Books

Portrait of an American childhood: A Long Island Story by Rick Gekoski reviewed

July 26, 2018 9:17 am

A Long Island Story is an affectionate portrait of the author’s family.

Bruce Lee: weird, gruesome and oh-so-cool

July 26, 2018 9:11 am

From his early street fights to his friendship with Steve McQueen, from his cha-cha to his one-inch punch, Bruce Lee was made to be Bruce Lee.

Adam Smith analysed human behaviour, not economics, says Simon Heffer

July 19, 2018 1:01 pm

Jesse Norman debunks several myths about the founding father of economics.

Two valuable new books about technology that are a bummer to read

July 19, 2018 12:55 pm

Too often the writing descends on a good idea like a dense fog.

A melancholy talent with a genius for send-up – Flann O’Brien was his own worst enemy

July 19, 2018 12:40 pm

O’Brien’s career revived in the last years of his life, and even this magazine can congratulate itself on having played a small part in this.

Kyoto is all that is left of Japan – more’s the pity

July 19, 2018 12:35 pm

Alex Kerrs book isnt as much an introduction to Kyoto as it is an initiation.

Meet Michiko Kakutani, the conservative

July 16, 2018 2:38 pm

The former New York Times reviewer’s study of truth reveals how she’s been driven to outrage by the erosion of cultural and critical values.

Chopin’s Piano is an eclectic trip through 19th-century romanticism

July 12, 2018 3:59 pm

The author writes knowledgeably and approachably about music and sympathetically about his cast of characters

Cease to strive! Now!

July 12, 2018 3:42 pm

This academic study of idleness is very deep, way deep, so deep in fact as to be virtually unreadable.

‘President Pussy Grabber’ has his way with the GOP

July 12, 2018 3:17 pm

A new book argues that Trump could destroy the Republican Party.

Why the Romanovs were doomed

July 6, 2018 3:48 pm

There never really was a moment when the Russian royal family might plausibly have been rescued.

The spying game: when has espionage changed the course of history?

June 28, 2018 4:33 pm

Andrew’s story is full of intriguing facts and pleasing anecdotes. But he does not quite engage with the broader questions he himself raises.

Has Tibet finally lost out to China?

June 28, 2018 4:29 pm

Religion remains at the heart of Beijing’s determination to subdue and transform Tibet.

The electrifying genius of Nikola Tesla

June 28, 2018 3:59 pm

Richard Munson’s ‘Tesla: Inventor of the Modern’ emphasises the duality of his subject.

A reply to my critics: Don’t fight racism with racism

June 22, 2018 1:39 pm

Dear 2016 WriteNow mentees, Thanks so much for your open letter to me. It seems only good manners for me…

A Shout in the Ruins is a panorama of the Civil War and beyond

June 21, 2018 2:35 pm

The second novel from Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers contains lots of gore, and the sort of casual violence that can be just as disturbing.

From Don Quixote to My Struggle — a survey of the novel in 160 pages

June 21, 2018 2:10 pm

By the end of the book, you will feel as though you have read quite a bit of Javier Cercas’ fiction.

Death-defying acts and the dark side of the circus

June 21, 2018 2:04 pm

Tessa Fontaine was convinced that her sick mother wouldn’t survive a trip to Italy with her stepfather. So she ran away to the circus.

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…