Books

The short step from good manners to lofty imperialism

June 21, 2018 1:57 pm

In a world increasingly shaped by encounters with other cultures, the English started to form theories in which their own evolved behaviour resembled the pinnacle of possible civilisation.

The comic masterpiece of Donald J. Trump

June 20, 2018 4:49 pm

Conrad Black explains how the President consistently and hilariously outplays his enemies, provoking and then exploiting the friction between him and them to raise himself to ever greater heights.

It’s the wreckage of alcoholism, not the road to recovery, that makes for enthralling reading

June 19, 2018 1:17 pm

Leslie Jamison is aware of the problem. And one tries hard not to prefer her chapters on disaster to those that treat repair

The story of the last living survivor of the Atlantic slave trade is a high adventure

June 19, 2018 1:08 pm

Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon, written in the 1930s, appears now in book form for the first time. It has been well worth the wait

Lionel Shriver and the rigging of the book market

June 15, 2018 10:08 pm

Should the arts reflect the demographic make-up of their society, and be subject to quotas and affirmative action, in the…

American Histories, by John Edgar Wideman, reviewed

June 14, 2018 6:05 pm

This new collection of John Edgar Wideman’s short stories comes across the pond as one of four handsomely packaged volumes…

Russia’s obsession with securing a warm-water port changed the history of Central Asia

June 14, 2018 5:59 pm

In the 13th century, having overrun and terrorised Europe as far as Budapest, and in the process possibly bringing with…

When diversity means uniformity

June 10, 2018 1:10 pm

I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell…

Stormy weather: Florida, by Lauren Groff, reviewed

June 7, 2018 12:33 pm

Over the past decade Lauren Groff has written three novels; she now returns to the short story form in this,…

The Tibetan Passion Book puts the Kama Sutra in the shade

June 7, 2018 12:31 pm

The Tibetan artist and poet Gendun Chopel was born in 1903. He was identified as an incarnate lama, and ordained…

Speeding along the highway in America’s coolest cars

June 4, 2018 6:20 pm

In a study of young people and cars, it is a shame that the key role of music is not more fully addressed.

‘Steer clear of that cave boy, James Dean, and grease ball, Elvis Presley’

May 31, 2018 8:14 pm

Clancy Sigal’s posthumous autobiography is sex, guns and celebrity from start to finish.

The marvellous humanity of Meg Wolitzer

May 31, 2018 8:06 pm

The author delicately slides from comedy to tragedy and back again, and from class to class.

You didn’t have to be mad to work for Tommy Nutter — but it helped

May 31, 2018 7:43 pm

How an eccentric tailor took over Savile Row in the late 60s.

In my illness and old age, children give me hope

May 31, 2018 7:27 pm

The War Horse author on how he got through his cancer treatment.

The Empty Quarter is a great refuge for lonely hearts

May 31, 2018 7:17 pm

William Atkins uncovers the many guises of the desert with much imagination, insight and wit.

Did Ronald Reagan almost spark a nuclear war?

May 28, 2018 8:18 pm

In 1983, Soviet spies skulked in our midnight streets to check the lights were out. The Kremlin, convinced the West…

The sacred chickens that ruled the roost in ancient Rome

May 28, 2018 4:49 pm

Birds in the Ancient World is a consummation of all of Jeremy Mynott’s accomplishments.

How I became Peter Fallow

May 28, 2018 4:20 pm

Arranging a dinner between Tom Wolfe and Christopher Hitchens led to my immortalisation in literature.

What does Ronan Farrow want next?

May 25, 2018 8:12 pm

The ‘Hollywood prince who torched the castle’ is to this decade what Samantha Power was to the last.

Spectator Books: Behold, America

May 25, 2018 11:01 am

Is the “American Dream”, as Donald Trump claims, dead? Is “America First” a policy of national pride or a dogwhistle…

The sex-mad genius of Philip Roth

May 23, 2018 12:12 pm

A few years ago I asked Martin Amis about Philip Roth. “All his dildos,” he replied, “he’s not letting it…

A violent ultimatum ended Giacometti’s brief flirtation with Marlene Dietrich

May 17, 2018 7:55 pm

The artist’s jealous mistress threatened him with the Montparnasse Mob if he took things further, according to Desmond Morris

The Battle of Arnhem wasn’t doomed from the start. It might even have been a risk worth taking

May 17, 2018 7:50 pm

The prize was beyond price, and the operation very nearly succeeded. General Sir Mike Jackson examines the ‘what ifs’

The stubborn old Hanoverians saw new Gunpowder Plots everywhere

May 17, 2018 7:26 pm

Even after Emancipation, anti-Catholic prejudice was entrenched in the monarchy, right up to the coronation of George V