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From the archive rssoldS2

The Spectator Archive holds 1.5 million articles from 1828 to 2008. Here are a selection of the finest articles.

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Is torture acceptable if it helps save thousands of lives?

14 December 2014 11:20

This week’s Senate Report on the CIA hasn’t settled the question of torture once and for all, as Bruce Anderson has pointed out. When we talk about the heroes of… Continue reading

128 Comments
Bathers in 1939. Credit: Getty.

From the archives: Some advice on stripping

5 December 2014 10:52

There have been some glorious celebrations of human flesh in the newspapers this week – who could resist poring over the pictures from the Victoria’s Secret catwalk show, or taking… Continue reading

2 Comments
King George V in uniform.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The Spectator at war: Good taste and good breeding

4 December 2014 8:30

From The King at the Front, The Spectator, 5 December 1914: It is impossible for the ordinary Englishman not to be delighted with the good taste and good breeding as well… Continue reading

0 Comments
(Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

Tristram Hunt’s proposals for public schools are nothing new

28 November 2014 15:39

The Shadow Education Secretary is suggesting that private schools provide qualified teachers to help deliver specialist subject knowledge to state schools. It’s depressing that they don’t all already have in-house… Continue reading

34 Comments
An Afghan soldier mans the machine gun on a helicopter ferrying troops from Camp Bastion in Helmand province to Kandahar military base. October 12, 2009. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Farewell to Afghanistan (for now)

26 October 2014 22:01

Britain has ended combat operations in Afghanistan. The war did topple the Taleban, but it hasn’t got rid of them. It has improved some things in Afghanistan – better roads,… Continue reading

76 Comments
An 'English conversation', circa 1800, by Martinet (Image: Hulton Archive/Getty)

Bored bores boring – critics love the Dull Men’s calendar

14 October 2014 10:33

The Telegraph has a nice photo gallery featuring the specimens of the 2015 Dull Men of Great Britain calendar, which our own Dot Wordsworth plans to give her husband for Christmas:… Continue reading

3 Comments
Brooks Newmark, this time without his Paisley-patterend pyjamas

If Brooks Newmark didn’t want these photos leaked, why did he email them?

12 October 2014 15:16

So it now seems pretty clear to me that we can no longer send women photographs of our genitals without worrying that we might be the subject of some horrible… Continue reading

31 Comments
Clacton-on-Sea, June 1922 (Photo: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Clacton to Ukip, Britain’s anti-politics were long in the making

11 October 2014 16:30

Talking to people in Clacton-on-Sea this week, there was a sense that, as much as they thought there were too many people in Britain, they felt politicians had it too easy.… Continue reading

74 Comments
Cheers! Image: Getty

The Spectator: defending drunkenness since 1828

23 September 2014 10:51

University terms are getting started and this year’s Freshers may be glad to read that The Spectator has always staunchly supported the right to get drunk. In the late 19th… Continue reading

19 Comments
The portrait of Ken Bigley, who was murdered in Iraq 07 October, stands in front of the congregation during a service of remembrance at Liverpool's Roman Catholic Cathedral. Image:  MARTYN HAYHOW/AFP/Getty Images

Hostage taking has paid in the past — but it has won Isis nothing

14 September 2014 18:58

The three recent beheadings by the so-called Islamic State have been peculiarly, barbarically pointless. IS was asking western governments to leave them be to wreak havoc across the Middle East;… Continue reading

8 Comments
Image: Getty

In praise and reproval of the elderly: slow, itinerant, violent – and revolutionary

7 September 2014 18:51

It’s been a good week for old people. On Friday, the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra celebrated his 100th birthday, and at midday people in Chile stopped whatever they were doing… Continue reading

0 Comments
A visitor takes a tour around Auschwitz. Image: JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Ghoulishness, gawking and vile gratification

24 August 2014 10:21

James Foley’s family has begged people not to share images of him being beheaded. The Met has warned that watching and disseminating the film of the murder could constitute an… Continue reading

14 Comments
Over the top -- British soldiers in the trenches. Image: Getty

When should Britain go to war?

