Books

A low score in the intelligence test

30 October 2004 12:00 am

During an interview with James Naughtie, recorded in his keenly analytical The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency, the…

A statesman who reinvented himself

30 October 2004 12:00 am

Christopher Hibbert is a publishing phenomenon. Now 80 or thereabouts, he has published at least 37 books, mainly on British…

An accretion of accumulators

23 October 2004 12:00 am

The word ‘camp’ is often used as shorthand for ‘homosexual’. Its wider cultural sense has been best defined by Susan…

A bad Samaritan

23 October 2004 12:00 am

An avalanche in a French ski resort is thought by some to have been caused by American warplanes flying low…

An uninspired foreign correspondent

23 October 2004 12:00 am

What are the essential elements that make a good book of letters? The first is mild spite. Had John Gielgud…

Posh and common

23 October 2004 12:00 am

This is one of those lovely Persephone reprints with a pearly grey cover and endpapers like the maids’ bedroom curtains…

The outsider who came in from the cold

23 October 2004 12:00 am

Professor McIntire disowns any claim to have written a conventional biography of the Cam- bridge historian Herbert Butter- field. His…

All human life is here except politics

23 October 2004 12:00 am

Unfortunately for this volume commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Daily Telegraph, most people today are keener to read about…

Mixed mediaeval motives

23 October 2004 12:00 am

The crusades have had a bad press lately, for reasons which are not far to seek. They were characterised by…

Well worth the weight

23 October 2004 12:00 am

There is no comfortable way to read or appreciate this vast book without the benefit of a lectern. How many…

Fear in a handful of dust

23 October 2004 12:00 am

Richard Wollheim died last year, aged 80, after a distinguished academic career as a philosopher fascinated by aesthetics and psychoanalysis.…

Britannia’s finest years

23 October 2004 12:00 am

In 1903, the final volume of Laird Clowes’s seven-part History of the Royal Navy thudded on to Britain’s bookshelves: 4,385…

The hum of special contentment

23 October 2004 12:00 am

How welcome it is to find a book published by a small private concern in this age of conglomerates; the…

A romantic socialist

23 October 2004 12:00 am

There is no introduction to this collection of essays, reviews and ‘think-pieces’ by Doris Lessing, but they are presumably chosen…

Seven of the best

23 October 2004 12:00 am

Call the Dying is the seventh novel in Andrew Taylor’s Lydmouth series. He started it in 1994 and by setting…

The price of the last push

16 October 2004 12:00 am

This lucid account by a practised hand of what went on in Europe during that final year of the second…

The awkward squad

16 October 2004 12:00 am

The introduction to Alone! Alone! is very good. It’s modest and candid, and everything Rosemary Din- nage says about book-reviewing…

Never short of an answer

16 October 2004 12:00 am

People, that’s to say some critics, just don’t get it about R. B. Kitaj. They dislike the way he paints,…

The power of total contempt

16 October 2004 12:00 am

As plans gather pace to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war, there are certain…

Olden but not golden

9 October 2004 12:00 am

‘Roy Hattersley,’ said Becky, tilting her head on one side to read the spine of the thick red book I…

When there was nowhere to go but down

9 October 2004 12:00 am

It goes without saying that the second world war was decided as much on the western ocean as in the…

A poor pre-emptive strike

9 October 2004 12:00 am

‘You will be in charge, although, of course, nothing will happen, and I shall be back again this evening early,’…

Beyond the camera’s reach

9 October 2004 12:00 am

The 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers were terrific disaster television. No special effects! How about those great shots of…

Without a blush or a yawn

9 October 2004 12:00 am

Joan Wyndham has written two war diaries, and one postwar autobiography; now she completes the picture with a description, part…

A slave of solitude

9 October 2004 12:00 am

Loneliness is a pearl of great price among novelists. Fiction, drawing so much of its inspiration from groups, communities and…