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’.
People have written books about America long before the United States declared itself, and we may be forgiven for asking if we really need another.
What sort of person would you expect to be bringing out a life of J.D. Salinger two months after his death, bearing in mind that Salinger was more obsessive about his privacy than any other writer in human history and fought the publication of the last biography all the way to the US Supreme Court?
‘I was not an enthusiast about getting US forces and going into Iraq,’ Dick Cheney said in 1997, looking back on the First Gulf War.
Dave Eggers is the very model of the engaged writer.
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.
For once, I felt sorry for Bill Clinton.
Hank Paulson’s new book is called On the Brink, but it could well have been entitled Over the Edge.
For someone who barely left the house, Emily Dickinson didn’t half cause a lot of trouble.
Probably my opinion of this bold book is worthless.
Edmund White is among the most admired of living authors, his oeuvre consisting of 20-odd books of various forms — novels, stories, essays and biographies — though each one is imbued with his preferred subject, homosexuality.
It is impossible (as I prove in this sentence) to review Philip Roth without mentioning the surge of creativity that began when the author was around 60 and which now sees him publishing a novel every year (his next one, Nemesis, is already finished).
With Blood’s a Rover James Ellroy finally finishes his ‘Underworld USA’ trilogy.
Whether the refusal to allow the Confederate states the right to self-determination, flying as it did in the face of the Declaration of Independence, was the first overt act of American imperialism is a question that goes largely undiscussed.
Free association underpins the comedy of Lorrie Moore’s writing — or perhaps the verb should be ‘unpins’, since her prose spins off in tangential, apparently affectless riffs.
Julie Powell wrote Julie and Julia, a book (and now a film) in which she described her attempts to cook a huge number of recipes by the cookery writer Julia Child.
Brooklyn, by Colm Tóibín
Ask Alice, by D. J. Taylor
God Bless America: Misadventures of a Big Mouth, by Piers Morgan
Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Gamble: General Petraeus and the Untold Story of the American Surge in Iraq, 2006-2008, by Thomas E. Ricks
Americans in Paris, by Charles Glass
Journals: 1952-2000, by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr, edited by Andrew Schlesinger and Stephen Schlesinger
The Eagle & the Crown, by Frank Prochaska
State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey