History

John F Kennedy was one of the nastiest presidents in American history

19 November 2013 14:55

The fiftieth anniversary of John F Kennedy’s assassination is, of course, an occasion for a fresh outbreak of the virulent…

When 50,000 Irishmen gathered to commemorate the First World War

12 November 2013 15:35

As I wrote last week, I had not thought commemorating the centenary of the First World War need be a…

Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ is still upsetting the complacent

2 October 2013 10:53

It is twenty years since Samuel Huntington’s essay ‘The Clash of Civilizations?’ was first published in Foreign Affairs. On Monday…

A history of spinners, from Robert Walpole to Damian McBride and Andy Coulson

28 September 2013 10:00

A full colour Andy Coulson looms ominously behind a black and white David Cameron on the front cover of Andrew…

Spectator Play: The highs and the lows of what’s going on in arts this week

27 September 2013 17:51

When you hear the words ‘English art’, there are very few people who would immediately think of embroidery. As Dan…

Here, Mr Gove, is the thrill of raw, unvarnished history

4 September 2013 9:36

Our unrelenting appetite for historical drama is fed by a ceaseless stream of novels and dramatisations – usually, these days,…

Hitler’s missed opportunity: failing to smash the rock of Gibraltar

3 September 2013 11:37

It may be that only geological erosion, expected to occur sometime over the next ten million years, will finally remove…

What if Byron and the Shelleys had live tweeted from the Villa Diodati?

2 September 2013 13:38

It’s one of the most famous – indeed infamous – episodes in English literary history. In the summer of 1816…

Is England too good for the English? Shakespeare’s John of Gaunt seems to think so

26 August 2013 9:30

From Shakespeare’s Richard II, lines spoken by John of Gaunt. This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, This earth…

What might link Cleopatra, Augustus, Constantine, Barbarossa, Tamerlane and the Farnese?

22 August 2013 10:30

The stone called sardonyx looks a lot more fragile than it actually is. It’s luminous like glass, but hard like…

Final call for Propaganda: Power and Persuasion at the British Library

21 August 2013 11:57

For the first time in years, I thought of Tony Hancock. In the ‘Blood Donor’ episode of Hancock’s Half Hour,…

Amartya Sen interview: India must fulfil Tagore’s vision, not Gandhi’s

20 August 2013 11:19

Amartya Sen is Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. Sen’s previous books…

The week in books – a 19th century career woman, the courtesan of the camellias, Vasily Grossman and why France is turning into the USA

16 August 2013 13:40

The forecast is bad. Football is back. Gloom strikes. Cure the malaise by reading the book reviews in this week’s…

Winston Churchill was a very human leader, says Churchill and Empire author Lawrence James

13 August 2013 11:18

More books have been written about Winston Churchill than perhaps any other figure in British history. Do we really need…

The week in books – Tudors, thinkers, dreamers and boozers

9 August 2013 15:54

The book reviews in this week’s issue of the Spectator is worth the cover price. Here is a selection of…

Spectator event: An evening with Simon Schama on the history of the Jews

6 August 2013 19:14

There was a row earlier today when a leading figure in the EDL linked (inadvertently, he says) to a website…

Gibraltar – 200 years of history in the Spectator

6 August 2013 10:13

The most dramatic part of Lothar-Günther Buchheim’s unmatched submarine novel, Das Boot, takes place beneath the Straits of Gibraltar, when Buchheim’s…

Plato – slave-owning aristocrat or homosexual mystic?

30 July 2013 15:45

For over two millennia, the writings of Plato had been at the very core of a Western education. Yet  by…

Some brilliant book reviews

26 July 2013 15:06

As ever, the Spectator carries some splendid and erudite book reviews this week. There are contributions from stellar writers and…

The week in books

19 July 2013 13:31

The best way to weather the heat wave is to head for the shade with a copy of the new…

Korea – the 60 year war

9 July 2013 9:37

In the early morning hours of June 25, 1950 the opening shots of the Korean War were fired. At the…

Henry Addington thought Robert Peel was bad. What would he have made of David Cameron?

3 July 2013 11:03

Henry Addington, first Viscount Sidmouth, was briefly and, on the whole, ingloriously Prime Minister at the beginning of the nineteenth…

George Packer interview: The American Dream is dangerous because people yearn for it to be true

2 July 2013 16:27

George Packer is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Assassins Gate: America in Iraq,…

Laughing at sin

1 July 2013 11:27

Francis Quarles, An emblem on books ‘The world’s a book, writ by the eternal art Of the great Maker, printed…

Jane Austen and Winston Churchill are practically the only credible banknote candidates

26 June 2013 12:37

Silly season is here. A minor row has broken out over which long-dead figures should appear on the reverse side…