Communism

How does today’s world compare with Orwell’s nightmare vision?

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Apart from a passionate relationship with the common toad, what do George Orwell and David Attenborough have in common? H.G.…

How to fight Bolshevism

11 May 2019 9:00 am

From 10 May 1919: The heart of the country is always for moderation. Nothing could show this more plainly than…

Eric Hobsbawm, photographed in 1996. He admitted late in life that he had developed in youth ‘a facility for deleting unpleasant or unacceptable data’

How Eric Hobsbawm remained a lifelong communist — despite the ‘unpleasant data’

2 February 2019 9:00 am

Sir Richard Evans, retired regius professor of history at Cambridge, has always been a hefty historian. The densely compacted facts…

Berlin in ruins, 1945

Ian Kershaw recounts Europe’s recovery from WWII – have the good times run their course?

29 September 2018 9:00 am

When I reviewed the first volume of Sir Ian Kershaw’s wrist-breaking history of the last 100 years of Europe, To…

No apology is ever enough for the digital mob

4 August 2018 9:00 am

Promoting physical fitness, the left has developed a bracing set of competitive callisthenics. Participants vie over who can complete a…

Teen Vogue and the rebirth of Radical Chic

21 July 2018 9:00 am

Are we witnessing the rebirth of Radical Chic? That was the term coined by Tom Wolfe in his 1970 essay…

Marxism didn’t die. It’s alive and well and living among us

16 June 2018 9:00 am

I remember the autumn day in 1990 when they came to cart away the large hammer and sickle outside my…

Rao Pingru and his siblings make a lion lantern with their mother

Enduring life under Chairman Mao

5 May 2018 9:00 am

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

Doris Lessing in her mid sixties

Doris Lessing: from champion of free love to frump with a bun

10 March 2018 9:00 am

‘I am interested only in stretching myself, in living as fully as I can.’ Lara Feigel begins her thoughtful book…

John Cairncross in retirement in the south of France. ‘He was my favourite of the Five,’ Yuri Modin, their KGB controller, wrote in his memoirs, despite finding Cairncross’s unpunctuality and inability to work a microfilm camera infuriating

The Cambridge spy ring and the myth of an upper-class cover up

3 February 2018 9:00 am

It has become fashionable since the fall of the Soviet Union to diagnose communist fellow travelling as a form of…

The mischief of Bolshevism

20 January 2018 9:00 am

From ‘The Bolshevik negotiations with Germany’, 19 January 1918: We think that the fact is fairly emerging from the negotiations…

Tales out of school

7 October 2017 9:00 am

In 1952, the five-year-old Michael Rosen and his brother were taken on holiday along the Thames by their communist parents.…

Pole position

5 October 2017 2:00 pm

Did you know that they used to make the Fiat 126 in the Eastern bloc? They did, apparently. There was…

The Korean war was the single greatest calamity of the period. Residents of Inchon surrender to American troops in 1950

Armageddon averted

9 September 2017 9:00 am

From 1945 to 1992 the Cold War was the climate. Individual weather events stood out — the Korean War, the…

Enver Hoxha: Stalin’s devilish disciple

14 May 2016 9:00 am

In his final public appearance, the Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha addressed a Tirana crowd to commemorate the capital’s liberation from…

King of heavy metal Bruce Dickinson at Madison Square Gardens in 1983

Meet the fans who risk death for heavy metal

14 May 2016 9:00 am

With its loud guitar riffs and even louder fashion, heavy metal has always been ripe for ridicule. In its mid-1980s…

The very Czech (and very funny) brilliance of Bohumil Hrabal

12 March 2016 9:00 am

‘A crane fell on top of me in Kladno in 1952, after which my writing got better,’ Bohumil Hrabal (who…

Britain needs a museum of communist terror

5 March 2016 9:00 am

I went to Budapest last year and did the usual touristy things. I climbed up the hill to the fantasy…

No golf, no bridge, scared of champagne – it’s tough being a leftie

20 February 2016 9:00 am

At a party recently I started talking to a friendly, charming woman and we established early on that she was…

A child freedom fighter in Budapest, 1956

1956: the year of living dangerously

13 February 2016 9:00 am

The book of the year has long been a favoured genre in popular history, and is a commonplace today. While…

The tortured genius of Shostakovich

23 January 2016 9:00 am

When I look at the black-and-white photograph of Julian Barnes on the flap of his latest book, the voice of…

The integrity and chain-smoking of these East German Commies is rather attractive

23 January 2016 9:00 am

No one remembers this now but there really was a period, not so long ago, when the Eighties were universally…

What happened to British communism?

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Like most trade unionists in the 1970s and 80s I worked with a fair few communists. Men like Dickie Lawlor,…

Guy Burgess

James Klugmann and Guy Burgess: the wasted lives of spies

5 December 2015 9:00 am

Geoff Andrews’s ‘Shadow Man’, James Klugmann, was the talent-spotter, recruiter and mentor of the Cambridge spy ring. From 1962, aged…

What drove Europe into two world wars?

19 September 2015 8:00 am

Sir Ian Kershaw won his knight’s spurs as a historian with his much acclaimed two-volume biography of Hitler, Hubris and…