To the French, Albion’s expertise in perfidy will come as no surprise. But centuries of warfare have given them time…
The authors of this book have attempted a difficult thing: to ‘write about something that could never be known’. Here…
Eric Rosenbach is a former academic who is now deputy assistant secretary of defence in Washington. Aki Peritz used to…
Halfway through this book, the veil lifted, and I thought: ‘I see! I see what he’s trying to do!’ Pickering…
Given the choice between philosophising in the company of Socrates or fighting in the army of the soldier-monarch Charles XII…
I think it was a Frenchman — it usually is — who observed that the English love their animals more…
There are moments and places in history that one would have paid good money to avoid, and wartime Lisbon was…
Of all the Allied fighting service branches in which you wouldn’t have wanted to spend the second world war, probably the grimmest was submarines.
This inter-war story of an Anglo-Irish family in crisis opens with a bang. Caroline Adair, recovering from measles at Butler’s Hill, her aunt and uncle’s lovely house in the South-west, wakes in the night to find Sinn Feiners surrounding the place.
At midday on Thursday, 8 June 1933 — Erik Larson is very keen on his times — the newly elected President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a call put through to the history department at the University of Chicago.
War correspondents aren’t like the rest of us: they can’t be.
Do the trees of East Prussia still whisper in German when the wind blows in from the Baltic and across the featureless plain? The Russian poet Joseph Brodsky thought so when he visited in the 1960s.
The early 19th century was the age of the dandy, and the essence of dandyism was cool self-control.
The square jaw and steely gaze are deceptive.
An ex-farmer whose brother has died fighting in Iraq is the man at the centre of Graham Swift’s new book, a state-of-the-nation novel on a small canvas.
Cables from Kabul is Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles’s valedictory account of his years as ambassador to Kabul (2007-9) and as this country’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2009-10).
In the patriotic mythology of British arms 1759 may be the one true annus mirabilis, the ‘year of victories’, the year of Minden, Quebec and Quiberon Bay, but has there ever been a year comparable to 1918? In that year 20,000 British soldiers surrendered on a single day, 31 March, and yet within six months Britain and her allies had recaptured all the territory lost since 1914, destroyed Austrian and Bulgarian resistance in Italy and Macedonia, encircled a Turkish army in Palestine, mastered the submarine menace at sea, and fought the German army to the brink of disintegration and the German empire to the point of revolt.
After the Nazi occupation of Paris was over, Sartre famously said — somewhat hypocritically, given his own slippery behaviour — that the only possibilities had been collaboration or resistance.
By tradition, ‘What did you do in the war?’ is a question children address to Daddy, not to Mummy.
Peter Parker is beguiled by a novel approach to the lives of Europe’s intellectual elite in flight from Nazi Germany
What was life like in Hitler’s Germany? This question has long fascinated authors and readers alike, as books like Alone in Berlin, The Boy with the Striped Pyjamas and The Book Thief bear witness.
Our aim in Afghanistan is no longer to secure victory but to avoid obvious defeat, says Alex Massie
Philip Hensher recounts how a handful of British mercenaries in the 1960s, headed by the Buchanesque Jim Johnson (pictured above), trained a rag-tag force of Yemeni tribesmen to defeat the full might of the Egyptian army in a conflict that Nasser later referred to as ‘my Vietnam’
‘Never such innocence again’ wrote Philip Larkin of an unquestioning British people on the eve of the first world war, and much has been made, not unreasonably, of the trusting frame of mind in which young men of that time accepted the arguments for war in 1914.
As his battered bomber hurtled towards the Pacific in May 1943, Louis Zamperini thought to himself that no one was going to survive the crash.