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History

Female members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and an Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighter take position on the front line in Makhmur, some 50 km south of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on 9th August 2014. (Image: SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

A lesson of Iraq in 2014: the nation-state is the future

12 August 2014 12:45

The collapse of some of the Sykes-Picot states in 2014 will spur people to ask which way the world is heading and what it all tells us, just as with… Continue reading

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Lord Kitchener's appeal for recruits pasted on a letterbox (Keystone/Getty)

The Spectator at war: A call to arms

12 August 2014 8:00

Let us say once more what we said as emphatically as we could last week – that the first thing to do is to get Lord Kitchener the five hundred… Continue reading

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T.E. Lawrence's vision of Arabia.

What has Hezbollah’s Secretary General been reading this summer?

8 August 2014 18:09

In Britain we seem to be obsessed by what our politicians are reading this summer. It tells us, so we think, about the way they’re thinking or perhaps just what… Continue reading

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Journey Of The Cross And Icon Takes Place In Sydney

Jean-Marie Charles-Roux, a good and holy priest

8 August 2014 8:28

I am so sorry to hear of the death of Fr Jean-Marie Charles-Roux in Rome at the age of 99. I won’t attempt an obituary, but my memories of him… Continue reading

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The Duke & Duchess Of Cambridge Attend A Service Of Remembrance

1914 and all that

5 August 2014 15:49

Yesterday was a chance for people to remember relatives who died in the 1914-1918 conflict, often the only record of their existence being grainy old portraits from a grandmother’s mantelpiece… Continue reading

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WW1 Recruitment Posters To Be Auctioned

4th August 1914 – my grandfather and his brother, aged 20, go to war

4 August 2014 8:00

This is the second part of Charles Moore’s notes. You can read the first part here. On Tuesday 4 August, NM rang his London house: ‘Roberta our house-maid said that… Continue reading

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Wilhelm II

‘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

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Chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg, Kaiser Wilhelm II and General Moltke depicted in 37 Days (Picture: BBC)

How to ruin a country – the belligerent life of ‘Kaiser Bill’

3 August 2014 9:00

Wilhelm II: Into the Abyss of War and Exile, 1900–1941 John C.G. Röhl, translated by Sheila de Bellaigue and Roy Bridge The role of personality in politics is the theme of… Continue reading

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WW1 Recruitment Posters To Be Auctioned

2nd August 1914 – my grandfather prepares for war

2 August 2014 8:00

This week’s issue is dated 2 August. On that date 100 years ago, my great-grandfather, Norman Moore (always known as ‘NM’), went to Sunday Mass. ‘Father Ryan,’ he noted in… Continue reading

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German soldiers in the city of Lens in occupied France.  (Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

Germany’s forgotten war

1 August 2014 17:00

Britain is braced for the anniversary of the outbreak of world war one. Memorials and events are taking place across the country this weekend. Not so in Germany, where reticence… Continue reading

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Portrait of George I of Great Britain

What about August 1714? 300 years since the Hanoverian accession

1 August 2014 15:30

The centenary of the start of the first world war is getting much more attention than the tricentenary of the accession of George I, which also falls this week. As… Continue reading

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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

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Iraqis holds up a banner which reads in Arabic 'We are Christians and not Nazarethans, and we are proud of our religion', during a demonstration on July 24, 2014, against the threat imposed by ISIS. (Image: SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

In Iraq, ancient Christianity lies in ruins. But who cares?

28 July 2014 16:44

The Mar Behnam monastery outside Mosul, seized by ISIS just over a week ago, bears an inscription in the Turkic language of the Mongols who invaded Iraq in the 13th… Continue reading

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Muslim prayer taking place in the Memorial Courtyard of the Ministry of Defence in London on 23rd July 2014. (Image: Ministry of Defence)

Michael Fallon marks century of Muslim service in British armed forces

24 July 2014 14:45

After nineteen hours without food, nor even a drop of water, the prospect of the single succulent date which breaks the fast looms ever larger in the mind as sunset… Continue reading

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Why can't we be more like the Germans? (PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Why we’ll mostly be supporting Germany on Sunday

11 July 2014 12:56

If you’re walking through any built-up area in England between 8 and 10pm this Sunday and you hear a cheer you can be pretty sure it means one thing –… Continue reading

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Mark Bonney, Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral, holds the cathedral's copy of Magna Carta. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

‘Britishness’ debate: can you do Magna Carta without also doing God?

17 June 2014 16:02

Was anyone terribly surprised by the Social Attitudes Survey published today suggesting that most people thought that, in order to be British, you should be able to speak English? Some… Continue reading

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game-of-thrones-season-4

Prepare for another year of our empty lives without Game of Thrones

17 June 2014 11:44

So farewell, then, Tywin Lannister, you truly were the people’s Hand of the King. But this being Game of Thrones, it was never going to last, and now you’ve been… Continue reading

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Image: Getty

Why do so many of our MPs feel the need to write books?

10 June 2014 17:39

It sometimes feels like there is a never-ending flood of books written by politicians delivered to the Spectator offices. Almost every week a new one – or the invitation to… Continue reading

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Oh dear. Michael Gove has announced that British schools will teach 'British values'. (Image: Getty)

I dread the thought of my children being taught ‘British values’

10 June 2014 10:44

I’ve been off the past week poncing around Rome in a frilly shirt, and so am naturally gloomy about coming home. Just to make it worse, I return to hear… Continue reading

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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

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'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

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Images of different stages of sore and eventual scarring caused by the smallpox vaccination is shown at Mid-Florida Biologicals December 5, 2002 in Altamonte Springs, Florida. (Photo by Scott A. Miller/Getty Images)

Celebrating the death of smallpox – and a short history of vaccination

25 May 2014 10:06

The World Health Organisation is voting on whether to destroy the last few remaining samples of the smallpox virus. Smallpox is the only virus that affects humans that’s ever been… Continue reading

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World War II Reenacted In Yorkshire Villages

Yorkshire village bans Nazis. Why didn’t Neville Chamberlain think of that?

19 May 2014 10:12

D-Day would have been effected with far less trouble if, at the time, we had insisted on the same rules that pertain in Haworth’s annual commemoration of the event. The… Continue reading

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Decisive moment: ‘Closing the Gates of Hougoumont’, by Robert Gibb     Photo: National Museums Scotland

George Osborne’s Waterloo

8 May 2014 12:43

Hougoumont should be a place known to every Briton. It was the site of one of the finest feats of arms in the history of the British military. If this… Continue reading

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Ayaan Harsi Ali is a classic of example the trend whereby 'traitors' are abandoned by people who ought to be their friends.

How to be a traitor

8 May 2014 10:51

No one is as hated as deeply as the apostate. Ordinary opponents are nothing in comparison. They are unbelievers, who know no better. It is not their fault if the… Continue reading

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