The author Colm Tóibín is among a group of 30 writers, historians and Nobel laureates who  declared in a manifesto published in several newspapers  that Europe as an idea was “coming apart before our eyes”. File Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Liberal values in Europe face a challenge “not seen since the 1930s”, leading intellectuals from 21 countries have said, as the UK lurches towards Bre(...)

Ian Buruma, ex-editor of The New York Review of Books: writers say his departure represents ‘an abandonment of the central mission of the review, which is the free exploration of ideas’. Photograph: Vincent Tullo/The New York Times

Leading Irish writers John Banville, Colm Tóibín and Roy Foster, along with some of the biggest names in English letters, including Joyce Carol Oates,(...)

Michael Palin will talk about his new book Erebus: The Story of a Ship. Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

Writer and broadcaster Michael Palin will be among the participants in the Dublin Festival of History this autumn. The former Monty Python star has (...)

George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations. He believes Russia is the source of much of the attacks against him, and that it’s personal. “Putin doesn’t like me,” he says. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/AFP/Getty Images

Fame brings nothing but trouble, George Soros’s father warned him. By concealing his family’s Jewish identity, Tivadar Soros helped save them from dep(...)

A Syrian man  sits on the rubble of destroyed buildings following a government forces air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Bustan al-Basha in the northern city of Aleppo. Photograph: Thaer Mohammed/AFP/Getty Images

Five years in and perhaps a half a million dead, it’s difficult to see any solutions to the Syrian conflict forthcoming. But there are four crucial (...)