Communism

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

We in the West may snigger at heavy metal, but in some parts of the world its practitioners face the death penalty. Karen Yossman reports

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

We need a museum to help us remember that

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

20 February 2016 9:00 am

No golf, no bridge, a tortured relationship with champagne… lefties deserve your sympathy, not your scorn

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…

Members of the Maquis study the mechanism and maintenance of weapons dropped by parachute in the Haute-Loire

The facts behind France’s most potent modern myth

29 August 2015 9:00 am

Patrick Marnham unravels some of the powerful, often conflicting myths surrounding the French Resistance

The real power of free markets: not efficiency, but innovation and dumb luck

15 August 2015 9:00 am

The greatest mistake made by conservatism was its overly close relationship with neo-classical economics. This was a marriage of convenience:…

Hirohito, MacArthur and other villains

4 July 2015 9:00 am

The history of ‘great events’, Voltaire wrote, is ‘hardly more than the history of crimes’. Physically, the war in Asia…

Both Belgium and the United States should be called to account for the death of Patrice Lumumba

7 March 2015 9:00 am

For decades, all the outside world knew was that Patrice Lumumba, the Congolese independence leader, had been done away with.…

Enough, comrades, it’s time to give Transnistria a break

Transnistria: a breakaway republic of a breakaway republic

13 December 2014 9:00 am

Transnistria is not an area well-served by travel literature or, really, literature of any kind. The insubstantial-seeming post-Soviet sandwich-filling between…

Deng Xiaoping: following in Mao’s footsteps

6 December 2014 9:00 am

Much has been written about Deng Xiao-ping (1904–1997), most recently by Ezra Vogel in Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of…

A romanticised portrait of Goethe by J.H.W. Tischbein

Germans see the best of their soul in Weimar. Everyone else, on the other hand..

30 August 2014 9:00 am

For centuries hailed as the home of poetry, music and liberalism, Weimar was ruthlessly exploited by the Nazis and later served as a showcase for communism, says Philip Hensher

A Pole’s view of the Czechs. Who cares? You will

14 June 2014 8:00 am

When this extraordinary book was about to come out in French four years ago its author was told by his…

Humans hunger for the sacred. Why can’t the new atheists understand that?

31 May 2014 9:00 am

Atheists are blind to a fundamental human need

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…

Julian Mitchell with Rob Callender rehearsing ‘Another Country’

Julian Mitchell on Another Country: ‘I based it on my fury and anger and I wrote it fast and it flowed'

22 March 2014 9:00 am

Robert Gore-Langton talks to Julian Mitchell about the painful roots of his hit play Another Country

The many attempts to assassinate Trotsky

4 January 2014 9:00 am

Leon Trotsky’s grandson, Esteban Volkov, is a retired chemist in his early eighties. I met him not long ago in…

Secrets of the Kremlin

14 December 2013 9:00 am

A building bearing testimony to the power of eternal Russia; a timeless symbol of the Russian state; a monument to…

George Orwell's doublethink

26 October 2013 9:00 am

The inventor of ‘doublethink’ was consistently inconsistent  in his own political views, says A.N. Wilson. And no fun at all