17 August 2014 10:42

There’s been a lot written this week about whether or not to fight the Islamic State in Iraq. This time the consensus among Spectator writers is that Britain should. There’s… Continue reading

47 Comments
Ian Fleming

Ian Fleming, James Bond and The Spectator

12 August 2014 10:30

It’s 50 years since the death of Ian Fleming and The Spectator has always taken James Bond seriously. The writer of the Spectator’s Notebook in 1962 went along eagerly to… Continue reading

13 Comments
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‘We believe Germany made the war’

3 August 2014 10:00

The 1914 editions of The Spectator in the days surrounding the declaration of war give a sense of bewilderment. At first they couldn’t believe it would happen. After Archduke Franz… Continue reading

33 Comments
Morning kit inspection at a camp of the Ulster Volunteers Force, the unionist paramilitary force, at Ballywater on 12th July 1914. (Image: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

‘Unity at home and strength abroad’. Britain prepares for WW1 by postponing Irish home rule

30 July 2014 17:57

The outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in July 1914 forced British politicians to postpone the Amending Bill for Irish home rule. This was momentous because Nationalists and Unionists had… Continue reading

6 Comments
speccover

Who knows what patriotism will feel like if Scotland becomes independent

26 July 2014 15:30

If Scotland goes independent in September, who knows what patriotism will feel like. This may be a last chance to savour some of this magazine’s most passionate expressions of British… Continue reading

182 Comments
(Photo: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP/Getty)

Archive interview: Alexander Litvinenko on ice picks, radioactive thallium and Putin’s assassins

22 July 2014 11:37

In the 25 November 2006 edition of The Spectator, Neil Barnett recalled his encounters with the poisoned spy Alexander Litvinenko. Two days before the magazine went to press, Litvinenko died… Continue reading

1 Comment
Remains from the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 (Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty)

Spectator archive: A history of passenger planes shot down

18 July 2014 12:35

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine after being hit by a missile. It’s not the first civilian flight to have been shot down in error though. Here are four other… Continue reading

31 Comments
Should public servants strike? (Image: CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

Should public servants go on strike?

11 July 2014 19:24

David Cameron has promised to change the law to make it harder to go on strike if he wins the next election. The Spectator has generally been in favour of… Continue reading

161 Comments
Palestinian supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir silhouetted behind a banner bearing the Arabic word ‘caliphate’. Image: Getty

The eternal allure of the Caliphate

5 July 2014 10:12

There’s nothing like a caliphate to rally disparate groups. The Sunni Islamic organisation ISIS has recruited fighters from all over the world with its dream of a single Muslim state,… Continue reading

85 Comments
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D-Day 70: Tribute to Bill Millin, Lord Lovat’s piper

6 June 2014 17:00

Bill Millin landed on Sword Beach as part of 1st Special Service Brigade in the second wave. He exited the landing craft, and found himself in three feet of water. Shells and mortar… Continue reading

5 Comments
Normandy veterans gather near Sword Beach in 2013. Image: Getty

Three cheers for all those who fought fascism, from Cable Street to Berlin

6 June 2014 6:00

70 years have passed since, in the words of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, ‘Allied naval forces, supported by strong air forces, began landing Allied armies on the northern coast of… Continue reading

115 Comments
Clement Attlee ventures into the East End... Cartoon by Michael Heath. (1963)

Clement Attlee’s conversion

5 June 2014 15:28

In the early 1960s, The Spectator ran a series called ‘John Bull’s first job’ – reminiscences by various prominenti about how they started out. One of the most startling, published… Continue reading

2 Comments
'My Bed', Tracey Emin's most notorious work of art, is for sale. (Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

Tracey Emin’s knickers – a short history of contemporary British art

29 May 2014 16:04

Tracey Emin’s bed is to be sold at auction this summer with a guide price of £800,000 to £1.2 million, although the man who sold it to Charles Saatchi has… Continue reading

20 Comments