Michael Burleigh is riding a career high. The author of the 2000 bestseller The Third Reich: A New History has just published the last of a gargantuan trilogy of books on religion and politics in Europe since the French revolution. Earthly Powers and Sacred Causes took us up to the war on terror. Now, with Blood and Rage: A Cultural History of Terrorism, Burleigh comes right up to date. Not that Blood and Rage is only about Islamic fundamentalism.
Rod Liddle says that the former Prime Minister has pulled off an astonishing feat: uniting Left and Right, Europhiles and Eurosceptics, people of all nations and creeds, online and
in print, in their glorious campaign to prevent him becoming President of EuropeThis is shaping up to be the greatest expression of European unanimity and togetherness since Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974.
It’s a country where the vast majority live in poverty, while a tiny, corrupt elite live in luxury. It’s a place where, 14 years after South Africa abolished apartheid, a form of it still operates. And it’s a country where you can be threatened with prison not just for criticising the country’s leadership, but also for querying a medical bill. Welcome to Cuba, the ‘socialist’ paradise built by that great egalitarian Fidel Castro, who after 49 years at the helm has finally decided to hand over power — in the manner of a true democrat — to his brother Raúl.
Sitting watching Chiwetel Ejiofor recently in the Donmar’s production of Othello, I was struck by the face of the man sitting next to me during Othello’s legendary ‘Her father loved me, oft invited me’ speech of the first act. He was clearly mesmerised by Ejiofor’s portrayal of the Moor. But more interesting was his look of slight bewilderment; unwittingly mirroring the faces of the Venetians onstage.
Lorna Fitzsimons talks to senior sources and concludes that, with heavy hearts, the Israelis are set to mount a military takeover of Gaza — a step that will leave the talks nowhereThis is not the way things were meant to happen. When Ariel Sharon ordered the removal of all Israelis from the Gaza Strip in 2005, leaders from around the world applauded. It was a clear message that Israel was willing to do almost everything it could to resolve the decades-long conflict with the Palestinians — including returning land without any assurances of peace and security.