The Worst of Friends: The Betrayal of Joe Mercer

Micah Bell
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Miller seemed to mold his new political identity with the express aim of needling these self-righteous neighbors. At Santa Monica High, Miller constantly found ways to rile his classmates. The tactic worked, and the school eventually acquiesced. At times, his shtick was greeted with amusement. Many of them wanted nothing to do with us. The event in question was a speech by David Horowitz, the right-wing polemicist whose books Miller had so admired as a teenager. Now, as he introduced Horowitz to an audience of skeptics and hecklers, Miller was making the most of the moment.

Turning to the piece of paper in front of him, Miller began to list the university entities that had withheld their support, reading them off one by one with gusto—the literature department, the philosophy department, the multicultural center.

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Before the Thai millions and Abu Dhabi billions, Manchester City was always a club that attracted fierce controversy. July Manchester City are on the. The Worst of Friends book. Read 2 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Inspired by David Pearce's bestselling The Damned United, Colin.

When some in the audience began applauding the groups he was trying to shame, Miller straightened his tie and furrowed his brow in faux concern. That night was the culmination of a well-organized campaign of campus disruption. As the head of the Duke chapter, Miller was sent a page handbook that provided detailed instructions for orchestrating a campus controversy. The playbook was in many ways ahead of its time, but Miller recognized its merits—and executed flawlessly.

After inviting Horowitz to speak at Duke, he seized on the pushback from some professors as evidence that the university was trying to stifle free speech. There were protests, and counterprotests, and angry letters to the editor, and before long, Miller had spun the event into a culture-war spectacle. When Horowitz arrived, he was amazed to find a packed auditorium, with cameras rolling in the back. His speech later aired on C- span.

Roving around campus in his dark suits and ties, a Nat Sherman cigarette dangling from his lips, he epitomized a new breed of college Republican—less debate-team dork, more smirking prankster. In classes, he was known to derail discussions with inflammatory comments. When other students confronted him on the quad, he would expertly bait them into public shouting matches. The extent of their relationship is somewhat murky. I have no relationship with him. He was not my friend. Miller was best known for a column he wrote, called Miller Time, for The Chronicle.

Perusing the archive today, one can see the influence of Limbaugh, LaPierre, and his other idols. His Judaism notwithstanding, he wrote two separate columns about the War on Christmas, and a third in which he lamented that Mel Gibson had been snubbed by the Oscars for The Passion of the Christ.

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Really, the smartest response was to avoid having one. Even as his notoriety grew, Miller remained a somewhat mysterious figure on campus. He was rarely seen at parties, and few classmates remember hearing him discuss his personal life. Almost overnight, the campus became a battlefield. Protesters marched through the streets of Durham banging pots and pans and waving a banner that screamed castrate!!

A cavalcade of news trucks surrounded the campus, and reporters swarmed. For most students, the uproar was a nightmare. For Miller, it was an opportunity. From his perch at The Chronicle , he took up the unpopular cause of the accused lacrosse players—crusading for their right to be presumed innocent, and casting them as victims of political correctness. But he also turned up on shows that were less friendly to his position. By the time Miller graduated, the lacrosse players had been exonerated, and the Durham County district attorney was later disbarred.

Miller was vindicated. Miller told me that his activism on behalf of the players was the thing he was most proud of from his college years. It also helped launch his career in conservative politics. After graduating, he moved to Washington to join the office of an up-and-coming congresswoman named Michele Bachmann. But among those who knew Miller at the time, the question of why he inserted himself into the lacrosse scandal remains a point of debate.

Some believe it was simple opportunism—an attention seeker chasing the Fox News searchlight. Others see a more nefarious motive—a budding white nationalist drawn to the racial politics of the case.

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Paul Slattery offered a simpler theory. At one booth, a young man hawked socialism sucks T-shirts— Just imagine how people on your campus will react! Outside, I met a trio of young men in sport coats and asked them what they thought of Miller, who had helped write the speech Trump had given earlier in the day. In the decade since Miller graduated from Duke, the kind of trolling he mastered there has come to dominate campus conservatism in America.

