Martin Amis and Anna Ford are “having a go of it,” as they say. It all started with Amis’s complaint in The Guardian that newspapers make him out to be more controversial than he is . Ford, a longtime friend, responds with an open letter accusing him of narcissism and an “inability to empathise,” and gives two very personal examples of exactly what she means. Amis responds here .

These things never end well, and I have no interest in taking sides. Yet, did not Alan Jacobs make Ford’s very point two years ago with so much more nuance when he noted Amis’s troublesome preoccupation in his recent political works with style over substance? Yes, I think he did .

If only Ms. Ford had been a reader of, First Things , she might have hit Amis where it really hurts.

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