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Oxford’s poetry revolution

Forty years ago, inspired by the 1968 revolts in Paris, I tried to get the glamorous Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko elected as Oxford's professor of poetry. Though our campaign failed, it somehow managed to suck in all the cultural currents…
Bernard Wasserstein  

We started something great

Orlando Figes's magisterial work tells the story of Stalin's Russia through the lives of its victims. It finds that misplaced idealism, as much as blind fear, was what made them obey Stalin
Ben Lewis  

Lost legitimacy

The readiness of America, and sometimes Britain, to fight difficult conflicts in faraway places was one reason for victory in the cold war. But the end of the anti-communist struggle removed the moral justification for intervention and, as the Iraq…
Ferdinand Mount  

Reports from the gulag

Martin Amis's new novel is brilliant and insightful, but offers little news to those versed in the 20th century's first-hand accounts of atrocity
Tom Chatfield  

Vasily Grossman

The Russian writer's novel "Life and Fate"—often compared with "War and Peace"—was first published in English in the mid-1980s. But only now is interest taking off among a wider public
Robert Chandler  

A tale of two lefts

Andrés López Obrador's failure to win the Mexican election masks a broader trend: Latin America's recent turn to the left. But there are two distinct lefts in the region: one modern and reformist, with its roots in hardcore leftism; the…
prospect  

Cold war chess

The rise and fall of chess in the 20th century was intimately linked with the cold war and the Soviet Union's giant investment in the game. But deprived of the atmosphere of menace that characterised that era, chess has dissipated…
Daniel Johnson  

Graham Greene

Considered vain, duplicitous and out of date, Greene fell from grace. Yet his worldliness remains a model for the practising writer, and his moral ambiguity serves us better now than Orwell's clarity
Julian Evans  

Goodbye, the west

There can be no "new deal" between Europe and America as proposed last month by Philip Gordon. The world has changed irrevocably
David Marquand