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Noël Coward

He was a master of the flimsy trifle, but 100 years after his birth the best of them still flourish
Paul Bailey  

The show trial

Thanks to David Cesarani's biography, Arthur Koestler will be remembered as a crackpot sex maniac. This is a travesty of the man who, for all his faults, saw the truth of both Nazism and Stalinism before the rest of his…
Frederic Raphael  

From Hitler to Hölderlin

Much has been written about Heidegger's involvement with the Nazis. But Desmond Christy welcomes a new biography which refrains from hasty judgements, and lets the life speak for itself
Desmond Christy  

Curates of utopia

Who owns Raymond Williams, one of the father figures of the New Left? Fred Inglis tries to understand why his biography of Williams has been vilified by some left-wing reviewers
Fred Inglis  

Wrong leader, right result

For most of the 20th century the Tory party has chosen the wrong leader, but has nevertheless won elections. Labour, until recently, has done the reverse
Ian Gilmour  

Burke on Ireland’s Holy War

On the two hundredth anniversary of the death of Edmund Burke, Conor Cruise O'Brien assesses the legacy of his thinking on Ireland. Enlisted by both sides in the great Home Rule controversy, Burke would not be at all surprised by…
Conor Cruise O'Brien  

Mysterious Mahler

What do we really know about Mahler? He has been painted as the sickly, neurotic "victim," obsessed by early death. Not so. Mahler suffered many blows, but he was a musician of great energy and resilience. If his later works…
Jonathan Carr  

Not completely Frank

Anne Frank's diaries have appeared in at least three versions since her death in 1945. That even the latest "definitive" edition may not be so definitive
Nicolas Walter  

Regrets? I’ve had a few

Charles Elton finds Mia Farrow's memoir follows the classic three-act structure of any Hollywood princess: dysfunctional family, bewildering marriages, messy splits
Charles Elton  

A worthless memoir

The memoirs of former Conservative party treasurer, Alistair McAlpine, reveal a politically shallow egotist. Bruce Anderson says he contributed far less to Thatcherism than he imagines
Bruce Anderson