Graham Stewart rss

Special providence …

31 March 2012
Luck Ed Smith

Bloomsbury, pp.244, 16.99

When Ed Smith became a full-time professional cricketer for Kent in 1999 the county side was preparing for the new millennium by shedding anything that smacked of old-fashioned amateurism. Professionalism… Read more


Bookends: A matter of opinion

24 March 2012

In an age when the merely mildly curious believe they can get all they really need to know from Wikipedia for free, A. N. Wilson’s fellow literary professionals must take… Read more

Playing for high stakes

12 August 2009
1938: Hitler’s Gamble Giles MacDonogh

Constable, pp.380, 20

1938: Hitler’s Gamble, by Giles MacDonogh Hitler’s greatest gamble in 1938 was his determination to occupy the Czechoslovak Sudetenland, even at the risk of sparking a European war. Neither Neville… Read more

That worthless piece of paper

24 September 2008
Munich David Faber

Simon & Schuster, pp.528, 20

Munich, by David Faber David Faber’s account of the Munich crisis has been published to mark the 70th anniversary of the four-power conference that made appeasement a dirty word.  But… Read more

No need to panic — probably

8 April 2008
An Appeal to Reason Nigel Lawson

Duckworth, pp.149, 9.99

When there is so much data suggesting the world’s climate is heating up, some may find it presumptuous of Nigel Lawson, who is not a scientist and has undertaken no… Read more

Too much zeal

2 January 2008
Scared to Death: From BSE to Global Warming Christopher Booker and Richard North

Continuum, pp.pp. 494, £16.99

Many of us are beginning to weary of the pushier sort of ‘expert’. Gone is the sense of proportion, the admission of scientific doubt, the ability to weigh risks against… Read more

A criminal waste

28 November 2007
The Road to Southend Pier Ross Clark

Harriman House, pp.168, 9.99

With an estimated one surveillance camera in Britain for every 14 Britons, reality television has never been more invasive. The reason Big Brother has been allowed to watch its citizens… Read more

Catch me if you can

24 October 2007
Gorgeous George: The Life and Adventures of George Galloway David Morley

Politico’s, pp.349, 19.99

It is a brave man who attempts to uncover the truth about George Galloway. One slip, one factual infelicity, one unguarded opinion and the biographer can expect to get his… Read more

To flee or not to flee

10 January 2007
Time to Emigrate? George Walden

Gibson Square Books, pp.233, 8.99

‘Why is no one talking about what is happening in our country?’ demands the splash across the front cover of the latest book by George Walden. It is therefore something… Read more

Toughing it out together

31 May 2006
American Ally: Tony Blair and the War on Terror Con Coughlin

Politico’s, pp.419, 18.99

Listing page content here Since the Suez debacle, the chemistry between American presidents and British prime ministers has helped determine the ‘special relationship’s’ potency. Between Harold Macmillan and John F.… Read more

Flocking to the standard

25 May 2006
The British Empire and the Second World War Ashley Jackson

Hambleden/Continuum, pp.604, 25

Listing page content here Only in the last few years  have major memorials to  the wartime sacrifices of  the British Dominions and Colonies taken their place in the ceremonial plots… Read more

The weasels in the wordpile

18 February 2006
Unspeak Steven Poole

Little, Brown, pp.282, 9.99

The etymologists of the Oxford English Dictionary should be alerted that Steven Poole has coined a new word. First used as the title for his book, published in 2006, ‘unspeak’… Read more

Instant post-mortem verdicts

5 November 2005
Great Lives: A Century of Obituaries edited by Ian Brunskill

HarperCollins, pp.465, 20

Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us. In every life there is the subject for a sermon. Perhaps that is why so many sons of… Read more

Business as usual

8 October 2005
We Are At War: The Diaries of Five Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times Simon Garfield

Ebury Press, pp.425, 19.99

Reality television has demonstrated that it is no longer necessary to possess a distinguishing talent in order to enjoy celebrity status. Critics might argue that Simon Garfield has worked similar… Read more

Moore means less

27 November 2004
The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader Michael Moore

Penguin, pp.343, 8.99

Will They Ever Trust Us Again? Michael Moore

Allen Lane, pp.218, 12.99

Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 is the most commercially successful documentary film ever made. It received a prolonged standing ovation from critics at the Cannes film festival where it became the… Read more

Evangelism on the march

18 September 2004
The Right Nation: Why America is Different John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge

Penguin, pp.450, 14.99

When Robert Goizueta, Coca-Cola’s boss, attempted to justify his $80 million annual income to a meeting of shareholders he was interrupted four times — with applause. Attitudes to wealth and… Read more

Two-way traffic: arrivals and departures

19 June 2004
Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain Robert Winder

Little, Brown, pp.403, 20

Britannia’s Children: Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600by Eric RichardsHambledon & London, £19.95, pp. 388, ISBN 1852854413 In the middle of the 19th century, Londoners grumbled about… Read more

The lure of the far horizon

6 March 2004
Conquerors of Time Trevor Fishlock

John Murray, pp.444, 25

In 1795, John Evans, the son of a Methodist preacher, set out from St Louis across the unchartered plains of North America in search of a lost tribe of ‘Welsh… Read more

Rivals at the court of King Adolf

3 January 2004
The Devil’s Disciples: The Lives and Times of Hitler’s Inner Circle Anthony Read

Cape, pp.984, 25

One of the Great War’s consequences may have been the dethronement of the Romanovs, Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns but — as a new generation of scholars are attempting to show —… Read more

Northward and upward

11 October 2003
Bill Clinton: An American Journey Nigel Hamilton

Century, pp.784, 25

This first volume of Bill Clinton’s biography, taking the story as far as his presidential election victory in 1992, comes at a peculiar time. Unlike many of the hasty invectives… Read more

Life on board the pirate ship

15 March 2003

The Book Guild, pp.172, 15.95

When, in 1825, Harriette Wilson began her Memoirs with ‘I shall not say why and how I became, at the age of 15, the mistress of the Earl of Craven’… Read more

New figures in our national story

30 November 2002

BBC, pp.576, 25

In the first two volumes accompanying his History of Britain television series, Simon Schama had a clear framework in which to work. Essentially he told of the dynastic struggles of… Read more

Faithful after his fashion

26 October 2002
THE LAST DIARIES Alan Clark, edited by Ion Trewin

Weidenfeld, pp.405, 20

There is doubtless some passing pleasure to be had in making it into the Royal Enclosure or, failing that, the ‘Sunday Times Rich List’. But for those in political and… Read more

Pedalling into politics

21 September 2002

John Murray, pp.388, 20

Perhaps it is not a good idea to call Dervla Murphy ‘redoubtable’. She is a strident anti-militarist and might not enjoy being given the sort of name that could so… Read more