful way of keeping track of the stories discovered, writs issued and the internal ructions. All of which benefit from being read consecutively. It's here that I really appreciated the research that went into the various different recollections of some of the less than glorious moments in the magazine's history. It's blunt, contradictory, no-one comes out smelling of roses and it explains a lot of background that was fuzzy, for me anyway. For all the the strife and not always prepossessing personalities at work; the coverage of all the great, the good and the bad is fascinating. There's more than enough detail to keep me coming back to read this for a long time.

Also, I can now get some of the jokes.

Here's to another fifty years! And thank you to Bogbrush for the review title.
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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complete and utter history of Private Eye(1961-2011)., 19 Sep 2011
By 
Jazzrook (Purbrook , Hampshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
As a reader and occasional contributor(where's my 10 quid?) to Lord Gnome's organ since the early 1960s, I found Adam Macqueen's A-Z history of the first 50 years of Private Eye a hugely entertaining and informative read. All of the Eye's creations and its victims are here along with revealing portraits of the main founders and contributors such as Richard Ingrams, Paul Foot, Auberon Waugh, Willie Rushton, Tony Rushton, Peter Cook, Claud Cockburn, Barry Fantoni, Francis Wheen, Michael 'Slicker' Gillard & Ian Hislop.
Although once described by a former contributor as "the most unpleasant thing in British journalism", Private Eye's brilliant mix of jokes, satire and investigative reporting now enjoys fortnightly sales of around 224,000.
Adam Macqueen's labour of love deserves to be read by all fans of the Eye and long may the mag continue(2094).
Do I get my O.B.N. now?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and intriguing, 26 Nov 2011
This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
This is a very interesting look at behind the scenes of Private Eye. As someone who has only started reading Private Eye on the last couple of years it was good to learn about the history of the publication. The A-Z format is accessible and allows the reader to drop in and out as they want, picking areas of interest to them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digestable History, 12 Nov 2011
By 
Mr. S. J. Powell (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
As one who grew up surrounded by bound volumes of Punch magazine from its inception to about 1940 I have always thought that cartoons and comments written and published in "real" time can provide a very useful adjunct to later versions of history which are written with hindsight. In this volume one has fifty years of Profumo and Ward to the (almost) current day. The cartoons are still funny and if one doesn't get them or remember the context it can provoke active research to find out what was at the root of it.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have history of "Private Eye"..., 19 Sep 2011
By 
S. MOHAMADI (London,SW) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
This is an interesting and must have history of "Private Eye", to mark its 50th anniversary. You would find a number of substantial interviews with people who worked for the magazine past and present here including of course Ian Hislop. Some good quality photos are included too to finish off the treat. I just wish it was slightly cheaper.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful book, 28 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
I find this book to be wonderfully informative, and witty, as it goes behind the satire.

Many years' ago I met Ian Hislop at an inaugural lecture at Royal Holloway University - the lecture was on ancient Roman literature. He is as witty, and intelligent, as is also evinced from this book. We do need to know how the satire is created, hence this book.

I would add that I contributed to The Eye circa 2007, when HMRC lost their discs. As a former HMRC employee, and while I was there, I was proud to leak information to The Eye. It was the most productive work I ever did.

If anyone ever works, or worked, for large PFI Groups, or gubernatorial agencies, your Eye needs you: leak to The Eye. You will feel good about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am a fan, 20 Jan 2012
By 
Zoonie (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
Books that you can randomly dip into have great charm. This was a favourite Christmas book, given by a relative who knows that I delight in everything to do with Private Eye.

Fans of the Eye will be entertained and informed as they take a look back at the past 50 years; those who are NOT fans, why don't you just shove off and stop yer moaning?

My only problem with the book is.....it would make great bedtime reading after a hard day BUT it is much too heavy to hold.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 Years of Private Eye, 18 Jan 2012
This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
Although I didn't buy this for myself and there for can not comment on the content, I do know that this book is a very good read. I say this as it was a present for my father who has been collecting Private Eye since the 60s and my Grandmother before him. I can honestly say I have never seen him quiet on Christmas day but to my joy he loved the book and couldn't put it down!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative - won't be cancelling my subscription..., 7 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z (Hardcover)
Love the format, and as a person who has only been reading for 5+ years, it's filling in a lot of gaps for me - like Arkell v Pressdram. If you like the Eye, you'll love this.
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Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z
Private Eye the First 50 Years: An A-Z by Adam Macqueen (Hardcover - 12 Sep 2011)
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