The Current Issue

September 2018, Issue 468 Bernard Porter on Gandhi's later years * Jonathan Sumption on the templars * Carol Rumens on Elizabeth Jennings * Jill Rutter on British PMs' relationships with Europe * Peter Marshall on Thomas Cromwell * John Lloyd on Alan Rusbridger * Joan Smith on women's pain * Nicholas Vincent on Henry II * Richard Cockett on Rodrigo Duterte * David Gelber on Brazil * Daisy Dunn on labyrinths * D J Taylor on William Boyd * Edith Hall on Pat Barker * Alan Ryan on emotions in politics * Sarah Ditum on self-help failures *  and much, much more…

Bernard Porter

Gandhi 1914–1948: The Years That Changed the World

By Ramachandra Guha

Reading this magisterial new biography of Mohandas K Gandhi, one could almost imagine that the British Empire might have been saved had the imperial government, not to mention the Indians, listened to him more. As is pretty well known, he didn’t turn against the empire until well into his career, long convinced – beyond reason, perhaps – that the nation of John Stuart Mill and of the numerous liberal friends he had made while studying law in London would eventually show what he took to be its ‘best side’ and grant self-government to India, on the same basis as Canada and Australia, under the aegis of its beloved king-emperor. It was for this reason that he actually aided the British side... read more

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Jonathan Sumption

The Persecution of the Templars: Scandal, Torture, Trial

By Alain Demurger (Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan)

The Templars were the principal crusading order of the Middle Ages. They were the chief pillar of the crusading kingdom of Jerusalem before its final collapse in 1291. They played a heroic role in the defence of its last redoubt, at Acre. Their courage was legendary. Their casualties were high, even by the standards of Middle Eastern warfare: six of the twenty-three grand masters ... read more

Richard Cockett

Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines

By Jonathan Miller

Who is the most popular politician in the world? Probably the foul-mouthed, gun-toting septuagenarian president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. His most recent approval rating was 88 per cent, rising to 91 per cent among the poorest Filipinos. How does he do it? By indiscriminately rubbing out supposed bad guys – and if some of them do actually turn out to be criminals, so much the better. Insulting all and sundry ... read more

Sarah Ditum

Help Me! One Woman’s Quest to Find Out If Self-help Really Can Change Her Life

By Marianne Power

Marianne Power attempted to follow one self-help book per month for a year. I actively avoid them. I felt a particular grinding horror when at the end of a yoga practice (yes, it’s called a practice), my instructor went to a bag, pulled out a book and started reading to us about ‘the law of attraction’ and ‘sending positive vibrations into the universe’. Prone on the deck... read more

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