Issue: June 2012

An Open Letter to Günter Grass

The attempt by Gunter Grass, who has died at the age of 87, to hide his past as a member of the Waffen SS was a shameful betrayal of his countrymen, and invalidates his life's work

Talking Tactics

'With a $15 trillion national debt continuing to grow, it's understandable if Obama prefers to shift the focus onto those social and personal areas where he regularly beats Romney'

Pauline Maria 1965-2008

A sequence of four new poems

A Man for our Season

Hilary Mantel's Bring Up the Bodies is a dazzling exercise in literary ventriloquism, but it panders too much to modern sensibilities, painting Thomas Cromwell as a secular saint

From Art as Life to Blood and Soil

'While between 1895 and 1945 the German debate over how to be modern resulted in a global killing-field, a group of artists in Worpswede set down their visions for a 20th century of artistic sensibility and material living'

Interregnum Interrogator

God's Instruments is a coherent, elegant collection of essays that confirms Blair Worden as one of our finest historians of the English civil wars

No Life Was Untouched

Christy Campbell's focused, meticulous account of the V-weapon campaign of 1944 provides a neat counterpoint to the magisterial grand narrative of Antony Beevor's The Second World War

The Strange Case of Monsieur Normal

François Hollande's lack of clear convictions won him the presidency. Will France regret saying non to Sarkozy?

Lynching the Last Great Newspaperman

Rupert Murdoch's critics will never concede that the tycoon has any merits — but our media would be worse off without him

Blind Eye to the Evidence

Keith Lowe's attempt to blur the moral distinctions between Nazis and Jews makes Savage Continent as distasteful as it is misleading

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"