The ‘poet of the piano’, Murray Perahia, talks to Igor Toronyi-Lalic about being championed by Horowitz, his rise to fame and how his injury taught him what to playMurray Perahia was 17 when Vladimir Horowitz, perhaps the finest pianist of the 20th century, knocked on the door of his family house in the Bronx. ‘Could I speak to Mr Perahia?’ the great man said through the door. ‘Hold on, I’ll get my father,’ said Murray.
Sarah Standing’s daughter was attacked by a girl gang — but it wasn’t an isolated incident. Female thugs, of the sort who ran riot in the 1970s, are roaming the streets againIt was a beautiful balmy evening when my youngest daughter finished school last summer. The A-level results had just arrived, and she was happily ambling home from supper with two girlfriends. They were in no rush. They’re 18 and were about to spread their wings, leave London for the first time and head off towards various universities.
David Frum on the lessons the Tories can learn from the original conservative moderniser: George W. Bush, whose progressive policies often just didn’t add upPolitical parties typically undergo a four-stage cycle after a major defeat. It goes something like this:1. We didn’t really lose. (The other guys just happened to luck into an appealing candidate — but the people still really prefer us.
In the second part of our investigation into Labour’s dealings with the USSR, Pavel Stroilov reveals the secret Soviet diplomacy behind one leader’s most famous victoryLabour leaders, past and present, will be wishing this week that Anatoly Chernyaev had not been such an assiduous diarist. Along with thousands of documents left in the archives after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the diplomat’s personal writings had lain forgotten for more than 20 years.
There’s been a rather wonderful debate bubbling along at the Guardian, about the French minister Pierre Lellouche’s use of the word ‘autistic’ to describe the English Tories. Well, in fact that’s not quite what the debate has been about; everyone is agreed that Lellouche is beyond the pale. The debate has been about whether or not the Guardian was right to report what was said by the chap in a headline.
John C. Hulsman says that America’s declining status will ultimately doom its Afghan campaign. Obama must learn from Britain how best to manage the decline of an empireI have just returned from two weeks talking to my friends in the administration and it is horrifyingly apparent that the Obama White House is sleepwalking toward disaster in Afghanistan. The President, reminded by his domestic advisers of the fate of another domestically ambitious president, LBJ, has hesitated before going all-in to rescue the mission in Kabul.
A week after David Cameron ruled out a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, hardly a squeak of protest has been heard from Eurosceptics in his party. It’s not because they have accepted defeat, says Fraser Nelson, but because they are deadly serious about victoryAnyone who believed last week’s talk of the death of Tory Euroscepticism should have booked a table at Bellamy’s restaurant in Mayfair on Monday.