Peter Jay

National Service, by Colin Shindler

For over 15 years after the second world war young men between the ages of 18 and 20 were conscripted by law to serve in Britain’s armed forces for two years. This was officially in order to man the army, navy and air force sufficiently for them to be able to perform the roles which

… while others fade

For Watergate junkies, another raking of the old coals is irresistible. For those underage younger persons who never understood what all the fuss was about, here is the chance to get with it. Just to remind: in June 1972, a bunch of nasties, some of whose day job was with the CIA but currently working

The Price of Civilization by Jeffrey Sachs

Half a century ago J.K. Galbraith’s The Affluent Society changed the political consciousness of a generation in the English- speaking world and beyond. It vividly re-established in the minds of civilised men and women the paradox of private affluence in a sea of public neediness — for which, as Matthew Arnold reminds us, Cato reported

George, you need a holiday

Why is it all going so wrong for George Osborne? Only 16 months ago, the poor guy entered the Treasury full of sound principles and good intentions. He would put in order the dodgy public finances inherited from Gordon Brown’s regime, stand back and let market forces do the rest. The Office for Budget Responsibility

Athene ruled the waves

One thing is certain: George W. Bush was no Pericles. For which reason it is a pity that John Hale’s new history of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BC is launched with a rhetoric more Texan than Attic. The ancient Greeks knew that building a navy was an undertaking with clear-cut political consequences.

From heroes to hicks

The flavour of Stephen Graubard’s account of the American presidency in the 20th century may be quickly grasped from his comparison of the only two presidents to follow their fathers into the White House, John Quincy Adams (1825-29) and George W. Bush (2001-?): Adams, fluent in seven languages, accomplished in both science and mathematics, took