After a riot broke out last year at UC Berkeley, where Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak, conservatives pointed to the incident as proof that free speech was under attack from the left. Despite their shoestring appearance, many of these exploits have real money behind them. In his book, Dangerous , Yiannopoulos laid out the ideology undergirding his project. But if any slur or slander can be excused as ironic under the guise of combatting political correctness, it becomes all but impossible to distinguish genuine extremists from those impersonating them for effect.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, incidents of white-supremacist propaganda at colleges increased by percent from the fall of to the fall of But with each new like and upvote, an incentive structure forms, a community coalesces, an identity hardens.

Of course, when your personal beliefs become a matter of national policy, the stakes are higher. When I asked him, for example, whether he had been drawn to the Duke lacrosse case because of its racial politics, he curtly brushed off the question. But if college campuses are teeming with Milo wannabes, Miller clearly believes that the modern left has only itself to blame.

Since arriving in Washington, Miller had sanded off some of the rougher edges of his merry-prankster persona, refashioning himself as a serious ideologue. But he remained an agitator. Hahn would later follow Miller and Bannon to the White House, where she serves as a special assistant to the president.

In this scene, Miller was not a misfit or a menace, but part of the vanguard of a growing conservative-populist movement. She recalled one get-together at which Miller asserted matter-of-factly that the Catholic Church was engaged in a conspiracy to financially benefit from the refugee crisis. The Hill staffer, a Catholic, was bewildered that no one else in the group was challenging him.

When Donald Trump entered the presidential race in the summer of , it was perhaps inevitable that Miller would find a way onto the campaign. The song tells the story of a woman who takes a half-dead snake into her home and nurses him back to health.

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The snake responds by biting her. As she dies, she asks him why he did it. The moral of the lesson is in the concluding couplet:. Trump uses the deceitful, poisonous snake to represent Syrian refugees and undocumented immigrants.

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It is objectively one of the most demagogic things he regularly says out loud as an added bonus, it also works as a metaphor for Trump himself, something he seems to know and delight in. It is quintessentially Trumpian rhetoric: shocking, offensive, and destined to send his haters into paroxysms of outrage.

It also thrills Miller to no end. On the campaign trail, Miller played the dual role of speechwriter and hype man, getting the crowds amped up before Trump took the stage. But to Miller, the most exhilarating moments came when Trump would tell him—often while they were en route to an event—that he wanted to add a new section to his speech. As Miller gushed, I realized that there was something familiar about this worshipful anecdote: He had shared it—several times—during his most infamous TV appearance. The clip went viral. When I asked Miller about the appearance, he cast his eyes downward in a show of contrition.

As a senior policy adviser to the president, Miller enjoys a position of uncommon influence for his age. And yet—remarkably, given the divisiveness of his views—Miller has remained largely absent from news stories about intramural combat in the West Wing. While dozens of top officials have departed over the past 16 months, Miller has kept his head down and survived. The lack of damaging leaks about him is partly a function of the fact that he is generally well liked among his close colleagues, who say he is more self-aware than his strident on-camera persona would suggest.

Hogan Gidley, who works in the White House press office, told me he first bonded with Miller over their shared love of fashion. I heard variations of this line from several people in the administration, and at first I was skeptical.

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The jigsaw was finished. Within weeks, chairman JE Jones was voted out. Yes, there are dresses and dinners, but also: sex, sexuality, secrets, infidelity, betrayal, loyalty, unrequited love, requited love, grief, unwanted pregnancies, children who long for lost or absent parents, marriages of all kinds, the tension between duty and desire, and the long friendships of cousins. The rest of the book details their path to helping Ryland transition. How the hell did you get that job?

Given his lifelong penchant for attention-getting provocation, could he truly be content playing the part of the obedient lieutenant? But as it turns out, Miller has found ways to channel his talent for trolling into the less visible work of government policy making. In lieu of primped pundits, he has to make do with White House staffers, but the basic concept is the same: Two people with conflicting points of view whacking away at each other as forcefully—and entertainingly—as possible.

Trump seems to process information best in this format, according to people who have worked in the administration. Often, when the debate lacks a voice for a position the president wants to hear articulated, he will call Miller into the room and have him make the case. One of his first acts on the job was to work with then—chief strategist Steve Bannon in crafting an executive order that banned travel to the United States from seven majority-Muslim countries. The hastily written order contained no guidance on implementation, and soon after Trump signed it—on a Friday afternoon one week into his presidency—airports across the country were plunged into chaos.

