News

Alexander Zverev could be tennis’s next star, despite his height

IT HAS been a while since men’s tennis last featured a rising star who had realised his full potential. In the era of the “big four”, in which Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have dominated the sport like no previous quartet, there has been a steady …

Read More
News

A Lebanese drama joins the fight to ban child marriage

“NOUR” begins like a romantic comedy. A 14-year-old girl spends her summer holidays in the mountains with a gang of six friends; they ride their bikes through the woods and swim in the nearby river. Nour is a cheerful teenager with a luminous smile, inseparable from her friend Wassim. The …

Read More
News

Escobar is dead, but “Narcos” and the drugs trade live on

NETFLIX scored a big hit with the first two seasons of “Narcos”, its slick dramatisation of the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar. But its third series, which is out on September 1st, faces a problem: its swaggering Colombian antihero is dead, shot on a Medellín rooftop in the previous …

Read More
News

The life of Samuelson

Looking back with smiles Founder of Modern Economics: Paul A. Samuelson, Volume 1—Becoming Samuelson, 1915-1948. By Roger Backhouse. Oxford University Press; 760 pages; $34.95 and £22.99. IN 1940, Paul Samuelson needed an academic position. As a graduate student and then a junior fellow at Harvard, he had achieved a strong …

Read More
News

“Autumn”, Karl Ove Knausgaard’s new essays

Autumn. By Karl Ove Knausgaard. Translated by Ingvild Burkey. Penguin Press; 224 pages; $27. Harvill Secker; £16.99. FOR all his rapturous passages of ecstasy and agony, Karl Ove Knausgaard can also make you laugh. In “Autumn”, the first in a “Seasons Quartet” of journal-essays addressed to an unborn daughter, he …

Read More
News

How Mikhail Gorbachev ended the cold war

Gorbachev: His Life and Times. By William Taubman. W.W. Norton; 880 pages; $39.95. Simon & Schuster; £25. ON DECEMBER 23rd 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, and Russia’s first president, Boris Yeltsin, met for eight hours to discuss the transfer of power. At the end, they …

Read More
News

How “Bake Off” went global

Piping bag of tricks A LUSH, country-house setting. Bunting and twee decor. Naff jokes about “soggy bottoms”. Many have argued that the ingredients of “The Great British Bake Off” (GBBO), which returned for season eight on August 29th, are eminently home-grown, and that the competitive cooking show evokes a simpler …

Read More
News

Pepys and Evelyn, chroniclers of the English Renaissance

A time to be inquisitive The Curious World of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. By Margaret Willes. Yale University Press; 282 pages; $27.50 and £20. SAMUEL PEPYS and John Evelyn were among the most determinedly inquisitive chroniclers of 17th-century England. Of all the period’s diarists and emergent memoirists, it was …

Read More
News

How Lithuania dealt with its Soviet statues

JOSEF STALIN stands in military dress, his hand tucked inside the breast of his coat. Vladimir Lenin sits—relaxed, cross-legged—with a book. Elsewhere, he extends his arm, mimicking the pose he adopted when he arrived in Russia in 1917 to seize power. Grutas Park, a sculpture garden in south-west Lithuania, is …

Read More
News

The White House has become a cultural wasteland

IT IS hard to imagine a presidential duty as easy, uncontroversial and plainly enjoyable as hosting the nation’s greatest artists, writers, actors and musicians at the White House. Such events offer a reprieve from politics and partisanship. They bestow glamour on an administration. They are a routine part of the …

Read More