David Prycejones

Chávez’s useful idiots

In the ranking of dictators, Hugo Chávez is in the welterweight class. President of Venezuela these past 14 years, he is supposed to be holding a ceremony of inauguration for yet another term of one-man rule and demagoguery. In anticipation, his supporters, the Chávistas in their uniform of red shirts, are singing and dancing in

Blood on their hands

The first 100 or so pages of this book almost made me give up, so saccharine is the description of the childhoods of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, with even a reference to the latter’s ‘dear diary’. I am glad I persisted. Mills and Boon duly evolves into Kraft-Ebbing. Carole Seymour-Jones may assert that

Captain of a dreadful crew

Listing page content here To meet Oswald Mosley was a most unpleasant experience. You knew at once that you were in the presence of someone who had lost touch with everything except his own ego. So he bullied, so he lied, denying that he had been a willing agent of Hitler, that he would have proved

Earning brownie points

Prospect is a monthly magazine with high aims, and it is therefore welcome. To borrow from the old advertisement for Mars Bars, it fills the gap. It is hard to think of any comparable outlet in this country — as opposed to the United States — where it is possible to publish contributions of 5,000

The cured man of Europe?

Mustapha Kemal, otherwise Ataturk, took the corpse of the Ottoman empire and re- animated it as Turkey. Break-ing both the old sultanate and the hold of Islam, he laid the foundation of a democratic state. It was an extraordinary achievement, not to be witnessed again until Mikhail Gorbachev broke the Soviet Union and the hold

Scholar and Cold War warrior

When not thinking and writing, Richard Pipes tells us in these memoirs, he is at a loose end. At different times he had ambitions to be an art historian or perhaps a musicologist, he also says, but settled to be a historian. The writing of history depends in the first place on scholarship. Vixi is

The dangers of Fisking

In the www arena where the world speaks invisibly to itself, a new word has appeared: ‘fisking’, meaning the selection of evidence solely in order to bolster preconceptions and prejudices. Just as cardigans or mackintoshes are named after an inventive individual, so fisking derives from the work of Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent of

Where all parties are guilty

Algeria is one of the most pitiful of failed Arab states. For ten years and more, the news has been coming in regularly that people somewhere in that country have been butchered. Qui tue qui? is the question Algerians themselves ask. Here is a civil war, all the more sinister for being undeclared and undefined.

Nothing to lose but their chains

A war against Iraq might destabilise the Middle East, says David Pryce-Jones, but that is precisely what the region needs Iraq may soon be liberated. The Americans are building bases and runways in the Middle East, airlifting men and supplies, and passing the resolutions in Congress necessary to take military action. Regime change is what