Books

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

Why I’ll miss my friend Tom Wolfe

May 16, 2018 12:58 pm

To some, Tom Wolfe’s death might seem a greater loss for readers on the right wing of American culture and…

Might LSD be good for you?

May 10, 2018 12:47 pm

When Peregrine Worsthorne was on Desert Island Discs in 1992, he chose as his luxury item a lifetime supply of…

The Wallis Simpson I knew – by Nicky Haslam

May 10, 2018 12:46 pm

One would have thought this particular can of worms might, after nearly 80 years, be well past its sell-by date.…

Who needs Jordan Peterson when we have Ferdinand Mount?

May 5, 2018 10:17 am

You will by now doubtless be familiar with the University of Toronto academic Jordan Peterson. He’s the unlikely YouTube star…

Enduring life under Chairman Mao

May 3, 2018 7:26 pm

Rao Pingru is 94, and a born storyteller. His gripping graphic narrative weaves in and out of the violent, disruptive…

The futile gang wars of New York

May 3, 2018 7:18 pm

I’ve interviewed a lot of rappers over the years and always feel a little grimy when I find myself nudging…

From Stalin’s poetry to Saddam’s romances: the terrible prose of tyrants

April 26, 2018 7:42 pm

‘Reading makes the world better. It is how humans merge. How minds connect… Reading is love in action.’ Those are…

The most bizarre museum heist ever

April 26, 2018 7:31 pm

They don’t look like a natural pair. First there’s the author, Kirk Wallace Johnson, a hero of America’s war in…

The tragedy of Syria: how protest spiralled into savagery

April 26, 2018 7:23 pm

The fateful day five years ago began like any other for the family. A pot of black tea with cardamon…

Texas: the myriad contradictions of the Lone Star state

April 19, 2018 1:40 pm

The subtitle of Lawrence Wright’s splendid God Save Texas (‘A Journey into the Future of America’) would be alarming if…

The codes and codswallop surrounding Leonardo da Vinci

April 13, 2018 11:59 am

‘If you look at walls soiled with a variety of stains or at stones with variegated patterns,’ Leonardo da Vinci…

The changing face of war and heroism

April 13, 2018 11:55 am

On War and Writing by Samuel Hynes is hardly about war at all. There is little about combat here, or…

A hymn to self-loathing: Tibor Fischer’s How to Rule the World reviewed

April 13, 2018 11:55 am

Tibor Fischer has a track record with humour. His first novel, the Booker shortlisted Under the Frog, takes its title…

Give me Shakespeare’s Macbeth over Jo Nesbo’s any day

April 13, 2018 11:55 am

It must have seemed a good idea to someone: commissioning a range of well-known novelists to ‘reimagine Shakespeare’s plays for…

The enduring enigma of Nefertiti

April 5, 2018 10:55 am

Often dubbed the Mona Lisa of the ancient world, the bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti is as immediately recognisable…

1968 and the summer of our discontent

April 5, 2018 10:52 am

’68 will do as shorthand. Most of ’68, as it were, didn’t happen in 1968. It was, at most, the…

Why do the Japanese despise sex?

April 5, 2018 10:51 am

There are two sorts of people: those who can’t wait to grow up, and those who wish they never had…

How Christianity saw off its rivals and became the universal church

March 30, 2018 3:47 pm

It thrived by killing off the opposition, says Bart Ehrman. But it also appealed to Rome’s enslaved masses

Are the French right to be obsessed with their Gaulish ancestry?

March 30, 2018 3:38 pm

In Cultural Dementia, David Andress argues that if the West loses its sense of history it risks losing everything

Who knew that Arabic has more than 30 words for wine?

March 30, 2018 3:31 pm

You know you’re in good hands when the dedication reads: ‘To the writers, drinkers and freethinkers of the Arab and…

The Raven – bird of ill omen

March 22, 2018 5:16 pm

With bird books the more personal the better. Joe Shute was once a crime correspondent and is today a Telegraph…