American marines coming ashore at Guadalcanal, 1942 (Photo: Getty)

Hirohito, MacArthur and other villains

The history of ‘great events’, Voltaire wrote, is ‘hardly more than the history of crimes’. Physically, the war in Asia…


Progress at a price

I was sitting recently with a former US marine by one of the huge open windows on the top floor of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon.


Land of eternal euphemism

If it wasn’t for the sheer misery of most of its luckless inhabitants, wouldn’t the world be a duller place without North Korea?


The day the music died

The Immortals, by Amit Chaudhuri

Division and misrule

‘The 20th century was not kind to Pakistan’, Tariq Ali says in the first sentence of his latest book on his native land.