Donald Trump is about to become president of the United States of America. As remarkable as this phrase still seems, it’s going to happen. As such, his pronouncements matter; his every utterance is newsworthy.
This is why Trump’s first interview with a British newspaper, conducted by Michael Gove for The Times, is notable. Alongside the expected comments on Brexit, which Trump greeted warmly and enthusiastically, the president-elect also discussed the usefulness of NATO, the situation in Syria, migration to Europe and, inevitably, Russia and Vladimir Putin. Continue reading →
Recently, and for the first time, I read a copy of Lewis Carroll’s famous book for children Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Its pleasure was undimmed by my (relatively) advanced age, and the whole experience was genuinely delightful. I immediately read Through the Looking-Glass, its successor. Continue reading →
I like Michael Gove a lot – in fact, I think he’s one of the best Conservative ministers we have and are likely to enjoy for some time to come; but I’m a little saddened by his wanting Britain to leave the European Union. Not, I think, necessarily because this requires him to team up with two of the most unpleasant political figures in the country – the dual horrors of Nigel Farage and George Galloway, who represent living proof that extremists of Left and Right eventually come to resemble each other – but because in many ways it makes the case for remaining a little less attractive. Continue reading →
Recently I had the great pleasure of reading Niall Ferguson’s The Pity of War. My review of that book – which takes a rather holistic approach – can be read on this blog. It has given me cause to think about the nature both of historical writing and how historians are perceived in the public sphere: whether, in other words, they can be ‘public intellectuals’ – that much overused phrase which somewhat lazy journalists use to denote academics who, in this view of the world, have apparently descended from the ivory tower to commune to the masses. Continue reading →