Books

The unimaginable horrors confronting the Allies in 1945

25 June 2022 9:00 am

No one had prepared the Allied soldiers, as they began their invasion of the Reich early in 1945, for what…

People of little interest: MI5’s view of left-wing intellectuals

25 June 2022 9:00 am

If MI5 had a Cold War file on you – paper in those happy days – it didn’t mean they…

The emperor as ruler of heaven and Earth

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Geography, climate, economics and nationalism are often seen as decisive forces in history. In this dynamic, original and convincing book…

‘That little venal borough’: a poet’s jaundiced view of Aldeburgh

25 June 2022 9:00 am

‘To talk about Crabbe is to talk about England,’ E.M. Forster declared in a radio broadcast in May 1941, but…

Ethel, Ella and all that jazz: the soundtrack of a Chicago childhood

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Margo Jefferson’s Constructing a Nervous System compresses memoir and cultural criticism into one slim, explosive volume, and in doing so…

An immorality tale: Lapvona, by Ottessa Moshfegh, reviewed

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Has there been a better novel this century than Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation? There might not…

We let Hong Kong down: Chris Patten on the end of colonial rule

25 June 2022 9:00 am

After 13 years in parliament, rising star Chris Patten had the bad luck to be one of the few Tory…

Fish that swim backwards – and other natural wonders

25 June 2022 9:00 am

With the technologies at our disposal, we can in fact now know what it’s like to be a bat, says Caspar Henderson

Piloting a Boeing Dreamliner can be less than dreamy

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Mark Vanhoenacker dreams of my nightmares. Ever since he was a young boy, he fantasised about piloting airplanes. Ever since…

Connecticut connections: A Little Hope, by Ethan Joella, reviewed

18 June 2022 9:00 am

A Little Hope, Ethan Joella’s debut novel, is about the lives of a dozen or so ordinary people who live…

Was Jane Morris a sphinx without a secret?

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Jane Morris, the Pre-Raphaelites’ favourite model, remains as enigmatic as ever, says Frances Wilson

Berliners were punished twice – by Hitler and by the Allies

18 June 2022 9:00 am

‘Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.’ Albert Einstein’s deft avoidance of the question put to…

What shape is the Treasury in now?

18 June 2022 9:00 am

Don’t bring a bottle. Your chances of finding a party in full swing down those chilly corridors are close to…

The Victorian origins of ‘medieval’ folklore

18 June 2022 9:00 am

I would guess that contemporary pagans have a love-hate relationship with Ronald Hutton. With books such as The Triumph of…

Abolishing slavery was no cause for smugness

18 June 2022 9:00 am

When the 13 colonies of the United States declared independence in 1776, the first country to recognise the new nation…

Jarvis Cocker measures out his life in attic junk

18 June 2022 9:00 am

If you were hoping for an autobiography this isn’t it. Jarvis Cocker calls it ‘an inventory’ and insists: ‘This is…

A glimmer of hope for the blue planet

11 June 2022 9:00 am

David Profumo wonders whether newly created marine reserves can really reverse decades of devastation

The deep roots of global inequality

11 June 2022 9:00 am

Thomas Piketty, the French economist who shot to fame for writing a colossal work of economics that many people bought…

Sheila Hancock takes pride in her irascibility

11 June 2022 9:00 am

This book begins with Sheila Hancock wondering why she is being offered a damehood. I must say I slightly wondered…

Bisexuality was the Bloomsbury norm

11 June 2022 9:00 am

It’s been a century since the heyday of the Bloomsbury group, and now Nino Strachey, a descendant of one of…

From teenage delinquent to man of letters: James Campbell’s remarkable career

11 June 2022 9:00 am

The great age of the Scottish autodidact must have ended a century ago, but it had a prodigious impact while…

What do Beethoven, D.H. Lawrence and George Best have in common?

11 June 2022 9:00 am

This is not a book about tennis. Roger Federer appears early on, trailed by the obligatory question ‘When will he…

Women behaving badly: Ghost Lover, by Lisa Taddeo, reviewed

11 June 2022 9:00 am

Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women established her as a narrator of female desire in all its complexity. Her study of three…

Alive with innovation: British art between the world wars

4 June 2022 9:00 am

When I mentioned the subject of this book to someone reasonably well-informed about 20th-century British art, the response was: ‘Isn’t…

The catastrophe that allowed mammals to reign supreme

4 June 2022 9:00 am

Humans are so comfortable with their self-declared dominance over the rest of life, appointing themselves titular head of an entire…