Reviews

1-15 of 65 Articles
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If you are in Edinburgh during the Festival be sure to visit the National Gallery’s new Lavery on Location exhibition – a well-curated tour de force of the works of Sir John Lavery, the Irish Impressionist who carved out a distinguished career for himself and became one of Britain’

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Robert Shiels reviews Operation Morthor: The Last Great Mystery of the Cold War. On 18 September 1961, a plane transporting Dag Hammarskjöld, then the secretary-general of the United Nations, flew across the Congo on a long route to avoid a vast area that had seceded from the main part of the c

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Scottish lawyer Robert Shiels reviews a book on the life of Roger Casement. How do you present a biography of a person in a different age who travelled the world and attained great fame? Any such subject would test even an experienced writer and Sir Roger Casement more so.

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The trial in question, of Bruno Dey, opened in Hamburg on 17 October 2019. Dey was charged with his role within the Holocaust. It was alleged that he was involved as an accessory (compared to a perpetrator which is the distinction on which the book focuses) in the murder of 5,230 inmates at Stutthof

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Robert Shiels reviews Warriors, Rebels and Saints: The Art of Leadership from Machiavelli to Malcolm X. A simple question: do leaders make history, or does history make leaders? Seeking an answer formed the basis of a course by the author on leaders and leadership in history at Harvard University.

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The Cleveland Torso Murderer, also known as the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run, was an unidentified serial killer who was active in Cleveland, Ohio in the 1930s. In parenthesis, it should be acknowledged immediately that these sorts of designations assume that there is one responsible person but that

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Robert Shiels reviews an account of Manchester United's "glory years" by the club's lawyer. It is rather sad that the manuscript for this book was completed by its author, Maurice Watkins, a solicitor to and director of Manchester United, shortly before his death in 2021.

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Robert Shiels commends a new look at the self-invented authoritarian Caesars who present such a clear and present danger to democracy and the rule of law today.

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1848, sometimes known as The Springtime of the Peoples, saw revolutionary fervour sweep across Europe and the publication by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels of The Communist Manifesto. Robert Shiels finds a new history of this European turning point by the eminent historian Sir Christopher Clark comp

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Graham Ogilvy reviews a "true story of love, crime and a dangerous obsession". Stendhal syndrome is unlikely to feature in a plea of mitigation in a court near you — and citing it did nothing to secure the liberty of Stéphane Breitwieser, the working-class Frenchman who systematically p

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Robert Shiels is impressed by a new history of opium which paints a fascinating picture of an ancient trade with a profound impact on modern society. Opium has its own history and this discursive study by novelist Amitav Ghosh, moving into factual history, concentrates on individual aspects of the o

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Robert Shiels commends a new biography of the comic genius who fell victim to the USA's post-war red scare. This attractively produced book, with many photographs, is a social, political and cultural history of a crucial period in the life of an influential 20th century figure, an original and indep

1-15 of 65 Articles
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