The story of how Philby and four other privileged young Englishmen became spies or double agents for the USSR borders on a perverse sense of national pride.
Sixty years on, the beats continue to exercise a formidable grip on cultural life on both sides of the Atlantic.
Books and the act of reading are about removing barriers, and public events that celebrate them must do the same, as Alex Clark, guest programmer for this year's Cambridge Literary Festival, explains.
Two new American novels about physically and psychologically damaged veterans from the Iraq war get inside their subjects’ heads with varying success, writes a former US marine.
From sacred symbolism in ancient mythology to paeans by 20th-century naturalists, hawks and eagles have always been lauded in art and literature.
The extraordinary sequence of events now seems too far-fetched even for a British version of Homeland.
The fearless Kenyan writer talks about the “lost” coming-out chapter from his memoir and the response in Africa and elsewhere.
Somewhere along the line, an orthodoxy hardened: cigarettes will kill you and Bon Jovi will give you a migraine, but reading – the ideal diet being Shakespeare and 19th-century novels, plus the odd modernist – will make you healthier, stronger, kinder. But is that true?
The story of Flora Thompson’s semi-autobiographical novels set in the Oxfordshire hamlet of Lark Rise.
Anne Rice thinks there are communities of “parasites” intent on dragging down writers by slating their books online. Is she right – and why are we such slaves to the star rating, anyway?
The musician’s heart-wrenching memoir of his parents’ long, unhappy marriage.
Race relations in modern-day France.
We are born to be makers of crude tools.
And our speech is full of cruel
signifiers: you, me, them, us. I
am sure we will not survive.
John Gray reviews “The Age of Nothing” by Peter Watson and “Culture and the Death of God” by Terry Eagleton.
A provocative new exploration of ethnicity vs success in modern America by the authors of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
The US-born artist had talent to burn and a weakness for showmanship.
At London Zoo, Jumbo was assumed into the British imagination as a gentle giant.
Two new collections by Scottish poets characterised by sharp attention to detail.
A good book should be open to anyone, so why do some children’s publishers restrict readership according to gender?
The sad disappearance of the British “average neighbourhood”.
An ambitious and wide-ranging novel about allied soldiers in Sicily during the Second World War.
Writing was fundamental to the protest, yet the poems and songs have been largely lost from popular memory.
Two new books on cooking and interiors explore 20th century society's biggest paradigm shift.
Like the US TV series Girls – but for people who went to Cambridge.
The Scottish capital has a long tradition of crime fiction. Now one of the genre’s modern proponents comes home.
The conundrum of Britishness and the condition of Scotland.
Mainstream media have, until recently, been hostile to geeks – who have been hostile back. How do we break the cycle?
A Twitter campaign forced Jonathan Ross to pull out of hosting an awards ceremony for science fiction books. Was it purely a reaction to his controversial jokes - or were some people more concerned with keeping SFF "pure"?
The 12 stories in A L Kennedy’s latest collection revolve around ordinary people trying to cope with the emotional debris from break-ups, accidents, violence and betrayal.