antony beevor

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PETER ACKROYD INTERVIEWED ABOUT HIS DEFINITIVE CHARLES DICKENS BIOGRAPHY 1991

PETER ACKROYD INTERVIEWED ABOUT HIS DEFINITIVE CHARLES DICKENS BIOGRAPHY 1991

It was an afternoon in June 1846 when Charles Dickens finally broke the writing block which had been troubling him. It had been two years since his previous novel, but these last weeks present walking in the hills of Switzerland above Lausanne had allowed him to sketch out the framework of a book. In his study overlooking the lake, Dickens...

1812: NAPOLEON'S FATAL MARCH ON MOSCOW by ADAM ZAMOYSKI (2006) reviewed

1812: NAPOLEON'S FATAL MARCH ON MOSCOW by ADAM ZAMOYSKI (2006) reviewed

Few people -- even American Republicans these days -- still believe the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq had much to do with containing terrorism, and various truths about the impetus for these events contend for attention. Doubtless, as with most enormous affairs in world history, time and access to more information from all sides will...

BERLIN AND THE BICKERING KOREAS (2004): A Tale of Two Walls

BERLIN AND THE BICKERING KOREAS (2004): A Tale of Two Walls

Journalists are rarely given the gift of prophesy. And like some Alice in Wonderland character they are always running twice as fast just to keep up with current events. The luxury of second-guessing the future generally falls on columnists. Contemporary journalism largely consists of two motivations which might be given the same adjective:...

JUST FIVE YEARS AGO: AMERICA IN CRISIS (2004): Land of the Free and Home of the Afraid

JUST FIVE YEARS AGO: AMERICA IN CRISIS (2004): Land of the Free and Home of the Afraid

The cover of New York's weekly Village Voice in early June encapsulated the feeling in a single image. It was a variation on Grant Wood's famous painting American Gothic, the portrait of the elderly, pitchfork-bearing Iowan farmer and his spinster daughter. But rather than representing the Puritan ethics and hard-working dignity of the Midwest...

HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHIES CONSIDERED (2003, 2004): Sax, lies and soundbites

HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON'S AUTOBIOGRAPHIES CONSIDERED (2003, 2004): Sax, lies and soundbites

Last week, late-night US television host Jay Leno quipped about a matter diverting American attention - the long-awaited US$8 million ($13.85 million) memoirs of Hillary Rodham Clinton. "Hillary Clinton's book hits the stores this Monday," he said. "Oh boy, it took her a long time to write it. But in her defence, every time she...

BLOOD & RAGE: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF TERRORISM by MICHAEL BURLEIGH: We who are about to die . . .

BLOOD & RAGE: A CULTURAL HISTORY OF TERRORISM by MICHAEL BURLEIGH: We who are about to die . . .

President Barack Obama’s recent speeches directed at the Islamic world – coded or clear – are an obvious attempt to defuse (or perhaps simply diffuse) the flashpoints between the West and the Muslim world. Many argue this overdue hand of friendship and a willingness to engage in dialogue will assuage the current climate of...

OVER THERE a television series by STEVEN BOCHCO AND CHRIS GEROLMO (DVD, 2005)

OVER THERE a television series by STEVEN BOCHCO AND CHRIS GEROLMO (DVD, 2005)

A couple of years ago, if you had driven an hour north of downtown LA you would have been in a war zone, a slice of hellish Iraq right there in the arid desert of California. An American unit of young men and women is pinned down by insurgents holed up in the mosque on the hill, all around them a parched landscape is peppered by gunfire....

THE BIG OYSTER by MARK KURLANSKY

THE BIG OYSTER by MARK KURLANSKY

One of the conspicuous growth areas in non-fiction has been in the genre of what we might call single-issue histories where a writer takes a seemingly mundane or commonplace subject -- be it tulips in Amsterdam, the humble potato or ubiquitous chocolate -- and expand a history around it. The acknowledged master of this genre, and the most...

GENERATION KILL, from the book by EVAN WRIGHT (DVD)

GENERATION KILL, from the book by EVAN WRIGHT (DVD)

Anyone looking for an insight into the modern American military in combat need not go past Evan Wright's exceptional Generation Kill. Gung-ho marines raised on video games, hyped up on caffeine, pounding hip-hop and testosterone roll into Iraq in the first days of the 2003 war to clear a path, be a diversion and kill the enermy. They are there...

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