Hundreds of travelers were detained, civil-rights lawyers descended, and protesters swarmed. To many, the televised disarray was proof of failure. Miller played a similarly disruptive role a year later, during congressional negotiations over immigration. When Miller found out one afternoon in January that Senators Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin were coming to the White House to pitch Trump on a bipartisan bill, he reportedly moved to stack the Oval Office with hawkish conservatives in hopes of swaying the president.

Miller, of course, denies any suggestion that he would try to manipulate Trump. But, alas, he told me in a tone of great disappointment, he had become convinced in recent weeks that Democrats would rather keep immigration as a political issue to campaign on than actually fix the problem. Write a customer review. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us. Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book?

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  4. The Worst of Friends: Malcolm Allison, Joe Mercer and Manchester City by Colin Shindler?
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Click here Would you like to report this content as inappropriate? In this updated edition, Shindler covers the significant developments of the last decade, including the rise of the Israeli far right, Hamas's takeover and the political rivalry between Gaza and the West Bank, Israel's uneasy dealings with the new administration in the United States, political Islam and the potential impact of the Arab Spring on the region as a whole. This sympathetic yet candid portrayal asks how a nation that emerged out of the ashes of the Holocaust and was the admiration of the world is now perceived by many Western governments in a less than benevolent light.

Colin Shindler was dealt a cruel hand by Fate when he became a passionate Manchester City supporter. In this brilliant sporting autobiography he recalls the great characters of his youth, like his eccentric Uncle Laurence, as well as his professional heroes. Threaded through these sporting events is the author's own story, which touches on a universal nerve, growing up in a Jewish family, his childhodd destroyed by the sudden death of his mother and his slow emotional recovery through his love for Manchester City. It is a tale that reveals what it is like to be on the outside looking in, with his nose pressed up against the sweet shop window watching the United supporters take all the wine gums.

Why has the European Left become so antagonistic towards Israel? To answer this question, Colin Shindler looks at the struggle between Marxism-Leninism and Zionism from the October Revolution to today. Is such antagonism in opposition to the policies of successive Israeli governments? Or, is it due to a resurgence of anti-Semitism? The answer is far more complex. Shindler argues that the new generation of the European Left was more influenced by the decolonization movement than by wartime experiences, which led it to favor the Palestinian cause in the post period.

Thus the Israeli drive to settle the West Bank after the Six Day war enhanced an already existing attitude, but did not cause it. Written by a respected scholar, this accessible and balanced work provides a novel account and analytical approach to this important subject.

The Worst of Friends: The Betrayal of Joe Mercer

Israel and the European Left will interest students in international politics, Middle Eastern studies, as well as anyone who seeks to understand issues related to today's Left and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Before the Thai millions and Abu Dhabi billions, Manchester City was always a club that attracted fierce controversy. Manchester City are on the scrapheap, managerless and languishing in Second Division mediocrity.

Desperate to reverse the club's fortunes, the board turns to Joe Mercer, a respected football veteran hungry for a final chance to achieve management glory. Yet age and ill health are against Joe: Recently sacked from managing Plymouth, Malcolm is out to prove that his innovative tactics can breathe new life into the staid English game. City is the perfect opportunity to show off his talents - especially since Joe promises him the manager's job in two years' time.

City rule supreme, having just won their fifth trophy in as many seasons. The Mercer-Allison partnership is the most successful management team in the club's history. But, unwilling to let go of his success, Joe breaks his word and refuses to step aside. In order to fulfil his self-proclaimed destiny as the greatest manager in English football, an embittered Malcolm engineers a boardroom takeover that risks everything he and Joe have worked for.

Based on real events, Colin Shindler's novel explores the clash of personalities that led to the spectacular rise and fall of Manchester City's 'Golden Age'. Malcolm and Joe's story is a cautionary tale of how ambition and betrayal brought down two men who had the world at their feet and of how two of the greatest management partners in British football history became the worst of friends. Why did Israel shift from a state based on pioneering egalitarianism and 'making the desert bloom' to one which is chiefly known for its military prowess?

Shindler's book uses original research to challenge the conventional wisdom that Begin was the natural heir to Jabotinsky. He demonstrates through hitherto unpublished sources how Israel drifted away from Jabotinsky's ideas towards a maximalist Zionism because Begin's very selective interpretation of his mentor's words did not reflect Jabotinsky's intentions. This invaluable addition to the study of Israel's political history will appeal to both Middle Eastern and military historians.