the Cold War

Berlin in ruins, 1945

Ian Kershaw recounts Europe’s recovery from WWII – have the good times run their course?

29 September 2018 9:00 am

When I reviewed the first volume of Sir Ian Kershaw’s wrist-breaking history of the last 100 years of Europe, To…

At last, the truth can be told about Armageddon

10 February 2018 9:00 am

Deployed in vastly exaggerated numbers, nuclear weapons were maintained in place not just by secrecy, but by banalities and lies.…

Richard Nixon in September 1968

Richard Nixon: the nightmare president of his age

14 October 2017 9:00 am

In this giant, prodigiously sourced and insightful biography, John A. Farrell shows how Richard Milhous Nixon was the nightmare of…

If I reread the entire Smiley sequence, will I understand it this time?

9 September 2017 9:00 am

If you had to choose one book that both typified spy fiction and celebrated what the genre was capable of…

The writing’s on the wall in Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s first novel

20 May 2017 9:00 am

This daintily dress-conscious and rewardingly heavyweight novel is set mainly in a half imaginary stately home in Oxfordshire. The story…

Sana Krasikov

Is The Patriots the 21st century’s Doctor Zhivago?

25 March 2017 9:00 am

Trailing rave US reviews, fan letters from Yann Martel and Khaled Hosseini and a reputation as ‘Doctor Zhivago for the…

Bogdan Stashinsky: the inspiration for The Man with the Golden Gun

14 January 2017 9:00 am

As I read the last chapter of this book, news broke that the Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov, had…

The face of warfare is changing fast — but it’s still boots on the ground that really matter

12 November 2016 9:00 am

It’s not immediately obvious, but the silhouette on the dust jacket — soldiers advancing in single file, on foot (‘boots…

What does Malcolm Rifkind really believe in?

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Never speak on the same platform as Sir Malcolm Rifkind. I tried it once, at a Spectator debate held during…

From hot war to Cold War: GCHQ comes of age

10 September 2016 9:00 am

There are now enough books about Bletchley Park for it to become part of national mythology, along with the Tudors,…

How capitalism really works

21 May 2016 9:00 am

Deirdre McCloskey has been at work for many years on a huge project: to explain why the world has become…

Sins of the past haunt the latest crime fiction

9 January 2016 9:00 am

It’s often the case that present-day crimes have their roots in the past. Ian Rankin’s Even Dogs in the Wild…

Gorbachev and Reagan sign the historic treaty on 8 December 1987 eliminating Soviet and Us intermediate-range and short-range nuclear missiles

The four men who averted the Apocalypse

28 November 2015 9:00 am

Robert Service’s account of the greatest turning point in modern history is unlikely to be bettered, says Sherard Cowper-Coles

Dusty Springfield at the Royal Variety Performance in 1965 (Getty).

Everything you always wanted to know about Sixties pop —and more

28 November 2015 9:00 am

It might seem an odd choice, but after reading Jon Savage’s new book, I think if I had a time…

Elect of God, Conquering Lion of Judah and King of Kings, c.1930

The King of Kings and I: Haile Selassie, by his great nephew

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Great men rarely come smaller than Haile Selassie. In photographs, the golden crowns, pith helmets and grey felt homburgs he…

Bond would be bored in today’s MI6, says Malcolm Rifkind

6 June 2015 9:00 am

Spying may be one of the two oldest professions, but unlike the other one it has changed quite a lot…

Leonid Yakobson in Leningrad c. 1926

Leonid Yakobson: the greatest ballet genius you’ve never heard of

28 March 2015 9:00 am

On YouTube there’s a brief dance video of a Viennese waltz so enchanting that not even Fred and Ginger in…

What went so wrong for Vaclav Havel?

8 November 2014 9:00 am

The unforgettable moment a quarter of a century ago when the Berlin Wall came down was the most vivid drama…

Hugh Trevor-Roper: the spy as historian, the historian as spy

20 September 2014 9:00 am

Shortly after the war began in September 1939, the branch of the intelligence services called MI8, or the Radio Security…

A Colder War, by Charles Cumming - review

31 May 2014 9:00 am

The title of Charles Cumming’s seventh novel is both a nod to the comfortable polarities of Cold War and also…

When intellectuals are clueless about the first world war

1 February 2014 9:00 am

No one alive now has any adult experience of the first world war, but still it shows no sign of…

The wounded Kennedy – and the people who gave him strength

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Ten years ago, a determined historian transformed our picture of John F. Kennedy. Robert Dallek had finally got his hands…

To Move the World, by Jeffrey Sachs - review

8 June 2013 9:00 am

Jeffrey Sachs is the world’s best-connected development economist. An academic with highly developed communication skills, he has always managed to…