Monthly Archives: August 2014


He was one of the cleverest of men, but also one of the least empathetic. He was as ruthless and selfish as a baby. “He is a child,” wrote the French novelist, René Boylesve, “he gives himself away with a … Continue reading

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If you only buy one folk album this year

Make it this one.

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“The supreme irony was that Viola and Alfred also came from working-class backgrounds.”  The status-conscious parents who disowned their son. And Sinatra said, “That’s kooky, kid.” Paul Anka on writing “My Way”. Photo-opportunity: the glamorous life of a White House … Continue reading

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His approach to many of the great contemporary difficulties was somewhat optimistic and facile. The very first instructions I received in 1930, when I joined the Corriere della Sera  bureau in London, were: “Do not mention the world economic crisis.” … Continue reading

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Good to see Stanley Spencer’s masterpiece on last night’s Channel 4 News. And there was a rare interview with his daughters, Shireen and Unity. (Jon Snow writes about his visit here.) I spent weeks  in front of the paintings when I … Continue reading

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It remains one of the oddities of this war that Hitler demanded far less from his people than Churchill and Roosevelt did from their respective nations. The discrepancy between the total mobilization of labour forces in democratic England and the … Continue reading

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