Greg Garrett

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

The enduring appeal of Watergate

On 24 April the series Gaslit, starring Julia Roberts as Martha Mitchell and Sean Penn as Watergate-era U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, will premiere on Starz. It joins a multitude of books, films, and TV shows about Watergate, starting with the Oscar-winning All the President’s Men (1976) running through to 2017’s The Post. Granted, Watergate was one

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

James Baldwin’s radicalism was part Marxist, part Christian

Great biographies try to answer questions about the complicated relationship between their subjects’ inner life and outer workings. How did Winston Churchill turn the pain of his early life and his years in the political wilderness into the words that galvanised the free world? How did Frida Kahlo’s physical impairment shape her vision as a

Sympathy for literature’s least heroic characters

Whether we see the primary cause as being postmodernism (for decades we’ve been told that our master narratives no longer connect us to each other) or cultural fragmentation (apart from worldwide phenomena such as Game of Thrones and the World Cup, we possess few shared encounters), the intellectual consensus is that we don’t talk meaningfully

Which came first?

Those who study culture — or think about public policy in relation to it — often wrestle with the classic post hoc dilemma: did a work or movement in popular culture influence events in real life, or did it simply reflect the zeitgeist? Were, say, ‘video nasties’ responsible for an uptick in violence and sadism