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The Beaverbrook I Knew, edited by Logan Gourlay (Merrimack: $19.95) contains reminiscences by more than 30 friends, foes and victims of the late Canadian-born British newspaper buccaneer, Baron Beaverbrook (1879-1964). Amassing a fortune in Canadian cement, Beaverbrook, born William Maxwell Aiken, came to England shortly after the turn of the century like a prairie tornado, entered politics and became a confidant of Winston Churchill and other British leaders. He served in the British cabinet in both World War I and II. But it was as the owner of the Daily Express and other British newspapers that Beaverbrook, who, according to one of the book's contributors, "resembled a sort of impish frog," achieved lasting fame--or notoriety. These reminiscences, mainly by former Beaverbrook editors and reporters, are larded with the British passion for titillating gossip and bitchiness. Whether you love newspapers or hate them, or even if you have never heard of "The Beaver," these well-written offerings are jolly good fun.

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