Sam Leith on Tony Judt’s rigorous, posthumously published examination of the great intellectual debates of the last century
Ferdinand Mount recalls the crisis years of the early 1970s, when Britain was pronounced ‘ungovernable’
As a five-year-old in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem in the 1950s, Kai Bird overheard an elderly American heiress offering $1 million to anyone who could solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In 1948, Poland’s new communist government was badly in need of legitimacy and desperate for international recognition. So they did what any self-respecting left-wing government would do, back in those days, in order to win a bit of respect; they held a cultural Congress.
While I was living in Tokyo, a Japanese girl friend of mine fell in love with a British investment banker.
A word is missing from the subtitle of Jonathan Green’s shocking exposé: cowardice.
Though he was to live at Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan, Sir John Randalph (later Shane) Leslie, cousin of Winston Churchill, was born at Stratford House, London, in 1885 though baptised at Glaslough with Lord Randolph Churchill as godfather.
In the late days of the Bush administration, it was fashionable among liberals to call George W. Bush the ‘worst’ president since the founding of the republic and to suggest that under his leadership America experienced its own version of the Dark Ages.
In the autumn of 1962, not more than a couple of weeks after the Cuban missile crisis and with our British fleet of nuclear-armed V-bombers still on high alert, a man called Gervase Cowell, then working in our Moscow embassy, received a phone call.
Charlotte Moore’s family have lived at Hancox on the Sussex Weald for well over a century.
At last, thirty years after his death, we have a proper biography of the enigmatic but inspirational banker Siegmund Warburg, extensively researched and beautifully written.
Why haven’t we heard of Phillis Bottome? In her 60-year career she published 33 novels, several of them bestsellers, short stories, essays, biographies and memoirs.
There are already three biographies of E. M. Forster: P. N. Furbank’s two- volume, authorised heavyweight; Nicola Beauman’s less compendious, more engaging middleweight; and my own bantamweight, little more than an extended essay.
The first game played by the Allahakbarries Cricket Club at Albury in Surrey in September 1887 did not bode well for the club’s future.
Of those prime ministers whom the old grammar schools escalator propelled from the bottom to the top of British society since the second world war, Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher were in many ways the most alike.
Patrick Shaw-Stewart was the cleverest and the most ambitious of the gilded gang of young men who swam in the wake of the not-so-young but perennially youthful Raymond Asquith.
It has taken more than half a century, but at last the Anglophone world has woken up to the fact that 20th-century communist history makes a superb backdrop for fiction.
If you wanted to write about Marilyn Monroe, how would you go about it? The pile of biographies, memoirs and novels about poor, sad Marilyn is already teetering.
Above all, it is the inhuman scale of things which impresses the visitor to Moscow: the vastness of Red Square, the width of the uncrossable streets, the implacability of the traffic.
Norman Stone forsook the chair of modern history at Oxford university for Ankara after realising that the ‘conversation at high tables would generally have made the exchanges in the bus- stop in the rain outside seem exhilarating’.
When she was a little girl, playing in the countryside around her missionary parents’ home in China, Pearl Buck used to come across the scattered body parts of babies abandoned for animals to devour. She would bury them, and tell no one.
This book could have been a classic.
In a sense, as this interest- ing collection of his writings makes clear, Rudyard Kip- ling was always abroad.
The car manufacturer Henry Ford domin- ates this remarkable book, managing, like Falstaff, to be its tragic hero, villain, and comic relief all at the same time.
Do we need another huge life of Arthur Koestler? He wrote a great deal about himself, including three autobiographical works: Spanish Testament (1937), describing his experience as a death-row prisoner of General Franco, Arrow in the Blue (1952) and The Invisible Writing (1954).