British involvement in the war against Iraq may have been a crime: it was certainly a mistake. It advanced no British interest. It has instead caused thousands of deaths, and destabilised the Middle... More > East, and has brought this country into various degrees throughout the world of hatred and ridicule.< Less
Why bother learning Latin? How did the Romans pronounce Greek? Should the Elgin Marbles be handed over to the Modern Greeks? Did the ancients have market economies? Should Epicurus be venerated above... More > Plato and Aristotle? Why is Carol Ann Duffy not even a bad poet? What makes Macaulay a great historian and L. Neil Smith a great science fiction novelist? Why is The Daily Mail—easily the best newspaper in England—not fit for wrapping fish and chips?
Sean Gabb deals with these and other issues in this collection of essays. Lively and provocative, they are written for every lover of ancient or modern literature.< Less
Suppose Hitler died in March 1939. No Second World War, no takeover of England by the Left, no descent into the gutter. By 1959, the world has recovered from the Great War. England remains liberal... More > and conservative and the heart of a great empire. German national socialism has decayed into an increasingly civilianised hegemony in Eastern Europe presided over by a senile Goering. Russia is ruled by Lavrenti Beria.
America has fallen under the arbitrary rule of Harry J. Anslinger. The reasons for this are what drives the plot of the novel.
It opens with the return to England of Anthony Markham, an independent scholar who has been employed to write the biography of a largely forgotten and now dead Winston Churchill. Because the old drunk left his papers to Harvard University, Markham has had to spend a month in America. The question of what he is carrying in his document boxes involves the fate of England and of all bourgeois civilisation as it has been re-established after 1918.< Less