Max Hastings rss

Labour Wanted

Despair after VE day… the men left behind by victory

16 May 2015

After all the carousing and flag-waving that followed VE day in 1945, millions of young men fortunate enough not to be still fighting the Japanese faced a problem. Having spent… Read more

Former head of MI6 Sir John Scarlett stands in front of a painting of Sir George Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the first chief of the Secret Intelligence Service. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Max Hastings

4 April 2015

I am living in rustic seclusion while writing a book. Our only cultural outing of the week was to Newbury cinema to see, transmitted from the National Theatre, Arthur Miller’s… Read more

Rowan Atkinson

Max Hastings

21 September 2013

The looming centenary of the outbreak of the first world war offers an opportunity to break away from the Blackadder/Oh! What a Lovely War vision, which dominates popular perceptions. Nobody… Read more


Reykjavik notebook

11 August 2012

Anybody hunting for Britain’s lost summer need look no further than Iceland. I spent last week there salmon-fishing, in torrid sunburn conditions caused by a northward shift of the Atlantic… Read more

Never trust an editor

16 July 2011

Long before the phone-hacking scandal attained volcanic proportions, I scarcely knew a journalist in London unastonished to hear that last Christmas, the prime minister dined at the Oxfordshire home of… Read more


1 January 2011

The past year was one of so much gloom and doom — a smidgen of it perpetrated in print by me — that it seems embarrassing to admit that the… Read more


The guns of August

14 August 2010

Anybody who wants to get on in America must give handsomely to good causes. In our own essentially philistine society, the newly rich get further faster by buying grouse moors.… Read more


How much defence can we afford?

16 June 2010

Max Hastings says that the stakes are high for Liam Fox’s strategic defence review: but we must maintain our current troop numbers and cut in other areas to pay for… Read more


The Tory defence policy will be simple: cut, brutally

13 January 2010

The British military has been horribly overstretched by the wars of the Labour years, says Max Hastings. But the Tories’ only option will be to cut further still. Hideous decisions… Read more

The worst of friends

3 October 2007
Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45 Max Hastings

HarperCollins, pp.670, 25

In this his latest book Max Hastings aims not so much to write another history of the war in the Pacific but to describe ‘a massive and terrible experience, set… Read more

Max Hastings

10 December 2005

The avalanche of words on last week’s Adair pensions report seemed to miss one significant point. Retirement is likely to be delayed to 67 or even later. Yet there is… Read more

Max Hastings

2 July 2005

At the weekend, one of my favourite soldiers remarked sombrely that the armed forces have been sandpapered into so small a critical mass that little needs to go wrong for… Read more

Phoney war

8 January 2005

Max Hastings says it’s about time our leaders stopped playing political games and accepted that ‘international terror’ cannot be defeated by conventional military means If the leaders of the Western… Read more

We want to see the back of Bush

23 October 2004

The word ‘hate’ should be used cautiously, but most British people seem to hate George W. Bush. The Spectator’s YouGov poll this week — see panel opposite — suggests that… Read more

Max Hastings

12 June 2004

I spent Sunday in the BBC TV studio in Arromanches through six hours of live coverage of the D-Day commemoration. It would never do to tell them this, but I… Read more

Max Hastings

14 February 2004

It is hard to define qualifications for the new chairman and director-general of the BBC. Now that I am past being even a joke candidate, I will confess that I… Read more

How to lose the battle for Britain

7 February 2004

Now that Mr Geoff Hoon has put his Hutton embarrassments behind him and emerged shining like a new pin, some of us hope that he will address his day job.… Read more

Britain is furious with America

8 November 2003

A distinguished American writer reported after visiting Iraq: ‘The troops returning home are worried. “We’ve lost the peace,” men tell you. “We can’t make it stick.” Friend and foe alike… Read more

Max Hastings

25 October 2003

An evening of virulent anti-American propaganda at Covent Garden, or rather a terrific Madame Butterfly, brilliantly lit as well as sung. The evening was marred only by the distraction of… Read more

Don’t drop the pilot

15 March 2003

I keep meeting people with a dilemma. On the one hand, they want to see a swift, successful outcome of President Bush’s crusade against Iraq. On the other, if the… Read more

Max Hastings

14 December 2002

Two or three times a week, some radio or television programme telephones, usually in search of a soundbite. That I should be so lucky, you may say. How flattering. Yes,… Read more