Is Gone with the Wind to blame for Trumpism?

‘America is merely a story the nation tells itself,’ the historian and cultural critic Sarah Churchwell writes in The Wrath to Come. Of the many American stories, few are more disturbing than the complex one represented by the rioter Kevin Seefried inside the Capitol on 6 January 2020. He carried the Confederate battle flag to a place it had never before been: the hall outside the United States Senate chamber. There is a photograph of him standing between two portraits – one of Charles Sumner, an abolitionist beaten half to death on the Senate floor for his views; the other of Senator John Calhoun, one of the South’s most ardent

The madness of France’s burkini bust-up

To burkini, or not to burkini? This is the question that divides France in the run-up to the first round of voting on 12 June for the next National Assembly. The pre-election political conversation here had been pretty stale and entirely predictable. Enter the burkini. The political and media class is presently talking of nothing else. Not since Brigitte Bardot took her top off in God Created Woman has the nation obsessed so compulsively with appropriate female swimwear. Designed originally for Australian lifeguards uncomfortable with traditional swimwear, the burkini has not gone down well since arriving in France five years ago. Something about the garment seems to drive the French