Books

The agony of being Sontag

'If Susan Sontag had been a man, if she hadn’t had such a pungent, fascinating character, if she hadn’t had a nonstandard sexuality, would her works get her a biography as big as this one? Does she merit it?'

A conspiracy unmasked

'Margaret Thatcher was a leader they had never wholly accepted; a radical, an outsider, a loner'

Levelling the playing field

Questioning the status of history’s ‘most dangerous’ spy

A reckoning for justice

Thomas Grant's "Court Number One" reveals the changing values of the society which the criminal justice system ultimately exists to enforce

Humanity on the move

'An ominous development in the “unsettling” of Europe is the increasing restriction on what may be said about migration, and the increasingly strict policing of language'

Routed by liberalism

How usury killed Christendom

Emulation and evisceration

Noel Malcolm tells the story of western intellectual fascination with the Ottoman empire from the fall of Constantinople in 1453

What was she thinking?

"Though de Beauvoir and Sartre never tied the knot, their relationship, with its jealousies and enmities and silent rages, looks like the worst kind of marriage"

Agencies of disruption

"Heidi Tworek’s shrewd, erudite and timely News from Germany is a work of historical analysis that can also be read as a corrective to the dangerous hysteria over the information games—fake news and all the rest—currently being played over the internet."

Charisma and catastrophe

"How could one of the most civilised societies on earth become the instrument of a mind of such malice? I confess that my heart sank at the thought of spending any more hours in the company of this personification of radical evil. Yet we cannot wholly avert our eyes"

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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