December

From the magazine

December 2020

The Spectator – news, politics, life & arts

‘In any democratic system the perception of fairness matters nearly as much as the real thing. And if Trump’s voters are mistaken in thinking their candidate was robbed, they are correct to think that America’s voting system is in dire need of reform.’

Politics

The long legacy of looting

A history of rioting in Chicago

By Peter A. Coclanis

From the Magazine

The many uses of frankincense and myrrh

The label of an upmarket toothpaste will often reveal that it contains myrrh

By David Abulafia

From the Magazine

Politics

The fight for liberalism

American hegemony in the service of a liberal world order no longer protects our civilization

By Daniel McCarthy

From the Magazine

Politics

Farewell, Donald

The Spectator’s writers and friends reflect on what they’ll miss about Donald Trump and what they expect from Joe Biden

By The Spectator

From the Magazine

Politics

Biden’s speech impediment

The President-elect has honesty issues

By Paul Wood

From the Magazine

Politics

Republican resurrection

Trump will leave the party in much better shape than Bush did

By W. James Antle III

From the Magazine

Politics

Brace yourselves for President Harris

She occupies an eyrie on the far left of the Democratic party

By Roger Kimball

From the Magazine

Politics

Libertarians suck

They helped elect the very illiberal Joe Biden

By Michael Warren Davis

From the Magazine

Politics

Trump’s story is still not over

He is the first president since Reagan who did anything for underprivileged Americans

By Conrad Black

From the Magazine

Politics

EDITORIAL: The urgent case for voting reform

It is obvious that mass mail-in voting and days of drawn-out counting maximize opportunities for chicanery

By Spectator Editorial

From the Magazine

Which psychics’ predictions for 2020 came true?

‘A new strain of bird flu is going to hit the country hard. On the bright side, it will mostly be limited to poultry’

By The Spectator

From the Magazine

Starting out in cyber

I am annoyed by the use of cyber as a noun

By Dot Wordsworth

From the Magazine

Books + Arts

Art

Charles Brown’s Christmas

’Tis the season for collectible vinyl

By Jacob Heilbrunn

From the Magazine

Books

Mrs Badgery

A short story

By Wilkie Collins

From the Magazine

Art

It’s good for your elf

A history both naughty and nice

By Emily Ferguson

From the Magazine

Art

The great lost Beatles album

It’s a real shame the Christmas flexis have not had a proper, all-on-one album release

By Luke Haines

From the Magazine

Art

Has politics turned Netflix viewers off?

If you want to understand the spectacular implosion of liberalism over the past five years, all you need is a Netflix subscription

By Will Lloyd

From the Magazine

Books

Feline intelligence: the complicated world of Mary Gaitskill

In a simplifying age, Mary Gaitskill writes about complex relationships — as well as fashion, fiction, sex and cats

By Sam Leith

From the Magazine

Books

The Spectator’s Books of the Year 2020

The Spectator’s writers and friends recommend the best books, richest reads and most pandemical page-turners of 2020

By The Spectator

From the Magazine

Art

Mostly ghostly: Henry James haunts Bly Manor

If you’re hoping for a show that requires your blanket be used to cover your eyes, skip this one

By Amber Athey

From the Magazine

Books

The Ryan Gattis guide to Lynwood

A virtual visit in the author’s beloved Los Angeles

By Jamie Collinson

From the Magazine

Books

A tinpot Caesar

Mussolini’s War: Fascist Italy from Triumph to Collapse, 1935-1943 by John Gooch reviewed

By Ian Thomson

From the Magazine

Art

Night at the museum

Is the Baltimore Museum of Art exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to sell off major modern paintings?

By Andrew L. Shea

From the Magazine

Art

Look east, old man

To the Lake is the right kind of Russian interference

By James Delingpole

From the Magazine

Life

Home

A Digby Dent Christmas

Walking around the dreary streets of the city, I worry what we’ll leave behind us in this annus horribilis

By Digby Dent

From the Magazine

Home

Christmas single

Dating in a pandemic is no picnic

By Mary Kate Skehan

From the Magazine

Diary

Christmas at the manor

Happy Christmas, y’all

By Priscilla M. Jensen

From the Magazine

Home

The wonder of Wagner

There is indeed greatness in much of Wagner’s music. Pace Herr Nietzsche, he could write rhythm

By Chilton Williamson, Jr.

From the Magazine

Home

The women who argued against their right to vote

The 19th Amendment is a matter of Upstate New York regional pride

By Bill Kauffman

From the Magazine

Low Life

From half a shelf to a library: my life in books

There was a time when I couldn’t afford to buy books; now I have a metric ton

By Jeremy Clarke

From the Magazine

Humor

Dear Godfrey: real problems, woke answers

My inbox has been literally inundated with more than several emails beseeching my guidance on every progressive topic under the sun

By Godfrey Elfwick

From the Magazine

Humor

Letter from the online trenches

‘For four years I’ve woken up in my Brooklyn apartment, heart heavy with the knowledge that I am living under the tyrannical rule of a madman’

By Bridget Phetasy

From the Magazine

High Life

My nights of passion with Juliette Gréco

Shutters banged and lights were turned on as her screams echoed around the cavernous courtyard

By Taki

From the Magazine

Places

Place

On the road to Mandalay

Ngapali, on the Bay of Bengal, is pronounced ‘Napoli’ and is said to be Burma’s answer to Naples

By Lesley Downer

From the Magazine

Food + Drink

Drink

Nietzsche and Wagner

Strong vines for the festive season

By Roger Kimball

From the Magazine

Drink

The twelve courses of Christmas

Usually an odd number of cheeses is de rigueur, but on this occasion, we must serve exactly eight

By Jane Stannus

From the Magazine

Food

Goose is loose

On the fairest fowl

By Jane Stannus

From the Magazine

Drink

Persimmon on permission

Not the only orange fruit

By Calla J. Corner

From the Magazine

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