Letter from Amerika: Inversion in the Promises Land

Posted on by David Gelber

August 17, 1980 Anyone trying to discover which way the political wind blows in Amerika today has no farther to look than the sun-blasted grazing lands of the West. The front is occluded. Winds down to nothing. And the forecast calls for heat, high humidity, no precipitation, and little change. Even the radicals seem content […]

The Red-Haired Waif

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Best-sellers are always a better guide to the state of mind of the reading public than the condition of fiction at the time. And the public state of mind – mercifully – is unstable. Books that sold in millions fifty years ago are forgotten today. Who reads Anne of Green Gables now? It is still […]

‘My Name is A L Rowse…’

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

RICHARD OLLARD’S BIOGRAPHY of A L Rowse, published some four years ago, profited greatly from the egocentric old historian’s compulsive habit of diary-keeping. Ollard has now completed his task with this substantial edition of the diaries, which began during Rowse’s Cornish schooldays. He died aged ninety-three in 1997 and they constitute a remarkable record of […]

The Return of Supermac

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

I KEEP THINKING it is time someone really turned over ‘the posthumous reputation of Harold Macmillan, but when books like this appear by his own hand I realise that such an exercise is hardly necessary. Macmillan already has his own monument in the six self-regarding, pompous and fraudulent volumes of memoirs he published in the […]

A Communist’s Progress

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

GEORGI DIMITROV SPRANG from obscurity to worldwide fame in spring 1933, when the Nazis burnt the Reichstag. an institution of the Weimar Republic that stood in the way of their total control over the state. The German authorities arrested the stooge Marinus van der Lubbe, who had, probably at Goering’s instigation, actually set fire to […]

Tormented At The End

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

REVIEWING THE FIRST volume of Victor Klemperer’s daries, covering the years 1933-41, I compared him to Victor Meldrew and suggested that the sheer bloody-mindedness of this grumpy, middle-aged man attained nobility when pitted against the Third Reich. His determination to continue his academic research after being dismissed from his university job was admirable. Given the […]

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March