Book review – modern history

The China-Russia East Route pipeline under construction in 2017. At 3,968 km in length, it is designed to carry 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas from Russia’s Far East to Shanghai. [Getty]

China’s power grab steps up apace

1 December 2018 9:00 am

Five years ago President Xi Jinping gave a speech in Kazakhstan, launching the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’, a wildly ambitious…

Has Tibet finally lost out to China?

30 June 2018 9:00 am

Blessings from Beijing will inform readers who know little about Tibet, and those who know a great deal will discover…

1983: the year the world nearly ended

26 May 2018 9:00 am

In 1983, Soviet spies skulked in our midnight streets to check the lights were out. The Kremlin, convinced the West…

Master of the dark art of interrogation: Alexander Scotland in 1945

A grand inquisitor

2 September 2017 9:00 am

Hidden behind Kensington Palace, in one of London’s smartest streets, there is a grand old house which played a leading…

Nazis in the dock: Hans Frank replies to questioning during the Nuremberg Trials

Genocide is named and shamed

21 May 2016 9:00 am

One of the things Philippe Sands clearly remembers from his grandparents’ Paris apartment — a rather sombre, silent place —…

Marlene Dietrich, George Orwell and the rebirth of a nation

20 February 2016 9:00 am

The purpose of Lara Feigel’s book is to describe the ‘political mission of reconciliation and restoration’ in the devastated cities…

A local leader of the Mara gang (photo: Getty)

The new mafias that rule the world

30 January 2016 9:00 am

You may not have heard of the Maras. Or Barrio 18. Or the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, or the Zatas,…

Gorbachev and Reagan sign the historic treaty on 8 December 1987 eliminating Soviet and Us intermediate-range and short-range nuclear missiles

The four men who averted the Apocalypse

28 November 2015 9:00 am

In March 1987, as Professor Robert Service records in his new account of the end of the Cold War, Margaret…

Was Operation Thunderbolt the most daring mission in history?

18 July 2015 9:00 am

Operation Thunderbolt was, Saul David contends in this gripping book, ‘the most audacious special forces operation in history’. In June…

Still life in the old slogan: Maurice Saatchi’s famous 1978 poster was adapted three decades later when the unemployment figures were announced in March 2009

Even the people who make political adverts aren’t sure they work

14 February 2015 9:00 am

It is a common prejudice about modern politics that it is all focus groups and spin, all public relations and…

How Putin turned Russian politics into reality TV

14 February 2015 9:00 am

‘We all know there will be no real politics.’ A prominent Russian TV presenter is speaking off the record at…

The opéra bouffe that was the Bretton Woods conference

14 June 2014 8:00 am

There ought to be a comic opera about the Bretton Woods conference — Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face, about Margaret,…

The lone demonstrator who stood down a column of tanks in Tiananmen Square on 5 June 1989 was dubbed ‘Tank Man’ or the ‘Unknown Rebel’. Though the image achieved worldwide fame, neither the man’s name nor his fate has ever come to light

Talking to the ghosts of Tiananmen Square

31 May 2014 9:00 am

Twenty-five years ago, Rowena Xiaoqing He, then a schoolgirl, was participating in the Tiananmen-supporting demonstrations in Canton. Far from the…