Books

The posthumous patriot

10 January 2004 12:00 am

In the spring of 1943, Allied armies in North Africa prepared to attack the Axis powers on the continent of…

Images with built-in obsolescence

10 January 2004 12:00 am

Film posters are not made to last. They appear on billboards, then they are torn down or pasted over. Sometimes…

A child of the ashram

10 January 2004 12:00 am

Tim Guest spent his boyhood in the Rajneesh spiritual communes during their heyday in the 1980s when they caused countless…

When Greek met Greek

10 January 2004 12:00 am

This book is an abridged version of one of the great works of modern classical scholarship, Donald Kagan’s four-volume history…

The pleasure dome in Wiltshire

10 January 2004 12:00 am

William Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey is thought of as a supreme example of romantic hubris and defiance of nature. The tower,…

Appointment in Sarajevo

10 January 2004 12:00 am

In July 2001, a few days after Slobodan Milosevic was flown to the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, Janine…

The best band in the land

3 January 2004 12:00 am

Being of the same age and provenance as Richard Morrison, I was intrigued to note that he honours the London…

Rivals at the court of King Adolf

3 January 2004 12:00 am

One of the Great War’s consequences may have been the dethronement of the Romanovs, Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns but — as…

The gentle art of murder

3 January 2004 12:00 am

It often seems that more rubbish is written about the cinema than about almost any other art form. Since too…

Two very different islands

3 January 2004 12:00 am

Reviewing this novel in 1946, when it was first published, Rosamond Lehmann described it as ‘a work of great originality…

Old-style Irish enterprise

3 January 2004 12:00 am

Irishness is perceptible almost everywhere, if you look with eyes half closed, especially in China, Israel and the Latin Countries…

A man who asked the right questions

3 January 2004 12:00 am

David Sylvester’s first ambition was to be a professional cricketer, and he possessed to the end that almost miraculous masculine…

Friends in high places

3 January 2004 12:00 am

David Lang first heard about the Himalayas when he was a little boy. As his father read aloud from the…

After the War was over . . .

27 December 2003 12:00 am

The spy novel is an essential literary genre of our present imagination. Like other popular forms at different times, it…

A lighter shade of genius

27 December 2003 12:00 am

Anyone who has ever had a duff interview will feel for James Kennaway, the screenwriter who met with Hitchcock in…

Temples of culture under siege

27 December 2003 12:00 am

A couple of years ago, I was walking up Quincy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Ivan Gaskell, a curator at…

A ruthless ally

13 December 2003 12:00 am

One of the paradoxes of our age is that the hereditary principle is in eclipse everywhere except the first great…

The elusive face of God

13 December 2003 12:00 am

The biographical note on the jacket of this magisterial book tells us that Professor Geza Vermes was born in Hungary…

Doing the state some service

13 December 2003 12:00 am

At university I had a tutor who would announce once a year, when the subject duly came round, ‘I’m too…

Bloody-minded and unbowed

13 December 2003 12:00 am

The head of history at a well-known English girls’ school was wont to say that she had learned nothing at…

How to shut up and listen

13 December 2003 12:00 am

Stuck for the bumper Christmas gift? Try Robin Holloway’s collected essays of music criticism. It is impressively big and will…

Animal funny farm

13 December 2003 12:00 am

Working in the Washington DC of 1982, I noticed that friends and colleagues cut Gary Larson’s drawings from the Washington…

The precious core of civilisation

13 December 2003 12:00 am

In 1989, two years before the Gulf war, I travelled to Baghdad to write an article on the Hanging Gardens…

Only one factor among many

13 December 2003 12:00 am

This is a fascinating book on a fascinating subject, written by a master of his craft as a military historian.…

Action man and teller of tales

13 December 2003 12:00 am

The other day I came on an old exercise book dating from the early 1940s in which my brother, then…