American presidency

The complex character of Tricky Dick

In this Age of Trump, as we cast about for some moment in American history that might help us make sense of the present, the name Richard M. Nixon keeps resurfacing. Nixon, who resigned the presidency in 1974 after being swept up in investigations into the crimes and cover-ups known collectively as Watergate, offers easy comparisons with Donald J. Trump: two corrupt American presidents who left office in disgrace; who considered the press their enemy; who accused the previous administration of surveilling them; who weaponised racism as a way to win elections; who employed the politics of division as a way of keeping power; who possessed and indulged an outsized

An interest in the bizarre helps keep melancholy at bay

If you crush the right testicle of a wolf and administer it in oil or rose water it will induce a loathing for sex. The Turks have a drink called coffee (for they use no wine). The Chinese have no nobility, or only those philosophers and doctors who have raised themselves by their worth. If you allowed a human being 25 square feet each, the Earth could bear 148,456,800,000,000 people. The Persian kings trained sparrows to hunt butterflies, inspired by hunting with hawks. Speaking of sparrows, the reason they are so short-lived is because of their salacity, which is very frequent. Once a nun ate a lettuce without saying grace