Books

Life and the living

The mysticism and pragmatism of Victorian philosopher-psychologist William James

A harness for history

Thomas Piketty is haunted by the failures of social democracy, but his own ideas for fixing society are far from novel

Last lines: Clive James

Fans of Clive James cherished his poetry as much as his other accomplishments. This is an excerpt from Ian Shircore’s new biography, “So Brightly at the Last”, the first full-length study of the man and his muse

Pastoral passage

Radiant description, linguistic precision and super-saturated dreamscapes in new collections by Matthew Francis and Stephen Sexton

Secrets and lies

Spookdom needs better scrutiny

The divisions of the human league

'It was only at the beginning of the 20th century that anthropology developed from a hotchpotch of uncoordinated, pseudo-scientific speculations into a set of separate but interlinked disciplines'

The mainstream Trump

US foreign policy has its flaws. But it is less odd than it looks

Musical gifts of a steppe son

Irving Berlin's life was packed with incident

A writer diminished

"Defenders of Leonard Woolf’s wife, Virginia, have turned her into a heroine, even a victim, and diminished his formidable achievements"

The art of doubletalk

What does it mean to be an active bilingual?

Underrated: Abroad

The ravenous longing for the infinite possibilities of “otherwhere”

The king of cakes

"Yuletide revels were designed to see you through the dark days — and how dark they seem today"
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