Julian Assange speaks at the Ecuadorian Embassy where he has been holed up for two years Photo: Getty

Julian Assange is a narcissist and a nut — and if America comes for him we should take his side

Poor Julian Assange. Call me a contrarian but I’m genuinely starting to feel sorry for the guy. He’s just made…

Conrad Black back on familiar territory at The Spectator on 3 July. Image: Alan Davidson

From jailbird to social butterfly – the return of Conrad Black

The former proprietor of this magazine, Conrad Black, is in London at the moment with his gorgeous wife Barbara, and…

Elliot Rodger Photo: AFP/Getty

Elliot Rodger and the Hollywood ending

I’ve found myself strangely drawn to the videos made by the 22-year-old assassin Elliot Rodger just before he went on…


Why I no longer want to live in America

A few years ago I would have quite liked to live in America. I’m not sure now. For one thing,…


How to shop for the apocalypse

America’s doomsday preparedness industry is booming

Clinton Bush

Clinton vs Bush — again

American politics looks increasingly like an oligarchy


Lost Kerouac that should have stayed lost

In 1944, when he was 22, Jack Kerouac lost a manuscript — in a taxi, as he thought, but probably…


Europe's 'new world order' is letting Vladimir Putin run riot

Putin has now broken the post-Cold War consensus for good. But Russia may not enjoy the results

American beat poet Allen Ginsberg Photo: Getty

American Smoke, by Iain Sinclair - review

If you have read Iain Sinclair’s books you will know that he is a stylist with a love of language.…


Celia Walden's diary: Have I finally caught my husband in an affair?

For a minute I just stood there with my back against the wall, staring at the credit card receipt. Then…

‘Brown and Silver: Old Battersea Bridge’, 1859–63, by James McNeill Whistler

The painter of poetry

The famous court case in which Ruskin accused Whistler of ‘flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face’ continues…

Signifying Rappers, by David Foster Wallace - review

Since his suicide, David Foster Wallace has made the transition from major writer to major industry. Hence this UK issue…

The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer - review

Thick, sentimental and with a narrative bestriding four decades, Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings feels above all like a Victorian novel,…


While Britain stagnates, America is roaring back

Five years after the start of the Great Recession, America is fast recovering its might


To Move the World, by Jeffrey Sachs - review

Jeffrey Sachs is the world’s best-connected development economist. An academic with highly developed communication skills, he has always managed to…


If there was ever a time to intervene in Syria, it has passed

A western intervention might never have worked. But it certainly won’t now


Fall from grace

Barack Obama is not up to the job. That is Ron Suskind’s oft-repeated contention. The President, he states, compromised with,…


The original special relationship

Of all the cities in all the world, Paris dominates the American imagination more than any other. Although Americans may…

After America: Get Ready For Armageddon by Mark Steyn

There are people sent to depress us, and prominent among them is Mark Steyn, whose speciality is apocalyptic predictions. Following…

Music, moonlight and dahlias

The words that echoed constantly in the back of my mind as I read this book were from Paul Simon’s song ‘Train in the Distance’: ‘the thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains’.


Day of reckoning

Many saw disaster coming, including Philip Hensher, but no one did anything

Lucky miss

In Dreams From My Father, his exploration of race and roots, Barack Obama recalled the tales heard in childhood about the man who gave him his name.

The call of the wild

Annie Proulx (pronounced ‘Pru’) began her writing career — quite late, in her fifties — as E.A. Proulx, to baffle misogynist editors; then she was E. Annie Proulx, until she dropped the E and became simply Annie the Proulx.


Am I offending the wrong Americans?

Q. Why did God give liberals annoying, whiny voices? A. So that even the blind could hate them.


At war with the Greeks

America’s love of the ancient republics has had military consequences in the present