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History

Alan Greenspan doesn’t exist

23 May 2011 18:08

Five years have passed since Alan Greenspan stepped down from the most influential banking job in the world. (Now that’s how to leave at the right time.) Described in books,… Continue reading

21 Comments

The Queen’s Speech

18 May 2011 21:57

At the state dinner at Dublin Castle this evening is rather good. As you would expect from HMQ it says all the right things and does so modestly and without… Continue reading

1 Comment

This Scotland Subordinate? Only to a Crying Fool.

18 May 2011 15:30

Much of Alex Salmond’s speech on the occasion of his re-election as First Minister was entirely unobjectionable and some of it was even eloquent. A shame, then, that his peroration… Continue reading

22 Comments

This Social Union, This Commonwealth

18 May 2011 1:03

On reflection, perhaps I’ve been a little too quick to discount the historical significance of the Queen’s visit to Ireland this week. Like so much else, it’s a question of… Continue reading

10 Comments

When Dublin trembled

17 May 2011 18:00

On 17 May 1974 — 37 years ago today — I was a 19-year-old student at Trinity College Dublin, celebrating the end of term in the Pavilion Bar near the… Continue reading

48 Comments

Eight Hundred Years of Oppression and Now This?

17 May 2011 17:14

Pete is right to say there’s a definite "resonance" to these pictures. Nevertheless, I suspect that British people’s view of the "historic" significance of Her Majesty the Queen’s visit to… Continue reading

11 Comments

An historic moment

17 May 2011 15:44

There is something incredibly resonant about the images of the Queen arriving in the Republic of Ireland this afternoon. You have probably heard the facts by now — that she… Continue reading

12 Comments

Bin Laden strikes from beyond the grave

13 May 2011 9:09

And so it starts. The news that suicide bombers have attacked the military base at Shabqadar, northern Pakistan, sounds a chilling note. The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the… Continue reading

34 Comments

From the archives – the Khmers Rouge’s debt to 1950s France

15 April 2011 18:01

It is 13 years to the day since Pol Pot died in mysterious circumstances while in exile on Cambodia’s remote western border with Thailand. Where did Pot and his maniacal… Continue reading

8 Comments

Ferguson’s triumph

10 April 2011 21:17

The last episode of Niall Ferguson’s documentary series, Civilization, has just been aired — and for those who missed it, it’s time to buy the DVD box set. Or, better… Continue reading

66 Comments

The Poor Bloody Infantry Faces More Friendly Fire?

5 April 2011 15:10

In opposition Liam Fox boasted he could cut the Ministry of Defence by 25% without there being any impact on "frontline" troops. The confirmation that there will be 17,000 fewer… Continue reading

9 Comments

The joy of diversion

26 March 2011 12:45

“We should have more history on the programme,” said Evan Davis at the end of yesterday’s episode of R4’s Today. “I learned a lot from that.” He had just been… Continue reading

17 Comments

Stalin: Not Such a Bad Chap Really

17 March 2011 14:37

That, anyway, seems to be one of the things to come out of Terry Eagleton’s new book, Why Marx Was Right. It’s not published until May but Tyler Cowen reports… Continue reading

16 Comments

The Execution of Admiral Byng

14 March 2011 15:59

It took place, as James Kirkup reminds us, on this day in 1757. As James puts it: To this day, his family argue – with considerable justification — that he… Continue reading

8 Comments

How the West became so dominant

19 February 2011 15:46

Niall Ferguson has a zippy essay in The Times today previewing his forthcoming TV series and book on why the West became so dominant over the past 600 years. He… Continue reading

66 Comments

Two Second World War Stories

18 February 2011 19:18

Riots today in Tobruk and Benghazi, places largely known to me from films and histories and comics of the Second World War. The scale of that conflict is, in some… Continue reading

2 Comments

Traducing Canute Watch: Frank Field

7 February 2011 1:24

Interviewed by the Times, Frank Field fails the Canute Test: Mr Field said that it was not good enough for the Government to say there was enough money in the… Continue reading

6 Comments

Yes, Virginia, the World Gets Better

31 January 2011 14:33

The year before I was born fewer than one in three countries in the world could be considered properly free. Today, according to Freedom House, nearly one in two can… Continue reading

3 Comments

Thank you, Nacia Anastazja Brodziak

27 January 2011 15:08

Today is Holocaust Day. A day to remember the horrors of the past. But it should also be an occasion to recall the moments of hope and the people –… Continue reading

27 Comments

Theatre to mark Western decline

11 January 2011 12:12

USO is not what it once was. The days of Bob Hope’s wisecracking have receded into the past, and ogled Playmates no longer sex their way across stages. The Pentagon… Continue reading

4 Comments

The Greatest Englishmen XI

16 December 2010 23:08

17th September 1932: Members of the MCC cricket team aboard the liner ‘Orontes’ at Tilbury, en route for Australia (left to right) Walter Hammond, Douglas Jardine (captain), Brown, Bowes, Duckworth… Continue reading

19 Comments

Why we must remember the lessons of the Anglo-Scottish Enlightenment

7 December 2010 14:20

The Adam Smith Institute kindly asked me to speak at their Christmas reception last night, and yesterday I was mulling what to say. When at The Scotsman ten years ago,… Continue reading

43 Comments

A thinker of arresting and compelling grandeur

27 November 2010 13:51

John Ruskin is the greatest writer whom, today, an educated person can admit not having read without embarrassment. One professes ignorance of Shakespeare or Dickens with apology or defiance, but… Continue reading

18 Comments

The strange case of Turkey, Islamic history and V.S. Naipaul

25 November 2010 18:09

Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul has pulled out of the European Writers’ Parliament in Istanbul, following pressure from Turkish writers who felt ‘uneasy’ about comments he had made about Islam in… Continue reading

32 Comments

Who will benefit from the Royal wedding?

23 November 2010 16:33

David Cameron is playing down the effect the Royal Wedding will have on the 5th May elections, especially the AV referendum. Fleet Street’s having none of it however. On the… Continue reading

14 Comments