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History

At the going down of the sun

11 November 2011 11:00

Vernon Scannell, a poet who fought in North Africa in the Second World War, observed in his poem ‘The Great War’: ‘Whenever the November sky Quivers with a bugle’s hoarse,… Continue reading

18 Comments

The building of our history

31 October 2011 16:24

Athens, for all its current woes, still has the Parthenon. Rome has the Colosseum, Paris the Louvre, Berlin the Reichstag, Beijing the forbidden city, Moscow the Kremlin and Washington the… Continue reading

18 Comments

9.9.1513

9 September 2011 11:25

The original and gravest episode of Disaster for Scotland. Today’s the 498th anniversary of Flodden. A bleak day for Scotland; bleaker still for King James himself and the Men of… Continue reading

15 Comments

From the archives: “The bugger’s bugle”

2 September 2011 18:52

Today marks 50 years since the release of Victim, a ground-breaking film about homosexuality that was granted an X-certificate. Writing in the latest issue of the Spectator (subscribers click here),… Continue reading

22 Comments

Our Revolting Youth (Have Always Been With Us)

17 August 2011 0:13

The problem with the Prime Minister’s "Broken Society" meme is that it’s not obvious society is more broken now than it always has been. Sure, there are serious problems and… Continue reading

16 Comments

The Myth of American Isolationism

3 August 2011 17:41

I like the Economist’s Democracy in America blog very much and I like my friend Erica Grieder too. But her recent post on the debt-ceiling deal, the Pentagon’s budget and… Continue reading

4 Comments

Summer reading

21 July 2011 12:36

It’s a tradition of the British summer. A Tory MP produces a summer reading list of weighty and worthy tomes to co-incide with the summer recess. This year, Keith Simpson… Continue reading

22 Comments

Refighting the War of 1812

16 July 2011 11:44

I’ve been guest-blogging at Andrew Sullivan’s place this week where, somewhat to my surprise, I ended up refighting the War of 1812 with Jonathan Rauch. I meant to post this… Continue reading

10 Comments

Stand up for freedom and freedom will stand up for you (eventually)

4 July 2011 10:32

It was hard to be a supporter of U.S. President Ronald Reagan in Western Europe. As a student living in West Germany at the time, I remember well the commonly… Continue reading

12 Comments

From the archives: how The Spectator beat the strikes

1 July 2011 18:07

A change from the usual for this week’s excavation into The Spectator archives — which is to say, we won’t be digging out an article from the magazine’s 183-year back-catalogue… Continue reading

2 Comments

All American Politics is Yokel?

30 June 2011 1:23

You shouldn’t really go wrong asking Christopher Hitchens to write about Michelle Bachmann. Nevertheless this part of his most recent Slate column is, though reprising a familiar complaint, unusually unreflective:… Continue reading

4 Comments

Auld Selkirk: She’s Ancient But She’s Braw

17 June 2011 2:10

How do you measure a place? A community? A spirit? It is a media-driven cliche that all communities, especially when struck by disaster, must be deemed "close-knit". Politicians, meanwhile, give… Continue reading

7 Comments

Abraham Lincoln: Tyrant! Unionist!

16 June 2011 1:08

Hendrik Hertzberg has some fun with Rick Perry’s occasional suggestions* that Texas could secede from the United States of America. Doing so he quotes extensively from a message Abraham Lincoln… Continue reading

2 Comments

The Lucifer Effect

2 June 2011 11:51

Today’s papers are full of comment on the brilliant Panorama exposé of care home abuse. But none have mentioned what jumped out at me: the parallels between this and the… Continue reading

44 Comments

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