Tessa Dunlop

The horrors of the Eastern Front

Ten years ago David Cameron, as prime minister, pledged £50 million for the centenary of the first world war. The focus was on ‘capturing our national spirit in every corner of the country, something that says something about who we are as a people’. Beyond a celebration of the Tommy on the Western Front and

Why did Britain lock up so many innocent refugees in 1940?

Despite prostrate Germany’s need for the return of its men, in Britain we didn’t release our prisoners of war until 1948. In Russia — for those who survived — freedom came even later, in the 1950s; an apparent lack of moral equivalence saw the subject conveniently ignored until recently. Likewise, in a country that thrives

Tessa Dunlop: Army Girls

47 min listen

My guest on this week’s Book Club podcast is the historian Tessa Dunlop. Tessa’s new book is Army Girls: The Secrets and Stories of Military Service from the Final Few Women Who Fought In World War Two. She tells me about how she gathered testimony and formed friendships with the nonagenarian veterans of the Second

It all started with Dracula

The title of the journalist Paul Kenyon’s second book on crazy leadership, Children of the Night, leaves the reader in no doubt of its approach. This is a narrative that feeds off the macabre legacy of Vlad Dracula, the Impaler, the country’s most infamous anti-hero, while examining Romania’s recent collection of demented dictators and cult