America

American marines coming ashore at Guadalcanal, 1942 (Photo: Getty)

Hirohito, MacArthur and other villains

4 July 2015
Hirohito’s War: The Pacific War, 1941–1945 Francis Pike

Bloomsbury, pp.1110, £30, ISBN: 9781472596703

The history of ‘great events’, Voltaire wrote, is ‘hardly more than the history of crimes’. Physically, the war in Asia was the second world war’s greatest event. The Asian theatre,… Read more

American troops on the march during the First World War, 1917 (Photo: Getty)

Does history provide the answer to what happened in Tunisia?

4 July 2015

There’s a part of me that thinks OK, we’ve heard enough now, one year on from the beginning of the centenary commemorations, about the first world war. Do we really… Read more

Jackie Mason at the Hollywood Palace in 1964: ‘A good comedian must tell the truth’

Jackie Mason reveals the secret of stand-up: avoid fried food

16 May 2015

A lot of people ask what it takes to be a stand-up comic — I’ll be honest, I have absolutely no idea. What I do know is that whatever it… Read more

Ed Miliband Completes His Election Campaign In The North Of England

I’d move to Kosovo if Ed Miliband became prime minister

9 May 2015

If any of you sees Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, walking around with a begging bowl in his hand, it’s because he took me to dinner recently. I… Read more

Peter Phillips. Photo: Valerie Batselaere

The Tallis Scholars puke their way across the Americas

2 May 2015

Tours that start in Mexico have a nasty habit of repeating on one. Of all the British groups touring in the United States at the moment, we were the only… Read more

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Why American psychoanalysts are an endangered species

25 April 2015

   New York City Nothing says New York like a psychoanalyst’s couch. Think Woody Allen or those New Yorker cartoons. It fits our perception of east-coast Americans as all neurotic… Read more

Find the voice, find the character: Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher

Even those who reviled Thatcher will be moved, appalled and astonished: Dead Sheep at the Park reviewed

18 April 2015
Dead Sheep Park
Oppenheimer Vaudeville

Dead Sheep is a curious dramatic half-breed that examines Geoffrey Howe’s troubled relationship with Margaret Thatcher. Structurally it’s a Mexican bean. It leaps all over the 1980s and it keeps… Read more

Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’

Woman in Gold review: even Helen Mirren is weighed down by the script’s banalities

11 April 2015
Woman in Gold PG, Nationwide

Woman in Gold feels rather like a Jewish version of Philomena as this too is about an older woman seeking justice for what has been stolen from her in the… Read more

Acropolis Hill, Athens

Where Alcibiades once walked, amateur tax spies are trying to entrap poor pistachio-sellers

14 March 2015

 Athens I am walking on a wide pedestrian road beneath the Acropolis within 200 meters of the remaining Themistoclean wall and the ancient cemetery to eminent Athenians. One side is… Read more

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Oh joy! Sean Penn has tried to crack a joke

28 February 2015

What a pleasure it is to see the Hollywood actor Sean Penn neck deep in PC ordure. The rodentine thespian was handing out an award at the Oscars to his… Read more

How I Learned to Drive at Southwark Playhouse

Muswell Hill reviewed: a guide on how to sock it to London trendies

28 February 2015
Muswell Hill Park Theatre
How I Learned to Drive Southwark Playhouse

Torben Betts is much admired by his near-namesake Quentin Letts for socking it to London trendies. Letts is one of the few individuals who enjoys the twin blessings of a… Read more

US President Theodore Roosevelt's teddy bear Photo: Getty

The pleasures and perils of podcast listening

28 February 2015

No phrase is better calculated to tense the neck muscles of a regular podcast listener than ‘We have something special for you now.’ Having your radio shows downloaded to your… Read more

Law in action: Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman

Better Call Saul review: the box set equivalent of a (very) well-made play

14 February 2015

I lost count long ago of the number of dinner parties and pub conversations where I’ve had to utter the humiliating words, ‘Actually I haven’t seen Breaking Bad.’ The social… Read more

An early sketch of the standard 'contour' design

The art of Coke

7 February 2015

In 1915 D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation was premièred, Henry Ford manufactured his millionth Model-T (‘a million of anything is a lot’, he said), Kafka’s Metamorphosis was published and… Read more

King maker: David Oyelowo in ‘Selma’, the best performance of the year not nominated for an Oscar

Selma review: rich, nuanced, heartbreaking

7 February 2015
Selma 12A

Selma, the civil rights film that stars David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, undoubtedly contains the best and most powerful performance of the year as not nominated for an Oscar.… Read more

Rambo wannabe, Matthew VanDyke: ‘Everybody wants cool stuff they can show their friends on Facebook’

Arabian Motorcycle Adventures review: enthralling and constantly surprising

7 February 2015

There were great numbers of young men who had never been in a war and were consequently far from unwilling to join in this one.(Thucydides, 5th century BC) I love… Read more

Channing Tatum and Steve Carell

Foxcatcher: piercing, shattering, spellbinding

10 January 2015
Foxcatcher 15, Nationwide

Foxcatcher is a crime drama (of sorts) that has already been dubbed ‘Oscarcatcher!’ as it barely puts a foot wrong. It is tautly directed, deftly written, thoroughly gripping and offers… Read more

2012 Republican National Convention: Day 2

How America’s right wing is becoming a lot more like Britain’s

22 November 2014

   Washington DC Amid all the commentary about the Republican party’s triumph in America’s midterm elections, a remarkable fact was ignored: in style and substance, the American right is rapidly… Read more

Carrie's back: Clare Danes in Homeland

Hooray for Homeland - Carrie’s back blasting America’s enemies to pieces with drones

25 October 2014

One of the more welcome and surprising things about television at the moment is that Homeland (Channel 4, Sunday) is good again. As I’m not the only person to have… Read more

23 August 2014

Worth the candle Sir: I was saddened by Charles Moore’s account of the Westminster Abbey candlelit vigil marking the centenary of the start of the first world war (The Spectator’s… Read more

Julian Assange speaks at the Ecuadorian Embassy where he has been holed up for two years Photo: Getty

Help! I've started to feel sorry for Julian Assange

23 August 2014

Poor Julian Assange. Call me a contrarian but I’m genuinely starting to feel sorry for the guy. He’s just made such a mess of his life, hasn’t he? And with… Read more

Conrad Black back on familiar territory at The Spectator on 3 July. Image: Alan Davidson

Andrew Roberts

5 July 2014

The former proprietor of this magazine, Conrad Black, is in London at the moment with his gorgeous wife Barbara, and I’ve got very bad news for those of his enemies… Read more

Elliot Rodger Photo: AFP/Getty

Elliot Rodger and the Hollywood ending

31 May 2014

I’ve found myself strangely drawn to the videos made by the 22-year-old assassin Elliot Rodger just before he went on his killing spree in his university town of Santa Barbara,… Read more

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Why I no longer want to live in America

10 May 2014

A few years ago I would have quite liked to live in America. I’m not sure now. For one thing, most of the things perfected by Americans (convenience, entertainment, technology,… Read more

castro_the_endWD

How to shop for the apocalypse

3 May 2014

 New York City An architect friend who usually designs Manhattan skyscrapers was recently asked to pitch for a far more interesting project. The client, a senior partner at Goldman Sachs,… Read more