James Buchan

Lord Tweedsmuir and President Franklin D. Roosevelt Photo: Time & Life/Getty

The Scot who became more Canadian than the Canadians

When John Buchan was appointed Governor General of Canada in 1935, the country was deep in depression, the western provinces…

‘On Glasgow and Edinburgh', by Robert Crawford - review

Glasgow and Edinburgh are so nearby that even in the 18th-century Adam Smith could breakfast in one city and be…

Troops Fly Home From Kuwait To Fort Hood, Texas After U.S. Forces Leave Iraq

A bloody waste

The US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was an act of frivolity without parallel in United States history. The destruction…

A certain tragic allure

Towards Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (1919–1980), the last or most recent Shah of Iran, there are two principal attitudes.


A foot in both camps

As a five-year-old in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem in the 1950s, Kai Bird overheard an elderly American heiress offering $1 million to anyone who could solve the Arab-Israeli conflict.


Dangerous liaisons

For the impartial reader, this book is doubly disagreeable.

Tensions that disrupt the world

In 1981, two books on Saudi Arabia were published within days of each other: The House of Saud by David Holden and Richard Johns and The Kingdom by Robert Lacey.


The man for the hour

The Gamble: General Petraeus and the Untold Story of the American Surge in Iraq, 2006-2008, by Thomas E. Ricks

Great expectations dashed

Origins: A Memoir, by Amin Maalouf, translated by Catherine Temerson

Worldly and otherworldly

Stories by John Buchan, selected and introduced by Giles Foden

The great negotiator

Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Talleyrand of our age, was for over 20 years the dominant personality…

How the catastrophe happened

Ali A. Allawi has spent much of his life in exile from his native Iraq. Born into a family that…

Geography is destiny

Listing page content here Charles Glass, an American reporter for many years based in Lebanon, in 1987 set off to…

The holy terror himself

Osama: The Making of a Terrorist is not so much another biography of old beardie as a worldly and suave…

Before and after Babel

The origin of language is one of the riddles of mankind. History begins with languages already formed, the intricate relics…

Tom Tiddler’s ground

For many people in the West, the Middle East is a source of perplexity and foreboding. Home to morose despotisms,…

Different heavens, same hells

Now in his late eighties, Bernard Lewis is one of the last representatives of a once venerable scholarly type, the…