John R. MacArthur

Alger Hiss attends his trial (Photo: Getty)

Alger Hiss: Tricky Dick’s scapegoat

In the more than 40 years since Richard Nixon resigned as president — disgraced as much by his inveterate lying…

Robert Moses in 1952

The sadist who wrecked New York, and the last of the great biographers

John R. MacArthur on the bureaucratic titan who gratuitously bulldozed a great city and displaced and demoralised half a million of its inhabitants


The dark comedy of the Senate torture report

Like many journalists, I’m a bit of a know-it-all — when information is touted as ‘new’, especially in government reports,…

Clinton Bush

Clinton vs Bush — again

American politics looks increasingly like an oligarchy

President Theodore Roosevelt Photo: Getty

Why is Doris Kearns Goodwin raking up old muck?

Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Era are well-worn subjects for both professional and amateur historians, so it’s pertinent to ask…


Don’t believe the hype: the French still live better than Americans

In recent months I’ve read at least ten articles about French malaise — all of it apparently due to some…

Salman Rushdie

The friends Rushdie forgot

Thousands of us stood up for him in New York after the fatwa. Why doesn’t he remember how it happened?


His finest years

John R. MacArthur traces Lyndon Johnson’s progress from bullying liar to world statesman


Groupthink and doubletalk

Soon after his historic victory over John McCain, Barack Obama was ushered into a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) located deep inside the Federal building in Chicago to receive his first top-secret intelligence briefing as President-elect.

King and his killer

In the late days of the Bush administration, it was fashionable among liberals to call George W. Bush the ‘worst’ president since the founding of the republic and to suggest that under his leadership America experienced its own version of the Dark Ages.


Under false colours

‘With time,’ writes David Remnick, ‘political campaigns tend to be viewed through the triumphalist prism of the winner.’ Never more so, perhaps, than in Remnick’s idolatrous new biography of Barack Obama, which presents the First Black President’s ascension to the White House as nothing less than a glorious saga.