Books

The best of journeys: Justin Marozzi’s monumental trek through the history of the Muslim world

21 September 2019 9:00 am

This impressively clever, careful, and often beautiful book is the best sort of journey. It takes us through 15 cities…

Rushdie at his best – Quichotte reviewed

21 September 2019 9:00 am

It’s hard to get your head around Salman Rushdie’s latest novel Quichotte, which has been shortlisted for the Booker. It’s…

Welcome back to Gilead: Margaret Atwood’s triumphant reclaiming of her work

21 September 2019 9:00 am

‘Penises,’ Aunt Lydia muses, ‘them again.’ Penises are always causing trouble, even in the God-fearing dystopian state of Gilead. The…

The great American trauma in minute detail

21 September 2019 9:00 am

Why, I asked some months back in these pages, do the protagonists in American fiction these days seem so lost?…

Rod Liddle on Brexit: The Great Betrayal reviewed

21 September 2019 9:00 am

Rod Liddle has taken a huge gamble with this book. It could be out of date very soon. The book’s…

Two faces of a single calamity: how the war against inequality backfired dramatically

21 September 2019 9:00 am

In 2015, Daniel Markovits, a professor at Yale Law School, delivered a commencement address to that year’s graduating class in…

The tsunami of stuff we have and want is based on culture and economics

21 September 2019 9:00 am

In 1993, the photographer Peter Menzel travelled across the globe to capture our material world. In each country, he asked…

Hitler’s legacy: two books examine different aspects of the horror that was Germany, 1945

21 September 2019 9:00 am

Two new books offer very different takes on the utter ruination of Germany in 1945. Each in its own way…

No one held Susan Sontag in higher esteem than she did: Her Life reviewed

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Towards the end of this tale of imperial intellectual expansion, Susan Sontag’s publicist goes to visit his shrink and, dealing…

A thoroughly modern medieval romance

14 September 2019 9:00 am

The novelist and essayist James Meek’s confident new medieval romance is conducted in brief passages separated out by three icons,…

There’s no place quite like Excellent Essex

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Those who think Essex is boring, or a human waste bin into which only the most meretricious people find themselves…

The Lost Girls of World War II – a tribute

14 September 2019 9:00 am

It is to Peter Quennell in his memoir The Wanton Chase that D.J. Taylor owes his concept of wartime London’s…

A New York state of mind – Doxology reviewed

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Doxology covers five decades and a spacious 400 pages, with all the subplots and digressions you would expect of a…

A page-turning work of well-researched history: The Mountbattens reviewed

14 September 2019 9:00 am

He would want to be remembered as the debonair war hero who delivered Indian independence and became the royal family’s…

Edna O’Brien’s heroic tribute to the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram: Girl reviewed

14 September 2019 9:00 am

This novel is strikingly brave in two ways: first, in the fortitude of its writer, the redoubtable Edna O’Brien, who,…

One insider’s view of the thorny subject of immigration

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Probably this happens to every generation: the moment when you can’t believe what’s going on; when events seem too preposterous…

William Dalrymple has nailed the East India Company for what it was: ‘a supreme act of corporate violence’

14 September 2019 9:00 am

A boardful of company directors are summoned to explain themselves to a Whitehall select committee. The Bank of England has…

Tobias Jones finds in Italian football hooliganism a mirror image of Italy itself

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Ultras (Italian football hooligans) initially evolved along the same lines as their more infamous English counterparts, emerging in the 1960s…

20th-century assassins – How to be a Dictator reviewed

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Frank Dikötter has written a very lively and concise analysis of the techniques and personalities of eight 20th-century dictators: Mussolini,…

What made Lucian Freud so irresistible to women?

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Amedeo Modigliani thought Nina Hamnett, muse, painter, memoirist, had ‘the best tits in Europe’. She fell 40 feet from a…

Was there some Freudian symbolism in Lucian’s botanical paintings?

7 September 2019 9:00 am

In early paintings such as ‘Man with a Thistle’ (1946), ‘Still-life with Green Lemon’ (1946) and ‘Self-portrait with Hyacinth Pot’…

How Britain conned the US into entering the war

7 September 2019 9:00 am

In June 1940, MI6’s new man, Bill Stephenson, ‘a figure of restless energy… wedged into the shell of a more…

Crazy nannies and missing children: the latest crime fiction reviewed

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Madeline Stevens’s debut thriller, Devotion (Faber, £12.99), might more appropriately have been titled ‘Desire’. It’s a riff on that old…

The elegance and humour of Neville Cardus

7 September 2019 9:00 am

As a fully paid-up, old-school cricket tragic, I astound myself that I have read almost no Neville Cardus. How can…

In praise of Thomas Graham, unsung hero of the Peninsular War

7 September 2019 9:00 am

Why does a man join the army? The answer was probably more obvious in the 18th century than now, but…